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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 1410 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Emma Walker

560 posts in 798 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

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bandit571

7140 posts in 1371 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

15235 posts in 1255 days


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

poplar?

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2590 posts in 1039 days


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

White cedar?

-- Bondo Gaposis

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pintodeluxe

3445 posts in 1501 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

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Don W

15235 posts in 1255 days


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

some willow is as you describe too.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View TrBlu's profile

TrBlu

361 posts in 1313 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

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Dan Lyke

1485 posts in 2812 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 (online now)

Monte Pittman

14582 posts in 1025 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

7799 posts in 2740 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"

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Monte Pittman

14582 posts in 1025 days


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

Poplar is possible, cottonwood?

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

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rrww

263 posts in 801 days


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

+1 on White Cedar – very nasty

View jat's profile

jat

54 posts in 1459 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 798 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 798 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

1378 posts in 871 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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