open main page here



LACEWOOD, BRAZILIAN

Roupala montana

Roupala montana of the family Proteaceae. This wood is from South America and is properly called South American lacewood or Brazilian lacewood, but it is also called leopardwood although it is NOT the wood that is normally meant by the name "leopardwood". It is what is normally meant in the USA by the name lacewood. On the other hand, it LOOKS very similar to leopardwood and the cross-use of names PLUS the great similarity in appearance makes for easy confusion between the two. For a further discussion on the name confusion, see:

An illustrated discussion on the confusion among the names
lacewood, leopardwood, planetree, sycamore, silky oak and others


A NOTE ABOUT NAMES FOR BRAZILIAN LACEWOOD
After much research and consultation with numerous knowledgeable wood people, this is my conclusion on the botanical names used for Brazilian lacewood:

my samples:




both sides of a plank of Brazilian lacewood / Roupala brasiliensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. For more detail on this plank, see the sample directly below.


both sides of a sample plank of Brazilian lacewood / Roupala brasiliensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. This sample is from the plank shown directly above. As you can see, the second side has really large ray flakes, which is common only truely quartersawn lacewood.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above and a face grain closeup showing ray flakes and grain in great detail. No sanding was done on the face so it is not as smooth as it could be and the shot was taken on the side with smaller ray flakes.


both sides of a sample plank of Brazilian lacewood / Roupala brasiliensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Brazilian lacewood / Roupala brasiliensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Brazilian lacewood / Roupala brasiliensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Brazilian lacewood / Roupala brasiliensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. The color should be just a shade darker than what is shown here.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


small pieces and end grain; one is dry, one is oiled ... these are from the same larger plank so you get a good idea of the effect of a finishing agent on the same piece


end grain closeups of the pieces directly above (raw and oiled)


END GRAIN UPDATE of the raw piece directly above


I show these two sides of a plank, from the end grain position, to illustrate how the angle of the cut so strongly dictates the size of the ray flakes. When the cut is almost parallel to the rays, the flakes are large and when the angle of the cut is greater against the rays, the flakes are smaller. As you can see from some of the pics below, the ray flakes can be huge, which is what occurs when the cut is parallel the the ray. When the ray is very straight and the cut is parallel to the rays, the rays can be several inches long. See, for example, the very first web pic below my own samples.



a long plank, two closeups and the end grain --- a lot of the end grain "figure" is saw marks, not something inherent in the wood.


one section, and a closeup, of a long plank


another section, and a closeup, of the same plank as directly above


yet another section, and a closeup, of the same plank as above --- the point of showing all three is to demonstrate how the flake figure can (and almost always does) vary considerably within a single plank.


two planks and end grain


both end grain closeups for the pieces directly above


side grain and closeup of one of the pieces directly above


planks


architectural quality veneer on the walls of the cafeteria at the medical center in Ithaca, NY. I left the chairs showing a little at the bottom of the pics to give it some scale. Obviously, this is not raw wood, but has been treated with a finishing agent.


rift cut lacewood veneer with almost no ray figure at all


veneer, presumably rift cut since the ray pattern is subdued (although as you can see from my own sample above, quartersawn pieces can have subdued ray patterns). The color is accurate.


another piece of veneer but this time with more ray figure, which shows up slightly better on the enlargement


veneer sheet and closeup


yet another veneer sheet, this time with the cut a perfect quartersawn so that the rays are very large


veneer sold to me as "European" lacewood with no botanical designation, BUT ... I believe that the only wood that normally uses that name is Platanus hybrida (European plane) which these sheets emphatically are not. SO ... I'm putting them here with the Brazilian lacewood because that's what they look like.

web pics:

NOTE:Many of these pics were collected back when I was not being as assiduous about botanical names. I know many of them were specifically listed as Roupala brasiliensis but I have no record of which ones, other than those few specifically listed below.


planks with wet and dry sections


quartersawn planks (identified as Brazilan lacewood with no botanical designation) showing large ray flakes


planks listed as Brazilian lacewood / Roupala brasiliensis


planks listed as South American lacewood / Roupala brasiliensis


planks (identified as Brazilian lacewood with no botanical designation) with reasonable color and showing quite nicely the wide variation in pattern that is found in this wood. The largest differences in pattern are based on the cut. It is normally quartersawn because that's what shows the rays, but as you can see in some of these pictures, plain-sawn is available and shows tight grain pattern just showing the cross section of the ray flakes.


planks (identified as Brazilan lacewood with no botanical designation) with a color variety that I find unlikely; I do not believe that the wood actually exhibits a variation in color as large as is represented by these pics; I'm assuming that some of them are just poor photography.


end grain --- you'll find my own sample pics at the top of the page much more informative as to the appearance of lacewood end grain


turning stock (identified as Brazilan lacewood with no botanical designation)


knife handles scales and turning stick


pen blanks listed as beeswing lacewood, which is just ridiculous ... I have no idea whether the vendor is dishonest or just ignorant, but this is just normal lacewood.


veneer (identified as Brazilian lacewood with no botanical designation)


quartersawn veneer listed as louro faia / Roupala brasiliensis


veneer (identified as Brazilian lacewood with no botanical designation) with fairly unlikely colors


veneer (identified as Brazilian lacewood with no botanical designation), all from the same vendor; color is probably too orange (needs more brown/pink)


These pics are from the same vendor and she manipulates the images to make the wood look more shiny than it really is. She listed this as European lacewood, but she is woefully indifferent to accuracy in identification, and I believe that the only wood that normally uses that name is Platanus hybrida (European plane) which these sheets emphatically are not. SO ... I'm putting them here with the Brazilian lacewood because that's what they look like.


veneer from another source, also listed as European lacewood --- I doubt the orange color and again, I'm putting it here in Brazilian for the same reasons stated directly above.


bleached veneer listed as European lacewood, but sold by the same vendor as the shiny stuff above, so here with the Brazilian for the same reason


bleached veneer, no country of origin specified but it was being sold by a vendor who sold Brazilian veneer, so I'm assuming that's what it is





very nicely done boomerang from a correspondent whose name I have misplaced


platter


4.5"x3" bowl turned and photographed by John Fuher whom I thank for the pic. HUGE enlargements are present which really show the grain well. John had the F-stop too low so only the bottom of the bowl is in focus but it REALLY shows off how neat this wood can look when turned.


guitar-clock with book-matched lacewood by my friend Jim Glynn