IDUNA’s wooden blocks were built in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia by Dauphinee & Sons, makers of blocks for fishing schooners. After 25 years of service I felt it was time to refurbish these blocks. I believe IDUNA’s block shells were made from Lignum Vita. The only exception is the block shown in the two attached photos. I believe the species of wood is Turquoignum Vita.
IDUNA’s blocks have bronze sheaves,bronze roller bearings, steel pins, steel side straps and bronze eyes. The wood cheeks (shells) are Lignum Vita. Unfortunately, Dauphinee does not make this style of block any more but they still make blocks.
I decided to refurbish all the blocks. The one shown in the photos is the only repair I needed to make. I have one more sanding (220 grit) to do on all the blocks then I will be ready to coat the shells. I plan to soak each shell in Watco Teak Oil Finish (a drying oil with UV inhibitors). Once finished, they will give IDUNA another 25 years of service providing I maintain the blocks.
When we purchased the boat, the blocks were natural gray and have remained that way until now.
Are you sure the cheeks are Lignum ? I’ve worked a fair share of it and the picture looks too red of color. Perhaps it is the lighting in the picture.The Lignum that I have had experience is the sample color shown.
I added a warming filter to the photo and did a few other processing tricks. After all the wood is “turquoignum vita.” The true color is similar to your image of lignum vitae. The wood is very hard and the grain is very tight (closed). I don’t believe it is purple heart. My initial thought may be wrong but it is the only wood that comes to mind. Further Dauphinee does produce lignum vitae blocks.
I will take a color balanced image of two blocks. You know your woods and perhaps you can identify the wood for me.
Attached is a color balanced image of two of the block check shells. The double shell was sanded down to 120 grit and the single shell with the turquoise inlay was sanded down to 600 grit in order to polish the stone.
Now we’re dancin’. The new improved picture looks like Lignum. A good but not certain way to tell is drop the wood into water. If it sinks it is probably Lignum but there are other woods that will sink as well. The color looks right and it isn’t purple heart. I was thinking from the first picture that it may have been Machiche, ( Lonchocarpus spp.) another bear of a wood. It’s been fun.