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Unusual timber at Stake

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Jarviser

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Whilst at a garden centre, trying to persuade SWMBO not to waste good tool money on a bay tree, I was poking around in the tree stakes barrel, and found two 30mm stakes which were obviously much heavier that the rest. I like unusual sources of timber, and for a couple of quid I decided to get them and see what they were like.
This stuff does not float in water, planes up with a hard glassy finish, is slightly more purple than mahogany, although hard it splits dramatically, will not take a panel pin, and has nightmare grain.
But then I made this (Rob Wearing) clamp out of it. Any idea what it is??
 

JFC

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Purple heart ? Im only saying that because another forumite has posted about some and it doesnt float . So its a guess really :D
 

Philly

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Great thread title, Jarv :lol:
Sorry, not much help with the timber-definitely some tropical hardwood. How did it plane up? Easy or NASTY?
Cheers
Philly :D
 

Jarviser

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Philly":2ngzhj1w said:
How did it plane up? Easy or NASTY?
Cheers
Philly :D
Easy, but hard work, rather like old beech (I don't use any exotic woods) , needs plenty of candlewax, but the finish is like glass, even more so on the end and angled faces. Doesnt look much different after danish oil applied. The T-nut split the end and I had to glue it up in a vice. I think a wider board would be a nightmare as the grain twists and turns. I'll try making a fence for my Record #50c. It looked as though it gave the old jungle bandsaw a tough time!
 

Scott

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It looks a bit purple but the properties all sound like greenheart - planes fairly easily to glass-like finish, heavy, hard, splits fairly easily.

Scott (who's far from an expert but does have some 50 year old greenheart in his shop)
 

como

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I think you'll find that it's 'meranti', i've had a 6 foot length of 4x4 given to me by my neighbour. He told me that it was good for fence posts because it is rot resistant, which would also explain why it was being sold as tree stakes.
 

JFC

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Meranti is very light in weight compared to other hard woods and its not really a good hardwood to bury in the ground . its also very easy to work with on your tools and doesnt finish like glass .
Also known as pepper wood youll be sneezing all night after working with it without a very good mask .
 

samlarsen

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Can vouch for the sneezy. Made a slatted bath mat from meranti last week whilst the extractor was away for repair.

Nuff said.
 

Jarviser

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Not sure I could lift a length of 4x4 of this stuff! It doesn't smell of anything when cut. The rest of the barrel may have been Meranti - these were odd ones out.
I also made a replacement handle for an espresso steamer. Seems impervious to water, usage etc.
 

Sgian Dubh

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I can't tell from your photograph what you've got there jarviser, apart from the fact that it's brownish/purpleish and a fairly open grain.

But try looking for images and a description of Ipê and comparing what you've got with that. Ipê is a south american member of the Bignoniaceae family and has names like Tabebuia serratifolia and Tebebuia ipê. It's hard, dense, difficult to work and requires pre-boring for nailing. Whenever I've worked it it's been a killer on planer knives and router cutters and stinks like, well, something that came out of a rats anus, or worse, ha, ha.

Typical traditional uses are bridges, dockwork, rail ties, etc. When I lived in the US for ten years or so up to a couple of years back it was fast becoming one of the materials of choice for the ubiquitous decking that every house there seems to have to have. Slainte.
 

tim

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I would second all that Sgian Dubh says. It looks exactly like Ipe - one of the great tool destroyers and I've got a couple of decks made from it :oops: .

The other property that Ipe has it that it supposed to be fireproof - its certainly flame retardant to a point (everything succumbs to the power of my stove eventually :twisted: ).

Cheers

Tim
 

como

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I agree, a 4x4 length of this stuff is mighty heavy. I found this website which shows some pictures of meranti and it is identical to the timber that I have.
 

DKMWT

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Hi Jarviser

If the shavings are purple and it is purple all the way through as you plane it, then it is definitely purple heart. I have turned bowls from this stuff and it's hard work but gives a glass finish. But one of the disappointing things is that it is supposed to go brown with exposure.

Cheers Donald.
 

Jarviser

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Thanks folks, my money is on Purple Heart. It does turn gradually browner with age. It is almost twice the weight of Meranti, and end grain is very dense.
I will definitely keep rummaging at the garden centres in future! If only I could get the price ticket staples out I could use the last bit :roll:
 

Philly

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Donald
If you apply a finish and keep it out of constant direct sunlight you'll get many years of "purple" purpleheart. I have made a few pieces with it and they are holding up really well, even after a couple of years.
Here's a sample of purpleheart (its part of a box I'm making at the moment). Hope this helps...

Cheers
Philly :D
 

DKMWT

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Thanks Philly

I made a bowl for my brother and his wife for xmas 2004. I finished it with 2 coats of sanding sealer and a coat of friction polish and it's still purple. I had heard of it going brown but not witnessed it.

Cheers Donald
 

WoodPecker

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But one of the disappointing things is that it is supposed to go brown with exposure.
Use a finish with a UV inhibiter to prevent this from happening. I don't know of any off hand but you can get some yacht varnishes which inhibit UV.
 

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