What wood is this?

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On Wed, 14 Feb 2007 23:07:37 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Ash is in the realm of most likely, but theirs no definative answer without a sample in hand. Even an old growth softwood can be rock hard over the years and present similar grain patterns. Having said that turn an ash, hemlock or white oak and match the stain. A furniture restoring place can proffesionally age it too, to match.
Regards Dale
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Don Wiss wrote:
From the variety of answers it would seem that it doesn't matter what kind of wood it is inasmuch as no one can definitively tell.
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Speak for yourself. I can. It's ash.
Ash is frequently mistaken for oak, as this thread clearly illustrates. But oak has unmistakable ray flakes plainly visible in quartersawn grain. The absence of this figure is absolute proof that the wood in Don's photograph is unquestionably *not* oak.
It's ash.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

No, it is not proof of any such thing. See previous reply above.
--

dadiOH
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It absolutely is. There is perfectly vertical quartersawn grain visible at the right of the photo -- grain which would plainly display ray flake if it were oak. It doesn't. That isn't oak.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Fri, 16 Feb 2007 02:28:58 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

You could be right. From my research, most of the trim work for the old Brooklyn row houses built during this period was either cut on site or in a large mill located in Sunset Park (as the lore goes). The newel cap might have been an outsource.
But it's hard to tell with this old woodwork. Once you strip this stuff and get rid of a century's worth of varnish, dye, dings and discolorations it often looks like a completely different piece of wood. The best way for me to tell is also destructive. When you cut or plane it, old white oak has a very distinctive, slightly vomit-like smell to it.
-------------------------------------------------- Steve Manes, Brooklyn, NY http://www.brooklynrowhouse.com
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Not different enough to obscure the difference between ash and oak. The ray-flake figure in quartersawn oak is made even *more* distinctive by staining, because the flakes don't absorb stain well at all. If this piece were oak, the ray-flakes would be very obvious. They aren't visible at all; ergo, the piece is not oak. It's ash.

Again, pardon me if I question your wood identification. *Red* oak has a faintly vomit- or urine-like odor to it. *White* oak smells like toast and vanilla.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Western Red Cedar possibly if not the Douglas Fir? What ya think?
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The OP's photo doesn't even resemble any type of cedar or fir. It is *unquestionably* a hardwood, and it's almost certainly ash specifically.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Fri, 16 Feb 2007 18:27:37 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Mr. Miller
There are so many variables. You cannot tell with by this photo alone what species it is. One can only make asumptions for what was available locally. You need to physically have the piece in hand or a picture of the whole entire post for more clues.
I've graded/inspected all types of wood for 30 years. So I believe my opinion is fairly good.
Regards Dale
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wrote:

Agreed -- and I didn't attempt to do that. I identified the genus.
Furthermore, it certainly *is* possible to tell from this photo alone a number of things that it is *not* -- for example, it is definitely not maple. It likewise is definitely not Douglas fir or western red cedar, neither one of which have grain that bears more than a remote resemblance to that shown in the photo. Nor is it any type of pine.

Do you seriously contend that it is not possible, on the basis of this photo alone, to identify the wood as a hardwood?
I'll go farther than that: it *is* a hardwood, and with 100.0% certainty it is *not* any of the following: - any species of maple - American sycamore - cherry - walnut - American beech - any species of birch - tulip poplar If you disagree, please cite which characteristics of the wood in the photo are consistent with one or more of these woods.

Not correct. Much can be told from photographs, to someone who knows what to look for.

If your opinion includes the possibility that this piece is maple, fir, cedar, or beech, for example, I disagree with your evaluation of the quality of your opinions.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Sun, 18 Feb 2007 16:30:40 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@whomever.com wrote:

Hi Dale,
In dicussing the various pictures that I took with the friend that is going to do the turning, he suggested I put up a couple other pictures which he thinks best show the grain. So here are two more (also unreduced):
http://donwiss.com/finial-2.jpg
http://donwiss.com/finial-3.jpg
Don <www.donwiss.com> (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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On Fri, 16 Feb 2007 16:35:32 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

I've cut, planed and milled probably a thousand board feet of red oak just in this house renovation. I've recycled a couple of hundred feet of the original white oak as well. I know what red oak smells like and I know what white oak smells like.
-------------------------------------------------- Steve Manes, Brooklyn, NY http://www.brooklynrowhouse.com
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Obviously we perceive smells very differently.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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clipped

This is getting funny. I don't know what red oak smells like, but the other two are very, very familiar and not at all alike! Jeesh!
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It's a sour odor. Not quite like either of the more "familiar" ones.
The point is, white oak doesn't smell one damn thing like vomit.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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ash mistaken for oak? huh what the......... ash and oak are total different oak has deep grain whereas ash is like virgin wood,blemish free
stop making an ash out of yourself Douggy
dis-sed by a bitch again.........................ouch!
wrote: | >Don Wiss wrote: | > | >From the variety of answers it would seem that it doesn't matter what kind | >of wood it is inasmuch as no one can definitively tell. | | Speak for yourself. I can. It's ash. | | Ash is frequently mistaken for oak, as this thread clearly illustrates. But | oak has unmistakable ray flakes plainly visible in quartersawn grain. The | absence of this figure is absolute proof that the wood in Don's photograph is | unquestionably *not* oak. | | It's ash. | | -- | Regards, | Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com) | | It's time to throw all their damned tea in the harbor again.
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I'd agree about red oak, but white is not so deep grained. Considering the age of the wood, the finish that has darkened, the quality of the photo, I'm not sure that any of us can say for sure what wood it is.
http://www.afpcorp.com/WhiteOakLumber.html http://www.afpcorp.com/WhiteAshLumber.html http://www.righteouswoods.net/ash.html http://www.righteouswoods.net/white_oak.html
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Hello all wood detectives -- A quick first impression is that we may be looking at chestnut, especially if it's from an older house in the northeast.

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Hmmmm... hadn't considered that possibility, and you may be right. I still think it's ash, but I'm less sure of that now than I was previously.
I continue to stand behind my previous statements that it is not any sort of oak.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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