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Oak smells of vomit

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Forum topic by dpoisson posted 08-24-2012 04:26 PM 3993 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dpoisson

184 posts in 1662 days


08-24-2012 04:26 PM

Hi, I’m sorry for the rather description subject, but it is what it is. I’m turning a very small piece of oak and it just smells bad. I wouldn’t go as far as say it reeks of vomit, but if that wood could talk, it wouldn’t surprise me if there is some involved.

I’ve never seen anything like it (although I’m still a newbie). Is there any wood conditions that could cause such a smell? Color and looks of the oak doesn’t look any different than other pieces I’ve turned.

Cheers

Fish

-- http://picasaweb.google.ca/dpoisson


22 replies so far

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HerbC

1213 posts in 1607 days


#1 posted 08-24-2012 04:36 PM

Some species of oak sometimes have a very sour smell. I’ve heard it may be caused by a bacterial infection in the wood. Once you’ve finished the project, including sealing with some type of finish, things should become a bit less funky.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

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Max

55978 posts in 3021 days


#2 posted 08-24-2012 04:36 PM

Did the wood come from a pallet?? I have had wood that had a similar smell that I got from pallets. Either do to what was on the pallet or being around moisture for a long time.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

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Max

55978 posts in 3021 days


#3 posted 08-24-2012 04:39 PM

I have also had this occur in what they call swamp oak..

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

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Scsmith42

125 posts in 1425 days


#4 posted 08-24-2012 05:29 PM

Bacterial wetwood in red oak will smell like this. Be sure to wear a respirator when you’re working with it. Once it is dry, it will be fine and the odor should go away.

-- Scott, North Carolina, www.quartersawnoak.com

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chrisstef

11461 posts in 1754 days


#5 posted 08-24-2012 05:31 PM

The elusive southern puke oak … very well regarded in the English Pub scene.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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tenontim

2131 posts in 2492 days


#6 posted 08-24-2012 10:58 PM

To me, red oak smells like that. Someone barfed German cheese and beer in a old sock, vomit. That’s why I use white oak.

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Ryan Haasen

362 posts in 1149 days


#7 posted 08-24-2012 11:20 PM

Haha, I thought I was the only one who thought this! I find purple heart also smells like vomit.

-- Ryan

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joewilliams

88 posts in 873 days


#8 posted 08-25-2012 12:13 AM

...after reading this, I wish I hadn’t eaten that last slice of pizza ):

-- Joe - - - something witty should go here - - -

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WDHLT15

1213 posts in 1224 days


#9 posted 08-25-2012 02:23 AM

I am with Herb and Scott. Bacterial infection. Common in oak, especially if the tree grew in water-logged conditions.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

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gfadvm

11509 posts in 1438 days


#10 posted 08-25-2012 02:47 AM

I too have smelled this in red oak flooring (not all of it). Those smelly pieces were softer and MUCH more porous than the non-vomit pieces. Your description of the smell is very accurate.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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dpoisson

184 posts in 1662 days


#11 posted 08-27-2012 12:46 AM

Wow, thanks everyone for your input. I’m also glad that a couple of people can confirm I’m not delusional!

Cheers

Fish

-- http://picasaweb.google.ca/dpoisson

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tyskkvinna

1308 posts in 1734 days


#12 posted 08-27-2012 12:55 AM

Most of the oak I work with is local swamp oak – black oak. Smells like vomit, everybody complains in the building when I use it.

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

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jeepturner

928 posts in 1541 days


#13 posted 08-27-2012 01:04 AM

Red oak just has that odor. The greener it is the worse the smell.

-- Mel,

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Mainiac Matt

4460 posts in 1077 days


#14 posted 08-27-2012 01:09 AM

Red oak has a pungent smell… Though I don’t find it offensive.

I’ve worked with some white oak that had a very strong ammonia smell…. I hired some help on a timber framing project years ago and one of the guys called it “Piss Oak”

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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Moron

4724 posts in 2641 days


#15 posted 08-27-2012 02:21 AM

try eating pickled eggs and gallons of draft beer, suck back a few hot Italian sausage and then vomit

oak begins to smell like a rose

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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