Help this gal ID Old Growth Wood

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Forum topic by Berger posted 04-07-2013 10:13 AM 1136 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Berger's profile


3 posts in 1899 days

04-07-2013 10:13 AM

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


324 posts in 2021 days

#1 posted 04-07-2013 12:24 PM

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

18754 posts in 2591 days

#2 posted 04-07-2013 12:41 PM

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

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

View LukieB's profile


966 posts in 2353 days

#3 posted 04-07-2013 12:44 PM

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


879 posts in 2465 days

#4 posted 04-07-2013 12:51 PM

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 1899 days

#5 posted 04-07-2013 02:09 PM

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

2170 posts in 2873 days

#6 posted 04-07-2013 02:21 PM

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

29383 posts in 2361 days

#7 posted 04-07-2013 02:23 PM

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

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2591 days

#8 posted 04-07-2013 02:24 PM

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.

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

View Berger's profile


3 posts in 1899 days

#9 posted 04-07-2013 02:30 PM

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


232 posts in 1972 days

#10 posted 04-08-2013 01:43 AM

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


1747 posts in 2499 days

#11 posted 04-08-2013 02:00 AM

It is ash.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

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