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View Budmon's profile

Need help in IDing this wood

by Budmon
posted 11-05-2012 12:43 AM

27 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile


6956 posts in 2627 days

#1 posted 11-05-2012 12:53 AM

Looks like cherry to me, welcome to LJs now its time to make some stuff with it.

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3717 days

#2 posted 11-05-2012 01:28 AM

If it was Cherry , you would really notice its unique aroma when freshly milled. With the Spalting and the chatoyance in the photos , I’d go with a Maple….possibly Red Maple. Any way to get a picture in natural light….no flash ?
Also found this referred to as “Sycamore Maple”...don’t know what you have for trees in your neck of the woods : )

Here’s a link to HobbitHouse for Red Maple , if you’re interested : ),%20red.htm

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2593 days

#3 posted 11-05-2012 01:32 AM

maple seems like a good guess

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View Ted's profile


2873 posts in 2240 days

#4 posted 11-05-2012 01:40 AM

Welcome to LJ, Bud.

That looks to me like it could well be cherry, but hard to tell from photos of one sample – it could just as well be maple or birch or any number of smooth grain, lighter color woods. Like dusty says, you would really notice the smell if it is cherry. Whatever the case, you’re sure to have fun building something with it.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View Budmon's profile


27 posts in 2060 days

#5 posted 11-05-2012 01:52 AM

The confusion lies in that the wood was described as Cherry when sold – but it is has been in a barn loft for over 30 years – no discernible smell. I went on a site that id’s wood and came to the idea that it could be red maple but the examples on that site did not match that closely – but I am pretty sure that it is not cherry. I’ve had one woodworker suggest that it could be beech but I have reservations about that as well. I probably need to cut and plane another piece to make sure that I didn’t just pick an anomaly as an example. This wood is really pretty and I want to make sure I chose the optimum use for it. I thank all of you for your comments and look forward to a long relationship on this wonderful site

-- Bud, North Carolina

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3717 days

#6 posted 11-05-2012 02:02 AM

I could bet from your pix that it is NOT Cherry : ) The next board that you surface may well be though : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29411 posts in 2367 days

#7 posted 11-05-2012 02:41 AM

In my neck of the woods I don’t have cherry, so I can’t be sure. I do have some Maple along those lines.

Welcome to LJ’s!

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View dalaminator's profile


2 posts in 2058 days

#8 posted 11-05-2012 02:58 AM

Freshly milled cherry would look a bit like maple but after time would age a lot ” warmer”. Just to
be sure, send me a few boards and I’ll check it out . : D

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3266 days

#9 posted 11-05-2012 10:43 AM

I’ve sawed a lot of both cherry and maple. I’ve seen cherry that was as light as maple when freshly cut and some maple that was as dark as cherry. Especially red maple. I’ve also seen those quartersawn flecks in both maple and cherry. The easy way to tell which you have is to sand a small piece and put some tung oil on it, then put it in the sun. The maple will darken slightly when you rub in the oil, so will the cherry, but in a short time the cherry will darken a lot.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Sawdust4Blood's profile


405 posts in 3051 days

#10 posted 11-05-2012 10:51 AM

Put a strip of painters tape on a freshly milled piece and set it in direct sunlight for a couple of hours. If it’s cherry, you will be able to see the difference in darkening caused by sunlight when you remove the tape.

-- Greg, Severn MD

View Kelby's profile


134 posts in 2440 days

#11 posted 11-05-2012 11:05 AM

I’d bet steaks to cheeseburgers that it’s cherry. The color could be either cherry or maple, but cherry has a unique kind of flame that is quite different than the figure that shows up in maple. The ripples in these photos are the kind you see in cherry.

with that said, the tape test that Sawdust4Blood mentions will tell you for sure. Make sure to put the tape in one of the reddish areas, which will darken considerably more/faster than the whiter areas. I would give it a full afternoon to be certain.

-- Kelby

View lab7654's profile


266 posts in 2276 days

#12 posted 11-05-2012 12:51 PM

I’d vote cherry, but I’m not the best at IDing though photos.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2722 days

#13 posted 11-05-2012 04:01 PM

That looks identical to something milled up recently—I wasn’t able to figure out what species, but it was a cherry or berry tree of some sort. I’ll see if I can dig up a picture. Also, I don’t know that that is spalting.. Looks like a gum pocket. Where’s WDHLT15 when you need him?

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Budmon's profile


27 posts in 2060 days

#14 posted 11-05-2012 09:10 PM

I did the tape and sunlight test for the better part of the day with almost no change in color. Makes me think that I have a red maple or something similar. Question: does the fact that this wood had been sawn and sat in a barn loft for over 30 years have any effect on the darkening possibilities when exposed to sunlight? This wood is very dry and maybe the elements in the wood that cause it to change color have evaporated or dissipated somehow?

-- Bud, North Carolina

View EPJartisan's profile


1118 posts in 3154 days

#15 posted 11-08-2012 11:40 PM

Hi Welcome. I am thinking Maple… some maple can be darker, some cherry can be lighter, but I love cherry and have been using it for a decade now. I guarantee Cherry only gets darker with age, oxidization and uv exposure, so after 30 years.. it would still get darker. I really doubt that it is cherry, but the boards, with the little bit of spalting and those inclusions look exactly like a maple to me… I use a lot of found wood and then dry it myself, so I find all kinds of maple figuring and grain and have come to realize which are unique to Maple.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3717 days

#16 posted 11-09-2012 09:30 PM

SStretch , the Spalting is on the right side in the first picture …the bark inclusion in the center is not a pitch pocket.
This is a Maple board : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View steve6678's profile


438 posts in 2089 days

#17 posted 11-09-2012 11:53 PM

Look’s like Cherry

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

View a1Jim's profile


117128 posts in 3606 days

#18 posted 11-10-2012 12:14 AM

It should still change color even though it’s well seasoned . It looks like large leaf maple to me Aka soft maple and also know by other names through out the country.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3717 days

#19 posted 11-10-2012 12:48 AM

Bark inclusions and some spalting(above) in center as well as spalting to the right side of photo.
Your tape trick proved it isn’t Cherry. Cherry gets darker and richer looking when exposed to sunlight : )
What color was it before milling , brick-ish red or more like gray or silver ?
If it was Cherry , it would have been very dark after cooking for 30 years in the barn.
And once again , you would have smelled the wonderful Cherry aroma after milling it : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Budmon's profile


27 posts in 2060 days

#20 posted 11-10-2012 04:12 AM

before I milled the face of the board it was a very dirty grey color – I milled a piece of another board and it is almost definitely maple and I am assuming it was from the same tree, but until I mill some more of the wood I won’t know if all of the wood is from the same tree or if I have a mixed lot of wood. I’ve already found one piece of pine in the lot – but it’s all perfect because I’m just loving the experience. Now I’m working on picking the “right” projects to build with this wood

thanks much to all for your comments

-- Bud, North Carolina

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3717 days

#21 posted 11-10-2012 04:48 AM

”very dirty grey color” I’m sticking with Maple : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Rick's profile


9753 posts in 3062 days

#22 posted 11-10-2012 06:29 AM

The Experts have spoken! Stick with Maple. I agree!

Steve 6678 has No Clue what he’s talking about. So far he’s BLOCKED everyone that disagrees with him about Anything!!

Another Dan/Yo, Dan Walters or whatever he’s calling himself these days.

You Know… this guy.

-- LIFE is what happens when you're planning on doing Other Things!

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3717 days

#23 posted 11-10-2012 01:52 PM

Rick , LOL : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View WDHLT15's profile


1748 posts in 2505 days

#24 posted 11-12-2012 12:55 PM

The pith flecks (little streaks) and the lack of contrast between the heartwood and the sapwood lead me to maple, probably red maple. One way to tell is to look at the end grain sliced clean with a razor blade. Cherry has one row of larger pores at the beginning of the growth ring, then the subsequent pores are all small. In maple, they are all the same size throughout the ring with no single row of earlywood pores. You have to have a very clean slice to see the single row of larger pores in cherry. That is why cherry is a little “grainier than maple.

(Superstretch….....I went surf fishing for a week at Cape Hatteras.)

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View Budmon's profile


27 posts in 2060 days

#25 posted 11-12-2012 01:56 PM

Thanks again for all the great help in id-ing this wood. I am amazed at the depth of knowledge that has been expressed. I am convinced now that it is red maple and it is awesome in appearance

-- Bud, North Carolina

View SteviePete's profile


226 posts in 3332 days

#26 posted 11-12-2012 09:23 PM

Two suggested courses of action: 1. With 500bf there must be a number of slabs. Separate them into piles—you select the characteristics. I suggest Bark color and texture, inner bark color, figure in the wood, quarter sawn—ray flec pattern and color contrast of parallel grain, end grain texture if still has saw or processor marks, borer/beetle damage.

Wipe planed or sanded surface with thinned shellac (add 10-20% denatured alcohol). You will be amazed how much more color and figure you will see.

Thirty year old hardwoods of any type may be hard to get right at first. I purchased a semi load—13 cords. Saw every log that went onto the load—somehow a few logs turned to white ash, white birch, silver maple (soft maple but not Acer rubrum), and aspen on the ride north. The load was supposed have black cherry, butternut, basswood, american hop hornbeam, yellow birch, and ironwood (later id’d as American Hop Hornbeam). May need to skip plane (15/16”) to see enough figure. Be careful with maple color—hard maple shows darker heart, soft maple usually has some figure (Wisc and Mich). Cherry from glaciated part of Wisc has limited figure and not exceptional color.

2. Take a sample of each log you question and sent to the USDA Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisc. They keep many foresters with overly developed brains for such questions.

3. Or…....take a flyer and make something.

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

View SteviePete's profile


226 posts in 3332 days

#27 posted 11-12-2012 09:26 PM

Center right of last picture looks to have pitch pockets—like I find in much of my cherry. May Gifford Pinchot give you guidance and peace.

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

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