Another Pen, wood identification help please.

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Project by gridlockd posted 02-09-2012 02:36 PM 1441 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Sorry to all, I know I have posted nothing but pens lately, but I am having fun with them! I have another project in the works, hoping to be done this weekend to post for your viewing.

This is one I did last night, I need a little help with the wood identification though. This was a tree that fell in the woods behind my house, I will get a picture of it in it’s natural state tonight and post tomorrow. My description of the tree is as follows: possibly the ugliest tree i have ever seen! it has these “lumps” that look like knots growing all over the main trunk. seems to be heavier than what i would have expected from dead wood, even though my moisture meter reads it as 13-15%. I struggled to cut it with my chainsaw, it was VERY hard to cut through. Maybe my mind was tricking me, but i swear i saw a spark jump out now and then while cutting.

The re-sawed wood was a creamy, pinkish color, with the shown dark streaks through some of it, I attribute it to spalting, maybe? it turned fairly easily, sanded nicely, and took a finish well. the result was beautiful, i thought. I left the knot in the pen on my wife’s suggestion, she said it gave it character, i tend to agree.

SO, my F-I-L says it’s a hackberry, anyone else concur with that assessment? I am not sure, so any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

-- Gridlockd

10 comments so far

View ed220's profile


624 posts in 3632 days

#1 posted 02-09-2012 03:17 PM

Don’t be sorry about posting pens. We all like them and love to make them. I’m going to agree with the
hackberry thought. Anyway,great job.!

View a1Jim's profile


117417 posts in 3816 days

#2 posted 02-09-2012 03:35 PM

super looking pen,nice work.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View ohwoodeye's profile


2131 posts in 3392 days

#3 posted 02-09-2012 04:45 PM

Nice pen.
When I saw the wood I was thinking Hickory because it looked a lot like the hickory cabinets my in-laws just had installed. However, I have no idea if your description of the tree fits the characteristics of hickory.
One thing is certain, as long as you didn’t see a monkey chasing a weasel all around your yard and there was no popping sound, you can definately rule out Mulberry bush.

-- Directions are just the Manufacturer's "opinion" on how something should be assembled. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View MrWizard's profile


145 posts in 3043 days

#4 posted 02-09-2012 06:09 PM

View Tennessee's profile


2893 posts in 2753 days

#5 posted 02-09-2012 07:17 PM

Looks exactly like the top board on my Craftsman headboard I built for my king sized bed, and that was twisted up hickory. Same kinds of dark streaks. I vote hickory, dense, hard to cut, pulls up a lot of minerals killing off chain saws, etc.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View gridlockd's profile


141 posts in 2623 days

#6 posted 02-09-2012 07:33 PM

Hickory trees drop nuts, don’t they? I searched the vicinity of the tree for any dropped fruit or nuts and I came up empty. My first thought was to look for anything telltale about this tree, hence the ground search. Although, if the tree was dead for some time, there may not be anything to find.

From the website mrwizard posted vs. an internet search on hickory wood, i am leaning to the hackberry side. the streaking present in a lot of the internet pics too.

LOL, Mike! nope no weasels or monkeys here, unless u count my sons climbing the trees! or my profile pic!!

-- Gridlockd

View MrWizard's profile


145 posts in 3043 days

#7 posted 02-09-2012 09:43 PM

Either way. You have your self some beautiful wood to play with. Have fun, looking forward to more results.

View Sonia's profile


1 post in 2537 days

#8 posted 02-10-2012 03:01 AM

Gorgeous pen! I’m cutting up a hackberry tree at my mom’s Saturday. I hope it looks like that! The thing about hickory trees is that they go through a three year cycle on nut production. One year they produce lots, the next year they produce a few, and the third year they don’t produce. My hickory trees produced nothing last year so this should be a good year :)

View gridlockd's profile


141 posts in 2623 days

#9 posted 02-10-2012 02:20 PM

OK, I apologize for the bad pics, it was right at dusk when i took these. here is the tree’s natural state, maybe it will help with id:

thanks to all for your input!

-- Gridlockd

View saw4fun's profile


176 posts in 3578 days

#10 posted 02-10-2012 09:48 PM

This doesn’t look like the hackberry I am familiar with. The log looks like a gnarly old ash tree. Whatever it is its sure a pretty pen. Nice work!

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