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Author Topic: Chunk of wood ID  (Read 9086 times)

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Offline Dave Shepard

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Chunk of wood ID
« on: March 16, 2010, 11:27:29 PM »
I've been chiselling away at a timber off and on for the last week. Section is about 6"x7" Trying to figure out what it is. It's dense, hard, mean, probably slow growing, has a really severe case of interlocking grain, it's DanG hard, laughs at edge tools, looks a lot like black locust, although without the yellow tint, and in general completely lacks any outwards signs of cooperation. Here are a couple of bad photos. Good luck. :D



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Offline pigman

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Re: Chunk of wood ID
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2010, 11:32:22 PM »
 I am not good at IDing wood, but I happened to be on at the right time so I get to have the first guess. I guess notsweetgum. ;D
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Re: Chunk of wood ID
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2010, 11:48:04 PM »
This chunk of wood most likely started growing in Fulton County, New York, probably in the late 1600's. It's present excellent condition leads me to believe that this species of wood must possess a resistance, if not total immunity, to any saprophyte living then or now in it's original habitat. Whatever it's green working properties are, they are a mystery long hidden by nearly a quarter of a millennium of brooding meanness and obstinacy.
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Offline blaze83

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Re: Chunk of wood ID
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2010, 11:52:02 PM »
my vote is for Red elm,   just because it fits the above description 8)
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Offline Dana

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Re: Chunk of wood ID
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2010, 07:51:46 AM »
American Chestnut? Looks like it's a reclaimed beam or railroad tie with creosote treatment.
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Chunk of wood ID
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2010, 05:47:10 PM »
Elm is not a bad guess, we are leaning in that direction as well. Definitely not a railroad tie, this timber is from a barn built in 1801, and it is recycled from a hay barrack that could be much earlier. To heavy and mean natured for chestnut.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Chunk of wood ID
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2010, 07:35:09 PM »
My guess is ship mast quality black locust, which is darker heart. Also has some banding of late wood pores similar to pattern in elms, but not as densely spaced. Baring that, Osage if you can get the extractives to leach out of shavings in hot water.  ;D
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Offline rambo

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Re: Chunk of wood ID
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2010, 11:18:02 PM »
I have not a clue. But I think it is cool that we are so awe struck by that piece. thanks for sharing.

Offline WDH

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Re: Chunk of wood ID
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2010, 11:21:00 PM »
I am with Dana on the chestnut.
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Re: Chunk of wood ID
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2010, 03:12:12 AM »
Chestnut would be my second guess, but doesn't sound like it so much with all the grief tooling it. Chestnut is not very hard and heavy either, but rot resistance is pretty good. The wood does look oak-like on that side shot. I'm still leaning hard on locust though. ;D
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Offline Dana

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Re: Chunk of wood ID
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2010, 09:16:04 AM »
Dave if it came out of a barn, it's possible manure stained the wood a deep walnut color. I would be surprised if it would go that deep into a timber. But, you never know. This is a photo of what I was told is old growth chestnut. My Uncle made a bench out of it the black staining from nails in the wood. The lumber was reclaimed from a barn. No manure though. :)

NOTE:  This is not Chestnut. It has been identified as an oak (for those of you who don't read all of the thread)
 



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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Chunk of wood ID
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2010, 10:21:11 AM »
Looks like red oak Dana, because those wood rays on the end would be almost impossible to see with a hand lens if it were American chestnut.
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Offline woodtroll

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Re: Chunk of wood ID
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2010, 10:58:56 AM »
Looks like old osage to me.

Offline WDH

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Re: Chunk of wood ID
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2010, 12:36:27 PM »
Dana,

What you have is definitely positively not chestnut because of the wide rays like SD points out.  It is an oak.
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Re: Chunk of wood ID
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2010, 06:32:54 PM »
We darn it, you guys have sure spoiled my heirloom and the story that went with it. :-\ On the plus side, at least now I know for sure what it is.
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Offline Tom

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Re: Chunk of wood ID
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2010, 07:37:24 PM »
Dave Shepard's first post.

When I opened this thread a little while ago, and saw that picture in post #1, I said to myself,  "Dang!, that's pine!".   It sure looks like a piece of resin impregnated SYP (fat lighter) to me.   That stuff is harder'n Chinese arithmetic.
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Re: Chunk of wood ID
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2010, 03:25:02 AM »
The grain isn't pine though Tom, if you look at the second picture. It's ring porous.
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Re: Chunk of wood ID
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2010, 07:32:19 AM »
Ash maybe?
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Chunk of wood ID
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2010, 01:35:54 PM »
The grain isn't pine though Tom, if you look at the second picture. It's ring porous.

The end cut doesn't look to be very ring porous.  I'm assuming that the side cut is a very old and not a freshly cut piece.  How much of the old wood would slough off over the years and give the appearance of ring porous?  Just a thought.

My first impression of the side cut is chestnut.  But, the end cut doesn't look quite right.  I like Tom's direction with SYP, but point more to NYP.  Pitch pine could fit that bill, as it would be in the range of NY.  Some of that stuff was pretty heavy, and it didn't rot much.  Add the slow growth factor in there and you get some pretty dense stuff.
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Re: Chunk of wood ID
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2010, 05:05:28 PM »
The end cut is hard to tell for truths sake because it's too grainy to see detail. But the side shot is very porous in texture. I still don't think it's chestnut either, I will still say mast grade locust just to be different. ;)  :D

I guess as far as knowing how wood would behave after 150 years in a barn you'd have to have some experience dealing with it. Of course this assumes you know what your dealing with in the first place. ;) But, I have my doubts pine would have a porous texture over time without disintegrating. Something would have to break down. ;)

Chestnut I believe has really large early wood pores and invisible rays.
Move'n on.


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