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  • Unknown wood

    Very light,easy to carve,lighter than basswood.pic shows it wet,the grain is consistent,no hard spots.What is it?
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  • #2
    It is very difficult to identify wood from a photo. Even basswood varies a lot depending on moisture content, source location, and how it was processed. It looks like an open pored wood milled near a major crotch.

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    • #3
      This piece is 1x5 3/4 x 14 3/4,weighs 14.4 oz on a calibrated scale.I got it in the early 90s in a factory where I was working and just recently tried carving it.It carves like butter and not prone to splitting and makes no difference carving with or against the grain.I can't even make a guess as to what it might be,but I wish I had more of it.I've never seen wood this light and soft other than balsa.

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      • #4
        Show me sections in the transverse, radial and tangential aspects. Under a microscope, woods have anatomy like fingerprints. Gimme 10 minutes and I can probably tell you exactly which species it is.
        Wood anatomy was a part of my job for some 40 years so I won't make any guess other than to say it's a hardwood angiosperm.

        Also, wood anatomy does show variation within each tree and among trees in different growing conditions.
        Brian T

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        • #5
          Hey Brian, wouldn't density (wt/vol) give an indication? 14.4oz/84.8125=0.1698, which is lower than cedar. Enlighten an old **rt.
          . . .JoeB

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          • #6
            Old growth western red cedar ( 50+ rings per inch) is denser and harder than paper birch (a hardwood). The definition is really sloppy, balsa is a hardwood. Has more to do with the different kinds of cells in the wood AND all the anatomies of the flowers and seeds or fruits.
            The Janka hardness might be a reflection of density but reaction wood anatomy (compression wood and tension wood) controls a lot of density. What you might learn over a long time carving is that branch woods are far tougher than main stem wood.
            Brian T

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            • #7
              I would lean towards... catalpa or paulownia, any idea where the tree might have been cut?? (please don't tell me ...in the woods...) does it have a smell when fresh cut?

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              • #8
                Paulownia gets my vote
                Buffalo Bif
                www.bflobif.com

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                • #9
                  I picked up a piece of sassafras yesterday from my scrap box. Sas is a possibility...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mobjack68 View Post
                    I would lean towards... catalpa or paulownia, any idea where the tree might have been cut?? (please don't tell me ...in the woods...) does it have a smell when fresh cut?
                    I think you're right..I have no idea where it came from except from a bunk of mixed hardwood frame stock.Sometimes there'd be basswood and buckeye,occasionally walnut.One of the guys in the saw shed brought it to me because of the lack of weight.My wife's parents have a big tree that looks like paulownia in their yard,that gives me ideas.

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