· Super Moderator
You are correct. It was used to make propeller shaft bearings for ships up to the 60s, and it is the densest wood in the world. Great quantities of it were also used to build the railways for the trains that hauled away the dirt from digging the Panama Canal. I have a chunk of it that a friend brought up from the bottom of Gatun Lake in the 90s that is big enough to yield about 5 slingshots. It is not waterlogged and is almost black. I'm not touching it until I get very good at board cuts. In the meantime, my handyman has several Guyacan trees near his house and he is going to get me some forks. BTW, Guayacan has a natural oil and doesn't really require any finish to protect it.
I seem to recall that this dense wood was used at one time to make bearings?I used Red Oak and Lignum .Lignum Vitae (Guayacan),guaiacum officinale, (C.Am)
"Wood of Life" is perhaps the heaviest densest wood in the world. Beautiful black green and brown grain. Turns like plastic in the lathe. 80+lbs per cubic foot, sinks in water. I made the red oak from a full cut oak log. I only used the center of the log and made it in an old school style. I put polyurethane on it and used Flatbands band set up. The Lignum I off set the forks so when I shoot flip style the forks are alligned and centered on my hand. I will use Gary's Flatbands on this one also. It is for shooting right handed and I put a thumb notch on the fork. The wood is great to work with, it has a sweet fragrance when sanding and the grain is very smooth and fine. I put tung oil on it to give it a glossy shine, but it did not work. I do not want to use polyurethane but something to keep the natural luster of the wood. Any suggestions?