Wood Gloat #1: Direct from Alaska

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Blog entry by tyskkvinna posted 06-26-2010 08:07 PM 1774 reads 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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A friend of mine up in Alaska is a big fan of my woodworking and got very excited when he found this piece of wood.. he sent it to me and it arrived in the mail today! Imagine my surprise when I opened my front door and there was this giant box between it and the screen door! Yay!

It is about 15×25” on the long sides and 2” thick. It’s also very lightweight – only 8 pounds.

My friend has no idea what kind of wood it is (he is a mechanic :) ) Any suggestions? It came from the island of Sitka, Alaska, and was definitely grown there.

Close-up of the grain

Close up of the edge

The edges on this are really spectacular.

Of course I took some artistic photos of it too.

The last one, is the other side – it’s very rough sawn. It sure is pretty!

Okay my questions are:

-What kind of wood is this?
-What should I do with it?
-What are the best options for making the top flat, smooth and pretty?

I could honestly take photos of wood all day long.. especially rough and gnarly pieces like this. It’s just so beautiful.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

23 comments so far

View schloemoe's profile


709 posts in 2775 days

#1 posted 06-26-2010 08:09 PM

How hard is it?.................Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


2920 posts in 2946 days

#2 posted 06-26-2010 08:10 PM

I’d call it Western Red Cedar. How does it smell? You might have to scrape it.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 2823 days

#3 posted 06-26-2010 08:15 PM

It’s pretty hard. For comparison, it feels a lot like the pile of 50-year-old walnut I have.

After sniffing it I’m not sure if it is Cedar or not.. might be. It’s a pleasant smell, the sort that would probably make for a really kickin’ campfire (not that… I would ever… omg….)

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4610 posts in 2874 days

#4 posted 06-26-2010 08:16 PM


I only say this as there is a varient of it called Sitka Spruce, or obvious reasons.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View schloemoe's profile


709 posts in 2775 days

#5 posted 06-26-2010 08:25 PM

From the pics it almost looks like burly red wood I really dought they have any of that up there…..........Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3011 days

#6 posted 06-26-2010 08:27 PM

I believe it’s called Free Wood :-)

-- -- Neil

View sras's profile


4665 posts in 2967 days

#7 posted 06-26-2010 09:04 PM

Sitka spruce is a good guess

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Talyn's profile


55 posts in 3150 days

#8 posted 06-26-2010 09:16 PM

I would do a 3D carving something like this Moose and fill it with resin like this piece I did.

-- Harry --- Never Give Up, Never Surrender,

View canadianchips's profile


2600 posts in 2835 days

#9 posted 06-26-2010 09:24 PM

Yellow Cedar or Alaska Yellow Cedar or Callitropsis nootkatensis .
This species goes by many common names including Nootka Cypress, Yellow Cypress, and Alaska Cypress. Even
though it is not a true cedar, it is also often confusingly called “Nootka Cedar”,
Nootka Cypress has extreme heartwood qualities that make this one of the most desired sources of heat on the west coast. A dead tree can last up to 100 years for firewood. This wood burns very hot and lasts a long time as embers.
“MAYBE” ”What do I know, I just make things with wood. Don’t need a name to play with it !”

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View BertFlores58's profile


1685 posts in 2760 days

#10 posted 06-26-2010 09:55 PM

I think it is an Alaskan wood …. LOL. Now you will love the recycled wood… Your previous project “Cherry Clock”, you were planning to look for barn wood. Now you found a better one unexpectedly….
But on your second question how to flatten it? .... Suggest you use your CNC or route it strait without deep cutting. But I think it is better to let the natural texture as it looks now and just carve something into it and that would be fine…. I am anxious to to see what it will be in the hands of a great woodworker and photographer …

-- Bert

View degoose's profile


7223 posts in 3192 days

#11 posted 06-26-2010 09:55 PM

I do believe it is Hard Beena
been a tree that is…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4610 posts in 2874 days

#12 posted 06-26-2010 10:01 PM

Related to hard Wunsa (once a tree)

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 3105 days

#13 posted 06-26-2010 11:00 PM

Ahh, many jokesters.

I prefer to keep the tenor of these boards seriously intellectual.

Tysk, to answer your second question…send it on to me!


View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1559 posts in 3403 days

#14 posted 06-26-2010 11:30 PM

What to do, what to do? One option could be a free form table, Here is one way to flatten with a router.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


116576 posts in 3415 days

#15 posted 06-26-2010 11:46 PM

Redwood congrats on the gift.

-- Custom furniture

showing 1 through 15 of 23 comments

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