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NOTE: there is rarely any "standard" or "typical" look for a wood so take what's in this table with a grain of salt
the REST of the pictures on this page will give you a better overall feel for this wood

chechem / Metopium brownei

4" x 4" flat cut, 3" x 3" quartersawn, 1" wide end grain, and a 1/4" x 1/4" end grain closeup.

Diffuse porous with randomly spaced, small pores with vasicentric parenchyma and occasional pore multiples. Rays are present but sometimes hard to see even at 10X. Growth ring boundaries are vague, often hard to discern.



my samples:
you'll see that some pieces have a definite red tint and others are greenish
this is correct (and you'll see it in the pics from the web as well)

COLOR CHANGE IN CHECHEM


side 1


side 2

Shown here are two chechem sides of a bowl I did just over 10 years ago using pieces of the same plank. It has since then been out on a shelf exposed to indirect sunlight. The color deepening is obvious despite the 3 thick coats of UV-blocker polyurethane. The base is bloodwood and it has turned almost black.





both sides of a sample plank of chechen / Metopium brownei --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. I note that this sample is a bit more swirly in figure than is normal for this wood, as you can see from my many samples below.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


plank and closeup --- poor surfacing but really nice figure; the pics don't quite do it justice. To see what this looks like in a finished product, see the bowl at the bottom of this page.


planks


a set of pen blanks --- shown at the bottom of this page, used in turned bowls.


plank and end grain


end grain closeup of the piece directly above (but upside down relative to the end grain shot)


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


plank and end grain


end grain closeup of the piece directly above



both sides of a plank and end grain for each --- the difference in figure between the two sides is quite pronounced


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above



both sides of a plank and end grain for each


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


a smaller piece cut from the plank directly above --- the freshly exposed surface is slightly more colorful than the longer exposed surface in the larger piece even though the larger piece was sanded before being photographed.


4 samples taken from a batch of thins


sample plank and end grain


end grain closeup of the piece directly above (upside down from end grain shot)


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


plank


planks and closeup --- top plank is quartersawn, middle one is flat cut, bottom one is rift cut. The color of the heartwood is quite accurate but the sapwood on the top plank shows up as a little brighter than the actual wood.


plank and closeup


the other side, and a closeup, of the piece directly above --- the pics don't quite do justice to this piece --- it has a real sheen and a lovely grain and I'm betting that it's going to make a terrific side to one of my laminated bowls


planks and closeup


planks and closeup


END GRAIN UPDATE of a sample cut from one of the planks directly above


planks and closeup, showing a nice mottle figure on the darker two planks.


both sides of a plank of chechem / Metopium brownei --- HUGE enlargements are present. This was made from the piece at the top of the pic directly above. The slight purple tinge here is incorrect. The color in the pic above is more accurate.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


plank (and a side grain pic) cut from the larger mottled plank directly above. The sanding has reduced the richness of the mottle, but I'm confident that a finishing agent will bring it back.


closeups of the side grain and end grain (upside down) of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


4 planks, all with nice figure


plank and closeup


two small planks and end grain. It took me a while to be convinced that these are chechem because I bought them unidentified in a mixed lot and while all of the characteristics save one were highly consistent with chechem, that one, the weight, was a bit outside my experience. General reports have chechem at 53 to 60 lbs/cubic foot and my own experience of 20 or so 1BF-sized planks purchased over a couple of years has all been in the 60 to 70 lbs/cubic foot range. These planks prorate out to about 51 lbs/cubic foot and it was this obviously lightness (relative to my experience of chechem) that made me think at first that they had to be something else but I'm now convinced that they are chechem.


end grain closeup of one of the small planks directly above (really bad sanding job on the left side)


bunches and bunches of thin planks showing some of the grain and color variety available in this species


two sections of a 2" thick quartersawn plank and the vendor's web-pic of one of them. My pic's colors are correct; the vendor's pic has too an unnatural orange tint.


Excellent examples of both flat cut and quartersawn surfaces from a piece cut from one of the larger planks directly above and sanded down for the pics. The colors on both these and the end grain shots below are just slightly too red. The color in the pics of the larger planks above is correct.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


planks shot in a lumber store. HUGE enlargements are present


END GRAIN UPDATE of a plank from elsewhere on this page. This was done to get another pic for the anatomy pages.

web pics:


plank with both wet and dry section


planks


plank and closeup


a set of planks and two closeups of them --- the plank on the left is obviously figured


figured planks


bowl blank (waxed)


scales


flooring


veneer


veneer listed as chechen (not chechem) / Metopium brownii


burls


burl cube moistened for the pic


burl and closeup




NOTE: most of these web-pics in this section of this page are from the BogusColorVendor, so the extreme red colors are absolutely not to be believed. They are included here to show the variations in shading and in grain pattern, but not to show true colors


burls


planks


both sides of a plank and a closeup


both sides of a plank and the end grain


plank and closeup


ropey curly plank and closeup


figured plank


plank





pepper mill


bowl made from chechem burl


bowl


drum shell with high gloss Polyester finish --- pic submitted by Greg Blake


guitar set





an interesting demonstration of how radically different the wood appears depending on how it is cut relative to the grain. In each pic, the wood at the front is chechem, but in the first pic the grain is aligned such that the cutting amounts to a flat cut and in the second pic, it is quartersawn. At first glance, it hardly looks like the same wood. Each bowl has a single coating of low-gloss polyurethane. The wood in both of these bowls was taken from the "pen blanks" which are shown in my own samples at the top of this page; that is, the two pieces are essentially identical, but because of the cut they look quite different.


two views of another piece of chechem in one of my bowls, this time with a polhyurethane finish. This is a really marvelous piece, with brilliant color (for the species) and high chatoyancy. The plank the is piece was taken from is shown at the top of the page.