Cool Wood Finds #1: Found this Wood "Formation". Anybody got any ideas?

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Blog entry by Sawdustonmyshoulder posted 10-09-2008 04:38 AM 3447 reads 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Cool Wood Finds series Part 2: Mr. Milburn - 94 and almost blind woodworker! »

I found this “formation” on some Southern Red Oak that I am using to build the conference table for a church. Anybody seen one of these?

This was found on the part of the wood that looks like it was once an outside part of the tree and either the tree grew around it or it was deep in the crotch. The side of it didn’t give any clues to what was inside and only when the bark fell off did it revel itself.

Here is a photo of the complete board…

Here is a zoomed up area of the board (the area in question is circled in red)...

Here is a close up of the formation after the outer bark fell off and reveled itself…

Here is a really close up of the grain pattern…COOL!

I haven’t cut into it yet. I am looking for advice on which tool…band saw seems to me to be the best tool. If so, what would be the blade choice?


-- The more skilled you are at something, the worse you are at it when someone is watching.

15 comments so far

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3792 days

#1 posted 10-09-2008 04:49 AM

That is truly spectacular.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Kerux's profile


812 posts in 3908 days

#2 posted 10-09-2008 05:24 AM

Oh Wow! I’d love to make a Roller Ball Pen out of that!!!


View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4076 days

#3 posted 10-09-2008 03:24 PM

That is the oddest grain I have ever seen. Do you have any other board from the tree.

-- Hope Never fails

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile


475 posts in 3653 days

#4 posted 10-09-2008 03:36 PM


When I started this table project, I had around 1000 board feet. I did photograph each piece before I sent it to the kiln for drying. I reviewed several of the photos and there is quite a bit of this mass on the boards. Luckily, I am a pack rat and have saved the cut offs and that’s where it is.

I should be able to recover some for turning and veneer work if it is usable.

More on this blog later. Got to finish the table first.

-- The more skilled you are at something, the worse you are at it when someone is watching.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3753 days

#5 posted 10-09-2008 03:44 PM

looks like you found some of the rare spaghetti wood!

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4339 days

#6 posted 10-09-2008 04:22 PM

I’ve seen small 2” chunks in oak before, but never any of any size. Great find.

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4425 days

#7 posted 10-09-2008 04:53 PM

I’ve picked up a couple of salvage boards at a sawmill. The owner wouldn’t let me have the whole pile. It has some grain like you are showing but it also has bark pockets the go right through the wood.

The edge of the board has the grain like you are showing.

The owner thought it might be Pin Oak and he had seen only one other log in his sawing experience.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Randy Sharp's profile

Randy Sharp

363 posts in 3697 days

#8 posted 10-10-2008 04:06 PM

I saw Marty’s find personally. It is a beautiful piece.

-- Randy, Tupelo, MS ~ A man who honors his wife will have children who honor their father.

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 4015 days

#9 posted 10-10-2008 04:10 PM

That would be the coveted Ramen pattern. You can cut that easily with a plastic fork after soaking in hot water for 15-20 minutes. ;2)

-- Jim

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3753 days

#10 posted 10-10-2008 06:45 PM

just out of curiousity, can you pull on these “threads” and they come off the wood like a string? I’m not asking you to check, I’m just wondering if you could tell by looking at it. The end result sure resembles laceswood (when the rays stay tight together). Thanks for sharing this. I keep looking back to learn more. Thanks for your post too Karson. very cool!

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile


475 posts in 3653 days

#11 posted 10-11-2008 02:42 AM


Check out this spaghetti wood:

-- The more skilled you are at something, the worse you are at it when someone is watching.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3753 days

#12 posted 10-30-2008 07:12 PM

lol, now that is some crazy stuff.

View dirtclod's profile


169 posts in 3885 days

#13 posted 10-30-2008 09:51 PM

I have seen formations like that on sugar maple and white oak. They grow typically in an over-grown hollowed out butt swell. I have no idea what causes them. They all had bark on them facing the center of the tree. I had one saved in my dad’s barn as a turning blank that I intended to sell. My brothers cleaned out the scap wood from the barn and put it in the burn pile.

-- Wonderful new things are coming! - God

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14173 posts in 4007 days

#14 posted 12-17-2008 06:22 AM

bark pockets are really rare/ According to a salesman that works in the outlet store at FML, Frank Miller Lumber in Indiana, they only occur about one in ten thousand. When they have it, they charge 20 bucks a bft wholesale for quartersawn white oak with bark inclusions. They have a dovetailed trunk on display made with the stuff.
Saw mill is about 100 years old and has some really huge buildings. To put the 20 bucks in perspective, I bought 31 bft of quartersawn white oak there a couple days ago for 127 bucks tax included. 4/4 5/4 6/4 boards.


-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View dustygirl's profile


862 posts in 3753 days

#15 posted 12-17-2008 08:54 PM

This was a really interesting thread.Thanks for sharing.

-- Dustygirl..Hastings,Ontario.. How much wood can 1 gal chuck if 1 gal can't cut wood?

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