wood with marvelous aroma


I posted this before and got no response so I'm trying again. A while ago I used some wood I salvaged from a crate. It was fairly hard, not terribly heavy, had grain like white oak (very porous), was somewhat greenish in color, and happened to be very curly--a very pretty piece of wood for use in a crate. But when I cut it, the basement filled with this remarkable spicy odor. White oak has a very noticeable and pleasant odor but this wood is positively fantastic. I encountered a small scrap today, made one cut in it, and the same thing happened. I could work with this stuff all day just for the atmospheric effects. Does anybody know what it might be? I know that if you ever smelled it, you would never forget it.
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Camphor? It has a great smell when cut.
-j

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donald girod wrote:

while
not
of
Don it might have been sasafrass. it looks quite a bit like oak but with a very sweet/spicy room filling smell. I used to machine (D2S/D4S) a couple hundred BF of sasafrass once a year for a guy that used it in his craft work. When we were working on it the whole building(10,000+sf) would smell like it
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Sounds like it could be imbuia (AKA Brazilian Walnut). I used some on a jewelry box for my daughter. Wonderful smell... The closest I could come to describing it would be "peppery hashish".
Pix here, the imbuia is the trim:
http://www.balderstone.ca/box/boxclosed.jpg
http://www.balderstone.ca/box/boxopen1.jpg
http://www.balderstone.ca/box/boxopen2.jpg
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sometimes orange water gibbon bucket and plastic." -- Mr. Burrows
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On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 10:00:19 -0800, donald girod wrote

any idea what part of the world the crate was from? catalpa has a spicy aroma and ring porous grain but its pretty soft.
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hemp?
--
Be cool,
Longshot
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Don't know what the wood is, but I am frequently reminded that if I can smell it, then I must be inhaling its dust. I love the smell of freshly worked oak, but given my sensitivities to dust, a strong fragrance is a sign to put my dustmask back on.
That said, let's all know what you've got when you figure it out.
L

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Physiology says you smell chemically. Oils and volatiles from the wood are, of course, more plentifully distributed when you're mashing fibers, but it's not the fibers themselves.
Which is why you can smell through a particulate mask. Masks with charcoal will adsorb the volatiles.
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Take a piece to a local hardwood supply and have them chop it. Maybe they can ID it.
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Also tell them the origins of the crate, if known. Could be some exotic from the hills of Borneo.
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says...

Possibly sycamore. Can you post a photo showing face and edge grain to abpw?
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donald girod wrote:

Hey, thanks for all the suggestions. The crate was from a freezer made in Canada if we are to believe the labels, and the wood was definitely not sycamore (which I have some of, and which is comparatively odorless, and it doesn't look anything like this stuff). It was just ordinary pallet wood, nothing exotic (though these days, god knows where anything comes from--did you all see Doonesbury in yesterday's Sunday paper?)
I like the sassafrass hypothesis--it is exactly as described, the odor fills the room and lasts a long time. However, I just checked it out using google, and the color seems totally wrong (grain is possible though). My piece was definitely greenish, while sassafras is supposed to be brownish.
All I have left is this small stick (still smells great, however), and I don't think I can take a picture of it.
Does anybody have a link to a site with tons of wood sample pictures? I could probably identify it based on appearance if I could see a picture. I have a couple of books but they are not very complete.
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donald girod wrote:

Hmmm. Who makes the freezer? Where does it say made in Canada?
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queried:

http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/archives/forestry/hough /
Have fun finding it. Romeyn Hough's book has a massive collection of samples arranged geographically, but with no apparent logic within each geographical area. You can buy the book at Lee Valley:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&pG220&cat=1,46096,46127&ap=1
I now use the box to hold my scrapers, burnishers, etc.
Luigi Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/humour.html www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/antifaq.html
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Luigi Zanasi writes:

samples arranged geographically, but with no apparent logic within each geographical area. You can buy the book at Lee Valley:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=47220&cat=1,46096,46127...
I now use the box to hold my scrapers, burnishers, etc.<<<
My wife confiscated the box on my copy of Hough. Great book in some ways, reproduction not so great in others (that gold on black printing, fer chrissake).
Check the below site for sassafras:
http://cgi.photobooks.com/scripts/troll.cgi?dbase=hardwood&page=2&pict_id=0000180
Unlike Roy Underhill, I don't consider it my favorite wood, but I surely do like it. Makes fantastic birdhouses, too--durable, among its other qualities.
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donald girod wrote:

Sassafras it is!!
I checked the smell again and it actually does smell like rootbeer! Wonderful. I think my sample is probably just light-colored. I would really like to get hold of some of this lumber, but I don't think it is very common around here (western New York). My tree book shows very limited distribution in this part of the country, more common to the south.
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donald girod wrote:

Yup, that's sassafras. Try Pittsford lumber.
Dave in Fairfax
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donald girod wrote:

while
not
of
I
it,
Sassafrass. It smells a bit like root beer.
The wood has with little chambers with oil in them that open up when you cut, plane, scrape or sand it. The wood is a dead ringer for chestnut, which in turn closely resembles oak.
It is Roy Underhill's favorite wood because of the smell it gives off while it is being worked.
--

FF


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