Guess that wood

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Jamie Straw, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    I know this is a long-shot without pictures, but have to try. I grabbed some wood from a miscellaneous gifted pile, and it turned out to be great for practice with a skew. In appearance, it's like a blond mahogany -- pores are the same; relatively soft; very, very light brown. But it has a sweet aroma when turned. Does anything jump to mind? I want more of it.:D
     
  2. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Well, there is a lot of rubber tree boards out, which sound like the same color, kind of blond and open grained. I have no idea about the smell though. Most of the time the furniture you see made out of it is made from pieces no more than about 2 inch square and 12 to 24 inch long. Other than that, no idea...

    robo hippy
     
  3. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    If I make it into Kirkland before anyone here guesses, I'll take it to Steve Bartocci for ID. If I can't get more, I'll use the holly I have for skew practice -- it's tons of fun when the wood submits so easily to the skew.;)
     
  4. Zach LaPerriere

    Zach LaPerriere

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    Well this is a loooooong shot guess, but it could be red alder if it's lightly spalted...there's a little similarity to some mahogany in color. Not quite as open grain, but I get stuff often that has a delicious sweet smell, undertones of menthol from the splating. Dried green alder is a totally different thing.
     
  5. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Hmm, Alder is used for smoking....

    robo hippy
     
  6. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    Nah, sorry, not alder -- no spalting, very light in color and in weight. And I think the pores are too open, my wood pile has tons of alder in it. Do you have friends down here (Puget Sound) who send you alder?
     
  7. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    Very challenging question even with a picture. Butternut comes to mind, but doesn't seem a likely wood for you to stumble on to. Have you tried the Wood database? http://www.wood-database.com/
     
  8. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    Had forgotten about that database, will check it out! Thanks.
     
  9. Zach LaPerriere

    Zach LaPerriere

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    I figured that's a long shot. Red Aader grows like crazy around here...though not normally as big as down your way. I recently saw a 3'er—the biggest ever, but 2' is normally very big. Just finished turning a tree that was a big over 100 years old. Some nice 14" to 16" bowls with all stages of spalting.

    We also have Sitka alder, which I think Washington folks call slide alder. It usually isn't much more than 8 inches, but can be dense and beautiful while still fairly light. I think it spalts even a bit nicer than red alder.

    And Robo, I know it's often discounted, but Alder can turn beautifully, especially center turning. Agreed though, it's great for smoking! Just smoked 40 pounds of king salmon last week with bowl offcuts.
     
  10. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    The butternut I had smelled like vinegar.... It is a walnut, so, probably not that. I have done a little alder, but it is one of those woods that when finished, you pick up the bowl, and it just doesn't feel right as in not as heavy as you think it should be. Maybe if I left them 1/2 inch or more thick. It does have nice color though.

    robo hippy
     
  11. chrisdaniels

    chrisdaniels

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    I came across some basswood trees that were around 2.5' diameter and grabbed a few pieces since they were allready cut down. most difficult wood i've turned so far, the wood was so stringy it kept getting caught on the ends of my tools no matter what tool or how sharp but I pushed through. wanted coring practice since I have a lot of blanks piling up that need coring. no bueno, not coring that again but surprisingly it has some of the coolest grain i've seen. as for yours there's over 30 species of poplar, you could be dealing with some?

    Chris
     
  12. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    Was that wet/green basswood? Doesn't sound like fun! Not sure about poplar. Will look it up, thanks.
     
  13. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    The wood carvers swarm to bass wood like the turners do to cherry. With their tools, it cuts clean. I got a bit of an education from a young carver at the local Saturday Market. All of his work is 'off the tool' finish and exceptional even to my critical eye. "Oh, this one has a big burr on it.." I couldn't even feel the burr.. 20 degree or so bevel angle, and more shiny than a highly polished mirror... Maybe bass wood is better for carvers than it is for us. I have had him over to the shop a few times, and talked metal to him. I think we are going to make a few turning hook tools...

    robo hippy
     
  14. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    I have a large stick of dry (very dry) basswood here, I'll cut a chunk off and put it on the lathe. Guessing it might be more friendly dry than wet.
     
  15. chrisdaniels

    chrisdaniels

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    this is a 16x6 basswood bowl set that I just cored. Not sure if the picture shows it but the zig zag pattern of the rings is outstanding!
     

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  16. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    Reminds me of ripples in a pond, cool!
     
  17. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    That ripple ring or spider web type ring is typical for Butternut branches, but not the trunk I think. It does turn very stringy, and smells like vinegar. That looks to be about the same color. Not had a chance to get my hands on any bass wood, but think it is more white with very indistinct grain lines.

    robo hippy
     
  18. Zach LaPerriere

    Zach LaPerriere

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    That's because you're spoiled! :) Just kidding...though I am a bit envious of many of the woods that you have further south.

    Alder: perfect for ultra lightweight expeditions.
     
  19. chrisdaniels

    chrisdaniels

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    That would be neat if it was, but unfortunately butternut doesn't grow here.
     
  20. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Zack, I did have one guy drop off a chunk of Alaskan Yellow Cedar burl and I cored him a set of 4 bowls. I had them at a show, and could have sold them many times before he came and picked them up... Smell almost drove me out of the shop as it was a little over powering... Some of that does wash up on the beaches here.

    We do have a little butternut here, but it isn't native. Lots of black and Persian (aka English) walnut as it likes our climate, but again they are not native. Not sure how cold the butternut can take.

    robo hippy
     

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