Identifying Chestnut

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Forum topic by chrisstef posted 07-28-2011 01:45 PM 1349 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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17376 posts in 2999 days

07-28-2011 01:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: chestnut

This may or may not be a precursor to a pretty sweet wood gloat.

The latest demo job we have taken on was in a church dating from 1903. My lead supervisor has managed to salvage me some, what we believei s, chestnut. I just ran through the hobbitt house pictures and it seems awfully close to the pics shown there, but i was curious what are the ways to identify american chestnut?

Is it in the pores, in the rays, in the weight of the material?

Pics coming this evening !!

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

6 replies so far

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


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#1 posted 07-28-2011 08:53 PM

I have not seen much Chestnut to get a feel what it looks like.

View Tennessee's profile


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#2 posted 07-28-2011 09:43 PM

I have some in my stock, left over from an Amish barn from the 1870’s in SW Pennsylvania. Biggest difference for me over say, brown old growth oak is when cut right, you get a very slight purplish tint in parts of the wood. And the grain changes a little more often, more like hickory than the usual straight runs in oak. Other than that, it handles about the same as oak, and a lot of people cannot tell the difference. I’m almost out, and it saddens me. The new growth insect resistance chestnut is nothing like it and rather plain.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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17376 posts in 2999 days

#3 posted 07-28-2011 10:10 PM

Paul, thanks for the information. The growth rings on it are very tight and appears to have distinguishable pores looking at the end grain. Im so excited to have these handful of pieces i cant wait to get home and clean em up a little.

On another note there is some framing material that will be removed as well. Here in new england would they have used chestnut for load bearing partitions?

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3816 days

#4 posted 07-28-2011 11:26 PM

It a good possibility it the same species, it would be well worth looking into. Take a plug cutter and take a sample out of your stock and the beams…good luck BC

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Jim Finn

2656 posts in 2915 days

#5 posted 07-29-2011 02:16 AM

The few pieces of Chestnut that I have worked with, burned very easily when machined. Table saw,Router or lathe.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View Tennessee's profile


2870 posts in 2507 days

#6 posted 07-29-2011 07:13 PM

In the NE US, Chestnut was used a lot for outdoor things, like fenceposts and outer doors on barns, decades ago. I do know the two large Pennsylvania built barns I have salvaged wood from had oak beam construction, not chestnut. The flooring and a lot of the doors were original chestnut, which would both get wet, snow from wagon wheels in the winter on the floors, and rain and snow on the doors. And I found some old fence posts on the back of one of the lots, but it was finally rotted to nothing.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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