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Wood ID Help needed...

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Blog entry by jfk4032 posted 02-28-2012 09:19 PM 1548 reads 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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All wood was harvested from Central MD. This first picture the wood virtually has no bark, more like a skin. The wood appears quite white and very dense. The outside of the tree has ridges and grooves that look almost serpent-like.

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The second picture has wood with a sharp flakey bark and the wood coloration is cherry like.

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The third picture wood has thin very textured bark and the wood is quite dense and smooth. If it weren’t for the contrasting colors of the heartwood through the sapwood, I would think it would be a type of maple. But that color is throwing me off.

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The last picture wood has a stark difference in color from the heartwood to the sapwood and the outside of the bark is covered where many small branches shot out. The bark is kind of stringy and wood itself is dense.

I also picked up a bunch of Sycamore and hopefully some black walnut coming next week, but I can easily ID those woods.

Thanks your help.
Joel

-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!



13 comments so far

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2178 posts in 1232 days


#1 posted 02-28-2012 10:31 PM

It’s hard to be exact without seeing a slice of each planed and surfaced. But here are my guesses. #1 looks like ash, #3 looks like some type of oak, and #4 looks like cedar. Not sure about #2. That’s mostly guessing from the bark and the wood coloration.

I could be wrong on all of these, so take it with a grain of salt.

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

View muleskinner's profile

muleskinner

740 posts in 1184 days


#2 posted 02-29-2012 12:03 AM

I’d agree with Brian on #4. #1 and #2 I have no clue. If #3 was laying on the ground at my place (western Wash.) it would be maple.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View woodrookieII's profile

woodrookieII

217 posts in 1410 days


#3 posted 02-29-2012 12:58 AM

Well, with over 150 or so different trees native to Maryland, me thinks #1 is Smooth Alder, #2 is Black Cherry, #3 is White Oak (The MD State Tree), and #4 is Red Cedar.

....rookieII

View lightcast's profile

lightcast

1 post in 1256 days


#4 posted 02-29-2012 01:23 AM

#1 is probably hornbeam, sometimes called musclewood because those ridges and grooves supposedly look like muscles.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15535 posts in 1315 days


#5 posted 02-29-2012 02:14 AM

#1 ironwood #2 cherry #3 boxalder #4 not sure

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Michael1's profile

Michael1

403 posts in 1407 days


#6 posted 02-29-2012 03:03 AM

Not sure about #1 could it possibly be from a magnolia tree? I guess this because I recently cut down a magnolia in my yard and the bark was more like a skin similar to your pictures and the wood was very dense as you describe. The second one is puzzling too. based on the bark I would say maple but the darker heart wood is throwing me off a bit. #3 is definitely cherry. Fellow lumberjock SGTSNAFU and I recently cut a cherry tree into lumber with his saw mill and these logs are identical to the cherry we cut up. #4 is definitely Aromatic or also known as red cedar. I cut about 25 of these on my property and they all looked identical to this. Hope this helps

-- Michael Mills, North Carolina, http://www.scicaskets.com

View JohnnyStrawberry's profile

JohnnyStrawberry

245 posts in 1066 days


#7 posted 02-29-2012 01:13 PM

Lightcast is right – the first one is definitely hornbeam. It was obvious after half a second, because it’s one of my favourite wood and I usually see it alive when I’m hiking. :)
Second is probably cherry, third white oak (alder has no colored heartwood), fourth aromatic red cedar.

-- What are those few hours of mine compared to those decades Mother Nature has put in it!

View Don W's profile

Don W

15535 posts in 1315 days


#8 posted 02-29-2012 01:54 PM

I’ve never heard it called hornbeam before, so I googled it, We always called it ironwood, but I guess either term is correct. I’ve never used it as lumber before. I’ve never seen it get very big here in upstate NY. Even the large piece would be very big around here.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View jfk4032's profile

jfk4032

259 posts in 1274 days


#9 posted 02-29-2012 02:42 PM

JohnnyStrawberry- why is hornbeam one of your favorite woods? What do you make with it? In picture #1 the smaller top 3 limbs were taken from one area and the bottom 2 bigger pieces from another location. I grouped them together because they look similar, but Don W could be right in that the bottom two might be another species. It’s raining like crazy here now, but when it’s clear here, I have other larger limbs that I’ll group together of the hornbeam and I’ll take and post another shot.

I wasn’t aware that aromatic cedar grew in the mid atlantic states. I just came back from AZ where I saw Juniper and that is the same as aromatic cedar so I was told.

I have lots to learn about wood!

-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!

View JohnnyStrawberry's profile

JohnnyStrawberry

245 posts in 1066 days


#10 posted 02-29-2012 05:20 PM

First of all, I probably have to learn much more than you. But I’m on my way. :)
If I were you I would use hornbeam to make handles and other heavy duty parts of wooden tools – especially a mallet! I usually have a crosscut hand saw when I’m trekking to get some if I see a fallen hornbeam, but I haven’t been lucky so far…
My grandfather said that hornbeam is the best for plane base. But you have to be careful about choosing the most even piece of lumber because it can warp remarkably.
I hope those babies are kept dry. :)
Hey, is that a nice log of plane under the cedar? I’m looking forward to your projects made out of’em.
Best wishes,
Johnny

-- What are those few hours of mine compared to those decades Mother Nature has put in it!

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

2617 posts in 1524 days


#11 posted 02-29-2012 06:09 PM

#2 almost looks like Coffee Wood – put it under a black light – if it shows yellow – probably is #4 I would say is red cedar (bark and color) – cut a slice off – aromatic cedar #3 again cut a thin slice off, white oak has a specific smell

#1 I have seen it growing here in MD but didn’t pay attention

-- David in Damascus, MD

View a1Jim's profile (online now)

a1Jim

112875 posts in 2324 days


#12 posted 02-29-2012 06:17 PM

Here’s a helpful site when you still have wood with the bark on it.

http://jrscience.wcp.muohio.edu/edge-farm/Woods/odnr-property_walk_Jan_20_2009/TOC.html

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View jfk4032's profile

jfk4032

259 posts in 1274 days


#13 posted 02-29-2012 08:55 PM

Thanks Jim…I think you helped me confirm #1 as musclewood and #2 as black cherry based on the that very helpful link with great bark pictures you sent. Once I cut into #4 I’ll know right away if it’s aromatic cedar but #3 may be a mystery a little longer.

JohnnyStrawberry-the logs underneath #4 (what we all think is cedar) is Sycamore…I hauled off 4 large rounds and a bunch of medium sized rounds…wet wood is so heavy!

woodrookieII- I think you’re dead on with the black cherry, good job!

Thanks to all for your comments and if anyone has further comments to help ID #3, that would be great.
Joel

-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!

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