Are any of you wood experts?


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I got my hands on some rough lumber that I do not know what it is.

Here is what I know about it.

  • I have a lot of it.
  • It's WAY harder than pine, almost as hard as oak (maybe equal too?).
  • It is just about 5/4 thick.
  • Most of the boards are 6' wide and a few are about 9" wide.
  • The boards are very heavy.
  • I found them by a dumpster as crates.
  • According to a packing slip on the crates they were used to ship hard maple blanks.
  • The blanks in the crates are being used by a local company that makes baseball bats.

If I think of anything else I will post it.

I did a quick planing to reveal the grain. By accident I grabbed this one that looks to have both heartwood and sapwood. 

These pictures were taken by my cell phone, if they are not good enough I can break out the SLR and take better pics in better light.

What other photo's or info might you need to help identify this wood? I am very excited by this find because hard wood is expensive and even though this is low quality pallet grade wood it is still free hardwood that a beginner like me can make stuff with.

IMG_20180118_191707.thumb.jpg.86a9e7e8e984fc6ddd4f9cf528a188d4.jpg

IMG_20180118_191716.thumb.jpg.d2555361f69c777e0c5dc8191ed5ba07.jpg

IMG_20180118_190933.thumb.jpg.bb1c1705a97bafcebc3adc03e3ff704d.jpg

Thank you for any help you are able to give!

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From the grain and color, looks a lot like alder to me.    But then again, woods are funny like that, I've had a piece here that people swore was Cherry, but was actually maple.    Tough to tell without getting clean close ups of both the cross gain and end grain. 

Regardless of what it is.  It's kinda purty, and if you clean it up well enough, It should make for some nice projects, as long as you can keep that flat sawn stuff flat. 

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Thank you all for the insights! 

I'll get some cleaner pics in the next day or two. I'll also look into this hobbit thing.

1 hour ago, wdwerker said:

A very cleanly cut endgrain section very well sanded & a close up picture is what you need to look at the hobbithouse site.

How well sanded? 220 grit? 

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5 hours ago, Coyote Jim said:

Thank you all for the insights! 

I'll get some cleaner pics in the next day or two. I'll also look into this hobbit thing.

How well sanded? 220 grit? 

Sand fine enough that the scratches arent visible under close magnification. Probably higher than 220.

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Sand as high of a grit as you can. 400  or higher if you've got some. The goal is being able to see the plant structures that actually make up the wood . Differences can help identify or eliminate certain types of wood. Like red oak having cross connective tissue. Your trying to get a wickedly sharp focused view of the end grain.

Im probably either using the wrong terms or stating this a bit wrong but the general idea is correct. In botany a lot of plant identification is done with characteristics of the leaves, but those usually aren't handy when the tree has long since been cut down.

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3 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

Sand fine enough that the scratches arent visible under close magnification. Probably higher than 220.

 

3 hours ago, wdwerker said:

Sand as high of a grit as you can. 400  or higher if you've got some.

I'll break out my water stones and my strop.

 

That was a joke.

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I sanded the end grain to 600 and got some really close shots. If it would help to zoom in the full size versions of these images can be found here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/YgUGQ7rwJppLIYmu1

Oh, and that white line is a crack that got filled with dust.

IMG_4101.thumb.jpg.f36e5dafd78a340ed2cb3c692b05244a.jpg

IMG_4105.thumb.jpg.94d40fd2b8827fd6c1cd29e8804395c7.jpg

IMG_4107.thumb.jpg.3c97b1a33da4eac454efabab5bf09508.jpg

Are there any other shots or something else I should be looking for? 

Other than the color this does seem to look a lot like birch. Link from Hobbit: http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/birch.htm

Especially the end grain: http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/birch/birch 3 end grain closeup 2 s50 plh.htm

 

Any other potential matches I could dig deeper into at the Hobbit House.

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There are a few different types of birch but I'd for sure say that birch. Color looks pretty par for the birch I've used. Now is it paper birch, yellow birch, or river birch .... i don't know between those. I'd say it's more than likely yellow just because i think that's most likely to be made into lumber.

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1 hour ago, Chestnut said:

This is chestnut.

4049430992031067384.thumb.jpg.9817c737928438d217c590a12fcc9aef.jpg

Can't use it as a nickname and not have a few pieces laying around.

You're really sure that's chestnut?  Hard to tell from the pictures; maybe you could include a very sharp photo of the endgrain, sanded, say to 400 or so...;-)

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On 1/20/2018 at 1:39 PM, Coyote Jim said:

Any other potential matches I could dig deeper into at the Hobbit House.

I think birch is the correct ID. You could send me a sample for confirmation.

The guess of chestnut is WAYYYY off. This wood is diffuse porous and chestnut is ring porous. Not even close to being similar.

 

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2 hours ago, phinds said:

I think birch is the correct ID. You could send me a sample for confirmation.

The guess of chestnut is WAYYYY off. This wood is diffuse porous and chestnut is ring porous. Not even close to being similar.

 

Arghhh!!!  

Nobody said that Coyote's sample was chestnut; the chestnut discussion was a lighthearted side comment about Chestnut's guesses.  I was being tongue in cheek with my "serious" reply.  

Sorry.

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