Now What?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by gracie posted 09-10-2012 02:59 PM 1659 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View gracie's profile


13 posts in 2607 days

09-10-2012 02:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question mystery wood black walnut selling logs veneering

Hi Folks,
About a month ago I posted a mystery log that I had found, I received many guesses from all types of wood professionals, but it is just so unusual that no one seems to be able to positively Identify the species of tree. The closest guess that I have gotten is Black Walnut, but it appears burled with bullseyes. I have since found more logs from the same tree, all unique so far. I have about 5 or 6 Logs of various lengths from 4’ to 15’ . My question is ” Now What” It seems a shame that these logs will sit and rot. As I stated in my earlier post, I do not have the means to have it transported and/or milled, and frankly folks here on Cape Cod aren’t exactly Wood Guru’s !!. Sure, it would be nice to get a little money for them, and if this beautiful tree had to hit the ground then it should be crafted into marvelous works of art. I’m just a little cane maker with about a years experience in woodworking. Any thoughts, Ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank You

11 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117283 posts in 3755 days

#1 posted 09-10-2012 03:22 PM

Buy a copy of Bruce Hoadly’s Identifying wood.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View jdmaher's profile


437 posts in 2757 days

#2 posted 09-10-2012 03:48 PM

Where do you have them? Are they out in the field, or in a barn, or what?

What’s the diameter?

There ARE sawmills in Cape Cod. Have you asked them? Perhaps they could recommend someone that could help you get them transported.

If you just want to not waste the wood, you can probably work something out. If you’re looking to retire on the proceeds, I’m guessin’ that’s not gonna happen.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 2653 days

#3 posted 09-10-2012 04:05 PM

gracie, It is admirable that you want to save those logs and yes they might yield some beautiful lumber. First let me state that I am not saw mill type, I am just a dope who spends way too much time on the internet and sort of follows a lot of divergent links.

I believe that most of the sawmill types rightly steer away from residential logs for a multitude of reasons. You currently have the logs, were the ends sealed properly (cost) ? How long have the logs been drying (cost – time – tied up money) Can you guaranty that the logs are free of foreign objects ( nails, stones, arrow heads, glass etc) that destroy costly blades? What equipment will be needed to load and transport the logs to the mill and at what distance (again cost) ? The general growth shape and orientation can affect the quality of the resultant lumber?

So I guess the main question would be: Are you willing to speculate by laying out your cash for all of the definable and necessary costs? Chance associated risk costs such as equipment damage?

You might consider first seal the ends properly.

take accurate measurements of lengths and both end diameters.

take lots of pictures.

perhaps cut a 2-3” slice off the end of a representative log as you do not have knowledge of the log wood species.

Then search out sawmill operations in your area both small and medium, it is most likely that a fair price for the logs might be a lot lower than you can imagine. In that case if you feel lucky play the lottery and ask them to load, haul, cut, dry, and transport back to you. You might have a gold mine but it could also be a dry well.

good luck.

View Brett's profile


661 posts in 2860 days

#4 posted 09-10-2012 04:11 PM

Unidentified wood? Since we don’t know what it is, it must have come from aliens….

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18992 posts in 2745 days

#5 posted 09-10-2012 04:18 PM

If you want to sell them, just put them on craigs list. State you think they may be black walnut but your not sure. Someone will pick them up. If I was just a bit closer it would be me.

If you want to have them turned into lumber, look for a guy with a portable sawmill. He’ll bring it to your place and you’ll soon have lumber.

The days of most of the sawmill types steering away from residential logs isn’t as prevalent anymore. Bandsaw blade are fairly inexpensive and many are made to withstand a few nails.

Some sawmill manufactures have a list of sawmills like this one, I thought woodmizer had one but I wasn’t able to find it.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View gracie's profile


13 posts in 2607 days

#6 posted 09-10-2012 10:41 PM

Thanks for the Information. I just ordered the book “Identifying Wood”. Perhaps I will cut the logs up into manageable pieces and give some to local Woodworkers. I will see what I can work out on Craigslist as well. Your Input has been helpful. I had no idea what I was into.
To answer a few questions the diameter of the logs range from 12” to 32”. They have been sitting uncovered (bark intact) on a grassy area for about 10 months and No the edges are not sealed, but they will be as soon as I research how to do that. Also, there is a local sawmill but the man is ill and unsure when he will return. They do have a band saw but i would have to bring the logs to them. I did hear from a man who said he could positively Identify the wood microscopically for $50. So my journey continues, but I have learned quite a bit about wood along the way.

View a1Jim's profile


117283 posts in 3755 days

#7 posted 09-10-2012 11:04 PM

I would hold up on the $50 charge for microscopically identifying you wood,that’s one way “Identifying wood “helps you
find out what your wood is,all you need is a jewelers loop.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View SteviePete's profile


226 posts in 3480 days

#8 posted 09-11-2012 06:55 PM

Try USDA Forest Products Laboratory in Madison Wisconsin. Contact them via web. Send a sample—get an answer. Check on cost – was free and sample size (Maybe 1×3x6). Or as above – take to any Biology Lab and use a 10x Disecting Microscope instead of jewelers loopl. Send a pic of 1×3x6 so you can see all sides and closeup of each surface – end grain, quarter sawn grain and flat planed grain. Cut it so it looks like sound wood. All the features in the picture you posted make ID just a guess for most. Good luck. s

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

View Doss's profile


779 posts in 2442 days

#9 posted 09-11-2012 08:39 PM

If you decide to cut it, it’ll be best to get a good idea of the wood type so you can decide on how best to cut and package it. Some woods are good for turning, some are good for furniture, some are good for veneers, some are good for firewood… just make sure you’re processing it the best way to maximize your investment.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 3129 days

#10 posted 09-11-2012 10:50 PM

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View EPJartisan's profile


1122 posts in 3303 days

#11 posted 09-13-2012 01:08 PM

JEEZ.. thanks a whole lot Jim… now I ordered this book.
Hey Gracie… what ever you do, give yourself a little more time and either split the shot logs with an axe so they don’t check through the whole thing and/or seal the end grain … at least on the longer ones..paint it, wax it, tar them.. what ever means you have… it will give you enough time to do something with them and keep the majority of the material useful.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics