Help this gal ID Old Growth Wood

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Forum topic by Berger posted 501 days ago 708 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Berger's profile


3 posts in 501 days

501 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi there! Im new to the site and am trying to figure out what kind of wood I’m dealing with. We are building a home and using reclaimed lumber throughout the house. We used a mix of hardwoods for my cabinets and pine for the ceiling. We found cool old floor beams from a barn. They were the entire log except the top had been planed off so a floor could be nailed to it. The wood was very wormy and hard as nails! I took a few photos and am curious what type of wood it is. It has a very unusual pattern with tiny “Z” in the grain.

Anyway if you could take a look at the pics and let me know what ya think I would appreciate it!


First here are the posts

11 replies so far

View sprucegum's profile


323 posts in 623 days

#1 posted 501 days ago

If you could tell us what part of the world you live in it would be a big help, most barns were built from local wood so knowing where the barn was located would be a big clue. By the way welcome to LJ.

-- A tube of calk and a gallon of paint will make a carpenter what he ain't

View Don W's profile

Don W

14828 posts in 1193 days

#2 posted 501 days ago

I agree with sprucegum, but if I had to guess I’d say chestnut or oak

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View LukieB's profile


921 posts in 955 days

#3 posted 501 days ago

American chestnut was my first thought…..and welcome to Lumberjocks!

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this"

View Randy_ATX's profile


672 posts in 1067 days

#4 posted 501 days ago

American Chestnut would be my bet; assuming you are posting from the states. :-) Nice stuff!

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View Berger's profile


3 posts in 501 days

#5 posted 501 days ago

I live in West Michigan and barn was from the same area. Does the grain look like chestnut?

I did have some larvae in the wood so we heated it up in a makeshift box wit a 155’000btu heater the entire day hence the checking. I like the look of the checks it goes with the rustic feel. Just hope it killed the larvae!

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1475 days

#6 posted 501 days ago

All three pictures suggest ash to me, but I’m not so familiar with chestnut so I’ll just whisper my guess.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13732 posts in 963 days

#7 posted 501 days ago

If you got it very warm, about 130 degrees, you killed the bugs. The first 2 pictures I thought of Oak (never had Chestnut). The 3rd picture reminds me of Douglas Fir or Hemlock.

Welcome to LumberJocks

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Don W's profile

Don W

14828 posts in 1193 days

#8 posted 501 days ago

Chestnut was infested around the turn of the century, and went pretty much extinct in the north east US. The wormy chestnut is a pretty common type of lumber for that time period.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Berger's profile


3 posts in 501 days

#9 posted 501 days ago

Thanks for the replies…stain is going on tomorrow so i will post a pic after that to better show the grain pattern.

Its for sure hardwood took a belt sander with 40 grit and it took forever to knock down the high spots! It does look very similar in color to my balusters which are new growth ash.

Hmm..if they are chestnut I would consider buying the rests of the 12-16” round posts. 16’ long $100 each. Seens like i could get some bf from that and sell it in 1”x.

View hookfoot's profile


86 posts in 574 days

#10 posted 500 days ago

Chestnut is not a hard lumber to drive nails into. From the first two photos I would say it is ash.

View WDHLT15's profile


1093 posts in 1101 days

#11 posted 500 days ago

It is ash.

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

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