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Wood identification (Read 236 times)
 
Dave Wheeler
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Shelbyville, Indiana, USA
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Wood identification
Oct 8th, 2018 at 8:32pm
 
I started a bowl from what I thought was a piece of an ash tree cut from my yard.  I live in central Indiana.  I have attached a picture of the log from which I cut the blank and a picture of the rough turned bowl.  The bowl is red and I have not previously seen this in Ash.  I am wondering if this is really red oak.  Can anyone help identify this wood?
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Glenn Roberts
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Walworth, NY, New York, USA
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Re: Wood identification
Reply #1 - Oct 8th, 2018 at 9:18pm
 
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Mike Nathal
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Re: Wood identification
Reply #2 - Oct 9th, 2018 at 7:19am
 
If it wasn't for the red color the grain looks a lot like ash.  The bark is inconclusive:  the tell-tale diamond pattern in the bark is missing.  However, if you do a Google image search of ash bark, you will see quite a bit of variation in the bark and  the diamond pattern.  Also I have seen a lot of crotch sections and cannot recall ever seeing such a distinct "feather" figure in oak.  So I would bet 50 cents that it is ash.
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Don Stephan
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Cincinnati, Ohio, Ohio, USA
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Re: Wood identification
Reply #3 - Oct 9th, 2018 at 7:39am
 
Welcome to the forum.  Here you will find great range and depth of information and assistance.  Especially I would like to recommend the videos here, which all have been previewed before being listed, so there is little chance of unsafe or poor practices being shown.

If the tree was dropped because it was declining or dead, are there telltale D shaped holes through the bark where the adult ash borer exited the tree?  It is possible the bark and grain pattern are ash.  I've never opened an ash fork, so I can't say whether the reddish wood is characteristic.
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Ed Weber
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Wilton, California, USA
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Re: Wood identification
Reply #4 - Oct 9th, 2018 at 8:51am
 
I agree with the general consensus that it's most likely Ash.
The coloring could be some type of mineral staining, I don't know it this contributed to the tree's demise or not.
While not having turned a lot of either species, I find Red Oak to be a bit more fibrous (splintery) than Ash.
JMO
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Jeff Vanden Boogart
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Rural Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA
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Re: Wood identification
Reply #5 - Oct 9th, 2018 at 9:45am
 
Looks like oak from here.  Red Oak has an unmistakable smell, Ash does not, in my experience.
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robo_hippy
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Re: Wood identification
Reply #6 - Oct 9th, 2018 at 4:16pm
 
I would guess ash as well. Some times called poor man's oak. I have never seen the red in ash either. I did get a sycamore/London plane tree that was blood red in the center, but most of the color was gone within an hour of cutting the red part open...

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Dave Wheeler
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Shelbyville, Indiana, USA
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Re: Wood identification
Reply #7 - Oct 9th, 2018 at 6:51pm
 
We have a big problem with the ash borer and have cut about 60 ash trees from around the house.  This piece of wood was from one of the last times we had them cut down.  I am reasonably sure it is Ash but have never seen this color.  I    can't wait to finish the bowl in a few months to see what it looks like when it is done.  I am real excited about the feather feature which is what I was hoping for when I cut the blank from the crotch of the tree.
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Don Stephan
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Re: Wood identification
Reply #8 - Oct 10th, 2018 at 7:48am
 
If you still have a piece of the log, the galleries made by the ash borer larvae are very distinctive just under the bark.

Otherwise, Bruce Hoadley's Identifying Wood should help identify the bowl's end grain.  It's a great reference book but if you aren't in the market your local public library may have a copy.
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Jurriaan Kalkman
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just below the middle, Netherlands
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Re: Wood identification
Reply #9 - Oct 29th, 2018 at 6:17am
 
I have used ash that got this color in contact with air. Bit of a pain in the !@#, because finishing off the tenon a day later gave me a considerable color change between bowl and foot. Required lots of sanding with grits I normally don't have to use.

Luckily, not every ash tree is this annoying. Beautiful wood, your bowl!
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Alistair Hancox
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Re: Wood identification
Reply #10 - Oct 30th, 2018 at 12:29pm
 
Pretty wood. I haven't turned a lot of Ash but I do have a few Red Oak rough turned bowls drying at home. I agree with Jeff. If you'd been turning wet Red Oak, you'd know about it! The smell is strong and not terribly pleasant.
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