wood smells like dog doo when cut

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Forum topic by Mike Gager posted 03-25-2011 02:01 AM 22376 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mike Gager

665 posts in 3293 days

03-25-2011 02:01 AM

im cutting some old 2×4s and they give a distinct aroma of puppy poo when cut. the smell seems to stick around for awhile too. these boards are old (1930s) framing 2×4s i took out of my attic during a remodel.

any idea why they smell that way or maybe a clue to what kind of wood they are? i have been calling them douglas fir but they could be some sort of pine. i dont really know

30 replies so far

View saddletramp's profile


1180 posts in 2664 days

#1 posted 03-25-2011 02:06 AM

Dog wood? ;-D

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View wiswood2's profile


1138 posts in 3722 days

#2 posted 03-25-2011 02:09 AM

i had some oak that smelled like that, dont know why.

-- Chuck, wiswood2

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4427 days

#3 posted 03-25-2011 02:52 AM

I’ve cut some wood that was in a selection of popular. Kinda looks like popular but has a real bad smell/

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Skillet's profile


67 posts in 3476 days

#4 posted 03-25-2011 03:06 AM

Wish I could tell you. Sell it to a kennel. Oh! and by the way, don’t burn it!

-- Skillet, Louisiana

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10540 posts in 3455 days

#5 posted 03-25-2011 03:10 AM

Possibly cottonwood. They smell terrible. They pickup whatever is in the ground water. Dog poo, cat poo, human poo, cow poo…..
I cut on one that had grown close to an outhouse. Gawdawful!

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View kiefer's profile


5619 posts in 2693 days

#6 posted 03-25-2011 05:17 AM

i have had many oak boards over the years that smell like cow pee and always wonderd as to what causes this until one day i came to me
as a youngster i lived out in the country and i remember cows gathering around big oak trees for shade and leaving their deposits which i am sure got soaked up by the tree hence the smell in the boards from the tree
so now i call those boards pee oak
also when framing with spruce lumber i get this cat pee odor in my nose but have not figured that one out


-- Kiefer

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3187 days

#7 posted 03-25-2011 05:27 AM

Well, I’ve heard that King Wood smells like a wet dog. Wet dog/dog poo…..... not much different. But the color is not even close.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View auggy53's profile


159 posts in 2706 days

#8 posted 03-25-2011 05:38 AM

red oak smells like dog crap everytime i cut it

-- rick

View ksSlim's profile


1276 posts in 2916 days

#9 posted 03-25-2011 05:42 AM

>Kiefer Probably why my Dad refered to chair seat wood as “Piss Elm”.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 2862 days

#10 posted 03-25-2011 05:47 AM

I vote for oak, had that experience with it.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 3293 days

#11 posted 03-25-2011 06:08 AM

yeah oak has an interesting smell but i dont find it unpleasant.

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 2669 days

#12 posted 03-25-2011 07:42 AM

Could it be Bat feces? You said it was in the attic and bats if they get in can really make a mess.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 2987 days

#13 posted 03-25-2011 07:59 AM

hmmm, oak has that nice smell of “expeniveness” mixed with lung cancer. you like to smell it, though you know it’s gonna kill you!

funny this thread comes up now, yesterday in class my teacher planed some african hardwood strips and the smell was really like butt sweat!

View McKinneyMike's profile


80 posts in 2687 days

#14 posted 03-25-2011 12:59 PM


I guess I have never been close enough to someone else’s crack to know what butt sweat smells like :) Sorry I could not resist. LOL!!!

Sounds like the wood might have been Zebrawood. It is not the most pleasant smelling wood to work with IME.

-- McKinney Hardwood Lumber --Specializing in exotic and figured hardwood lumber -McKinney, TX

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2868 days

#15 posted 03-25-2011 01:53 PM

It’s quite possibly cottonwood. I use a lot of cottonwood. Some spots in it, especially if you cut into some of the darker areas, smell like, uh, well, crap.
I’ve heard some older guys who didn’t know what it was call it shitum wood. No I’m not making that up. I had one guy try and tell me seriously that this was the proper species name for this wood. I would have probably believed him if I didn’t already know it was cottonwood.


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