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  1. #1
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    Default Timber identification - heavy recycled beams - tear-out-a-zoola

    So I have been trying to broaden my horizons wood-wise and picked up some recycled timber.

    Stuffed my favourite plane iron on some nails, bought a metal detector, and tried again tonight.

    I assume it was used for a house frame or joists etc as it is rough-sawn all around.

    Any ideas on this wood? When the crap came came off it was just about the crankiest wood I've ever encountered. There was most tear-out than... non-tear out. You will notice the Stanleys tapped out, but the HNT Gordon A55 came to the rescue and I started working through the tear-out and almost through the last saw marks, until my arms tapped out.

    Incidentally this wood should be shipped to the next yank on youtube to instruct the viewing public that all you need to do manage tear-out on *anything* is tighten up the mouth and close the cap iron.

    Many thanks if anyone has a clue

    Chris

    PXL_20201102_103521564.jpg

    PXL_20201102_103244455.jpg

    PXL_20201102_103237197.jpg

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  3. #2
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    Default

    My guess - Kapur
    Experienced in removing the tree from the furniture

  4. #3
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    I would have assumed recycled framing timber with reversing grain like that would be a Eucalypt of some sort. Could we get an endgrain pic?

    Pity they don't make helical hand plane irons

  5. #4
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    Yeah I looked up Kapur and some of the face grain looks like photos... but this was from a demo yard at Coorparoo... and a shot of it before I stuck it in the vice too.

    I did not pare one entire slice of the end-grain but removed the fuzz

    Also a photo of an almost identical piece - you can see it oxidises to an almost burgundy deep red.

    PXL_20201102_113427465.jpg

    PXL_20201102_103513816.jpg

  6. #5
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    Thanks Rod - did look very similar in photos with the hue.

    The characteristic of this piece though was major reversing grain - almost 50% of the board had tear-out in the better direction. It was particularly gory when I took a swipe in the other way. Is that typical for Kapur do you know?

  7. #6
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    That endgrain screams Eucalypt to me. I couldn't say which one, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was just "generic framing hardwood" (Vic Ash/Tas Oak/Messmate) that's gone dark with age.

  8. #7
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    Definitely a eucalyptus ripple, you are going to need a belt sander.

  9. #8
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    Looks like Brushbox or Ironbark to me.
    Franklin

  10. #9
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    That end grain looks like Cooktown Ironwood, the oxidised colour you describe fits as well.
    The difficulty in planing looks familiar too.
    But itís not the typical timber you would find in a demolition yard, so Iím not convinced thatís what it is.

    Any chance of a clear closeup photo of some of the smoothed facegrain ?
    ​Brad.

  11. #10
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    As the beam came from a QLD source it may be one of the Xanthostemon species, brown penda, red penda, black penda; or Backhousia bancroftii - Johnstone River Hardwood, or Johnston River Teak -Insia Bijuga (imported wood is known as Merbau). It could also be "Turpentine" - Syncarpia Glomulifera.

    All of the above will display interlocked "unworkable" grain, they are all very hard when dry and abrasive. We used them as floor joists and bearers in Cairns up to the early mid 1980's when the World Heritage Listing of FNQ rainforests stopped supply. Workable while green off saw, a mongrel when fully dry. Pulling up a decades old tulip oak floor that has been nailed to wet JRH or penda - near impossible without lots of damage. Also near impossible to hand drive or air nail into when dry, and nails are very difficult to extract.

    A coincidence as I was assisting a fellow wood turner with some black penda at the Proserpine Turnout this past weekend. They believed it was unworkable, however I showed that it can be worked with the skew and that it will polish up as well as Blackwood or Ebony, IF you have the patience to work it lightly from start to finish with ultra sharp tools to prevent any tear out. You will require the patience of a Saint however. I will make some pens from the two 300 x 19 x 19 mm pen blanks gifted to me, a worthy but very time consuming challenge.

    I have edited the Johnston River Teak as it was an error & an oversight in my original post. Merbau or Johnston River Teak is by far the softest and most workable of the timbers that I have listed above.
    Last edited by Mobyturns; 4th Nov 2020 at 08:55 AM. Reason: corrected Johnston River Teak
    Mobyturns

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  12. #11
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    Some of the spotted gum I used on my bench had this grain structure, and the colour was similar. Maybe ask that Zed guy, he knows his timbers.

  13. #12
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    Many thanks Mobyturns, I will clean up more and see if I can nail it down.

    Although I didn't actually find it was too hard to plane in terms of density or resistance - the tear-out was just extreme. (Or maybe I'm just getting better at sharpening and scarred by recent experience with Karri.) It was a little like Merbau in that regard which isn't too hard to work for me but seems to splinter and split very easily so risky business.

    I should perhaps have added - the demolition yard is a demo yard, but they do separate out their timber, measure it, classify it in loose categories (pine, hardwood etc), and keep it indoors and undercover et cetera. It is cheap but not minimal and they do seem to look out for quality stuff. The gent mentioned they have a lot of furniture makers who pick their stock. They don't dress anything or try and ID the wood or anything like that which is why I haven't referred to as a timber seller/merchant.

    I should also mention if anyone was interested that there was a big pile of it there that is probably still there, in Brisbane if anyone was chasing any.

  14. #13
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    I don't think it's Merbau, there's none of the typical yellow flecks in the grain.

  15. #14
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    Default Try a scraper on it...

    It looks like some of the redgum and ironbark I've come across up here; at first I could only face plane it with a fornicatingly sharp iron or one with a back bevel; and even then there'd be patches of tearout. When I bought a Luban LA jack earlier this year I also purchased the high angled blade; using this I could get a surface ready for a film finish like varnish but not an oil as there was micro-tearout still.

    However my Stanley 80 cabinet scraper and my Stanley 112 scraper plane can both cope with practically anything; no wood has defeated them yet.
    Nothing succeeds like a budgie without a beak.

  16. #15
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    It looks just like the timber framing on our 60's fibro in Sydney. I found a few lengths around the property when we moved in. It's as hard as iron. I can't drive a nail into it without pre-drilling.

    I did make a nice mallet head with it:
    IMG_20200329_185300.jpg

    Steve

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