First butterfly


I just got my first butterfly flat. I have a few gaps that I’ll try to fill with sawdust and glue to hide my crimes. Hoping for many better ones to come.


Oh that looks amazing. Is that a walnut/maple butterfly? Love this and looking forward to seeing more desk pics.


The desk is an unknown softwood slab given to me by @Logan_Buchy. The bow ties are granadillo or “Mexican rosewood” and the middle stripe is Douglas Fir


Your unknown softwood slab looks suspiciously like spalted maple. Possibly Western Big Leaf Maple if it is a bit soft.


Oh interesting, it is very soft. Is there a significantly different smell to big leaf maple over hard maple? The smell when I cut it is slightly obnoxious and hits the back of your throat. I’ve been decked in PPE since it is unknown


The spalting is very localized. I put the bow tie there to draw attention to it


If it is quite soft and there is a significant odor to the wood then it is probably not maple. It could be Western Yew which has a noticeable smell when you cut it and, as an added bonus, is quite toxic. See here for an excellent wood toxicity chart. Probably a good thing that you are wearing a respirator when working it.


Yikes, yes I’ll assume the worst then. I wasn’t wearing gloves but probably should have been. I did have my full respirator so no eyes/nasal/mouth.

If finished with a high build finish, should it prove safe to reside in someone’s home?


You would think, but I certainly wouldn’t take my word for it.


Some reading shows it’s actually used in bows musical instruments and some furniture, I’m going to do some more research but I’ll assume the worst and that your wood ID is correct. I’ll up my game with some breakaway gloves to finish this up. Glad I was dressed appropriately.

Meanwhile, I nearly finished the second bowtie



Before you don your disposable hazmat suit, I would do a bit more research on the species to determine whether or not it actually is Western Yew. Hard to tell from just a photo. The smell you described is what twigged my suspicion.