Can you name this wood please?

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mr dazzler

Native
Aug 28, 2004
1,711
76
uk
Alder is hard, especially when wet but when dry it is light and friable fibred.The fine grain is quite lovely and the colour can be from flesh toned to quite orangey red.
http://homepage.eircom.net/~archaeology/trees.htm

I like the Alders :)

cheers,
Toddy
U must have tough alder trees in scottlland:D , I have carved lots of it the last few weks and its definately soft and carves and cuts like butter even the dry stuff out the fire log pile is still soft, and fresh cut and opened its soft. In fact the ease of carving the stuff was what atracted me to it when I had a few bits from the fire wood pile and asked on here what the species was as I'd heard of alder but never known it before. When its used in docks and so on for pilings, maybe thats when it goes like iron when its permananetly sodden and resists rotting. I was talking to a bloke last week who used 12 foot alder poles to make small jetties on his fihing lakes.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,505
1,629
S. Lanarkshire
Maybe....it's funny stuff though. The crannog piles wear out quite quickly but only where the water levels go up and down. The rest of the post is rock solid. Keep it wet or keep it dry and it's excellent.
Have you tried charcoal with it? If you have some to hand can you give it a go with a firebow or spindle and let us know how you get on?

I'm quite okay to be proven to be wrong, I haven't seen Spamel's timber for myself, but tbh sometimes the discussions and information that comes out of a thread like this one are awfully useful, and what he has said so far ties in with what I find using Alder.

cheers,
Toddy
 

spamel

Banned
Feb 15, 2005
6,833
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Silkstone, Blighty!
good for you spam on getting the job, what is it by the way ?

bernie
Gas meter engineer! It appears I may be working in the Nottingham area as well! Get my own van though! :D

Anyway, as I said before, looking through Collins photographic key to the trees of Britain and Northern Europe (ISBN 9780002198400, just in case you wondered!) strongly points towards Rowan. Any thoughts on that?
 

TheGreenMan

New Member
Feb 17, 2006
1,000
8
beyond the pale
I’m interested in this. Would you be prepared to send me a sample of this piece of wood (with a good sized chunk of the end grain), Spam? I'd reimburse you for the postage.

Best regards,
Paul.
 

spamel

Banned
Feb 15, 2005
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I could do once I've done a course with it. Ant has a bushcraft weekend over on british Blades that i am going on and I will be passing on the small amount of knowledge that I know on differing methods of making fire, so would like to keep it as it is for the time being, but it is over the weekends of 8th and 9th of March, so I can send it to you after that if you like. I'm pretty convinced it is Rowan though and I seem to recall that we took down a Rowan at the Delamere working weekend.
 

robin wood

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Oct 29, 2007
3,054
1
derbyshire
www.robin-wood.co.uk
Interesting that Robin's ruled out Alder
I would not rule it out totaly, we can not see any meduleries in the photos but in order to see them you must have a surface that is very close to the radius, ie closest line from centre of tree to bark. The lower surface on the end grain pic looks like it could be close, is that the surface in the second set of pictures?

Still no idea what the wood is. Got a call earlier on saying I've got the job though! :D
Congratulations!

Wife has just found a tree book she got me a while back. She thinks it may be Rowan. I'm inclined to agree!
Colour would work for rowan and the close texture. One thing that I don't get is if it works well as a hearth board I thought it should be of similar hardness or very slightly softer than the drill (I have only done fire this way a dozen times so correct me if that theory is wrong)
hazel is a soft wood so if this is hard I would expect the drill to be consumed before the board.

I’m interested in this. Would you be prepared to send me a sample of this piece of wood (with a good sized chunk of the end grain), Spam? I'd reimburse you for the postage.


If you really want a positive ID I could get a microscopic ID for you from a small sample (size of a dice) though some species are not possible to tell apart by cell structure, alder and hazel being near identical.
 

spamel

Banned
Feb 15, 2005
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It's the hardness when carving it that puzzles me, although it is obviously well seasoned as it has been indoors for quite some time. I stash wood all over the house, the wife is eternally grateful for me doing this, it brings no end of joy into her life! :rolleyes:
 

TheGreenMan

New Member
Feb 17, 2006
1,000
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beyond the pale
I could do once I've done a course with it. Ant has a bushcraft weekend over on british Blades that i am going on and I will be passing on the small amount of knowledge that I know on differing methods of making fire, so would like to keep it as it is for the time being, but it is over the weekends of 8th and 9th of March, so I can send it to you after that if you like. I'm pretty convinced it is Rowan though and I seem to recall that we took down a Rowan at the Delamere working weekend.
OK, well it’ll be interesting to hear if you get any definitive information at the bushcraft weekend, if not, PM me, and we could take it from there. I’m not saying I could positively ID it, but it might be fun to try.

Congrats on the new job, by the way

...If you really want a positive ID I could get a microscopic ID for you from a small sample (size of a dice)...

That would be nice :)


...though some species are not possible to tell apart by cell structure, alder and hazel being near identical.
Very interesting, Robin, thank you. I was under the impression that the only way to positively ID a species was from the transverse cell structure.

Cheers chaps,
Paul.
 

robin wood

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Oct 29, 2007
3,054
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www.robin-wood.co.uk
I stash wood all over the house, the wife is eternally grateful for me doing this, it brings no end of joy into her life! :rolleyes:
Me too but if I am not careful my really useful bit of oak that I have been drying to make a wedge ends up in the fire.

Now all this just goes to show how important it is to remember where your wood comes from. If anyone shows me a bowl they bought from me 10 years ago I can generally:lmao: tell them exactly where the tree came from, how long it had been down before i worked it, how nice it was to work but I cant remember where I put my van keys 2 minutes ago.... :lmao:
 

Toddy

Mod
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Jan 21, 2005
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When renovating my parent's old house for himself my bother came across my Dad's stash of slowly seasoned walking stick blanks, under the floorboards between the joists in all the upstairs bedrooms :rolleyes:
I got a rather nice sprial carved distaff out of a beautiful piece of blackthorn that had been there for at least twenty years. :D

Usually it's me that's getting moaned at for the stashes of stuff all over the place :eek:
My warcry of, "I'm going to use that ! " seems to only result in long suffering sighs from HWMBLT......and four full sheds :cool:

cheers,
Toddy
 

TheGreenMan

New Member
Feb 17, 2006
1,000
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beyond the pale
It's the hardness when carving it that puzzles me, although it is obviously well seasoned as it has been indoors for quite some time...
This what rules this out as lime wood, for me, and at least with my limited experience. The only lime I've tried shaving (Tilia vulgaris) produces open, corkscrew spirals, which again in my limited experience, is not a sign of a dense hardwood.

Best regards,
Paul.
 

Still Waters

Nomad
Dec 20, 2007
459
0
North yorkshire
Amazing thread and im still learning which tree is which whilst there still stood and living.
However i am aware different woods burn differently and produce different coloured flames i was wondering maybe you could burn a piece of it and that may help?
 

Aaron

Need to contact Admin...
Dec 28, 2003
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Oxford/Gloucs border
Havent really read through the discussion so this might have been suggested already, but it could possibly be Elm Spamel. Although Dutch Elm Disease is still around Elm can grow to around 10-15 years growth, old enough for it to develop thick, textured bark. It is also a dense wood as you mentioned the base board is. Have never tried it as a bow drill wood so its interesting to hear that you are getting on well with it. Anyway just a suggestion without being able to see it better Cheers Aaron.
 

Don Redondo

Forager
Jan 4, 2006
225
3
64
NW Wales
Can't be 100% but it looks a bit like wild plum to me. That end grain looks remarkably similar to a piece of timber from a bullens I felled last autumn, as does the bark and the way the longitudinal split shows up.
 

TheGreenMan

New Member
Feb 17, 2006
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beyond the pale
In case this is of interest or help, this is some plum wood, wouldn’t care to take a guess at which type until later in the year (it was a ‘sucker’ from another tree which will be in leaf and flower later on) In any event, it’s hard stuff:











Best regards,
Paul.
 

spamel

Banned
Feb 15, 2005
6,833
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Silkstone, Blighty!
The heartwood looks too dark for starters, plus I've no idea where I would have found it! I don't collect many different types of wood and only recently got the lime from when I did the bark retting with The Ratbag. I am convinced it isn't that, plus it is too damned hard. I collected Rowan at Middlewood, I'm pretty sure of it. I've found the holly that I definitley collected there and it is like iron! They are gonna get used for Priests. So my money is on it being Rowan. I'll try and get a picture of the wood and the picture in the book up together and you may agree.
 

SOAR

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 21, 2007
2,031
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cheshire
At least your kind of on your way to finding out what it is, it is hard to ID wood, its not plum wood, it could be Rowan, I have never really used it for carving so dont really know about it.