Mark J

What's This?

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Well, Toto' I don't think this is walnut, English or otherwise.  Don't know if @phinds hangs out with us anymore, but I'd be happy to hear anyone's wood ID opinion.  

I purchaed this turning block labeled "English walnut".  It was somewhat rough surfaced at the time, but the label was plausible.   Now that I've processed it and started turning, I'm not inclined to believe the tag.  

It turns well, but the chips don't look like those from walnut and it don't smell like walnut.  The wood is very oily.  It yields to sandpaper, but clogs the paper very quickly.  The wood dust adheres to itself like flour stored in humid conditions.  

I have some photos below, but these are cut surfaces, not sanded.  I did clean with mineral spirits.

865060086_20200229_1127282.thumb.jpg.4178a75bb6dd89ef226f1dfea943e1a8.jpg

20200229_112728.thumb.jpg.b47a265dc003d96fe7641d21e8b7b185.jpg20200229_112514.thumb.jpg.3b50010511c6f134ab26cc7b0d790eb4.jpg

I don't think sanding will make things a lot better as the dust just packs the pores.

Can anybody narrow it down from tree?  

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Does it have an oak smell? To me it looks like it could be an oak, possibly English Oak?

The only thing that doesn't jive with that guess is you said it is oily.

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I don't have much of a shnoz for scents, but it doesn't really smell of anything.  

With the tight even growth lines I was thinking it came from somewhere with very consistent weather like the tropics.

It's definitely oilly.  The sawdust clumps togther like damp sand.

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2 hours ago, Tpt life said:

With no radial lines (not remembering what they are called) I question oak. 

Medullary rays. I agree, it looks oakish, but for the lack of medullary rays and the deliniation between the porous & non porous rings is not as distinct as with oak. And oak is not oily.

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Here's one more photo showing the groeth rings overall.  They, make a fan like or undulating pattern. 

20200229_112808.thumb.jpg.f166a7d1cf3a4f0df14dd828c7361cb7.jpg

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@Mark J, this is definitely not walnut or oak (those who pointed out the lack of strong medullary rays as ruling out oak are correct). The indented grain (the bumps in what you call the undulating pattern) are intriguing since I don't recall seeing them in something so strongly ring porous. Nothing about this looks like walnut. The face looks a bit like butternut but the end grain says no way.

My first thought on seeing the face grain was teak but the end grain, from what I can see, says definitely not teak. I COULD be wrong about that though since I can't really see the end grain clearly enough to be sure. Teak is generally semi ring porous but is sometimes close to ring porous. This wood appears to be strongly ring porous, which is why I say it's unlikely to be teak. @Chestnut is right about the oiliness being another indicator in favor of teak.

The indented grain also argues against teak, but it's possible that this is not true indented grain but just a couple of ingrown branches (adventitious buds, which could occur in teak) or even just "aggregate rays" (although I don't think they occur in teak either).

So, I'm not coming up with anything yet. I'll poke around a bit. Do you have enough to send me a small sample?

 

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29 minutes ago, Gary Beasley said:

Only wood Ive seen with that wavy pattern is butternut, but its lighter in color and not oily.

Ah, yes, but you're talking about "fluted grain" and that's not what this is.  Fluted grain bulges OUT from the growth rings (in the end grain) and this bulges IN. That's in addition the facts that you mentioned plus the absolute inconsistency of the end grain with butternut.

http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/_flutedgrain.htm

 

 

 

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I am including another photo showing the indented grain pattern, which looks to me to be pretty generalized.  

20200229_112408.thumb.jpg.416ac2ec7ba383154e255aab7feac735.jpg

I do have two cut offs that I can send you, @phinds.  When I squared the block I ended up with a thin end grain piece and a paper thin piece of side grain.  They're about 4x7 inches, but will fit nicely in a small flat rate box.  PM me an address and I can pop them out to you.  

The side grain piece is too thin to handle, but it might be possible to sand  the end grain sample.  But I have to warn you I'm going through more compressed air than sandpaper trying to deal with the clogging.  The pieces were cut with an 80 tooth carbide blade so the surfaces are pretty smooth.  

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How thin IS the piece that has some end grain? If it's less than 1/4" I can't do my normal processing. Send them anyway, but I'd suggest a plain old manilla envelope since any flat rate (small box or even flat rate envelope) is likely to be more expensive.

I'll PM you my address

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The end grain piece is about 1/4".  The long grain is maybe 1/16".  

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Teak! Beautiful and very expensive. Used mostly in marine application. Salt water will not hurt it. I will not work it. It feels somewhat soft but the wood is loaded with silica and that dulls carbide fast.

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12 hours ago, phinds said:

@Chestnut is right about the oiliness being another indicator in favor of teak.

I tried desperately to find something that fit better cause I agree it's not a strong teak but it just kept popping up searching between ring porous and semi-ring porous wood.

@Mark J That pattern looks really cool I'd like to see a picture of your finished tunring.

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I went through the few samples that I have of teak and did not find any that were nearly a ring porous as this wood, so I checked the NCSU LUNA site  for Tectona grandis and lo and behold, the first one is, while not quite ring porous, at least one that has significantly larger earlywood pores than most of the latewood pores, at least somewhat like this mystery wood, so maybe it IS teak.

https://images.lib.ncsu.edu/luna/servlet/view/search?q=Tectona grandis&os=0

Image1.jpg.d6db925250db0ad73f2194230041bc96.jpg

 
 
 
 
 
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35 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

That pattern looks really cool I'd like to see a picture of your finished tunring.

You will, unless the whole thing goes to poop, in which case I'll deny it ever existed :).

I gotta admit when you said teak I let out a "that's it", then I read phinds' post.  

I'm really excited that he's agreed to take a look at the scrap pieces I have.  I like to know the identity of any piece of wood, but in this case I want to make sure I never get any more of this stuff. 

While the wood turns very easily, the dust is fluffy and travels far, then sticks to everything.  As in I had a piece of white paper on a bench away from the lathe get covered in sawdust.  Shook it off, blew it off and lightly brushed, but there's still a layer of dust or something on it.  And my shoes may be a loss.  

So if phinds can't figure out what it is then I'm calling it oobleck wood.

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I was also considering the harbor test.  You know, take it to the harbor and see if the seagulls crap on it.   According to the boaters I know the seagulls always crap on the teak.  :D

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On 2/29/2020 at 11:52 PM, curlyoak said:

@Mark JI got the pieces. Your photography was certainly good. I'm going out of town for a couple of days but will get back to this soon. The good news is that the end grain piece is ALL end grain. The 1/4" height is what would normally be face grain. SO ... lots of end grain area to work with.

 

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I also realize now that the piece is sanded more and I can see the grain pattern that the indented grain is on one side only, maybe a third of the whole width of the piece.  The rest of the grain is straight.

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29 minutes ago, Mark J said:

I also realize now that the piece is sanded more and I can see the grain pattern that the indented grain is on one side only, maybe a third of the whole width of the piece.  The rest of the grain is straight.

It's not unusual for indented grain to be quite localized

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3 hours ago, phinds said:
On 2/29/2020 at 11:52 PM, curlyoak said:

@Mark JI got the pieces. Your photography was certainly good. I'm going out of town for a couple of days but will get back to this soon. The good news is that the end grain piece is ALL end grain. The 1/4" height is what would normally be face grain. SO ... lots of end grain area to work with.

 

I never made the quote above!!!! Curlyoak

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