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MYSTERY WOODS

botanical names unknown

This section is where I put woods that I cannot identify. If you have a wood you would like to have identified, send me a picture and I'll put it here. The hope of course is that someone with knowledge of the wood will see the picture and enlighten the rest of us, by emailing me at:


I used numbers starting with 100, but there were a few holes, as noted. Those woods that have been identified can be seen in their respective pages. The pictures have been removed from this section, but an indication is left in stating what woods each one turned out to be. The pics that were removed from this page were placed in the appropriate wood pages.

my samples:
NOTE: these pics were all taken in very bright incandescent lighting ("soft white" at 2700K)
colors will vary under other lighting conditions

mystery wood 100 --- this number was not used

mystery wood 101 --- this number was not used

mystery wood 102 --- a light colored burl veneer that Alan Belski identified as madrone burl, which I confirmed by comparison with other madrone burl sheets.

mystery wood 103 --- a burl veneer sheet that was opined by various folks to be madrone, elm, maple, and others. Since it was my own piece and I am not helping someone else ID it, I have just dropped it off the list. It was probably maple but I no longer care.

mystery wood 104 --- a veneer that I eventually identified as camphor burl

mystery wood 105 --- a veneer that I eventually identified as myrtle burl

mystery wood 106 --- a veneer that I eventually identified as quilted maple

mystery wood 107 --- this number was not used

Mystery wood 108 --- finally identified by several correspondents (Carla Kelly, Bill Fink, Steve Bartocci, and Cecilia Bonvillain) and myself all at about the same time, as verawood and can now be seen on that page

mystery wood 109 --- a small piece that was (MISTAKENLY, I NOW KNOW) identified by Keith Weaver as panga panga. Keith also sent a larger sample and both pieces are now shown on the panga panga page. This was among the many pieces that I had as partridgewood before discovering that partridgewood is really something else entirely and this wood is panga panga. UPDATE End grain analysis has shown this wood to be katalox, not panga panga.

mystery wood 110 --- a veneer identified by Tony Kouchakji as East Indian Rosewood burl.

mystery wood 111 --- a veneer that I eventually identified as kingwood (and felt really stupid that it took me so long to figure it out)

mystery wood 112 --- a weird figured veneer identified by Tony Kouchakji as what I have now seen advertised as "special figure" etimoe.


mystery wood 113 --- a burl veneer. It might be Chilean Laurel, but I'm not sure. One correspondent suggests maple and that's also a possibility.

mystery wood 114 --- a veneer identified by Steve Amato as kelobra

mystery wood 115 --- a veneer that I eventually identified as "quilted marbled pomelle figured" sapele

mystery wood 116 --- a veneer that I eventually identified as vavona (redwood) burl

mystery wood 117 --- a veneer that I finally identified as fiddleback sapele.

mystery wood 118 --- an oddly figured veneer sheet that was opined by various folks to be madrone, makore or sapele. Since it was my own piece and I am not helping someone else ID it, I have just dropped it off the list, as I no longer care what it is.

mystery wood 119 --- a veneer that Brian Harrington identified this as cherry. After Brian did the ID, I had a "DOH!" moment, wondering why I had not seen that myself.

mystery wood 120 --- a veneer that I identified as louro preto

mystery wood 121 --- a veneer identified by Bill Mudry as red gum

mystery wood 122 --- some shots of the back of a fiddle that I thought might be maple (but I wasn't positive) and that was eventually identified by a helpful correspondent (guitar maker Anthony Ryder) as being European Maple (Acer Pseudoplatanus).

mystery wood 123 --- a wood that I identified (with help from serveral correspsondants and the USDA) as probably being lotebush; in any case, it is now on the lotebush page.




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#124


mystery wood 124 --- a wood from the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas. I have a 3rd hand statement that the name includes the word "boa". This is a very light wood, although moderately strong, wood that in many respects is similar to butternut but I don't have enough experience with butternut to know whether or not this might actually BE some variant of butternut. In my limited experience, that seems unlikely. Both sides and the end grain are shown

One correspondent suggests mesquite, but the person who gave me this sample is familiar with mesquite, so I find that somewhat unlikely although it does look like mesquite to me.

Another correspondent has suggested avacado, with the statement that it's rare because the tree grows a fruit that makes it (the tree) more valuable for the fruit than for the wood and therefore isn't often seen in lumber form. I've never seen avacado wood, so can't comment, but the correspondent seems pretty sure of it. Has anyone else had experience with avacado lumber ?

Bob Konigsberg tells me he's pretty sure it's NOT avacado, so that may rule that out. Thanks for that input, Bob.

This sample was sent to the USDA lab, which identified it as belonging to the genus Lagerstroemia, which includes a large number of species that grow in Oceania and South East Asia and none of which are indigenous to the USA (as far as I am aware) but some of which could possibly have been transplanted. I've seen representative pics of a group of woods, not separately identified, that all belong to this genus, and one of them does in fact look a lot like this wood (not surprising, since the USDA lab is knowledgeable).

Dave Clark from Australia suggests it might be pyinma (Lagerstroemia spp.). Unfortunately, I did SUCH a crappy job of showing the end grain on my own sample of pyinma that I can't compare them until I have cleaned up my sample. The face grains ARE similar.



mystery wood 125 --- a wood identified by Jill Christie of Australia as river redgum




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#126


mystery wood 126 --- I have it 3rd hand that this piece came from a lumber dealer in Kerrville, Texas, and that dealer said the name is "Fhedon" and that it is from Mexico. I have not been able to find that name anywhere, nor have I been able to identify the wood as being from Mexico or anywhere else. I'm confident that it is from Earth, mainly because I don't believe in woods from outer space, but that's about all I can say. It is a moderately light wood and as you can see it has a clear demarcation between light orangish-tan heartwood and very light tan sapwood. For some reason, the color in the end grain pic is a little too golden and not quite dark enough and I just couldn't get it to come out quite right. The color in both of the side pics is quite accurate.

This sample was sent to the USDA lab, which identified it as belonging to the Fabaceae (syn Leguminosae) the legume, pea, or bean family, which is only slightly more specific than saying it is wood, as that is a HUGE family with many dozens of genera and probably thousands of species.



mystery wood 127 --- a veneer identified by Jim Johnson as oregon myrtle

mystery wood 128 --- a curly veneer that I eventually identified as paldao

mystery wood 129 --- a veneer that I identified as olive

mystery wood 130 --- a veneer that several correspondents and I all finally identified as butternut

mystery wood 131 --- a veneer that a correspondent identified as yellowheart (pau amerello). I have to dig back through my emails to get the persons name, and I will do so. I had not recognized this as yellowheart because I had not seen yellowheart with such ray flakes but just before the correspondent emailed me about this one, I got in some yellowheart veneer with ray flakes just like this (now posted on the pau amerello page), but had not looked at the mystery wood section for so long that I didn't make the connection.

mystery wood 132 --- a veneer identified by Brian Harrington as Alaskan yellow cedar

mystery wood 133 --- a plank positively identified by the USDA as honey locust

mystery wood 134 --- identified by the USDA and it is American black walnut

mystery wood 135 --- eventually identified as canyon live oak and is now on the live oak page

mystery wood 136 --- a "wood" that turned out to be a vine and is now shown on this site as "chicken blood wood"




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#137


plank and end grain


side grain closeup


end grain closeup of both ends

mystery wood #137 --- this was cut a very heavy pallet shipped from India. My first thought was ipe, but an examination of the end grain leads me away from that idea. The sapwood is the yellow-tan seen in the lower left corner of the 2nd end grain closeup.

I sent this sample to the USDA and their response was "probably Acacia spp." and it does look somewhat like Australian blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) which grows in India. It also looks like some of the other Acacia species, so I'm still not sure what it is and their "probably" doesn't pin it down much.

David Clark from Australia tells me this is VERY unlikely to be Australian blackwood because that wood is soft enough to be dented with a fingernail, which this wood definitely is not. Further, Jugo Ilic (a man who REALLY knows his woods) also tells me that it is definitely not blackwood but might be an Acacia from Africa or India, perhpas dakwora or camel thorn.



mystery wood #138 --- sent from the Bahamas by a man who got it as salvage from a recent vintage freighter deck and eventually identified by Brian Harrington as weathered mahogany. After Brian identified it, I examined it and agree with him readily.

mystery wood #139 --- identified by the USDA as eucalyptus

mystery wood #140 --- a wood that I was pretty sure was fir when I bought it as a mystery wood, with that ID being positively confirmed when I did the END GRAIN UPDATE process on it. It's now on the fir page.

mystery wood #141 --- a veneer sheet eventually identified by me as Senegal rosewood and now shown on that page




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#142


planks and end grain


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above

mystery wood 142 --- These pieces showed up in a mixed lot I bought and I have no idea what they are. The color is a very nice honey tan. The lower piece is sanded, the upper piece is not, and as you can see from the end grain shot, these pieces are quartersawn. There are lots of small ray flakes that show more clearly in the enlargements.

The wood is fairly soft and light-weight.

Roy Servais informs me that this is almost certainly Russian olive. Thanks Roy.

OOPS ... I've checked the end grain and this is definitely not like the Russian olive sample that I have. David Clark from Australia suggested that this might be Chinaberry but there too the end grain match says it definitely is not.




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#143

mystery wood 143 --- Chit Clayton (of Chitswood on eBay) sent me this in the hopes that I might be able to identify it. He's quite experienced with wood but has no idea what it might be. Sad to say, I don't either. It has a very chatoyant surface. As you can see from the end grain shot, the face grain is perfectly quartersawn and, as you can see in the enlargements, it has lots of small ray flakes and the appearance of a light mottle and/or ribbon stripe. It's a uniform tan color, as accurately shown in the pics.


plank (emphasizing side grain) and end grain


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above. The end grain update, alas, has not helped me any with the ID.

The side grain reminds me of a walnut piece that was once on this page as mystery wood 134 but the color is clearly not walnut, so I'm thinking that maybe it's a butternut relative (butternut and walnut are related) but that's a long shot.

David Clark from Australia suggested it might be Tasmanian oak, but an end grain comparison rules that out.

The wood is fairly soft and light-weight.

Jugo Ilic pointed out that it looks like Papua New Guinea walnut - Dracontomelon - and the end grain closeup suggests that he is probably right about that.




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#144


face grain


end grain


end grain closeup


bowl from same wood --- correspondent says this pic makes it look more red than it really is. It has a coat of walnut oil that brings out the color and grain.

mystery wood 144 --- correspondent says this is a very hard, dense, brittle wood that turn turns red (although NOT as red as in the bowl pic, which he says is too red) with finishing agent (walnut oil in this case). It was identified to him as zapotillo from Peru. I suggested sapodilla, which is similar in mechanical characteristics and fairly similar in appearance, and he agrees that it could well be that, but we're not positive. The face grain looks to me to be quite similar to some eucalyptus I have seen, but the end grain is not similar to my eucalyptus samples (but given the HUGE variety of species of eucalyptus, that is hardly conclusive).

Jugo Ilic suggested that it might be Turpentine (Syncarpia) but I have no experience with that, nor any samples to compare it to. He also noted the similarity to the Eucalypts.



mystery wood 145 --- Send to me by Savvy Lin in Sierra Leone, this plank was identified by wood scientist Scotty Drye as Pterocarpus erinaceus, which has the common name (among others) of Senegal rosewood. It is not a true rosewood but it is a beautiful wood that looks like it SHOULD be a rosewood. You can see it now on the "rosewood, Senegal" page. My thanks to Savvy Lin for the plank --- I've gotten some nice additions to my bowls from it.




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#146


sample and end grain


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above

mystery wood 146 --- sent to me by Terry O'Hearn who believes it is an extinct variety of mahogany but I do not think it is mahogany. I believe to about a 90% certainty that it belongs to the genus Shorea and is a wood that would be lumped into the common name group "dark red meranti". I base this on the grain pattern, particularly the end-grain which does not look like mahogany but does look like meranti, but also the surface grain which also looks like meranti but not like mahogany. Also, it is too heavy to float and I'm not aware of any mahogany that is even close to being that dense.

Alert correspondent Bernhard Schweitzer has suggested bongossi (which I have on this site as ekki) and I think he may well be right but the end grain is not conclusive and I don't know ekki well enough to tell for sure.



mystery wood 147 --- a very hard, dense, brown wood sent in by Mike the Puzzle Maker. I thought it might be one of the shorea species, but it was identified, correctly I'm quite sure, by Calos as bongossi (which I have listed on this site under the more common name of ekki, where you can now see the pics that Mike send in)

mystery wood 148 --- sent to me by mistake from a vendor I buy a lot of wood from, it looked a lot like limba but I wasn't sure at first. Turns out it was indeed limba.

mystery wood 149 --- a small plank eventually identified by me as staghorn sumac




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#150

mystery wood 150 --- a fairly light wood with a very smooth feel. Color fades with exposure.


planks and end grain --- the top pic is of a faded, older surface and the lower pic is of a freshly sanded surface.


end grain closeup of one of the planks directly above



mystery wood 151 --- an olive-green veneer with a really nifty swirly grain that was identified by Daniel Duelen, who sent it to me, as tropical magnolia. Thanks Daniel.

mystery wood 152 --- veneer that was identified by Daniel Duelen, who sent it to me, as Honduran rosewood. Like mystery wood #157 below, this was a variety of Honduras rosewood that did not look at all like what I think of as "normal" Honduran rosewood because it had none of the purple of the "normal" variety and it had a much tighter and more uniform grain pattern. Thanks, Daniel, for this contribution and many others.

mystery wood 153 --- veneer that looks like (and might well be) curly mahogany --- identified by Daniel Duelen, who sent it to me, as Honduran mahogany. Thanks Daniel.

mystery wood 154 --- veneer with a light curl, identified by Daniel Duelen, who sent it to me, as Honduras mahogany.

mystery wood 155 --- tan colored veneer with a light curl that was identified by Daniel Duelen, who sent it to me, as little bone.

mystery wood 156 --- a relatively light wood that looks a lot like morado (aka "Bolivian rosewood") but I don't think that's what it is. OK, this was identified by Daniel Duelen, who sent it to me in the first place, as East Indian rosewood. Thanks, Daniel.

mystery wood 157 --- A wood that turned out to me Honduras rosewood, but of a variety that does not look at all like what I had always thought of as Honduras rosewood. I had none of the purple of the "normal" variety and it had a much tighter and more uniform grain pattern. The piece was contributed by Daniel Duelen, whom I thank.




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#158

mystery wood 158 --- A fairly hard stiff wood, weighing about 53 lbs/cubic foot. The grain is mildly suggestive of eucalyptus.

David Clark from Australia tells me that this does indeed look like the ironbark group of the eucalypts. Assuming it is, that's probably the closest ID I'll get to since there are over 50 eucalypts that have ironbark as all or part of one or more of their common names.


plank and end grain


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE




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#159

mystery wood 159 --- Very attractive, fairly hard and heavy. Weights about 57 lbs/cubic foot. The face grain reminds me some of mimosa, but the end grain absolutely rules out mimosa.


plank and end grain


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE




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#160

mystery wood 160 --- Very hard and heavy (about 64 lbs/cubic foot) and with a pronounced mottle that looks a lot like some makore I've seen (but this wood is WAY too hard/heavy to be makore)

AH HA ! Jeff Sandsted told me this looks like karri and I checked the face and end grain closeups of the sample that I have of karri and I am convinced that this IS karri. Thanks Jeff.


plank and end grain


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE




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#161

mystery wood 161 --- Nice light orange color, hard and very heavy (about 67 lbs/cubic foot) and with a light curl on the surface that you really can't see in these pics, even the enlargements.


plank and end grain


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above




mystery wood 162 --- identified by Gary Morrison and myself as jobillo (goncalo alves) and now shown on the goncalo alves page.

mystery wood 163 --- A piece provided by Deb Birdsall who subsequently told me that she believed it had been identified as a moderately obscure Honduran rosewood, Dalbergia Tucerensa. At first I did not think it was a rosewood, but more experience and in particular the recent END GRAIN UPDATE convinced me that that was a reasonable and likely ID, so it is now on the Honduras rosewood page.




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#164

mystery wood 164 --- A very hard, heavy, dense wood that might be bulletwood (Manilkara bidentata) --- OOPS; the end grain update makes it very clear that this is NOT bulletwood.

Jugo Ilic pointed out that it looks like a eucalypt, possibly an iron bark.


small plank and end grain


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above


a couple of small pieces


end grain closeups of the two small pieces directly above


END GRAIN UPDATES ofthe piece directly above




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#165

mystery wood 165 --- A very hard, heavy, dense wood that might be cabreuva (Myocarpus spp.)


unsanded and sanded sides of a plank --- the unsanded side has been exposed to the air for over 10 years


end grain of the plank directly above


end grain closeups of both ends of the plank directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above. My original guess of cabreuva seems wrong, as this end grain update is similar to cabreuva but I think not similar enough to call it a match.



mystery wood 166 --- A wood that I eventually identified as ceiba and it is now on that page.

mystery wood 167 --- a plank identified by Drew Nyman as parana pine




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#168

mystery wood 168 --- Mike Stafford (the owner) tells me that these came from a torn-down structure in the Seattle area and he believes (not fully sure) that they were likely put into lumber form some 75 years ago or more. This is a very dense, hard wood.

Barry Richardson of the Wood Barter forum suggested that this might be apitong and I think that's a VERY good likelihood. The only possible flaw that I see is that the pores in this wood seem to be clearly smaller (but with about the same density) as in all of my samples of apitong and not surprisingly the corresponding way that the pores show up on a flat cut surface exhibits a difference based on that same fact. Still, apitong is closer than anything else I've found so far.

LATER: SO ... still a mystery.


both sides


end grain shot and side grain closeup


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE



mystery wood 169 --- a wood that, thanks to my END GRAIN UPDATE process, I was able to ID as kempas and it is now on that page.




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#170

mystery wood 170 --- The larger piece is rift cut and the smaller is flat cut. Average density is about 52 lbs/cuft. Mike Stafford (the owner) tells me that these came from a torn-down structure in the Seattle area and he believes (not fully sure) that they were likely put into lumber form some 75 years ago or more.


faces


ends


end grain closeups


another end grain closeup and the corresponding END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


side grain closeups




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#171

mystery wood 171 --- a very hard, dense wood (about 60 lbs/cuft), that looks a lot like katalox but does not have the same end grain. The end grain is similar to African blackwood, but I'm fairly well convinced that this is NOT African blackwood. The owner said that the purple, which is barely visible in this piece, is more heavily represented in some of the rest of what he has. It was the purple that made me think of katalox.


face grain and side grain


end grain and closeup


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above



mystery wood 172 --- identified by me as rubberwood (with help from a suggestion made by a correspondent) and now on the rubberwood page.




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#173

mystery wood 173 Send to me from Australia. The owner had it as "snakewood / Brosimum guianensis" but was not confident in that identification and I agree w/ him that is most emphatically is NOT that wood. It is also not Australian lacewood (or Brazilian lacewood or leopardwood) or any other wood I can ID. The very strong rays should make it easy to ID for anyone who is familiar with it. There are tiny shiny specs in the wood, especially the rays, which I think are probably silicon deposits. I also note the apparent lack of growth rings (the dark streaks do NOT appear to be growth rings)

On the Wood Barter forum, this was identified as "gum" but unfortunately, my database shows 534 different species that have the name gum in one or more of their common names and probably a couple of hundred of these (possibly more) are native to Australia. 269 of them are of the genus Eucalyptus so basically that doesn't tell me much more than that the wood is Australian, which I already knew.


both sides


end grain and end grain closeup



mystery wood 174--- A wood that I, through ignorance and having been mislead by an otherwise reliable vendor, long thought was not narra even though it had been sold to me as narra. Turns out it was narra after all and is now shown on that page.


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#175

mystery wood 175


first face and the end grain of a sample labeled as "Singapore pugne". I can't find any useful translation of "pugne" nor can I find such a wood in any of my reference works, and the end grain isn't ringing any bells for me. This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION B

This is a hard, heavy wood and pro-rates out to about 52 lbs/cuft

LATER: David Clark suggested meranti (Shorea spp.) and although this does not match any of my meranti samples, it is VERY close to a couple of the Shorea spp. found on my luan page, so I'm pretty confident that it is one of the hundreds of Shorea spp. that are sold as meranti or luan or Philippine mahogany or whatever.


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep and also showing the true wood color.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above.




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#176

mystery wood 176


first face and the end grain of a sample labeled as "African teak". This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION B

This clearly is not teak, and so far I have no clue what it is

This is a very hard, heavy wood and pro-rates out to about 67 lbs/cuft

correspondent Steve Earis suggests that this could be denya / Cylicodiscus gabunensis and the few pics of that species in Inside Wood do in fact agree w/ Steve's suggestion, showing both the confulence and the pore multiples in addition to similar pore size and spacing. The one possible difference is that at 10X, this wood shows no sign of rays whereas the Inside Wood end grain pic clearly shows rays. I say "possible" difference because the Inside Wood pics are taken at much better resolution than my pics and the rays it shows are very thin which could explain why they don't show up in my pics.


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep and also showing the true wood color.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above.




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#177

mystery wood 177


first face and the end grain of a sample stamped with just "Brazil". This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION B

The end grain of this piece looks exactly like chontaquiro / Diplotropis martiusii and face grain is extremely close but I'm not yet convinced of that as the correct ID. Chontaquiro is a wood that sometimes goes by the common name of sucupira and a sample of it is shown on the sucupira page.

This is a medium density wood that pro-rates out to about 45 lbs/cuft.

Correspondent Steve Pring says this looks just like some amargo amargo (Vatairea lundellii, often mis-spelled on the Internet as "Vataireu") he recently bought for use in his pool cues. I checked the NCSU end grain site and although I could only find a close relative (Vatairea guianensis), it's a match so I think he's right. Also the face grain of this wood looks just like the amargo amargo in one of his pool cues. Thanks Steve


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep and also showing the true wood color.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above.




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#178

mystery wood 178


first face and the end grain of a sample stamped with "African teak (Portsmouth England") but I've been told that it is more likely that it was harvested in Portsmouth Dominica, not England. This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION B

This clearly is not teak, and so far I have no clue what it is

This is a hard, heavy wood that pro-rates out to about 53 lbs/cuft


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep and also showing the true wood color.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above.




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#179

mystery wood 179


first face and the end grain of a sample labled as "Nassau wood". I can't find that name in any of my references and I have no idea what this is. This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION B.

This is a hard, heavy wood and pro-rates out to about 57 lbs/cuft


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep and also showing the true wood color.


The pic above this one and to the right, of the second face after being freshly exposed, was slightly out of focus so when I got this sample back temporarily after a label had been put on it, I took this pic which is well focused AND I noticed that the color has already (about 2 months after the pic above this one) started to darken noticeably.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above.




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#180

mystery wood 180


first face and the end grain of a sample labeled as "angiea wood". I can't find that name in any of my reference works and I have no idea this is. This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION B

I thought at first that this might be curupay / Anadenanthera colubrina but I now think that's unlikely.

This is a very hard, heavy wood and pro-rates out to about 61 lbs/cuft


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep and also showing the true wood color.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above.




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#181

mystery wood 181


first face and the end grain of a sample labeled "from Brazil", which indicates to me that the creator of the collection couldn't figure out what it is. I can't either. This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION B

This is a very hard, heavy wood and pro-rates out to about 67 lbs/cuft


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep and also showing the true wood color.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above.




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#182

mystery wood 182


first face and the end grain of a sample labeled "su pan". I cannot find that name in any of my reference works and I have no idea what this is. This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION B

This is a very hard, heavy wood and pro-rates out to about 67 lbs/cuft


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep and also showing the true wood color.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above.




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#183

mystery wood 183


first face and the end grain of a sample labeled "Manilla blue gum". I can't find that name in any of my reference works and it clearly is not a Eucalypt, which is what one would normally expect from a wood with "blue gum" in the name, so I don't know what it is. This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION B. I think this is probably Hawaiian pheasantwood / Cassia siamea (syn Senna siamea), which also grows in the Philippines, but I'm not positive so have posted it here to see what others think.

This is a fairly light wood and pro-rates out to about 38 lbs/cuft but it does not dent with a fingernail.


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep and also showing the true wood color.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above.




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#184

mystery wood 184 --- two sets of pics of a small stick sent to me for ID. I've lost track of who sent it (I was supposed to put it here MANY months ago). The same person also sent #185. I'm pretty sure it's a rosewood but I've not been able to figure out which one.

Correspondent Steve Earis suggested that both of them are Honduran rosewood and now that I look at them again, I think he might be right although to me the face grain on both of them fails to look like Honduran rosewood.


both sides of a piece


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of another piece of the same wood


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above. I lightened this pic up a bit to make the characteristics easier to see.




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#185

mystery wood 185 --- a set of scales and two sets of pics of wood sent to me for ID. I've lost track of who sent it (I was supposed to put it here MANY months ago). The same person also sent #184. I'm pretty sure it's a rosewood but I've not been able to figure out which one.

Correspondent Steve Earis suggested that both of them are Honduran rosewood and now that I look at them again, I think he might be right although to me the face grain on both of them fails to look like Honduran rosewood.


the scales


both sides of a piece


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of another piece of the same wood


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above




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#186

mystery wood 186 --- I've been reorganizing my sample boxes and found this as one of the mystery woods that I set aside, probably years ago, and never got back to. No idea where it came from or what it is. I had a yellow sticky on it saying "probably a rosewood" and there is some similarity in the end grain to several different Asian rosewoods but it's not clear to me that it's one of them.


both sides of the piece


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above




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#187

mystery wood 187 --- I've been reorganizing my sample boxes and found this as one of the mystery woods that I set aside, probably years ago. I had a yellow sticky on it saying "sucupira?" but I'm sure that it is not any of the woods shown on the sucupira page and I'm coming up dry on any ID.


both faces of the piece


end grain and HIGH GRIT END GRAIN CLOSEUP of the piece directly above




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#188

mystery wood 188 --- I've been reorganizing my sample boxes and found this as one of the mystery woods that I set aside, probably years ago. I had a yellow sticky on it saying "not wenge", from which I infer that whoever sent it to me thought that it might be wenge. It is not. It's also not panga panga. It isn't even close on either one. So much for what it isn't. I have no idea what it IS.


both faces of the piece. The 2nd face is rough-sanded while the 1st face is moderately fine sanded


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above




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#189

mystery wood 189 --- I've been reorganizing my sample boxes and found this as one of the mystery woods that I set aside, probably years ago. I had a yellow sticky on it saying "not morado", from which I infer that whoever sent it to me thought it might be morado. It's not. The pores are too sparse and just a bit too big. I thought it might be tzalam but it almost certainly is not. The end grain is a decent match for tzalam but face grain is not. Tzalam has feathering and the face grain is noticeably grainy whereas this has jaggies and the face grain is relatively smooth.


both faces of the piece. The first piece is moderately sanded, the second is rough sanded.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above




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#190

mystery wood 190 --- This piece came from a member of the Wood Barter forum where it was discussed in this thread: wood barter thread

My final comments on it were:

Well, nuts. I spent quite a bit of time looking at various pieces of both chamfuta and andiroba and the differences in the pics are just not conclusive, so I can't give any obvious and clear-cut evidence for my conclusion but based on the weight and the look and feel up close and personal I'm completely convinced that it is not andiroba and almost completely convinced that it is chamfuta. The end grain is quite close to both andiroba and chamfuta but the color is wrong for andiroba and right for chamfuta. Also I can't find anything else even close but of course given that my set of samples is trivial compared to all of the woods that exist around the world, that's hardly conclusive.

A note on the weights: The mystery wood is about 66 lbs/cuft. Andiroba has a huge range, from 30+ to about 65 lbs/cuft so the 66 lbs/cuft is in that range, BUT I've never seen any above 50 and don't trust the figures that say it gets heavier than that. Chamfuta is nominally 50 to 55 lbs/cuft so the mystery wood is high for chamfuta but not impossible.

Also, chamfuta is Afzelia quanzensis so it could be that this is an Afzelia other than, but similar to chamfuta. Sorry I can't be more positive.

Huge enlargements are present for all pics


all 4 faces of the piece


closeups of two of the faces


end grain and HIGH GRIT END GRAIN CLOSEUP of the piece directly above



mystery wood 191 --- This is a chunk from a dead tree branch from a neighbor's Norway maple tree. I wasn't sure what it was until Mark Peet identified it both by the wood and by seeing the tree so for a few days it was on the mystery wood page as #191.




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#192

mystery wood 194 --- #'s 192, 193, and 194 were all sent to me by Gary Green for ID. They are all from the same pallet and it was from China about 25 years ago. They are not necessarily all the same wood but probably are, and it is likely that they are a Chinese wood. They all look a lot like sweet gum / Liquidambar styraciflua (syn. Liquidambar macrophylla) but as of now I would not take bets on that ID. Cottonwood and aspen (both Populus spp.) also occurred to me but I'm pretty confident none of them are Poplulus. Also, the characteristics are similar to dogwood but I don't think dogwood is a likely candidate for pallet wood.

Later note: after I pointed out that the characteristics are very similar to Liquidambar styraciflua, Gary suggested Liquidambar formosana which is a closely related species that is more prevalent in Asia. This seems very likely to me.

SO ... I think 192, 193, and 194 are all Liquidambar spp. and almost certainly Liquidambar formosana


both sides of 192


end grain and HIGH GRIT END GRAIN CLOSEUP of the piece directly above




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#193

mystery wood 194 --- #'s 192, 193, and 194 were all sent to me by Gary Green for ID. They are all from the same pallet and it was from China about 25 years ago. They are not necessarily all the same wood but probably are, and it is likely that they are a Chinese wood. They all look a lot like sweet gum / Liquidambar styraciflua (syn. Liquidambar macrophylla) but as of now I would not take bets on that ID. Cottonwood and aspen (both Populus spp.) also occurred to me but I'm pretty confident none of them are Poplulus. Also, the characteristics are similar to dogwood but I don't think dogwood is a likely candidate for pallet wood.

Later note: after I pointed out that the characteristics are very similar to Liquidambar styraciflua, Gary suggested Liquidambar formosana which is a closely related species that is more prevalent in Asia. This seems very likely to me.

SO ... I think 192, 193, and 194 are all Liquidambar spp. and almost certainly Liquidambar formosana


both sides of 193


end grain and HIGH GRIT END GRAIN CLOSEUP of the piece directly above




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#194

mystery wood 194 --- #'s 192, 193, and 194 were all sent to me by Gary Green for ID. They are all from the same pallet and it was from China about 25 years ago. They are not necessarily all the same wood but probably are, and it is likely that they are a Chinese wood. They all look a lot like sweet gum / Liquidambar styraciflua (syn. Liquidambar macrophylla) but as of now I would not take bets on that ID. Cottonwood and aspen (both Populus spp.) also occurred to me but I'm pretty confident none of them are Poplulus. Also, the characteristics are similar to dogwood but I don't think dogwood is a likely candidate for pallet wood.

Later note: after I pointed out that the characteristics are very similar to Liquidambar styraciflua, Gary suggested Liquidambar formosana which is a closely related species that is more prevalent in Asia. This seems very likely to me.

Correspondent Steve Earis also thinks that this one look like Liquidambar formosana

SO ... I think 192, 193, and 194 are all Liquidambar spp. and almost certainly Liquidambar formosana


both sides of 194


end grain and HIGH GRIT END GRAIN CLOSEUP of the piece directly above




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#195

mystery wood 195 --- I've been reorganizing my sample boxes and found this as one of the mystery woods that I set aside, probably years ago. I have long since lost track of where I got it and I have no idea what it is. The sporadically positioned banded parenchyma reminds me of sapele but the pore density and color are both wrong for sapele.


both sides of the piece


end grain and HIGH GRIT END GRAIN CLOSEUP of the piece directly above




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#196

mystery wood 196


first face and the end grain of a sample stamped with the common name "acana" --- This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION C.

When posting these pics I noticed that the end grain looks a lot like bulletwood and sapodilla, both in the genus Manilkara. Also the color is right for either one. Subsequently, my friend David Clark suggested, based only on the name since he has not yet seen the pics, that this might be a Manilkara spp. David is a wiz at digging up obscure wood names.

Unfortunately the sample is far too old for the "rare steak" look than ones sees in a Manilkara spp. that has aged a bit (but not THIS much) but I think even without that extra clue, it's pretty clear that this is a Manilkara spp.


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above




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#197

mystery wood 197


first face and the end grain of a sample stamped with the common name "bunyan" --- This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION C


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above




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#198

mystery wood 198


first face and the end grain of a sample stamped with the common name "guila" --- This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION C


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above




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#199

mystery wood 199


first face and the end grain of a sample stamped with the common name "ingas" --- This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION C


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above




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#200

mystery wood 200


first face and the end grain of a sample stamped with the common name "lichie wood" --- This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION C


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above




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#201

mystery wood 201


first face and the end grain of a sample stamped with the common name "mallacca gum" --- This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION C


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above




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#202

mystery wood 202


first face and the end grain of a sample stamped with the common name "new holland gum" --- This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION C


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above




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#203

mystery wood 203


first face and the end grain of a sample stamped with the common name "rambutan" --- This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION C. Rambutan is normally Nephelium but this is not that genus. There are several other species that use rambutan as all or part of one or more of their common names but I don't know which of them (if any) that this might be.


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above




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#204

mystery wood 204


first face and the end grain of a sample stamped with the common name "sandlewood" --- This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION C

Since "sandlewood" is a common name for several species, mostly in the genus Santalum, that was the first thing I checked. I can only find reference pics for 3 of the 4 Santalum spp. that my database says use "sandlewood" as all or part of one or more of their common names and with one possible exception it seems clear that the pics on the NSCU reference site show a pore distribution that is very noticeably more sparse than what is in this wood. SO ... I rejected the rather obvious possibility that since it SAYS it is sandlewood, it actually IS sandlewood.

Subsequently, Ben on Wood Barter said that it looks a lot like some Northern sandalwood / Santalum lanceolatum that he has but the NSCU site pics seem to show, as I said, a noticeably more sparse pore distribution for that species than what you see in this mystery wood. Ben is from Australia and my friend David Clark, also from Australia, suggestes that it might be Santalum album. Although David was just guessing based on the name (he hasn't see the pics yet) it did spur me to revisit the Santalum album reference pics and I found the one exception that I mentioned above. They show one reference pic for Santalum album that has a significantly more dense pore distribution than any of their other Santalum spp. pics (including other Santalum album pics). SO ... maybe it's really sandlewood but as far as I can tell, the jury is still out.


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above




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#205

mystery wood 205


first face and the end grain of a sample stamped with the common name "sumatra wood" --- This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION C


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above




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#206

mystery wood 206


first face and the end grain of a sample stamped with the common name "vomosilla" --- This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION C. I'm fairly confident that this is a Ficus species (fig).


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep. Note how the mineral stain has come back to it's more normal gray rather than being covered by a tan patina


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above




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#207

mystery wood 207

This is from COLLECTION C and is TWO pieces of wood with completely different and seemingly unrelated common names but yet which are clearly the same wood (in addition to the characteristics being the same, the ends were an exact match, showing that they were cut from the same stick). The two common names given were "custard apple" and "pomegranate". Now "custard apple" is very likely a species in the genus Annona but pomegranate is a common name for Punica granatum although there are also species in the genus Capparis that also use that name.

The one example of Punica granatum that I could find had pretty much the same pore density as this piece but this piece has a lot of what are either radial pore multiple or radial pore groups and that reference pic showed neither. I found several reference examples of Annona spp. but they do not look at all like this piece (much sparser pore density)


both sides of the first piece with the first side having an age patina and the second side freshly sliced and sanded


both sides of the second piece with the first side having an age patina and the second side freshly sliced and sanded


end grain HIGH GRIT END GRAIN CLOSEUP of the piece directly above

web pics:

WEB PICS ARE NOT PART OF THIS PAGE





If you have a wood that you'd like to have identified, send me either (1) a sample or (2) a good quality digital image and a statement of the wood's characteristics