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ROSEWOOD, HONDURAN

Dalbergia stevensonii

Dalbergia stevensonii of the family Fabaceae (syn Leguminosae) the legume, pea, or bean family

Also called Honduras rosewood, this hard, heavy, true rosewood grows in Belize (British Honduras). Although somewhat less variagated in color and grain than some rosewoods, it IS a rosewood and is attractive and works and polishes quite well. Its color, generally some shade of purple, remains stable over time.


THE ROSEWOODS, REAL and OTHERWISE





my samples:

COLOR CHANGE IN HONDURAN ROSEWOOD


side 1


side 2

Shown here are two sides of a bowl that I did over 10 years ago using 2 sections of the same plank of Honduras rosewood. It has since sat out on a shelf exposed to indirect sunlight. As you can see, the color has been drained of most of its purple and has gone from a nice purplish color to a tan/brown. This is despite 3 thick coats of UV-blocker polyurethane. The base is bloodwood and it has turned almost black.





a batch of small pieces. The first pic shows sides sanded to 240 grit and the second pic shows the other side (untouched by me)


end grain of the batch directly above


end grain and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


end grain and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


end grain and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


a batch of small pieces. The first pic shows sides sanded to 240 grit and the second pic shows the other side (untouched by me)


end grain of the batch directly above


end grain and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


end grain and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


end grain and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


s set of small sticks showing some of the color variation from unusually dark (the back two pieces) to very "standard" (the middle pieces) to unusually light (the front pieces). The piece on the front right is out of order and should be towards the rear --- the first enlargement shows this pic MUCH better.

The following 3 pics show different grain patterns for a variety of pieces


flat cut


quartersawn --- grain is much more clear in the enlargement


rift cut --- grain is much more clear in the enlargement


plank and end grain --- shows very clearly the sharp demarcation between heartwood and sapwood that is characteristic of this wood. The color on the end grain pic is too dark --- the color on the side-on pic is just right. Take a look at the bottom of this page to see how the vendor that I bought this plank from (the BogusColorVendor) showed in on eBay.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above (both are of the opposite end from the one shown above)


both sides of a sample plank of Honduran rosewood / Dalbergia stevensonii --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. Because the vendor had this listed incorrectly as Honduran rosewood / Dalbergia tucurensis I had this on the Guatemalan rosewood page for a while, thinking that he had perhaps harvested it in Honduras but I also had a note that I believed that botanical name to be an incorrect ID and that it should have been labeled Honduran rosewood / Dalbergia stevensonii. Research scientist Mihaly Czako examined it and tells me that it is indeed Dalbergia stevensonii.

LATER NOTE: the sample vendor tells me this piece came from a commercial source, not from his own personal harvesting, so it was misrepresented to him.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Honduran rosewood / Dalbergia stevensonii --- 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 Honduran rosewood / Dalbergia stevensonii --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The labeled side is raw but the 2nd side has been sanded to 240 grit and so shows details better.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Honduran rosewood / Dalbergia stevensonii --- 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 Honduran rosewood / Dalbergia stevensonii --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The vendor has this as "bird's eye" figure, apparently because of the small amount of grain ripple, which has NOTHING to do with actual bird's eye figure. This vendor is both dishonest and careless when it comes to figure designations but this one I attribute to dishonesty.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


sample plank and end grain


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


turning sticks. It's a little hard to tell from the first pic, but what is shown is two sides of the stick. The end-grain pic is NOT from the same piece as the first pic but rather shows a little piece left over from a long turning stick that was much darker wood than the first stick. The color on both is very accurate.


turning stick and end grain


several views of a set of sticks


several views of a long plank, rough sanded


a rough sanded shot of the same plank and the the same piece cut down and fine sanded


the same piece moistened with water


several pieces cut from the same planks as directly above and in various stages of sanding


several pieces from a grab-bag lot of mixed exotics --- color is just a tad less vibrant than the actual wood


two sides of a set of turning sticks; the 2nd pic has a little too much red


two sides of a set of very bland colored turning sticks with little to none of the purple tint one normally associates with this species


two faces of a small turning stick showing a flat cut surface and a quartersawn surface --- this is from one of the set of turning sticks directly above


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


a very light-colored and light-grained plank


small rift cut plank and end grain --- this piece was cut from the larger plank directly above and fine sanded.


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


both sides of a plank with a lot of sapwood


and end shot of the piece directly above


small block and end grain


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


two small planks. The upper is quartersawn and the lower is flat cut. For the flat cut piece, the grain is so irregular and almost exactly parallel to the cut that the surface grain is marvelously variegated instead of what might have been a simple cathedral grain flat cut.


end grain shots of the two pieces above


end grain closeups of the pieces directly above


both sides and the end grain of a very interesting piece of Honduran rosewood with an unusual grain pattern. As you can see, the lower right corner of the side in the 2nd pic has the normal grain pattern for the species but the rest of it is pretty wild. Wish I had more of it but this was a small piece that came in an odd-lot box.


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


a set of planks with quite a wide range of color and grain patterns --- my color correction made this pic a little more faded than it should be, but the colors are correct.


top surface of a bowl blank contributed to the site by Daniel Duelen, whom I thank for this and other contributions. This piece does not look like what I think of as "normal" Honduran rosewood and I had it on my mystery page until Daniel identified if for me. Upon close examination, I do see how it can be Honduran rosewood, but it must be from an oddball tree. It has a closer grain than normal and it totally lacks the purple which is very common to the "normal".


end grain of the bowl blank


flat cut and quartersawn small planks, both cut from the bowl blank above.


flat cut and quartersawn end grain of the small planks directly above


flat cut and quartersawn end grain closeups of the small planks directly above


small slab


this piece was on the Mystery Wood page for several years (#163). It is fairly hard and fairly heavy, slightly coarse grained, very nice reddish brown color with tan sapwood. Provided by Deb Birdsall who subsequently told me that she believed it had been identified as a moderately obscure Honduran rosewood, Dalbergia "tucerensa", which I am sure is an incorrect version of the name D. tucerensis At first I did not think it was a rosewood, but I now believe it well could be and the Dalbergia Tucerensis identification is likely correct. The END GRAIN UPDATE makes it clear that this could very easily be a close relative of Dalbergia stevensonii (Honduran rosewood) so I think the ID of Dalbergia tucerensa is a good one.

LATER NOTE: I now have piece on the misc rosewood page that is identified as Dalbergia tucerensa and based on the end grain updates of the two, it is NOT the same as this (and if it were, I'd have moved this to the misc page to go with the other piece, which is listed as Gautamalan rosewood).


small plank cut-off from the bigger one above and sanded down


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


another small plank and end grain


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above. The end grain update makes it clear that this could very easily be a close relative of Dalbergia stevensonii (Honduran rosewood).


this piece was sent to me by Don Proctor for identification. I was sure it was a Dalbergia, but not sure which one. I told Don i was about 40% sure it was Honduran rosewood and mentioned a couple of other of even less likely possibilities. Don subsequently found more identical pieces at the suppliers location and it was positively identified to Honduras rosewood.


closeups of both ends of the piece directly above


end grain and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above


both sides of a Honduran rosewood burl slice, taken right at the outside of what must have been a pretty big burl since this piece is less than 2" thick, implying a large radius of curvature.


This is 2 of the three formal samples I cut from that piece directly above


closeups of two heartwood areas and one sapwood area if the "face grain" (to the extent that a burl HAS a face grain, as opposed to an end grain). HUGE enlargements are present.


HIGH GRIT END GRAIN CLOSEUP of the "end grain" (to the extent that a burl HAS an end grain, as opposed to a face grain) of both of the pieces directly above


two sections and a closeup of a long veneer sheet contributed to the site by Daniel Duelen, whom I thank for this and other contributions. Like the bowl blank above, also contributed by Daniel, this is different than what I think of as "normal" Honduras rosewood in that it has a more uniform and tigher grain pattern and does not have any of the purple that is common to the "normal" variety.



web pics:


nicely figured planks


bookmatched pairs


planks


planks listed as Central American rosewood / Dalbergia stevensonii


planks with colors that range from obviously incorrect to downright ridiculous


planks/slabs, all from the same vendor


sets of planks and closeups of the plank. The vendor pics for all these had a ridiculous yellow color. What I have changed it to may not be exactly what the wood looks like but I guarantee you that it is WAY closer than what the vendor pics looked like.


plank with very dull color, but I bought this one, so can confirm that the color is accurate.


turning stock, all from the same vendor and color is very likely much too red


turning stock with believable color


two sides of the same plank


highly figured


pen turning blanks. The two on the left are spalted and the rest are compression wood


unseasoned planks


burls --- I find the color of the first one likely to be quite accurate and the second one to be just silly


burl (wet, but even so, the red is probably oversaturated in the pic)


both sides of a burl


thin wood set up as guitar kits


guitar kit and closeup --- notice the significant difference in color between the two pictures of the same pieces of wood


guitar side


veneer that to me hardly looks like this spieces


veneer with a color that I am absolutely confident is not correct. I don't know if this is some other wood entirely or just a pic that has horrendous color values. The grain pattern IS consistent with this species.


veneer listed as "figured"


veneer listed as quartersawn bee's wing figure





these three are all from the BogusColorVendor. To get an idea how seriously they have misrepresented the wood, consider this: my first sample at the top of this page was cut from the plank in the first picture shown here. As you can see, the wood has none of the red or yellow shown in their picture. this is typical of the unbelievable misrepresentation that is common to their pictures.


more planks from the BogusColorVendor, showing more realistic color, although the red in the last two is almost certainly much too bright --- this wood tends to be purple, not red.


more planks, these with varying degrees of incorrect colors but nothing as egregious as the main example at the top of this section


closeups, all with seriously oversaturated color and too much orange


plank and closeup --- color is too orange





burl pen


vase --- not sure if this is a burl or just a swirly-grain (maybe crotch) area and also don't know what finish was used, although clearly something was.




three views of a bowl by Steve Earis who tells me it was sanded to 4000 grit then given two coats of danish oil getting a high buff after each coat, and it won first place in his monthly woodturners competition. I have given it some prominance here both because it is a very nice piece and also because it nicely exemplifies the grain of this wood. Both levels of enlargement are available.




some shots of a Honduran rosewood bowl that has a small area of sapwood --- left side of each pic shows it raw, right side is the same view but after an application of natural stain. The first pic shows an area that was near a crotch. The base is walnut (and the mounting holes have not yet been filled in). This was not a very exciting piece of Honduran rosewood but I think it turned out well. The bottom set has both levels of enlargements so that you can see the grain very nicely