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MONKEY POD

< botanical name totally ambiguous >

There are at least 6, and probably more, totally unrelated species that use this common name and I have not the slightest clue what any of the pics below might be except as specifically listed. Interestingly, although all of the species are of different genera, most of them have the specific epithet samen, which I am sure is significant to a botanist, but I have not researched what significance it might have for a woodworker. It is possible that there is none --- that is, the characteristics that cause botanists to give the specific epithet samen to the various unrelated speces probably have to do with external characteristics of the tree (e.g. leaf shape) and have no bearing on the characteristics of the lumber.

Enterolobium cyclocarpum is sometimes listed as monkey pod, but it is more commonly called kelobra or perota or guanacaste and I have it on this site as kelobra.

my samples:


both sides of a sample plank of monkey pod / Samanea saman --- HUGE enlargements are present. This plank is almost all sapwood and has some spalting.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above --- as is sometimes the case with particularly soft/light woods, the end grain sanding did not do as good a job as it does on harder woods, and only in a small area in the upper left of this can you see the fine grain details


both sides of a sample plank of monkey pod / Samanea saman --- 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 --- this piece sanded more uniformly than the one above this but even on this one the softness of the wood made the fine grain details look muddy and indistinct.


both sides of a sample plank of monkey pod / Samanea saman --- 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


small piece of monkey pod which prorated out to 44lbs/cuft which is extremely heavy compared to my other samples of monkey pod


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


all 4 faces of the piece directly above


pics of a moistened, bookmatched, crotch slab and a bench, milled, worked, and photographed by Funktionhouse in florida, whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.

web pics:



flat cut and quartersawn


flat cut plank listed as monkey pod / Samanea saman




planks


bookmatch thins


planks listed as monkey pod / Pithecellobium saman


Hawaiian monkey pod planks and a closeup


the other side of the planks directly above and a closeup


Hawaiian monkey pod slabs


Hawaiian monkey pod planks


plank listed as carreto / Pithecellobium saman --- however, I just realized that this pic was lifted from the one at the top of the "web pics" section (but not by me ... I got the pics from different web pages) and cropped. The one at the top of the page was just listed as monkey pod with no botanical designation.


pen blanks that have been oiled and waxed and that are from a vendor who makes many of her woods look purple regardless of what color they actually are


turning stock listed as monkey pod / Pithecellobium saman


slabs listed as monkey pod / Pithecellobium saman


bowl blanks listed as monkey pod / Pithecellobium saman


turning stock listed as monkey pod / Pithecellobium saman


crotches


bookmatched crotches


bowl blank and pen blanks listed as monkey pod / Pithecellobium saman


bowl blanks


veneer


bowl listed as Samanea saman, which is one of the many woods that take the common name monkey pod


bowl


listed as a table top, this seems more like a bench top


pepper mill


guitar set listed as Pithecellobium saman


various faces, including the bottom, of a hollow form listed as monkey pod. It appears to be mostly sapwood with a mineral stain.


guitar front just listed as monkey pod


guitar back listed as monkey pod / Pithecellobium saman