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Author Topic: Stinking Oak  (Read 4427 times)

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Offline Qweaver

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Stinking Oak
« on: April 09, 2006, 10:46:23 PM »
My cousin in WV dragged an oak out of the water last week.  We don't know how long it had been there but it was mainly submerged. They bucked off a 12" dia log off of the top and sawed it on my mill.  They said that the wood was beautiful but that it really had a strong bad odor.  They also said that it is a huge tree.  I'll see when I get back there next weekend.

Is it likely that the odor will go away over time?  It would be sad to lose such a tree because of the smell.

Quinton
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Stinking Oak
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2006, 05:55:23 AM »
Sounds like its pin oak.  Most often they have a bacteria that gives them a bad odor.  Black oak gets it too.  Is there any black streaks or black color to the wood?  Quite often, pin oak with the bacteria has shake. 

Can it be used?  I would think the odor would not be an issue after its finished. 
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Offline Tom

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Re: Stinking Oak
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2006, 07:56:03 AM »
Submerged wood that I've sawed has a bad odor sometimes too.  It doesn't last.   If it's isn't the wood itself that smells bad, drying will fix it.  :)
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Offline thedeeredude

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Re: Stinking Oak
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2006, 11:13:22 AM »
I hate the smell of fresh red oak.  It smells like puke.  I cant imagine what submerged RO smells like. smiley_smelly_skunk

Offline Grawulf

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Re: Stinking Oak
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2006, 05:01:12 PM »
I sawed some 30" red oak logs this last week and believe it or not, they smelled like peaches - really sweet, pleasant smell. Normally it's a very sharp, almost vinegar smell. This tree had been down for almost two years so maybe that has something to do with it. You'll probably pick up a little of the smell while machining it but as Tom said, even if it has the bacteria, it will be fine after finishing.

Offline treecyclers

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Re: Stinking Oak
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2006, 05:24:04 PM »
When I mill the scrub oak I get locally, it smells like wet oatmeal.
Sorta like GRITS! EEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWW!
That's a marginal step up from wet wooley socks after loggin all day!
PPPPPPPPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYEEEEEEEEWWW WWWWW!
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Stinking Oak
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2006, 06:30:18 PM »
Sure it wasn't the smell coming from the sweat soaked boots?  ::)

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline SAW MILLER

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Re: Stinking Oak
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2006, 06:43:50 PM »
I sawed some white oak last week and me and the customer both thought it smelled just like jack Daniels ::) ::)
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Offline SPIKER

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Re: Stinking Oak
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2006, 07:38:51 PM »
I think they use white oak for making jack don't they?  I know it is OAK barrels but I also belive it is white oak, as I remember reading, hearing when they were diog a commercial on ole #7 :D

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Offline Tom

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Re: Stinking Oak
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2006, 08:38:56 PM »
Yep!   White Oak is used for storing liquids because the tyloses are closed.  (the veins that carry liquids in the living tree close up and make the wood waterproof)

Red Oaks are used for dry cooperage (nails and such) but its wood is porous and will not hold liquids.  :)
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Stinking Oak
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2006, 08:55:10 PM »
I remember sending a bunch of 10/4 red oak to Spain for lining wine vats.  Seems the wine has sediment that would close the pores.  Not so with whiskey. 
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Offline Don P

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Re: Stinking Oak
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2006, 09:11:20 PM »
I'll bet that vat was sealed outside or waxed inside ...or thats some mighty muddy wine. I think it would leak down to within inches of the bottom otherwise  ???.

There was a case with bacterial oak and Sears dresser drawers. The smell came back out after the fact when the humidity would rise.  That said our cabinet stock was stinnnkeeee and has no eau now.

I read somewhere the difference between a fancy french W oak wine cask and one of our "inferior" ones is that the french let the tree lay in ground contact for awhile before using the wood, supposed to be a slight vanilla smell.

We went to a fancy wine tasting one time (you know I instigated that  ::))and they had seperated out some of the key flavors and had them in a concentrated form for you to administer by the drop to a neutral flavored wine. They were trying to both show the different levels of taste people have and to let you find what you liked. I could pick up on charred oak well before anyone else in the room and didn't care for it. Figured it was years of associating that with a stuck blade or cutter  :D

Offline ohsoloco

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Re: Stinking Oak
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2006, 10:23:46 PM »
I heard once on the Food Network that wood is one of the key ingredients in artificial vanilla flavoring  :P  I can't remember the compound that gives that flavor, but it's in white oak (don't know if it has to be charred or not), and is why a lot of beverages stored in white oak barrels have hints of vanilla. 

Alright, enough about food  :D  The only oak I've sawn that was really stinky was pin oak.  Right on par with what Ron said...it was streaked with black as well.  Didn't hold on to the lumber, so I don't know if the smell stuck around or not.

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Re: Stinking Oak
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2006, 10:35:34 PM »
I ran a stick red oak through the firewood machine today and it had a less than pleasant odor.  There were a few other sticks in the same batch of 100" that I processed when it was cold and they were frozen and there was no smell.  I figure bacteria as the cause 
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Offline CHARLIE

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Re: Stinking Oak
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2006, 12:10:38 AM »
There is a company in Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Superior that brings up logs that sank during the logging days in the 1860's.  In their brochure, they say the wood stinks (maple, pine, birch, etc) even after it's dried. But that once you seal it with a finish, it's OK. I reckon it seals in the stink. :)
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Offline KEC

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Re: Stinking Oak
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2018, 07:10:41 PM »
Fresh cut Red Oak smells like corn silage to me; I don't see it as bad. Some smells, if you don't know the source, seem bad. Does anyone else read these old posts?

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Stinking Oak
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2018, 12:03:00 PM »
Whenever dad cut oak in the shop I tried to find something else to keep me busy. It was heavy and I hated the smell.
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: Stinking Oak
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2018, 01:06:32 PM »
This spring I cut some of what I thought was pin oak, but after reading this thread would guess it may have been white oak. Anyway, it had been down for several years and to me it smelled like Copenhagen, even made my mouth water and its been over 10 years since I had a dip. 
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Stinking Oak
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2018, 11:14:17 PM »
Sometimes you can smell the alcohol from fermentation under the bark or in the sapwood.  Usually logs that have been down a long time and kept damp.  This is an old post.
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Re: Stinking Oak
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2018, 09:05:03 AM »
I pulled a red oak out of a stream last year and it smelled like it came out of a cow patty until it dried out. Wood was fine just stank to high heaven. I mean this log stank so bad that the area where I keep my saw smelled like a barnyard.
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