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Mystery wood i.d. help

Joined
Dec 6, 2005
Messages
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Location
Twisp, WA
Website
www.mcivorwoodworks.com
I'd appreciate some help identifying this piece of wood. Up for a mystery? Here are all the clues I can pass along.

A friend recently returned from a camping trip to Southern Utah. She was camping in Forest Service/public campgrounds and found these two pieces of wood left at an adjacent campsite. Being surrounded by pinyon pine and juniper (and not being a woodworker), she assumed it was one of those--it is definitely not. In fact, it's certainly a hardwood. Quite dense and no visible pores.

The red coloration is from oxidation of the heartwood; the sapwood doesn't react, at least not much. I cut the smaller piece open and the fresh wood is light brown. I'm assuming interlocked grain--I hit the cut face with my jack plane and the grain wanted to tear, no matter which direction I approached it from.

Oh, and no significant odor on cutting.

Having lived in the Great Basin for 15 years, I'm sure this is not a native (like mountain mahogany). Most likely an ornamental someone hauled into their campsite for firewood.

Any ideas on the wood species?

Don McIvor
Twisp, WA

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Joined
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Eugene, OR
Well, the growth rings are too far apart for Mountain Mahogany. Also, MM is hard enough that I don't think you would have an easy time using a hand plane on it, and that may be impossible. Specific gravity of the MM is some thing like 1.2. I got a big stash of it some years back. Also, they seldom get more than 8 or so inch diameter, though some will get 18 inch or so if they are very old. I will say that the bark looks correct for it though. Looking at the grain, I was thinking some sort of acacia tree.

robo hippy
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2005
Messages
63
Likes
1
Location
Twisp, WA
Website
www.mcivorwoodworks.com
Well, the growth rings are too far apart for Mountain Mahogany. Also, MM is hard enough that I don't think you would have an easy time using a hand plane on it, and that may be impossible. Specific gravity of the MM is some thing like 1.2. I got a big stash of it some years back. Also, they seldom get more than 8 or so inch diameter, though some will get 18 inch or so if they are very old. I will say that the bark looks correct for it though. Looking at the grain, I was thinking some sort of acacia tree.

robo hippy
Thanks Reed. I'm the guy who connected you with that haul of mountain mahogany...

Hadn't thought of acacia--that's a good guess.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
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I cut down a Kentucky coffeetree, Gymnocladus dioicus that had some wood grain and color similar to what you have pictured.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2018
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Location
Cameron, Illinois
I'm going agree with Reed's suggestion of acacia of some sort even though I've never touched, turned or even seen acacia wood.

My reasoning you might ask? Your second picture looks very similar to black locust, of which, I've turned a lot. However, I'm sure it's not. So what, you may say. Well another name for black locust is false acacia. Now I have no idea if the name refers to leaf, tree shape or wood characteristics that may be similar between acacia and black locust, but if in fact the two types of wood look similar, it's a reasonable assumption (in my twisted mind at least) that you have some acacia.o_O
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2005
Messages
63
Likes
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Location
Twisp, WA
Website
www.mcivorwoodworks.com
I'm going agree with Reed's suggestion of acacia of some sort even though I've never touched, turned or even seen acacia wood.

My reasoning you might ask? Your second picture looks very similar to black locust, of which, I've turned a lot. However, I'm sure it's not. So what, you may say. Well another name for black locust is false acacia. Now I have no idea if the name refers to leaf, tree shape or wood characteristics that may be similar between acacia and black locust, but if in fact the two types of wood look similar, it's a reasonable assumption (in my twisted mind at least) that you have some acacia.o_O
I can follow that logic train. Thanks Tim.
 
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