What wood is this? Impossible to split....


Got some of this wood in Central NJ (USA) and it just splinters into what looks like shreaded chicken as it splits (on a splitter). Its impossible to split by axe. My neighbor said it was a gum something but he couldn't remember. Its got pine-colored wood and a lightish gray / brown bark, medium roughness.
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I'm willing to bet that you've got a gum tree. I also had some memorable experiences the first time that I tried to bust up some of it so it would fit in the wood stove. A real strong splitter will break it up into manageable chunks, but I wouldn't really call it "splitting". You can also get a rip type blade for your chain saw and cut it into smaller sizes. It burns OK, if you can ever get it small enough to fit the stove.
--
Charley




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Might be catalpa. People carve those into all sorts of outdoor art cause it doesn't split very well.
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Not sure if cottonwood grows in NJ. But is sure as hell all over the North west. You might have a chance of splitting it if it has been down for short time. Once it starts to dry, Dig a hole and bury it.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Gum, eucalyptus - same same? Is it pretty dense stuff? Eucalyptus - most of it - there are over a hundred types as I recall - is resinous and usually quite dense.
charlie b
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Possibly elm? Tom
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Elm splits cleanly, it's just very hard to do it (at least the UK species). If it's leaving "strings" between the pieces when you try to split it, it sounds like something else - and gums certainly do this.
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charlie b wrote:

Possibly sweetgum, liquidamber styraciflua, but more probably is blackgum, Nyssa sylvatica, which is exceptionally difficult to split or nail. Makes good gunstocks, doors, furniture, almost anything where it can be cut. Good looking wood, sort oif a straw yellow/tan. Should be low cost.
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The fact that it is all cross-grain and will not split almost assures that it will have very interesting appearance. Split only to a size that you can handle, then cut it a bandsaw or have it cut by a sawmill. Sticker and dry. Make beautiful jewelry boxes, etc.
Steve
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Sounds like sweetgum. The grain is interwoven. I have tried to split some with wedges--the wedges just bury up in the log. Not much good for firewood IMHO because it pops a lot and hot coals fly everywhere.
--
Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA
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Its not too dense, not as much as maple, but close.
Its does split, but the splitter has to work for it! Thankfully I got a great splitter!
Dean
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More than likely a "Sweet Gum" which is a pest tree any where in the south. Can grow quite large...
http://www.ecusd7.org/ehs/ehsstaff/swible/MyWebs/sweet%20gum.htm
I recall in my youth trying to split gum with a axe. This was a waste of time for me and the axe. You will need explosive devices for any real success.
Fine Woodworking printed a cool article on sweet gum wood a few years back and they actually praised the wood.
The quarter sawn wood is quite pretty.
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wrote:

Gary
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