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Thread: Do you turn wood you cannot identify?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Do you turn wood you cannot identify?

    I found this tree limb laying out on a country road. The area had recently been cleared of all the trees and were hauled away. This limb was mostly rotten but I picked it up and brought it home anyway. Now that I have my new Grizzly band saw I decided to cut into this limb to see what it looked like. About 3/4 of it was still solid wood and looked very pretty. Lots of grain...kind of red-ish looking. I cut some of it up into 1 inch pen blanks. The giant black ants (I hope they were just ants) went everywhere as I cut into it and found cavities where they were living. As I cut this up it got me to thinking....Even if I made something really beautiful from this wood the first thing someone is going to ask is...."What kind of wood is that"? Now I would guess that most of you either know what kind of wood you have or can recognize it by its bark or leaves from the tree. However if you do not know what it is.....do you turn it anyway? Now...my wood may end up being simple oak (by looking at the grain) but I really have no idea.
    So my question is....If you don't know what it is...do you turn it anyway?

    Tom

  2. #2
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    Dec 2008
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    Portland, Oregon
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    The first step to indentifying is Pictures!!
    Jesus was a Woodworker

  3. #3
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    bethel springs TN, but was born and raised in north east PA
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    Tom i belive most of us have turned mystery wood at least ounce or twice.If it's good looking wood i don't care what it is. Go for it, and lets see some pics maybe we'll be able to give you some idea on the species.

  4. #4
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    I could present photos of the wood that I have but that really was not the reason for my post. It was just a question about what you would do if you don't know what kind of wood you have.

    Tom

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Lake City, Florida
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    Some call it dunnowood (dunno what it is), others call it unkwood (unknown)!

    If it' comes out good -- keep it; if not, call it practice and dump it.
    Last edited by Tony Falotico; 09-07-2009 at 11:55 PM.

    Tony, BCE '75

  6. #6
    I think that it is absolutely dangerous to turn wood that you cannot identify-

    My reason is - what if this wood turns out to be the most beautiful wood in the world and wins many prizes in all of the shows that you enter it in and you do not even know it name.

    You will now search for the rest of your life for MORE of this wood and it is beyond your reach -- can you imagine the anguish that your life will be because of this piece found wood from the road? You may even turn to drink to coverup the frustration and loose your job, wife, kids, dogs. You will become homeless and living in hobo camps. All because of this lost limb from the road.
    paul
    Remember the tea kettle - it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it
    still sings!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Falotico View Post
    Some call it dunnowood (dunno what it is), others call it unkwood (unknown)!

    If it' comes out good -- keep it; if not, call it practice and dump it.
    NO-NO... that is definitely FOG (found on ground) wood... we've all turned at least one piece of FOG.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Gallian View Post
    I think that it is absolutely dangerous to turn wood that you cannot identify-

    My reason is - what if this wood turns out to be the most beautiful wood in the world and wins many prizes in all of the shows that you enter it in and you do not even know it name.

    You will now search for the rest of your life for MORE of this wood and it is beyond your reach -- can you imagine the anguish that your life will be because of this piece found wood from the road? You may even turn to drink to coverup the frustration and loose your job, wife, kids, dogs. You will become homeless and living in hobo camps. All because of this lost limb from the road.
    paul


    Paul...this is what I was thinking...now...I don't expect to turn any prize winning pieces anytime soon but this is what got me thinking....what if?

    Chuck...I like the idea of "FOGWOOD". I might have to go with that.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Baugues View Post
    Paul...this is what I was thinking...now...I don't expect to turn any prize winning pieces anytime soon but this is what got me thinking....what if?

    Chuck...I like the idea of "FOGWOOD". I might have to go with that.
    The only problem with identifying it as Fogwood is that the public is ignorant enough about wood. Someone possibly actually think it is a real name. IMHO I think if you identify it, you should think about just saying you don't know.
    Barbara

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Baugues View Post
    ... So my question is....If you don't know what it is...do you turn it anyway?...
    Yes. And as Barbara mentioned, if I don't know what it is, I tell folks I don't know what it is.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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