What type of wood is this?

I recently purchased a baby changing table for $20.00 because it looked rickety and cheap. My goal was to do a quick refinish job and tighten the joints so it would be in better condition. (My plan is not to make something that will last forever, just long enough to get our baby out of diapers).
The existing coating was a white pickled looking finish that was peeling away and seemed more like melamine than finish. I started sanding the pieces today and the wood underneath actually seems to be quite nice. It seems very dense and sands very smooth without splintering. (My previous project was an oak dresser that splintered if I used any kind of low-grit sandpaper on a random-pad sander, so this seemed much easier to work with). In addition to this, the grain on the wood is actually quite attractive to me and it seems strange it would be nearly covered by the dull white finish. I am not sure if that was the original factory finish or if it was added by one of the previous owners.
Anyways, I was just curious if someone could help me figure out what kind of wood it is? Comparing the grain to some desks I have, it looks like it might be birch, but I am no expert, so I figure I would open this up to the masses!
The pictures are here: http://www.kryogenic.org/wood/wood.htm
Let me know if you can identify this.
--
Thanks,
David



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my guess is white maple. i'd put money on it. if so, it's a very hard, durable wood, and with a little refinishing it'll be beautiful.
granted, i might lose my money, but it wouldn't be the first time.
good luck,
-- dz
David wrote:

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Could it not be beechwood? Especially the sideshot of a plank, (the dotty part) seems to indicate to me that beech is a strong possibility.
Bjarte
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The ray flecks in beech are more prominant, though less so than in oak. A fair amount of modern 'maple' furniture is made from beech, just like the oak furniture at K-Mart is made from rubber wood.
--

FF

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Won't lose it to me. Soft maple is my choice, too. If the color's off, could be something like alder, though.
What it definitely is not is birch.

kind of

might
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snipped-for-privacy@formyaddress.com says...

Rubber wood maybe
--
MikeG
Heirloom Woods
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Maple me thinks....mjh
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Yep, that's maple. The clincher is the tiny ray-flecks (not pores) in the quarter sawn grain that show up in maple and cherry only when the grain is very close to perpendicular to the surface.
--

FF

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So the consensus seems to be Maple. I am amazed. Seems like Maple is pretty expensive but this thing wasnt well taken care of.
Thanks for all the help!
--
Thanks,
David W. Lovell
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Could be soft maple, which isn't all that pricey, or all that soft. Small quantities of 4/4, s2s1e, in the SF Bay Area, $3.10/bf
Patriarch
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Expensive compared to what? In most places Maple is cheaper than walnut, cherry, mahogany, or birch, and it is harder and more durable than those. Often Oak is cheaper than maple, but not by a lot.
I think you'll find that a lot of school furniture was made of maple. I think the student deks back when I was in school were made from maple ply and sheet steel, and the maple ply may have been maple all the way through. It was very tough stuff, usually outlasted the steel.
--

FF

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Well, I am not a connoisseur of wood pricing, but I know that paying $20.00 for this selection of nice wood seems to be much cheaper than I could buy even average pine at Home Depot or Rockler. So its not that this wood is necessarily comparatively expensive, just seems like its nicer than I would have expected for the price I paid.
--
Thanks,
David W. Lovell
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Life's great that way, sometimes, isn't it?
Enjoy the new addition to the family.
Patriarch
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A few years back I looked at some $13.99/bf curly maple at a hardwood lumber store in Balmore, MD. At the same time Sandy Pond, about 100 miles North of there, sold curly maple for $2.50/bf, $3.50/bf for fiddle back I think. Possible the store bought theirs from Sandy Pond.
On the West coast poplar is more expensive than pine, On the East coat pine is more expensive than Poplar.
So what you have learned is that if you want a real good price for good lumber you don't buy at Home Depot or Rockler. OTOH you may find it convenient enough to buy there to be worth paying the higher price.
--

FF

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Good tip. In that case, how does one new to the trade find all these other sources? I am in Renton, WA.
--
Thanks,
David W. Lovell
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David asks:

Start by checking www.woodfinder.com. You'll find at least a couple local or nearly local sources there, I'd guess.
Check FWW ads. Check the other magazines for ads in the back of the book.
I don't know how a search on google would do, but it will take you only seconds: "hardwood dealers" and so on. I got 126 responses to that particular request, including quotes. Lots of mail order lumber dealers around.
Good luck.
Charlie Self "A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers." H. L. Mencken
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Sandy Pond has a webpage, and so do many places. Google and Altavista are your friends. The Yellow pages are still handy. I learned on this newsgroup about a mill I had driven by perhaps two dozen times and never noticed befor.
Generally speaking, you want to look for mills in rural areas close to where the lumber is cut. That's where the retailers buy theirs.
Probably others in your area will see this and reply, you can also use Google to search the rec.woodworking archives for terms like "lumber", "washington", "mill" and so forth in various combinations.
--

FF

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Fred the Red Shirt wrote:

Minor nit--"durable" usually refers to decay resistance--maple is not particularly good in that regard--walnut, cherry, and mahogany are all mure durable in that regard than maple.

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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Maple..

something
pieces
very
an
to
seems
of
might
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Sure looks like maple to me.
djb
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