Let's talk about wood

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Blog entry by Philip posted 07-23-2012 03:44 AM 1524 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

And then some more wood….

A few years ago when we had not been in California long the fire Marshall came to where I work and told us we needed to cut down a tree that was in the way of a back exit. After the grounds crew had cut it down I told them to save me the bigger pieces of trunk. They all looked at me kind of funny until much, much later when I made some things out of it.

I am no expert in downing lumber hence it is full of checks, but I did have patience to wait a year and a half or so before I started to cut it into manageable pieces and think about using it for projects. I’ll post some almost finished projects that I have used it for.

Before moving to Texas I wanted to find out what kind of tree it is but never had the chance. If anyone knows what kind it is I would appreciate the heads up. It is fairly light weight but extremely dense and tight grained. Once it is cut you can hardly see any grain pattern at all unless you burn it with the table-saw blade or look at the end grain.

So this is my pile of wood gloat:

There is is, I’m quite happy with it, and I think I will make all my own hand tools out of it.

Also, there was a gate made on my walk to work that was really nice, I’d like to know what it is made out of if anyone is a wood-classifying expert:

And last but not least we have the rose plant that my Dad gave me. He said what can you do with this? My first thought was- nothing..but then again I had to give it a try. It was only 3 inches thick and rotting. I now know why spalling and other defects are nice looking but impossible to work with.

More to come…

-- I never finish anyth

6 comments so far

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1132 posts in 2236 days

#1 posted 07-23-2012 12:19 PM

Awesome Philip,

There is so much joy in cutting open a tree to see what is locked inside. (and a little bit of sorrow that she had to go, but at least she is being used! Thats important)

It looks a lot like California Aspen to me, but I am no expert! Someone here has got to know what it is!


-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View mafe's profile


11732 posts in 3118 days

#2 posted 07-24-2012 09:57 AM

Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3363 days

#3 posted 07-24-2012 04:59 PM

Hard to guess what kind of tree. Aspen has bark more like Birch. The grain and bark on yours looks a lot like American Sycamore to me. I just came in from the shop after cutting a log from a tree we call Plantelønn which is related to Sycamore and the wood grain looks very similar, but a little whiter than yours. That said there is an abundance of different types of trees growing in California, so this is just my best guess.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2568 days

#4 posted 07-25-2012 03:00 AM

Whatever it is, it was free- and all my handles and hand tools will match. Can’t wait…

-- I never finish anyth

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15369 posts in 2647 days

#5 posted 07-25-2012 05:13 AM

That split rosewood looks like bone! Very cool. Sorry, can’t help with the ID though.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View KOVA's profile


1363 posts in 2407 days

#6 posted 09-01-2012 05:06 AM



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