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  • Need help on wood ID

    Here is the story. A good friend of mine works security at a local lumber yard. He saw several 4x4s sticking out from the dumpster and asked if he could have them. The owner said yes and now they are sitting my shop. I usually deal with cedar pine and occasionally some maple. I have no clue what this is. All I know is that it has this black coating on it that gets on everything, its really heavy and that is smells.....well like an pungent acidic earthy smell. (if that makes any sense at all.) This lumber yard gets rail cars full of lumber every day and they cater to contractors.(I dont know if that helps or not) It might be something like a sticker or something for the racks of wood???

    Any ideas guys and gals?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    I have no clue as to what kind of wood it is, but I'd be careful with the black coating. That might be what is giving you the odor. The treatment might be creosote, as it is black, gooey, and aromatic.
    Mtnman Jim

    taking life as it comes and trying to make the best of it

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    • #3
      this looks like red oak to me, however if its heavy and black and smells then it sounds like its been treated like Jim suggested. I would stay away from any treated wood.
      Bill

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      • #4
        I would suggest putting it back in the dumpster......and don't burn it.
        Sometimes FREE is not always good.
        Gloria ............... Two memorable things to say in life, "Hello" for the first time, and "Good-bye" for the last.

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        • #5
          Good advice... be careful and don't burn it. Get rid of it. I also agree it could be red oak (from the 1st pic - the rest look out of focus to me and can't quite tell - don't be offended, last week doctor told me it's time for new eye exam). Creosote is black and has a strong odor. It is also bad and was banded from use in this country about 20 years ago. The railroad use to use it on their ties.
          It's never hot or cold in NH, it's always seasonal!

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          • #6
            ask your buddy,I'll bet he could find out ,if he were really interested,I agree red oak probably shipping strips coated against water for out side storage,till you know for sure what your dealing with pass .M.V.B.Carl
            "Home Of The Dust Free Scroll Saw"
            Remember (IT is WHAT it IS)( Unless YOU change IT!)

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            • #7
              Its oak to. If youve got a planer, and some fairly old planer blades, run them through. I wouldnt do it with a new set of blades though, there could be all sorts of stuff in there to nick up a new blade.The black I can see in the third photo is the same thing you will get when you ebonize your oak.One pass through a planer will remove that. That sure looks like timbers that had a pile of rebar on it. Them are perfect wood, dont just burn them.
              Dale w/ yella saws

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              • #8
                Now Dale... sounds like you nailed it "...timber that had a pile of rebar on it." Oak has a chemical in it that reacts with metal. Often you will see an old dresser or cabinet that has black streaks in it. Over the years, something will have loosened and a quick fix was made with a nail. Before you know it, a black streak will form on the old oak piece. With that, you have a nice piece of oak. Use it well!
                It's never hot or cold in NH, it's always seasonal!

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                • #9
                  Definitely oak my dad would pick those up from the lumber yard plane the outside and stick them in the garage for 1 year to dry and then make furniture out of them.

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                  • #10
                    red oak.it's called dunnage. not necessary to use high quality material for it as a lot of it ends up in the dumpster. however, mills that cut dunnage dont take the time to sort the lumber by grade, so there can be some very awesome wood in it. when i worked in a mill a long time ago, as long as there was no rot, it sold, i have some super curly maple stashed in my shop drying that came form dunnage. i also have some amazing QS red oak from dunnage.

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