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  1. #1
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    Default What Timber is this????

    Hey team

    Met a great bloke here on this forum who GENEROUSLY helped me put some old and very tired mystery decking through his Thicky... OMG it came out looking absolutely stunning. Iím an amateur and have way less experience than Crowie but one thing we agreed on was that this timber was probably not Merbau as first thought.

    so here are the pics and Iíd love for you to tell me what it is

    4181D0A0-6054-4C2A-A325-B86C4134A5D7.jpg

    E55C7A6B-BD69-4759-A7F7-518363C8141F.jpg

    It it is very very hard and very very heavy. I used Blackbutt as well and this was much heavier than Blackbutt. The guesses that have come in so far are: Merbau, Walnut, Tallowood, and Blackbean. Anyone know for sure?

    ABEF2BB8-0B27-4A8F-9C5D-8AB77DF8AB14.jpg

  2. #2
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    I agree it doesn't look like Merbau, I don't think it's Walnut either. The last pic looks like a Eucalypt of some sort, I don't think it's the same as the other 2 boards

  3. #3
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    Jay's been a bit too generous with his assessment of me...

    The timber is heavy and hard [dense], it has a beautiful grain and figure....


    IMG_3683.jpg
    Last edited by crowie; 9th Jul 2018 at 08:37 AM. Reason: photo added

  4. #4
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    It does look a lot like Black Bean, but you say it's denser than Blackbutt (average A.D. density 0.9), whereas B.Bean is given as 0.75, so it's less likely to be Bean, though average air-dry densities are only a guide & can vary considerably. I can usually pick bean pretty quickly if I saw it 'cos I sensitised myself to it years ago, machining a heap of it up without respiratory protection. It can be nasty stuff..

    Trouble with id-ing wood by 'looks' is that so many look alike...

    Cheers,
    IW

  5. #5
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    I am a long way from being expert, but I do know that the end gain is far better for identifying timber. The trouble is getting reliable comparison material or photographs.

    One good source is the wood database (link below), which has very good images for comparison - except that Aussie timbers are poorly covered.

    You need to look at a clean cut action and if possible use magnification. The key telltale for Merbou, for me at least, is the presence of yellow flecks in the endgrain. These flecks may or may not show in the endgrain.

    Merbau | The Wood Database - Lumber Identification (Hardwood)

    The fact that these are old decking boards would probably make Merbau the most likely suspect, but I have not checked the other timbers mentioned because that is better done by someone who can compare the endgrain pics.


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  6. #6
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    I don't think it's merbau. Some sort of eucalyptus, I would guess. Perhaps tallowood?

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    I have recently clad a home in tallowood and think your piece is too dark and red for that and the grain structure does not look like Merbau to me either

  8. #8
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    Definitely not tallowood.

  9. #9
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    I've seen similar grain and colour in Ironbark, although I'm hesitant to put that forward as an ID because it's not typical.

    Still... the weight sounds right... how did the thicknesser survive the experience? If 'twas Ironbark, the thicky would need sharpening by now...
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  10. #10
    crowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skew ChiDAMN!! View Post
    I've seen similar grain and colour in Ironbark, although I'm hesitant to put that forward as an ID because it's not typical.

    Still... the weight sounds right... how did the thicknesser survive the experience? If 'twas Ironbark, the thicky would need sharpening by now...
    The Dewalt DW735 with a Byrd Shelix Cutterhead ran like a top with no issues Skew.....

    Very different timber to the iron bark tree I had milled from my front yard!! Cheers, crowie

  11. #11
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    This is all very fascinating reading, and some very well educated guesses. The other thing that could lead it to being Backbean is that it certainly had an interesting smell, didn’t it Crowie when we were putting through the Thicky? But I really noticed it when I was pre-drilling some holes. The bloke I spoke to Tim Spittle from WA and helped me build my own Ukulele is also an Australian Timber Exporter and said the strong smell would certainly make it BlackBean. So I don’t know

  12. #12
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    Ian, it really did have a strong smell. That’s for sure. Where can you get BlackBean and how much is it per L/M?

  13. #13
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    This is what I’ve done with some of it but still have quite a few lineal metres left! Used it for screening on the right hand side and framed around the Garage Door Cavity. It really complimented the Weathertex really well, in my opinion

    C40D2D8F-33C8-4FB3-AB29-6053D87AE6F8.jpg

    024DAF7C-23C4-408B-9B97-743654E67D22.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nzhorsey View Post
    Ian, it really did have a strong smell. Thatís for sure. Where can you get BlackBean and how much is it per L/M?
    Hmm, been a while since I worked any Black Bean, as I said, I avoid it because the dust is truly nasty stuff. It's a pity, because it can be quite a spectacular wood, and it's not hard to work, apart from being very easy to split if you aren't careful. I don't remember a particularly characteristic odour, but it can sure provoke a good reaction from the mucosa of your respiratory system if you become sensitised, as most do. I've got several bits of BB somewhere in my stash, so out of curiosity, I'll see if I can find a piece later, & run it over the saw, have a quick sniff, then get the heck out of the shed for an hour or two 'til the dust has completely dispersed!


    BB was used quite a bit for flooring up North a generation ago, and quite a bit round where I grew up was chopped up for for fenceposts. Then it had a huge run as face veneer on plywood & particle board, and as a substitute for Teak in "Scandinavian" style furniture, back in the sixties. Given the skimpy dimensions of that style, the joints tended to be very skimpy too, which, combined with the poor glueing characteristics of BB has ensured not many examples of the style survive today.

    This mob advertise it, but say supplies are limited....

    Cheers,
    IW

  15. #15
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    Not Blackbean, nor Walnut or Kwilla.

    At a guess I'd say Red Ironbark, or possibly a dark Spotty (we get them very dark sometimes around here very similar to Red Ironbark)
    Neil
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