#64: Padauk

Bird number: 97
Date: August 28, 2012
Wood: Padauk (Pterocarpus soyauxii)
Source: Fellow carver

A member of the local wood carving club brought me over to his house one day to go through his wood stash. He’s supplied several woods to this project. He identified one piece as Black Walnut and, although I’d already carved a Black Walnut bird, I accepted. I can always find something to do with a nice piece of Black Walnut.

It turns out, though, that the wood was not Black Walnut at all. I cut into it and discovered the warm orange color of Padauk. It’s easy to see how one could make the mistake, though. Padauk is orange when freshly cut, but dulls to a darker brown, as you can see here.

The picture on the left is what the wood looked like before I cut into it. It’s very similar to Black Walnut. Imagine my surprise when I cut into it and discovered that orange color. Unfortunately, I had cut the block shorter than my standard 4.5 inches, because I wasn’t planning to make a bird. But, since I didn’t already have Padauk in my collection and I wasn’t likely to have another piece drop into my lap, I decided to make a smaller bird.

Some people have told me that the wood carves nicely with a knife. I can’t imagine that. The wood seemed pretty hard to me when I was carving with the Foredom, and it seems pretty dense. I might take a knife to the piece I have left, just to see how hard it really is.