Nasty smelling wood!!!

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Forum topic by willie posted 12-12-2012 05:28 AM 1403 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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533 posts in 2419 days

12-12-2012 05:28 AM

Cut up a piece of wood today from a pile of free wood I got a few months back. I can’t identify what it is but it looks like poplar. The grain and color are similar and density and weight are about the same. That’s where the similarity stops! This stuff smells like it was the back wall behind the urinals at Yankee Stadium since day one!!! I about gagged, this stuff smells so bad, but only while you’re cutting or sanding it. After the dust settles and you blow it off, the smell is gone. Does anyone have any idea what this might be? I’ll post some pictures tomorrow but not sure they would help. Be glad I can’t post the smell!!!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

10 replies so far

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2916 days

#1 posted 12-12-2012 05:33 AM

Perhaps it is pooplar?

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View pintodeluxe's profile


5620 posts in 2778 days

#2 posted 12-12-2012 05:37 AM

Alaskan Yellow Cedar smells like that. It looks similar to poplar. Very distinctive odor.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View a1Jim's profile


117062 posts in 3542 days

#3 posted 12-12-2012 06:54 AM

Cotton wood ?

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View lunn's profile


215 posts in 2273 days

#4 posted 12-12-2012 11:13 AM

Several years i had some maple trees trimed and was going to use the limbs for firewood. After a while it smelled just as you said. I think the sap soured causing the smell.

-- What started as a hobbie is now a full time JOB!

View RVroman's profile


163 posts in 1988 days

#5 posted 12-12-2012 11:28 AM

Cottonwood would be my thought as well. That stuff is horrible!

-- Robert --- making toothpicks one 3x3x12 blank at a time!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28919 posts in 2303 days

#6 posted 12-12-2012 01:17 PM

It doesn’t fit the color, but Russian olive is in the category smell wise. I compare it to a chain smoker with bad gas. However, Russian olive would be a chocolate brown.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Wildwood's profile


2298 posts in 2099 days

#7 posted 12-12-2012 10:33 PM

Trees can pick up nasty smell from where they grow and minerals in the soil. Can also pick up odors in storage.

-- Bill

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2166 days

#8 posted 12-12-2012 10:36 PM

What about it being some Piss Elm….... Serious, I know some Elm trees do smell like piss when cutting into it. Spring time as well….

American Elm…....

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3273 days

#9 posted 12-12-2012 10:57 PM

Stop farting in the workshop and you will not have to blame it on the wood.

View willie's profile


533 posts in 2419 days

#10 posted 12-13-2012 05:09 AM

I’ve never worked cottonwood before, I’ll have to look into that possibility. Same with the yellow cedar. I have some olive wood, but not Russian, and it too is a chocolate brown. We had to take down a number of elm trees a few years back due that Dutch Elm disease and I remember that “piss elm” smell. Believe me this stuff is way worse! And last, my farts, even on my worst day, don’t smell that bad! The wife would throw me out of the house for sure! I’m glad this one small project will use all of it I have!!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

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