walnut oddity - what is it?

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Forum topic by bent posted 02-13-2011 05:08 PM 1325 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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311 posts in 3633 days

02-13-2011 05:08 PM

a friend of mine showed me this piece yesterday. it is local black walnut (NW indiana). he said that he had a couple of boards like this. this is just one small end cutoff that he carries around. this pattern is in the endgrain, and ran through the entire length of the boards. it looks like gear teeth and is very clear on the actual piece. my first thought was that it was somehow caused by a chainsaw blade when the tree was cut down. but he said that not matter where in the board he cross cut it, it was there, not just the original end cut. any ideas what causes this?

10 replies so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18245 posts in 3639 days

#1 posted 02-13-2011 05:14 PM

probably something or things leaning against the tree that it grew around.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4182 days

#2 posted 02-13-2011 05:33 PM

Pretty bizarre. I’d have to agree with Bob,though.

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

View Fencer257's profile


15 posts in 2752 days

#3 posted 02-13-2011 11:33 PM

That’s Dovetail Walnut…. Very rare. Used for making dovetails.

View drewnahant's profile


222 posts in 3052 days

#4 posted 02-13-2011 11:42 PM

if a chain or broad tooth saw was cought in the base of the tree, the rust could be carried up through the grain with moisture moving up the tree. I’ve seen rusty from nails form straignt lines a couple feet long. I would expect the pattern to blur more as it moves further from the source, but I guess that would depend on the grain pattern of wood. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, but this is the best expaination I can come up with.

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 3969 days

#5 posted 02-13-2011 11:44 PM

I see two beer mugs.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3444 days

#6 posted 02-14-2011 04:54 PM

Thats pretty bizarre. I wonder if someone put a gear around the tree when is was very small, then the tree grew up around the gear and it caused some kind of pattern in the growth of the tree all the way up the trunk ??!!

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View StumpyNubs's profile


7578 posts in 2764 days

#7 posted 02-14-2011 05:12 PM

I’m trying to think of some smart a** comment to make, but I can’t beat the dovetail walnut comment above.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View sawblade1's profile


754 posts in 2990 days

#8 posted 02-14-2011 05:21 PM

Looks like the tree was brought down with a harvesting machine, essentially a big Cat track-hoe with a large blade and grapple instead of a bucket, lots of em’ used to clear railroad right of ways for clearance.

-- 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 Bill White's profile

Bill White

4901 posts in 3924 days

#9 posted 02-14-2011 05:30 PM

That is not Indiana wood. It came from area 51, and is being recalled because of secret code dating errors.


View Lucas Peters's profile

Lucas Peters

6 posts in 2956 days

#10 posted 02-16-2011 07:43 PM

I wonder if it grew up through some sort of ring. Maybe someone dropped it around the base of the tree when it was just a shoot and it grew up around it.. Rust carried up through the wood? Is the pattern centered on the pith?

-- Lucas Peters @ WOOD Magazine

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