Please help me identify the species - Router Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
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Default Please help me identify the species

I have been hankering to make a clock for my desk at work and decided I wanted to make it out of something a little "different", sort of as a conversation piece...to let the yahoos around here know I do have a life outside this place
I headed over to Woodcraft and found this piece in their "Manager's Special, Exotic Wood" bin. I was attracted to this piece for its size, weight, and interesting grain. I asked about the species and was told, "We don't really know, probably some sort of Ironwood." I did some reading on the net and apparently Ironwood can be given to any wood that can sink in water, so it is more of a subcategory of hardwoods rather than a common name for a specific species. Can anyone give me an idea what species this is? All I can tell you apart from the pics is that it measures 3 3/8" by 2 7/8" by 14 1/8" (almost a board foot) and weighs 5.8 pounds. If it is hard as I think it is, anything I should do differently when working with this stuff?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 07:40 AM
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I can't help you with the wood Frank but having made many clocks in the past I'm interested in seeing what you come up with. What is the diameter of the fit-up and what size hole does it require?

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 07:48 AM
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looks like brazillian cherry. The stuff is very hard, but looks great!

the back and base of this project started out looking like your block

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Harry,

I certainly welcome your help...this is my first clock. The fit up is 2 3/4" with a 2 3/8" hole. My largest Forstner bit is 2 1/8" so my thoughts are to hog out most of the material with this bit and then use a template to complete the opening. I have a 2 1/2" hole saw to make the template, and then use a 5/8" bushing with a 1/2" spiral upcut. If I've done the math right I should then end up with 2 3/8" diameter. I will practice on a piece of pine scrap before committing this procedure to good wood . I had also thought about including an opening for a 3 1/2 by 5" picture, but it looks like I would have to glue up a couple pieces to get that to fit...still thinking through all the possibilities. BTW, your shower clock conversion from last week was the inspiration for this...

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 07:55 AM
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it kind of reminds me of this-

the bottom block was from woodcraft, the rest from a local sawmill

The stuff is heavy!
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Doug, I think you may be right. Based on what I have read online and the look of the pics you have posted it may be Brazilian Cherry (aka Jatoba). LINK to tropicalhardwoods.com A specific gravity of .91 and you may need to predrill to put a nail in it...this is hard stuff!

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 04:04 PM
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Frank, I can not help with identification. Working from just pictures a WAG is about as good as it gets. Jatoba would be a possiblity.

"(almost a board foot) and weighs 5.8 pounds. If it is hard as I think it is, anything I should do differently when working with this stuff?"

Given the weight and the wax on the board it was prepared green and probably is still pretty wet. Depending on what you do with it may require special attention to drying this piece or the pieces you cut from it.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 09:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Woodworkers Source View Post
Frank, I can not help with identification. Working from just pictures a WAG is about as good as it gets. Jatoba would be a possiblity.

"(almost a board foot) and weighs 5.8 pounds. If it is hard as I think it is, anything I should do differently when working with this stuff?"

Given the weight and the wax on the board it was prepared green and probably is still pretty wet. Depending on what you do with it may require special attention to drying this piece or the pieces you cut from it.
Jatoba is one of many names given to COURBARIL (Hymenaea). Strong and hard about 60 lbs. per sq.ft.Source is KNOW YOUR WOODS, Lyons press, Albert J. Constantine JR, page 184
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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Given the weight and the wax on the board it was prepared green and probably is still pretty wet. Depending on what you do with it may require special attention to drying this piece or the pieces you cut from it.
Keith,

That is what the fellow at Woodcraft told me. I scraped off the wax and sliced it up yesterday and if there is any moisture, it is hiding pretty well . Still, I will be patient and also leave room for checking. This is definitely the hardest wood I have yet worked with. The pic below shows the grain a bit better after a pass through the jointer/planer.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Jatoba is one of many names given to COURBARIL (Hymenaea). Strong and hard about 60 lbs. per sq.ft.Source is KNOW YOUR WOODS, Lyons press, Albert J. Constantine JR, page 184
Thanks, The weight does put it in the ballpark. It is definitely an ironwood. Most of the pics I have seen for Jatoba show more dark grain and a more reddish hue to the sapwood...this one is more brown/dark brown. So, while I think it may be Jatoba, I still have some room for doubt. Not the end of the world or anything, just curious in case someone asks me down the road...

- Frank
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