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Forum topic by CovenantCreations posted 09-07-2010 02:15 AM 5470 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CovenantCreations

127 posts in 1555 days


09-07-2010 02:15 AM

Hi, This wood is probably 50-60 years old at least. 2 things I want to know are is it treated with anything? And what type of wood is it? It has a strong smell, like it is treated with something, or else its a very strong smelling wood. in the 2 pics one is planed and the other is right off the barn. Thanks for any help.


16 replies so far

View lew's profile

lew

10029 posts in 2408 days


#1 posted 09-07-2010 02:17 AM

Looks like pine or a variation

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3385 posts in 1847 days


#2 posted 09-07-2010 02:23 AM

Greetings,

It looks Southern yellow pine, or Douglas fir…..They used a lot of that wood back then and even further back. Not sure if they treated the wood back then, but you may just be smelling the age of the wood.

Both pines give off a distinct smell when aged, mainly from being weathered for so long…it’ll have a musty smell to it, especially if it was the ‘inside face” of the board…......

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1599 posts in 2115 days


#3 posted 09-07-2010 02:29 AM

Looks like douglas fir

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View Raftermonkey's profile

Raftermonkey

560 posts in 1565 days


#4 posted 09-07-2010 02:54 AM

It looks like southern yellow pine to me. Not sure if this helps, but I read that pressure treating lumber started somewhere in the 1930s. EDIT In 1911 Dr. Karl Wolman pioneered treating lumber. EDIT crap, 1920s, thats my final answer,haha. Hell Rick was around back then ask him when they started treating lumber,haha. J/k Rick.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15696 posts in 2871 days


#5 posted 09-07-2010 04:09 AM

Looks like southern yellow pine to me. Does it smell like Pine Sol cleanser?

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View CovenantCreations's profile

CovenantCreations

127 posts in 1555 days


#6 posted 09-07-2010 04:25 AM

Well I can tell you it’s not doug fir, because I’ve dealt with that wood on old barns before. It smells a bit like pine smell, but its not like that fresh pine smell you smell on new pine boards. I just don’t want it to be treated with something unhealthy as I would like to use it on a few projects. Thanks for the replies and keep them coming.

View barlow's profile

barlow

129 posts in 2392 days


#7 posted 09-07-2010 04:39 AM

Where was the barn located? Was it a kit barn from Sears roebuck or was it just built with local materials? I would say tamarack if it is in the upper Midwest and was locally built. A lot of barns were built from tamarack or hemlock in my area (MI U.P.)

-- barlow

View CovenantCreations's profile

CovenantCreations

127 posts in 1555 days


#8 posted 09-07-2010 04:48 AM

It’s located in Western Minnesota, No tamarack around unless you go farther north. No idea if it was a kit or not, I’m taking it down for another guy and it was built before he can remember.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3385 posts in 1847 days


#9 posted 09-07-2010 05:57 AM

Hey raftermonkey, I ran into this guy named Noah who was building a boat….Dang..I should of ask him
what kind of wood this is…he probably would of known, since he was a woodworker (a beginner, from what I hear)....Said this was his first project….but a special customer wanted it, so he built it…....

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View Raftermonkey's profile

Raftermonkey

560 posts in 1565 days


#10 posted 09-07-2010 01:58 PM

hahaha

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1576 days


#11 posted 09-08-2010 01:59 AM

I used to live on a farm in Southern Ohio that had a barn built from three different barns. Hand hued hickory beams(you couldn’t drive a nail in them) and all the siding was…..WALNUT! I don’t live there anymore…choke gag choke…..
Your wood looks like pine, just my HO.

-- Life is good.

View Ole's profile

Ole

67 posts in 1729 days


#12 posted 09-08-2010 02:38 AM

I would also jump on the Souther Yellow Pine wagon… Would burning a (small) piece reveal anything about it being treated? I’m thinking unusual burning,smoke or scent here. Just an idea…

View Gofor's profile

Gofor

470 posts in 2440 days


#13 posted 09-08-2010 03:07 AM

A couple of observations:

1st: It looks like pine, both color and grain

2nd: It appears to have been tongue and groove. Probably not treated, and because iti was T & G, was most likely used in the roof or floor.

3rd: If roof, the smell may well be tar or pitch (most likely tar from tar paper).

4th: If floor, probably animal urine and feces contribute to the odor.

However, the severe weathering looks like it was on an exterior wall. If so, one of the common coatings used back in the day in Minnesota (I am talking mid-’60’s for my experience) was coal tar creosote. (I helped my uncle build a fishing cabin on Woman Lake in Mn back in the mid-60’s and we used creosote to coat the outside of it. Great bug repellent). If it smells somewhat like a railroad tie or telephone pole, that is the odor. Although coal tar creosote has been shown in some studies to be carcinogenic, (that is in its pure form), its main problem is that many people get a rash from it. So, if that is what you think it may be, I would not use it in any kid-friendly environment. If you get splinters in you, they will probably fester and be sore until you get all the wood out. As for furniture, etc, it should be fine if you coat it with something that seals it. Also, do not use it for any bucket or tub that will hold drinking water, because the taste will be atrocious due to the phenols in it.

JMTCW

Go

-- Go http://ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=730

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CovenantCreations

127 posts in 1555 days


#14 posted 09-08-2010 06:38 AM

Gofor, you are a smart man. It was side boards of the lower portion of a barn. It does smell like telephone poles so I believe it is treated with creosote. Thanks for the confirmation. A question about creosote, is it toxic to breath in, say if planing it or otherwise? Thanks.

View Gofor's profile

Gofor

470 posts in 2440 days


#15 posted 09-09-2010 03:07 AM

Depends on if you are in “The State of California” Ha Ha. I would wear a dusk mask and vacuum off your clothes when done until you find out if it bothers you, or the wife/family after you are done. I have cut old creosoted telephone poles and railroad ties with a chain saw and never had any ill effects. However, different people react to different things. I would err on the side of caution until you see how you and others in the area react, and would not use the sawdust to line any chicken pens or animal stalls. It will probably just be an unpleasant odor, especially as weathered as it is, but its a decision for you to make. The dust definitely will not help your lungs, so some of that depends on your dust collection system if you have one. Check the internet for the toxicity and make your own judgment.

Phenols and cresols are fairly long lasting and most are bad irritants at best. My experience has been that direct sunlight intensifies their reaction to the skin, so if covered with the dust, don’t go outside and cut the grass, etc without rinsing off, because you may get a burn or rash.

Go

-- Go http://ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=730

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