Lignum Vitae Question - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-25-2020, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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Lignum Vitae Question

Hi all:
just registered. While I am a woodworker, among my many other hobbies, my purpose today is an attempt to help a dear friend. He is 82 years old and has to sell his farm. I am trying to help him dispose of property.

One line item is a quantity of chunks of a Lignum Vitae tree that he brought home with him in 1971 from somewhere overseas. There are maybe a half dozen pieces ranging in diameter from roughly 12 inches to roughly 7 inches and ranging in length from roughly 2 feet to roughly 18 inches. He believes this wood is very valuable and has asked me to find some way to sell it for him. I have absolutely no idea how this might be done. Can anyone here give me some idea as to value and how I should proceed?

Any help greatly appreciated

Mike
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-25-2020, 11:21 AM
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Welcome to the forum, Mike! Add your first name to your signature line so we'll remember what to call you and it will show in each post. Add your location to your profile, as well.

A quick search on eBay yields pricing all over the map - Lignum Vitae

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post #3 of 9 Old 09-25-2020, 11:38 AM
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welcome to the forum, Mike.
what part of the world are you in ??

Edit: there is "real" Lignum Vitae - and there is the "other kind".
what country did the wood come from ???
to be sure of what you have, you need to take a sample to someone that
really knows the stuff.
I myself would like to have a few of the pieces that will fit in a Flat Rate USPS box.
providing the price is where it should be.
right now, it is a "sight unseen" product. for all we know, your friend could have
brought home some mango wood - we have no way of knowing for sure.
please do the best research you can of exactly what you have - then the you can price it.
another source is the Wooden Boat forum - they use a lot of Lignum in boat building.
and there are many discussions there about the "real" Lignum and the "looks like" Lignum.
of course, PHOTOS would be most helpful.

I buy most of my turning stock off of E-Bay. but, the speciality exotics I get from Bell Forest Products
their wood is certified to be Grade-A Hand Select with no to minor defects.
also, the wood is certified to come from a reliable and sustainable source.
if the wood you have has any kind of defects, splits, cracks, bugs, etc, the price
would of course be much, much less than Bell Forest.
looking forward to your follow up.

John

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Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 09-25-2020 at 03:34 PM.
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-26-2020, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Hi David:

Thanks for the welcome! I regret that I am fairly computer illiterate. I went to the user profile and was not really able to figure out how to edit my "signature line". When I clicked on that it seemed like it opened up a window for typing in text. I'm not even sure what that is. I think I correctly added my location to my profile. I hope so anyway.

I am tied up for a couple of days, but I will try to learn more next week. My friend Gil has me busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest. He has already sold the farm and I now have 26 days to dispose of all of his property. Arrrgh. He has an incredible Italian made woodworking machine containing an 11" planer, 10" table saw and bi-directional shaper. It is huge and weighs about 500 pounds. Several years ago I removed all of the wimpy Italian motors, the ignorant 8 mm V-belts, and the troublesome overcomplicated Italian interlocking switches. I installed 3 hp continuous duty motors and plain Jane high current toggle switches, and installed heavier duty V-belt drives. I'm going down there tomorrow to take pictures of this thing, try to get some kind of manufacturer information from it, and hopefully get some pictures of this Lignum Vitae. I hope to be able to post more intelligent questions and information next week.

Thanks again for your welcome to the forum.

Best regards

Mike

Best regards

Mike
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-26-2020, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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Hi John!

Thanks for the information and help! I am fairly sure the wood is the genuine article. Gil is an extremely smart guy and I believe knows what he is talking about. the wood is extremely hard and very heavy. A chunk of it thrown in water sinks like a rock. Gil lives 60 miles away. I am hoping to get there this weekend and obtain some pictures of the wood as well as some pictures of his woodworking machine that I mentioned in a previous post on this thread.

I know nothing about this species wood, but I followed David's link to eBay and was stunned at the prices of little sticks of it. Compared to those, the chunks Gil has are huge. As I recall, one chunk of it is about 12 inches diameter and 2 feet long. It is going to be difficult to establish a value for this stuff. I wish he had not asked me to do this, but he is a dear friend in poor health and needs the help.

I hope to have more information sometime next week.

Thanks again for the help. Gil's project and the urgency of it has me feeling fairly stressed and swamped. I need all the help I can get.

Best regards

Mike
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-26-2020, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mboessen View Post
Hi David:

Thanks for the welcome! I regret that I am fairly computer illiterate. I went to the user profile and was not really able to figure out how to edit my "signature line". When I clicked on that it seemed like it opened up a window for typing in text. I'm not even sure what that is. I think I correctly added my location to my profile. I hope so anyway.

Best regards

Mike
User CP in the top right of this page, then click on Edit Signature in the left side panel.

David

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post #7 of 9 Old 09-27-2020, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks David. I took a shot at it. Not sure if I accomplished what the intended purpose is. I just put my name in there.

Mike Boessen
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-29-2020, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Hi all:

Concerning the Lignum Vitae, I went to Gil's place yesterday and took a bunch of photographs. I am going to attempt to post some of them. What I mostly need is advice as to how to establish a value. The wood came from Puerto Rico in 1971. Gill says he cut the tree himself out of a fence row that was being bulldozed. He is adamant that it is the real McCoy and not the "other stuff" whatever that might be. I, of course, have no reference point for identifying the wood. Possibly the photographs will help. The largest chunk has been sanded and varnished on one end, making the grain a little bit more discernible. I think there is some chance that there is wire embedded in some of the wood from what I can see. It doesn't look to me like it is very deeply embedded, however.
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Mike Boessen
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-29-2020, 12:41 PM
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Mike - I was stationed in Cuba back in the 1970s and Grenadillo was quite plentiful.
I brought back over 500 pounds of 4 foot x 6-8" dia. logs. and still have some of it left.
some of the old telephone poles were made out of Iron Wood from the 1940s.
I couldn't get any of that because we couldn't find a saw to cut it with - it was that hard.
I also lived in San Juan, PR for 3 years but never saw any Lignum or I would have snatched
that up too.
old seasoned hardwood like we have dries so hard that it gets splits and cracks throughout
the middle which lessens the value.
I have no idea as to how to price your Lignum in its present state.
of course if you took it home and cut it up into usable defect free chunks, you would get more for it.
but of course, there is your labor and some waste to consider. (I vote to take it to your house for now).

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