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Andrew Close
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
and what can i use it for? :smile:

IMG_3692.jpg
IMG_3693.jpg

my brothers office is remodeling. the walls were paneled with this. these pictures are just a small piece, most of them are 10" or 12" wide by 6', 8', 10', 12' long. i believe it's 3/4 MDF core with mahogany veneer on the back and whatever veneer that is in the picture on the front. it appears to be finished with a clear poly of some kind that isn't on too thick. the veneer is a decent thickness and could most likely be sanded down to bear wood. you can see where i scratched into it in the upper right corner.

i've planning to build a coffee/entertainment center type table for my mother in law that we could put her tv, dvd player and assorted other electronics. i was originally planning on using veneered plywood and trimming it out with solid wood.
but the grain on these boards is pretty cool and might look rather sharp if cleaned up. what would i need to do to make a table top out of MDF boards? could i just glue it up as if it were regular boards? or do i need some other joinery to hold the pieces together?
since the wood is free i figured i'd give it a shot. any thoughts, suggestions, comments?
 

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what can i use it for?

since the wood is free i figured i'd give it a shot. any thoughts, suggestions, comments?
Sounds like you have a couple ideas :thumbsup:. And my motto is free wood is good wood, so you are off to a good start. "what is it?", you got me. Looks like Spanish cedar with the open grain and color, but I have never seen the swirl pattern. For sure it will clean up. Grab it all, stash it and I bet you find a use for it. (I would, looks pretty)
 

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Nice stuff....free always is. I'd guess it's burl veneer of some species, but who knows which one.

I've never edge glued MDF, but I'd wonder if the essentially granular nature of it would make for a weak joint. And pocket screws may have the same issue. A lot would depend on the length of the joined pieces and the weight that would rest on them. If it were me and the construction allows, I'd feel better about say a 3" wide thin hardwood backer on the bottom of the joint, screwed into the MDF after the glue up.
 

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Boy, that stuff has got me guessing. I've seen smaller sections of a burl type red oak that have that sort of pattern, but never anything that big. I think the color you exposed with the scraping made me think in that direction.
 

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Andrew Close
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
well, i'll keep you updated on what i do with it. :smile:
i gave that scrap to a friend who is going to run it through his performax sander to see whether or not the finish can be taken off without removing the veneer. we're also going to perform a couple different cuts on the scrap to see what type of chip out we get when cutting the stuff.
i'm still coming up with ideas for uses. i'll be sure to share. :smile:
my Father and Brother picked up a truck load yesterday, so i may get a delivery this weekend...
 

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Man that could be alot of different woods. Daren may be right but I have never seen spanish cedar have that kind of figure or black mottling. Spanish cedar does not have such a high gloss sheen like that, and it is not an oily wood as that appears. It's a better guess than mine though because I have no idea what it is.

Whatever it is it's surely nice.
 

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Andrew Close
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Man that could be alot of different woods. Daren may be right but I have never seen spanish cedar have that kind of figure or black mottling. Spanish cedar does not have such a high gloss sheen like that, and it is not an oily wood as that appears. It's a better guess than mine though because I have no idea what it is.

Whatever it is it's surely nice.

TT, this board does have some sort of clear finish over whatever stain it might have on it. and it's been hanging on a wall for who knows how long. so that could account for the shininess/sheen on it.
i'll try to post a picture of the scrap after it's been cut and sanded...
 

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Andrew Close
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, my friend ran the scrap through his Performax sander with 80 grit rollers and made several passes increasing the depth roughly 1/128 in a pass. he was able to get the existing finish off the board without taking off all the veneer.
here's a snap of the sanded board with some water on one end just to show the contrast/grain a bit:

IMG_3694.jpg

IMG_3695.jpg

so once i get the wood delivered i'm going to try to glue up a table top for a tv stand and see how it turns out. worst case, the wood will make interesting picture frames. :thumbsup:
 

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Bubinga?
I am surprised you would put it though a planer without trashing it. Either it is extremely flat, or extremely thick veneer.
 

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Andrew Close
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bubinga?
I am surprised you would put it though a planer without trashing it. Either it is extremely flat, or extremely thick veneer.

not a planer, a thicknessing drum sander with 80 grit paper. :smile:
the board is extremely flat because it is MDF with a veneer. i just wanted to get the poly-type finish off the veneer to see if i could clean it up and refinish it.
 

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It's hard to tell anything from a picture of a rotary peeled veneer, since they all look much the same. My guess would be black cherry.

Re-sand a section with a random orbit fairly deep, put something on top of the newly sanded surface like a speed square or something and set it outside in bright sunlight when the sun is high and strong. If you see the outline of the tool after removing it a few hours later - it is most likely cherry. Or if you see small black imperfections occassionally that would be another sign.

Regards,
Jimc
 

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I still don't know either. But now that the finish is off, I agree with daren on the color and look of the brown part of the wood it looks a whole lot like Spanish Cedar. Except I have never seen Spanish Cedar have that black pattern to it. Doesn't mean it can't happen.

But again, there are so many thousands of species and even each specie has a sub specie, and each of those subs can look vastly different from the same tree right next to it. It's beyong my limited experience with exotics. I have only worked with between 2 and 3 dozen different Amazon and African hardwoods and none of them looked like that.

Hope you find out i am curious too.
 

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Andrew Close
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
hobbithouse...
that's a site i've seen mentioned in the forum before :smile:

i looked through the wonderful catalogue put together on that site, but i don't find anything that is a definitive match.

the picture that looks closest appears to be 'Bacote'.

here's my wood after the finish was removed:

IMG_3694.jpg

and here's 'a' picture of Bacote off of Hobbit House:


bocote 2 s100 q60 web.jpg


maybe i'll take this scrap with me to OWL Hardwoods on my next run and see if anyone there has a clue. :icon_smile:

EDIT: hmm, now that i look at the pictures next to each other i don't think that's it either, but that's the closest color and grain configuration that i could find.
 

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OK, my next test. Scratch and stiff. Does it have a smell ? It's not bacote , too much reddish. Don't let grain throw you off I could show pictures of domestics (maple/elm/walnut) with grain that is non typical. We are still looking at a long, in this case figured, grain. It looks to be open face grain, but I would have to see endgrain to know for sure. Since you have veneer, that won't help.
Nothing saying wherever this came from they did not see the figure as a defect, run it through and sell it as paneling veneer.
I still say Spanish cedar, crappy old mottled, low quality...hang on to it. I wish we has "smell-o-vision", I could say for sure.
 

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Andrew Close
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
i'm not getting a smell :smile:
i'm familiar with aromatic red cedar and the smell of the ornamental cedar type bushes people have around their houses. is Spanish Cedar anything like that?
the only way i can describe the smell of the board is damp wood. :laughing: it isn't very distinct.
i'm going to try to pick up the remaining boards tomorrow night. i'll try to lay them out and get another photo of the longer boards with a lighter finish. maybe that will help. i'm guessing that Clampman is right and when they cut this veneer they rotary cut it because the majority of the boards look near identical.
 

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i'm not getting a smell :smile:
i'm familiar with aromatic red cedar is Spanish Cedar anything like that?
i'm guessing that Clampman is right and when they cut this veneer they rotary cut it because the majority of the boards look near identical.
Spanish cedar will "burn" your nose like menthol. Cherry is closed grain, not that either (and distinctive sweet smell).
You may just have us stumped? Or you are smelling wet MDF ?
 

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Spanish Cedar smells wonderful. It's hard to describe and it does not smell like cinnamon, but to me it smells like a spice; one that could pass for a cousin of cinnamon.

Go to a cigar shop and sniff a new humidor (that's never had a cigar in it) and you'll never forget the smell. Most humidors are lined with it but ask the clerk if you aren't sure you have one that is. One sniff and you have it for life.

Daren you need to quit sniffing that stuff immdeiately after you apply the acetone. Once a hippy always a hippy (takes ne to know one). :laughing:
 
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