Help research the unknown wood I have.

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Forum topic by Karson posted 10-03-2006 01:25 AM 2836 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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35125 posts in 4425 days

10-03-2006 01:25 AM

I have a few pieces of an unknown wood. I received a call from the sawyer at my favorite sawmill and he said that he had some wood for me. I went to to get it and this is what I found. The pictures are stored at If you click on the picture you get a larger view and the full description of the picture. The sawmill owner said that he had seen this condition in one previous log many years before. The bark has created bark pockets all the way from the center of the log to the outside.

You can see that the surface of the bark does not show any indentation, but when the bark is peeled off you can see the dimple in the wood and in the bark where it goes into the dimple. This condition was present in the log and also in the branch section where it joins the main log.

I only have some slab wood and a couple of boards from the log. The sawmill owner was saving it for a friend. He guessed when he said that it might be Pin Oak. The sawmill is in New Jersey and so I assume that the log was grown in New Jersey and not Pennsalvania or New York. The wood surface does not have any visable pores like oak or walnut. It is closer to maple in the surface look. But, it does have visable pore structure, one of the pictures has a closeup of the sanded surface. The bark pockets go from the interior of the log to the exterior. So that on quarter sawn pieces you might have the total bark trough visable, where as on plain sliced wood the pockets go from front to back. The bark on the wain is starting to crumble off when hit. I have not tried to pick or remove any of the bark from the pockets on the surface. I have not planed any of the wood yet but I assume that a carbide spiral segemented cutter will be required to get a smooth surface without lifting the burl figure from the wood surface. Look at the pictures and tell me what you think.


-- 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 †

7 replies so far

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4324 days

#1 posted 10-09-2006 08:06 PM

Interesting piece of wood, it has character.
If you want to get an accurate ID. of it, you can send a sample of it to “The Center of Wood Anatomy Research”. It’s a division of the U.S Forest service in Madison, Wisconsin. They will explain how to send a sample to them.
You can also get a Wood ID. kit from them to do it yourself.
Check out there website:

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4430 days

#2 posted 10-10-2006 12:59 AM

Karson: no good guess from me. I love it though, and it would make a great Nakashima-Inspired hall table. I can run a 12” wide board across my Grizzly Spiral carbide jointer. I couldn’t tell how wide your board was, but if it would fit, and help you out, send it to me, and I’ll joint it and send it back to you.

If you look at my Refined Rustic China Hutch project, you can see that all of the door and drawer and back panels are white oak burls and knots, and the jointer did a great job. Getting a parallel surface from a planer knife in my surface planer was more of a chore. It took lots and lots of CA glue to glue the pieces down enough to stay in place during the surface planing. The spiral cutter on the jointer didn’t pull any chunks out, even before the CA glue process. After that experience, the Grizzly 20” planer with carbide spiral cutters is on my wish list as number one, right ahead of a Multi-router for making tenons and mortises.

Thanks Dick for adding the identification service you mentioned, I didn’t realize that it was available.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4425 days

#3 posted 10-10-2006 02:39 AM

Dick: Thanks for the web site, I’ve seen some web postings from a man called Gene Wagner or Wegner or something like that. He does a lot of wood identification. He might work for the US Forest Service.

Mark: Thanks for the offer for the use of your planer, but I’ve got the Grizzly 20” spiral carbide planer, and I’ve also got the 8” spiral jointer. It’s just that the wood is so thick in places that I’ve been holding off until I try to decide what I’m going to use it for. The big piece that is leaning against the wall (Shown in the picture) is over 24” wide and 8 ft long. But in places its over 4 in thick. (Where a branch was and it was not trimmed for thickness at the mill) There is some curvature to the wood so I don’t want to straighten it out until I cut to more manageable (usefull) pieces. And yes it would make an interesting table top. I’ve also got some 3 in thick, 24 -30 inches wide and about 8 ft long Walnut crotch pieces. I’ve got a lot of interesting Table top slabs. The sawmill owner, when he was selling his mill, had all of these weird slabs leaning against the wall of his office and he told me I could have them all. Two or three loads later in my van and they were stashed in my barn. Now I’m wondering what I’m going to do with them all.

I made contact with a sawmill owner in Delaware yesterday and I told him to hold out all strange woods he comes across, or strange grain pattens. I stopped by today with a couple of fountain pens that I made out of Maple crotch to solidify our relationship. I’ve even traded over $800.00 worth of laser engraved pens with the other sawmill owner for wood. It took about 6 months to collect all of my wood. The manager kept saying, “Are we not done yet?” One of the woods that I got was Yellow Birch that is cream wood for the sap wood and pink for the heart wood and it has ray flecks like quartersawn white oak. 10 – 18 in wide planks 8ft long.

Collecting wood is almost as much fun as making things. So far the collecting is ahead.

I appreciate your offer. If you make it to the east coast give me a call. 2 hrs from Washington, Baltimore and Philly. That goes for any LumberJocks. E-mail

-- 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 Rrrandy's profile


212 posts in 504 days

#4 posted 04-08-2017 09:14 PM

Karson, are you still collecting wood?

-- Y'all need to locate a sense of humor. Borrow one if you can't find yours...

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4425 days

#5 posted 04-09-2017 03:34 AM

Of course I used the yellow Birch that I posted in the one above. it was used in my kitchen cabinet built in Delaware. And now I’m going to sell that house also. Two kitchens built and two houses sold.

Now I like using interesting wood in small boxes. I might use the wood that I posted in the first link in making a couple of mantle Grandfather Clocks. They are 39” tall. I hope to build 7 of them for Christmas 2017.

-- 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 papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3393 days

#6 posted 04-09-2017 03:50 AM

Hello Karson, haven’t talked in a while. Dave still doing his turning?

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4425 days

#7 posted 04-09-2017 01:50 PM

no girls have moved to the top of the list

-- 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 †

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