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Author Topic: Is This American Chestnut?  (Read 3219 times)

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Offline LegendsCreekFarm

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Is This American Chestnut?
« on: September 01, 2015, 03:29:35 PM »
Hi Everyone.  I purchased an 1812 home last summer, and there has been a ton of American Chestnut in it, much of which is in the beams on the ceiling and floor joists. We are doing a remodel, and tore up 4 layers of flooring. We found coins as late as the 30's when we hit the first layer so we assume that the original floors were covered up in the 30s, and we are hoping it's American Chestnut, and the planks are all really wide.

Regardless of what type of wood this is, we are having all the floors repaired and refinished because we are trying to restore the home. The only major issue we ran into was when we hit the fireplace in the kitchen. There is 120 square feet behind the fireplace that was an addition to the house, and there are no planks at the bottom, just a hole to the basement.

Our carpenter is going to put in whatever flooring we buy to try and match the rest of the original boards, so can you please help identify this wood, and what type of wide flooring I should be looking for to try and match it? Our hope is that we can put down a wood that is recycled, and matches as closely as possible in the tone of the original planks as we are not staining it, just doing some poly.  We don't have time to hunt for American Chestnut boards as we need to finish before the weather turns cold. Any advice would be appreciated. Photos are below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Offline beenthere

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Re: Is This American Chestnut?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2015, 03:41:30 PM »
Based on the first pic shown, I'd think oak. The rays are pretty pronounced in the first pic for being chestnut.

Any end grain shots of a good clean cut and pic in focus?
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Offline LegendsCreekFarm

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Re: Is This American Chestnut?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2015, 03:43:47 PM »
If it is oak, that won't be so bad.  I can look near the ducts for the AC to see if there are any clean cuts. Is there anything else I can do to help possibly identify it?

Offline LegendsCreekFarm

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Re: Is This American Chestnut?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2015, 03:48:12 PM »
Here is a photo  I took from inside an AC duct. One with flash, and one without. Hopefully these help?
 

 

Offline beenthere

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Re: Is This American Chestnut?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2015, 03:51:13 PM »
To me, that end pic confirms oak.
Any one else think chestnut?  I could be wrong..

See if this link helps you sort them out. Note the discussion on rays...

http://web.utk.edu/~mtaylo29/pages/Identifying%20Chestnut.htm
south central Wisconsin
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Offline LegendsCreekFarm

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Re: Is This American Chestnut?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2015, 04:00:23 PM »
My neighbor who saw them and did a rehab to her house swears they are chestnut. Once I know for certain it will make things much easier for me. I appreciate any input you all can give me on this.

Offline beenthere

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Re: Is This American Chestnut?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2015, 05:42:09 PM »
LCF
Best quick get your pics in your gallery. Not legit according to FF rules wherever they are coming from now.

Do the line below "click here to add...." and then upload to your album which now just has one pic from last year of a neat wood stove. Once in your gallery, can click the pic, SCROLL down to see the line "insert image in post" and you are done.

Get your neighbor to show you the difference between the rays in oak and those in chestnut. Maybe he is right. ;)
south central Wisconsin
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Offline LegendsCreekFarm

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Re: Is This American Chestnut?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2015, 06:01:26 PM »
Thanks for the info. I corrected the photo URL's.  Looking forward to hearing what everyone's opinions are about the boards.

Offline WV Mountaineer

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Re: Is This American Chestnut?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2015, 08:27:59 PM »
It is definitely Oak.  Likely White Oak from the length of the rays.  God Bless
Trying to live for the Lord, spend all the time I got with family, friends, hunting, fishing, and just enjoying my blessings.

Offline WDH

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Re: Is This American Chestnut?
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2015, 08:48:44 PM »
From what I can see in the grain pic, I, too, say oak.  The rays on the end grain of chestnut are not visible to the naked eye.  They are certainly visible in the end grain pic. 

That is not to say that there might be some chestnut on that floor, too.
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5-111, Kubota L2501, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: Is This American Chestnut?
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2015, 10:35:32 AM »
The bottom photo looks like a conifer.  (original post photos)
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline LegendsCreekFarm

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Re: Is This American Chestnut?
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2015, 10:37:37 AM »
I am going to see if I can clean up a edge with a multi tool to try and get a clear photo of the edge, I will post in a little while.

Offline beenthere

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Re: Is This American Chestnut?
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2015, 05:57:41 PM »
That would be helpful. An orbital sander on that end-grain will help, if you can get a clear pic.

Doubt you would want to sand some of the other suspect boards on an exposed face as it would ruin the patina.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: Is This American Chestnut?
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2015, 06:04:14 PM »
You can make it bigger in a smartphone by spreading. That will allow you to still focus while it is big. There is a minimum focus distance, which seems to be around 3" with mine. By blowing it up you can use your phone like a macro lens. It is surprising what you can do with such a tiny camera. Check for crud on the lens first for best results.  ;D 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) :snowball:
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline WDH

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Re: Is This American Chestnut?
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2015, 08:29:07 PM »
You can make a clean slice of the end grain with a razor knife.  The end grain will tell the tale.
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5-111, Kubota L2501, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline WV Mountaineer

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Re: Is This American Chestnut?
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2015, 11:03:50 PM »
Respectfully, that end grain is Oak.  Not conifer.  All Oak.  No doubt about it.  I see a lot of Oak lumber.  God Bless
Trying to live for the Lord, spend all the time I got with family, friends, hunting, fishing, and just enjoying my blessings.

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: Is This American Chestnut?
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2015, 11:26:33 PM »
Respectfully, that end grain is Oak.  Not conifer.  All Oak.  No doubt about it.  I see a lot of Oak lumber.  God Bless

I was referring to the third photo of the original set, not the endgrain. That one looks like a conifer to me. Just sayin'.
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline WV Mountaineer

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Re: Is This American Chestnut?
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2015, 10:41:36 PM »
I gotcha.  It is Oak too though.  And, that piece is definitely White Oak.  God Bless
Trying to live for the Lord, spend all the time I got with family, friends, hunting, fishing, and just enjoying my blessings.

Online SwampDonkey

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Re: Is This American Chestnut?
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2015, 07:16:50 AM »
More often then chestnut, many old structures are oak or ash. When you can see rays it ain't chestnut.  I know lots of folks wish and often assert it's chestnut, but the grain tells the truth. ;)
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Offline LegendsCreekFarm

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Re: Is This American Chestnut?
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2015, 03:48:42 PM »
Thank you very much for all your expertise. It is indeed white oak (my carpenter did some things to it to confirm).  There was about 120 square feet missing when I finished tearing up the kitchen because of an addition behind the old fireplace, but I was able to find a guy in CT who sells reclaimed materials from demolitions, and I found enough white oak planks to match and it's being installed next week. I have some other photos from wood in my home I will be posting in the coming days so that possibly you guys can help me identify. Thanks again!


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