"Name that wood" revisited

About a month ago I posted asking what a lightweight wood that looks just like MDF raw, but with a faint grain when oiled, might be. I got guesses of Luan, Ramin, Nothing, MDF, and Spruce.
I took it in to the local exotic wood dealer today. She said it was gumwood. (my money is still on luan)
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toller wrote:

Luan is a lump-name for many -- it typically is very open pore. Gum is a NA hardwood (albeit it's quite soft) and varies greatly in color. But, it's a close-grained wood, nothing like anything I've ever had under the banner of luan.
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What is "NA"? This wood has no pores, even under magnification.
I call it luan because I bought 150sf of "mahogany" from someone. It covers the full spectrum from chocolate brown to white (some is even purple); most is highly figured, some has virtually no grain (or pores) at all. Two wood dealers have identified the more interesting pieces as being unidentified tropical wood, mahogany for the lack of a better name. I believe, perhaps incorrectly, that the grainless wood is just an extreme piece of the spectrum.
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toller wrote:

NA -- North American ... although there are a multitude of gums and there are probably related specie outside NA as well.
Well, that puts a whole different context on the question--I didn't see the previous posting that might have done same...
Yes luan is a catchall name...think of it as a similar convention to the use of "white wood" for undiferentiated construction softwoods in the US.
I'm sure there is a particular species as well, but I'm too lazy to go into the other room and look up what Hoadley says about it...maybe I'll remember tonight and if so, I'll check on it then...
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Duane Bozarth responds:

Sweetgum is a two wood species. It has sapgum and redgum. Sapgum is white (AKA white gum) and soft. Redgum is colorful and far from soft. Same tree, different parts of the trunk.
Charlie Self "Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." George Orwell
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Charlie Self wrote: ...

Yes, but... :) Not hard in the sense of hard maple, though...
Unfortunately, as followup, I couldn't find my copy of Hoadley last night... :(
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Essence, if not the entirety
http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr113/fplgtr113.htm
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Great link; thanks
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Duane Bozarth responds:

No, but hard maple is soft compared to some other woods (mesquite and jarrah and ipe among a large group). I'm not really sure where red gum falls on the Janke scale, but to quote Max Kline in "A Guide To Useful Woods of The World", liquidamber styraciflua heartwood "works with unusual ease...with only a slight dulling effect on the cutting edge of tools. Despite the irregular grain pattern often encountered, the species planes to a good surface and sands well with worked edges remaining sharp....Much of the timber is cut into fine cabinet veneer...."
Red gum is moderately strong and stiff; the interlocked grain often forms a ribbon stripe.
Wish I could find a Janka chart that included red gum: it is a bit hard to find, but you'd think that somewhere, some time someone would have wanted to use it for flooring, so a flooring manufacturer would have tested it. Except that I think most of the manufacturers run the same chart that has been around for a long time, with few additions.
Some day, I'll make a Janka test set up and run some less usual woods through.
Not this year, though.
Charlie Self "Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." George Orwell
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Charlie Self wrote:

I know, but as a single generality (which was all I was doing) I'd lump red gum as one of the "softer" vis a vis "harder" hard woods...it is, however, one of the more variable specie in properties...
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On Tue, 28 Dec 2004 10:57:05 -0600, Duane Bozarth

Probably below jarrah and above oak, but it's not listed here. http://www.duluthtrading.com/store/wood_hardness_chart.asp

Redgum, as in yewcallapeetus trees? They're a very tough wood. Many of our LoCal redgums died off as a result of lerp psyllids (bugs, David) about 1999-2001. Phully calls the stuff "Marri".
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - If God approved of nudity, we all would have been born naked. ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- http://www.diversify.com Your Wild & Woody Website Wonk
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Larry Jaques wrote: ...

No, I was thinking of eastern sweet gum, which I got into the habit of calling red gum (as did the locals) when in TN/VA...I actually had forgotten that eucalyptus were called gum although I'm sure I've been told in the past... :)
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On Tue, 28 Dec 2004 14:08:08 -0600, Duane Bozarth

I have a 35' liquidambar styraciflua (aka Sweetgum) in my front yard which I sometimes refer to as my pawpaw tree. I love the lovely smell of the tree in early mornings, but hate the damnable pawpaws. It gets more colorful than my maple in the fall, with brighter yellows and some really deep, glowing reds.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - If God approved of nudity, we all would have been born naked. ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- http://www.diversify.com Your Wild & Woody Website Wonk
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Larry Jaques wrote: ...

They are widespread in the Appalachian hills and make beautiful fall colors, for sure...
Have some areas in E KS that have significant numbers, too...but you're right, they can make a terrible mess...
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House accross the street in So. Calif coast HAD a big liquidambar tree that was gorgeous in the Fall. Cars stopped to pick up leaves that had fallen asking for the name. Tree went at first suggestion of drain problem by new owner.
On Tue, 28 Dec 2004 12:37:38 -0800, Larry Jaques

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As did the house across the street from me in the SF Bay Area. Now, the big bits are stacked in my woodpile, waiting on an opportunity to try a little low budget green woodturning...
It took 1.5 of the large recycling rolling bins to clean up all of what Larry called pawpaws. Those things make using the mulching leaf vaccum exciting. But if you step on one of them on the sidewalk, turning an ankle is a definite possibility.
We'll see how it turns. Like I said, the investment is pretty low.
Patriarch
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to use it for flooring, so a flooring manufacturer would have tested it.
*** Actually it is in all the books The figure given is 3780.80 N (850 lbf) A bit harder than silver maple, almost exactly as hard as bigleaf maple
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