Cherry Lumber Has Weird Odor

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Blog entry by rolltopbox posted 1454 days ago 1295 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Has anyone out there ever had black cherry lumber that smells like cat piss when cut? What could be the cause of this? It is very strong and annoying.

Bruce – now known as Stinky..!!

-- Bruce

9 comments so far

View HorstPeter's profile


117 posts in 1454 days

#1 posted 1454 days ago

I cut some cherry (regular european one afaik) a bit ago and thought the smell had a pretty big similarity to urine as well. At the time I thought I was just imagining things, but now it seems that might not be the case.
No idea what stuff might be contained in both and cause the smell though.

View chewbuddy13's profile


150 posts in 1910 days

#2 posted 1454 days ago

Did a cat piss on it? That might be your problem!

View Clarence's profile


125 posts in 1731 days

#3 posted 1454 days ago

The wild cherry we have down here has a strong smell. I discovered this when I was clearing my land. Also, you don’t want to burn it in your fireplace.

-- Getting old is a good thing, but being old kinda stinks.

View sawblade1's profile


754 posts in 1651 days

#4 posted 1454 days ago

Some trees have an high tannic acid, or ammonia count not enough to harm you but to make the lumber smell like cat piss!!! I remember this from high school shop class I picked a piece of hickory to build a project out of and I have to say it was fun running everybody out of the class that day :) Unfortunately I was made to pick another piece of lumber after getting an explanation on why the lumber smelled horrible

-- Proverbs Ch:3 vs 5,6,7 Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways aknowledge him and he shall direct your path

View AaronK's profile


1396 posts in 2089 days

#5 posted 1454 days ago

i had some light red oak once that stank like vomit. ugh. that was awful.

View Will Stokes's profile

Will Stokes

261 posts in 1979 days

#6 posted 1454 days ago

All the cherry in my pile has thankfully smelled quite nice,although when working with some black walnut once it smelled like dog crap. Man it stank.

View William's profile


8971 posts in 1467 days

#7 posted 1454 days ago

Some woods have some very strange characteristics. I use a lot of cottonwood. Every now and then, I’ll see a spot in the wood that looks way darker than normal for that species of wood. I leanred very quickly about those real dark spots too. Cut through them and it smells just like a cow backed up into the shop and took a huge crap. The smell goes away pretty quickly and has no permanent smell to the wood, butit is definately there right behind the blade going through it.


View PBthecat's profile


53 posts in 1675 days

#8 posted 1435 days ago

Hey don’t look at me!

-- "Every hundred years, all new people"

View Mark Colan's profile

Mark Colan

209 posts in 1470 days

#9 posted 1434 days ago

I bought some cherry to be used for smoking meats in my bbq. It was from the middle of Adirondack area of upstate New York. Usually cherry is considered one of the better woods for smoking. I have had very good results, and it does not smell bad. I imagine that smell has a lot to do with soil and growing conditions.

-- Mark, hack amateur woodworker, Medford (greater Boston) MA

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