Bagassa spp. of the family Moraceae, including at least Bagassa tiliaefolia and Bagassa guianensis. Native to South America.
my samples: NOTE: these pics were all taken in very bright incandescent lighting ("soft white" at 2700K) colors will vary under other lighting conditions
both sides of a piece of tatajuba / Bagassa guianensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. Note that the first face was sanded to 240 grit and the second face was not and this accounts for the significant difference in color between the two (the second face still has a patina) and the better resolution of the detail characteristics as seen in the first one.
end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above
small quartersawn plank that really shows some nice ray flakes.
when I was cutting some thin strips off of the large plank from which both samples above came, I happened to notice that one of them that was a perfect quartersawn cut had very noticible ray flakes, and here it is. Also, as you'll notice, the color of this freshly cut piece (very accurately shown here) is brighter than the planks that have been exposed for a while. I've done an exposure series, a couple of pieces of which are shown directly below. To see the full series, click here: tatajuba exposure series
the same piece as directly above, but after the right side was exposed to direct sunlight for a few hours a day (and indirect sunlight the rest of the day) for a week. You can see the darkening in the exposed side. The other side of the plank was exposed only to the air and a little indirect sunlight and it shows almost as much darkening, so I surmise that the darkening is much more due to exposure to oxygen than to UV light. That is consistent with the darkening that I experienced in the other planks, which were exposed only to air, not sunlight.
the same piece as directly above, but after the right side was exposed to direct sunlight for a few hours a day (and indirect sunlight the rest of the day) for 6 months.
veneer with accurate color --- to me, this looks a lot like Philippine mahogany (meranti) and not much like tatajuba, expecially the color. However, I have only recently seen tatajuba lumber for the first time (see my own samples above) and I understand that it changes color to something like the color of this veneer, and the vendor who sold me this is reliable, so probably this IS tatajuba veneer.
plank that was listed as tatajuba but which correspondent Steve Earis tells me is clearly angelim pedra which he says is known for those strange blotches. Steve goes on to say that the wood is tough enough but when you hit those blotches it's like cutting through glass and you lose the edge off your tool instantly
plank specifically listed as Bagassa guinaensis, which is a misspelling of Bagassa guianensis, a type of mistake that is common to wood vendors, many of whom seem not to care at all about the accuracy of the names they use for the woods they sell.
veneer --- this is the vendor's pic of the flitch that I bought and from which all of my veneer samples at the top of this page are taken. This is a distance shot and mine are closeups, which is part of the reason for the significant difference in color between mine and the vendor's pics.