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Aiden CC

Help Identifying Stump

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A recent project involved recycling waste materials and I ended up finding out from my college’s facilities director where they dump all the dead trees that fall on the road out in the woods by my school. On a trip out there a few days ago, I found the stump pictures below with a giant burn on it which I sawed off and later cut up. 310320E3-8E40-4CE6-AFBA-2EB541B04902.jpeg

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You can see where I cut the burl off. This was the only piece of the tree, so not much info to work with. Frankly, I don’t really know what type of wood it is and was wondering if anyone here has any idea. I’m located in eastern MA, if that helps. I can also get some more pictures of the cut up wood if that helps. Thanks for looking!

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Looks like maple or something similar, maybe white oak, but I'm no expert. Who cares what it is, as long as it's purdy :)

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The leaves it's sitting on are red oak, and the bark could be oak.  Do you know how to dry burl without cracking?

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3 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

Do you know how to dry burl without cracking?

Even if Aiden does, I don’t :D. Mind educating me please? Thanks

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Remembering my 12 years living in eastern MA, the most common hardwoods are red Oak, and the beech-birch-maple types. The bark and the leaves pictured are very Oak-like

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1 hour ago, Charles du Preez said:

Even if Aiden does, I don’t :D. Mind educating me please? Thanks

Cut it into blocks a little bigger than you want, boil for a few hours in several changes of water, store on a wire shelf in a cool, dry, airy location until dry, usually one year per inch of thickness.  Of microwave dry after air drying for a few weeks, but that has risks as well.  To microwave dry, weigh the block, then zap it for a minute or two, let cool.  Weigh again. Zap again.  Repeat until no further weight loss.  Too vigorous an application of microwaves may result in fire, so be careful!

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Thanks Alan

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27 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

Cut it into blocks a little bigger than you want, boil for a few hours in several changes of water, store on a wire shelf in a cool, dry, airy location until dry, usually one year per inch of thickness.  Of microwave dry after air drying for a few weeks, but that has risks as well.  To microwave dry, weigh the block, then zap it for a minute or two, let cool.  Weigh again. Zap again.  Repeat until no further weight loss.  Too vigorous an application of microwaves may result in fire, so be careful!

I didn’t know about the boiling! Thanks for the tip. Do you seal the end-grain before the air drying? I’ll likely save the best pieces for a full air dry and some more plain ones to microwave on a few weeks. 

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Some pictures of the wood. Does it look like it could be red oak? The bark looks good, but I think the wood is too light. 

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Hmmm...  yeah, the wood looks a little more maple-ish.  And no, nothing sealed after boiling.  That would lead to mold.  The idea is to get the sap out, leaving only water that will evaporate faster.

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22 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

The idea is to get the sap out, leaving only water that will evaporate faster.

Ah! I was wondering why one would boil them. Makes sense. 

The whole weighing thing is also useful for air drying wood. Its how i personally tell when my hafts and bow staves are ready to be worked. 

Nice pieces, Aiden. Oughta make lovely handles. 

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For some reason the wood and the burl remind me of some chestnut I salvaged decades ago. 

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Aiden, I'm in CT, so our forests are very similar, and I was a lumberjack for several years-- I've cut a lot of oak, and that's definitely not oak. The pores are all wrong. It might be a maple of some kind, but both my significant other (a park ranger/environmental educator) and I both looked at that bark and said "Tulip." The color and grain is right, too. I have no idea if it makes good handles, but apparently Eastern indigenous peoples used to make dugout canoes out of it.

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5 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Hmmm...  yeah, the wood looks a little more maple-ish.  And no, nothing sealed after boiling.  That would lead to mold.  The idea is to get the sap out, leaving only water that will evaporate faster.

Makes sense. I have it boiling now, plan is to change the water a few times and them sticker it to air-dry. I'll probably leave the best pieces to air dry for a good long while and experiment with some smaller ones in the microwave. The log still has a few good burls on it I may go out and cut off later.

1 hour ago, Adam Betts said:

Aiden, I'm in CT, so our forests are very similar, and I was a lumberjack for several years-- I've cut a lot of oak, and that's definitely not oak. The pores are all wrong. It might be a maple of some kind, but both my significant other (a park ranger/environmental educator) and I both looked at that bark and said "Tulip." The color and grain is right, too. I have no idea if it makes good handles, but apparently Eastern indigenous peoples used to make dugout canoes out of it.

I definitely agree that it isn't oak. It looks somewhat maple like, but I looked at some pictures of tulip bark/burl wood and agree it looks more like that. I think The density after it's a bit dryer will be a good way of confirming that. Not sure if I want to try stabilizing it at some point, the wood may be a little soft for handles otherwise.

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I'd bet its hard maple, you don't get that particular mineral streak or heartwood in soft maple or poplar take a close look at the bark. If you see a thin orange strip in the underlayers it's definitely hard maple. In soft maple it will be more reddish. Although it may be too dried out to use that. I usually only see it when it's still "green"

Edited by Zach Wade

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There is what i am talking about when I say orange, if I'd have seen this yesterday I'd have got you a picture of hard maple with mineral streak for your comparison but we're out now. That piece is dried but it hasn't been out in the weather, don't know if that helps at all.

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I would say to stabilize it but I have yet to work with Burl wood or perform stabilization. All the prettiness can cause  weird stresses and unexpected weak spots when there is a change in humidity and or drying. 

Question for you. Is the end grain on the long side? That's how it appears in the pictures but maybe I'm looking at it wrong.

If that's the case definitely stabilize it. That's the side that splits most easily. Think about it this way, when you are cutting firewood which side do you hit with a maul?

Edited by Zach Wade

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I would say it's either Maple or Oak 

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On 4/20/2018 at 2:17 PM, Zach Wade said:

I would say to stabilize it but I have yet to work with Burl wood or perform stabilization. All the prettiness can cause  weird stresses and unexpected weak spots when there is a change in humidity and or drying. 

Question for you. Is the end grain on the long side? That's how it appears in the pictures but maybe I'm looking at it wrong.

If that's the case definitely stabilize it. That's the side that splits most easily. Think about it this way, when you are cutting firewood which side do you hit with a maul?

The end grain is on the shortest sides primarily, although since the grain is so curved, there is a lot of end-grain on the long sides as well. I cut it to make sure the grain would more or less be in line with the length of the handle. Now that some of the water from boiling has dried out, I think it's too light to be maple, though I could be wrong. At the same time, the wood does have that maple-ish look.

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Snagged this for ya Friday. If you look close it has the green mineral streak and some of the odd shaped heartwood that has me convinced it's hard maple. Not the best example but it was the closest example I could find in the scrap pile 

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