The New "Mahogany"

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Dave Grason
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The New "Mahogany"

Post by Dave Grason »

While I was out shopping for material for my motor stringers, I was introduced to a type of wood that I've never seen before. The sales rep at the lumber yard explained that Weyerhaeuser has just started importing a wood called "Lyptus" into the country. It is NOT related to mahogany but it does come from South America - Brazil I think he said.

The salesman went on to explain that this wood is harder than both mahogany and white oak, machines extremely well, holds fasteners extremely well, is a very tight grained wood but responds very well to stains and adhesives. It's cheaper than both mahogany and white oak when priced by the board foot.

The trees are grown on plantations where the plantation owners are trying to put a stop to jungle deforestation. In the tropical climate, they are ready to harvest in 14 - 16 years. They can grow to 150 ft tall in that time and have very very few branches. That means very straight grained wood and very few, virtually no knots. Here's the best part. When I held up peices of this stuff next to Honduran mahogany, I could not honestly tell the difference except that the lyptus was actually clearer. It is a little bit lighter in color, but I'm sure that it could be stained to match a lot of different woods. If I did not know better, I'd say that it was the finest mahogany I've ever seen.

The only real downside to this so far, is that it does not come in widths much past 4" or 4/4" thick. For that reason, it's becoming very popular for custom cabinet trim, architechtural trim and high end flooring. I'm seriously considering this for the "mahogany" deck planking. This stuff is absolutely gorgeous and can be seen on the web at:

www.weyerhaeuser.com/wbm

click on "products" and then scroll down the left side of the screen to "lyptus."

If anyone has had any experience with this wood, I'd really love to hear from you.
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

Guest

Post by Guest »

After reading your post, I spent some time going through my encyclopedia of wood and could not find it. So I went to the weyerhauser site and copied this.

lyptus® is a premium plantation-grown hardwood from Brazil. A natural hybrid of Eucalyptus grandis and E. urophylla, Lyptus®

Lyptus is a trademark name, or for lack of better words, a name the lumber yard made up and registered,by leaving the front half of the word off.
But anyhow the wood is of the Eucalyptus family, and that i did find. It is a very hard wood, 57 pounds to the cubic foot,white oak is 47 pounds to the cubic foot. It is used for beams, struture members, railroad ties and flooring. Sounds like great wood for flooring in a bowling alley. The encyclopedia of wood also states it is hard to work and does have a tendency to splinter. Splintering may not be a good deal. Hope this helps.

RonW
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Post by RonW »

For some reason the board registered me as a guest in the above post.
The encyclopedia also says it has a red mohagony hue, very hard to work, very durable, and it also has pitch pockets which can cause the lumber to seperate, not a desirable fact.

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Dave Grason
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Post by Dave Grason »

Anonymous wrote:.....it is hard to work and does have a tendency to splinter...
WOW, that makes it sound just like white oak! :D I shouldn't have any problems with it in that case. (lol)

I was thinking about this for use as the brightwork on the deck of my boat. I wasn't considering it for anything structural because of not being able to get in large enough dimensions.

I'm not familiar with the term "pitch pockets."
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

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Graham Knight
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Post by Graham Knight »

Pitch pockets are voids in the wood where resin collects, Eucalyptus is a resinous timber.
Eucalyptus species are also known as Jarrah or Karri....

Timber Properties : Typically straight grained but often interlocked and wavy. Moderately coarse, even texture. Rich dark reddish brown heartwood, often with gum veins and boat-shaped flecks. Paler reddish brown sapwood. eavy, hard, strong (particularly crushing strength), and stiff with moderate dimensional stability in service. Highly decay resistant heartwood. Steam-bends moderately well. 800 - 910 kg./cu.m Heartwood is dark red with a sapwood of pale yellow. Texture is fairly even with a slightly interlocking grain that can produce a fiddleback figure.
Working Characteristics: Fairly difficult to work due to hardness and density. Reduced cutting angle recommended for planing. Turns well. Pre-drilling required for screwing and nailing. Glues and finishes well. Heartwood is quite durable. Sapwood can be attacked by lyctid borer. Treat with preservative when it is to be used in ground. Heartwood is sometimes difficult to impregnate with treatment. considered to be one of the most durable timbers in the world
Common Uses: Used extensively for construction in Australia, particularly for marine applications such as bridges, dock pilings, wharfs, and ship building. Also used for flooring, cross-ties, shingles, siding, trim, rafters, joists, furniture, interior joinery, chemical vats, and decorative veneers. Valued for striking tool handles.
General : More jarrah is harvested than any other commercial Australian timber. It is more appropriate than Karri for marine applications but it's not quite as heavy or as strong. The volume of log harvested annually is controlled by the State Government to ensure continuing supply. This has a good appearance grade, even though it does allow some natural defects such as gum streaks and minor knots.
Graham in Shepperton, England

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DavidMcA
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Post by DavidMcA »

When I was looking for marine plywood, I came across some Eucalyptus plywood, it was nice looking stuff. The only reason I didn't go for it was that it felt really heavy compared to the mahogany plywood.

RobbieD
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hmm

Post by RobbieD »

When this wood is glued together during the plywood process is it glued together with marine grade glue or just regualar interior glue?

Robbie

Dave Beem
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white oak in the US

Post by Dave Beem »

folks alot of people don't know that alot of steel is shiped with a footing of oak! now the problem is there coated with tar! well they can only be wued once and there in good shape ( well except for the tar ) So if you have a band saw and can clean them up there a cheap way to ge some great wood!! oh any steel place has them and they just sit in there yards! trust me if you ask you can get them for free

Hal Forsen

Lyptus

Post by Hal Forsen »

I bought some of the Lyptus at my local woodyard and like the way it works and looks. If somebody that knows more about it then me says it's ok for boat building then I am sold. Nice long boards as straight as a pin, tiny unmetionable knots , decent workability and cheaper than the just ok 1/4 sawn DF that they have and ALOT cheaper than the nice mahog. The stuff I got does not have anything even resembling a pitch pocket.
I think I found the material for my frames and floors.
HF

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Dave Grason
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Post by Dave Grason »

I'm with you, Hal. The stuff is so darn good looking that I've decided that it will be my choice for a good number of things in my project. I really need to get started.
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

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