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Woods that stink when you cut or sand them.

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Forum topic by Emma Walker posted 01-11-2013 06:27 PM 3394 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Emma Walker

560 posts in 1944 days


01-11-2013 06:27 PM

I’ve noticed that different woods have different smells when cut or sanded. One wood that has a very weird odor is a very blonde and dense wood with hardly any grain lines. What kind of wood could it be?

-- I'm a twisted 2x4 in a pile of straight lumber.


30 replies so far

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

18605 posts in 2517 days


#1 posted 01-11-2013 06:32 PM

Let’s see, smeelllly woods, I have had some bad smelling wet Oaks, got a batch of Pisselm one time.

Like the smell of Aromatic Red Cedar.

Cottonwood stunk.

As for your’s? Not sure. Maybe a sap wood of sorts?

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Don W's profile

Don W

18520 posts in 2401 days


#2 posted 01-11-2013 06:32 PM

poplar?

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4475 posts in 2185 days


#3 posted 01-11-2013 08:37 PM

White cedar?

-- Bondo Gaposis

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5457 posts in 2647 days


#4 posted 01-11-2013 08:40 PM

Probably Yellow Alaskan Cedar. Stinks to high heaven when you mill it.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

18520 posts in 2401 days


#5 posted 01-11-2013 08:40 PM

some willow is as you describe too.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View TrBlu's profile

TrBlu

386 posts in 2459 days


#6 posted 01-11-2013 08:56 PM

Holly has very little visual grain. It is also very dense and very blond.

Box Elder is another possibility.

Both of these stink when cut or sanded.

-- The more I work with wood the more I recognize only God can make something as beautiful as a tree. I hope my humble attempts at this craft do justice by His masterpiece. -- Tim

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1518 posts in 3959 days


#7 posted 01-11-2013 09:27 PM

The most “oh my this is positively grotesque” smell I’ve had in my shop was working Ipe on the router table. You said “dense”, I’m wondering what other exotic hardwoods might be blonde? Maybe one of the pseudo-teak variants?

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

27049 posts in 2172 days


#8 posted 01-11-2013 09:55 PM

Maybe ash. Possibly box elder with no color. Most cedars are distinctive. Willow maybe.

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

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9979 posts in 3886 days


#9 posted 01-11-2013 09:59 PM

Good ole Pine makes you think you’re in the mountains… Great smell!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

27049 posts in 2172 days


#10 posted 01-11-2013 10:01 PM

Poplar is possible, cottonwood?

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

View rrww's profile

rrww

263 posts in 1947 days


#11 posted 01-11-2013 10:55 PM

+1 on White Cedar – very nasty

View jat's profile

jat

71 posts in 2605 days


#12 posted 01-11-2013 11:11 PM

Emma, the worst I’ve ever come across is cutting zebra wood to expose the end grain. That stuff smelled just like you’d expect a zebra cage to be at the zoo. I made an end grain cutting board and the center 3” width was the zebra wood. The thing was unusable and I had to throw it out because it made the shop smell like an animal had died in there.

View Emma Walker's profile

Emma Walker

560 posts in 1944 days


#13 posted 01-11-2013 11:33 PM

Thanks everyone! I wish I could describe the smell. As Joe mentioned some wood is very pleasant smelling. I have a Black Bear fur shawl that is over 120 years old that I got when my great grandmother died. I want to make a cedar box for it. Cedar is supposed to be best for storing clothing because the smell repells bugs but smells great to humans.

Would that be red cedar?

-- I'm a twisted 2x4 in a pile of straight lumber.

View Emma Walker's profile

Emma Walker

560 posts in 1944 days


#14 posted 01-11-2013 11:37 PM

Bandit571

Pisselm even sounds like it would smell bad.

-- I'm a twisted 2x4 in a pile of straight lumber.

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1775 posts in 2017 days


#15 posted 01-11-2013 11:40 PM

You’re going to want eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana), not western red, incense, Alaskan yellow, Port Orford, etc.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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