identifying mystery wood - ash?
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  1. #1
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    Default identifying mystery wood - ash?

    Greetings all:

    I scrounged some shipping dunnage, hardwood boards, a couple of years ago. I use the wood whenever I need a disposable pc of hardwood. Grain and color wise, the wood looks somewhat like White Oak; but it does not smell like either white or red oak - in fact it has a very minimal smell when cut or planed. Might this be ash? I remember years ago hearing someone saying that ash was the poor man's oak. TIA

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    Close-up picture of endgrain would be useful for ID.

    Regards.

    Mike

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    Ash has a grain similar to oak, but the background is lighter in color, and does not have much smell (very mild and non-irritating). Ash, IMO is a much nicer wood cosmetically, and to work with than red or white oak. It is not brittle and splintery like oak, but is pretty hard, very strong and flexible (chair spindles, baseball bats, tool handles). It ages to an attractive light golden color. There's an asian ash beetle that has been decimating the ash crop up there that they have been trying to contain, ash is something like the 3rd or 4th most important commercial hardwood.

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    You have some species of wood similar to what looks like ash. But the wood is probably from China.
    What might be considered a junk piece of wood on one continent is a prize on another continent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finegrain View Post
    Close-up picture of endgrain would be useful for ID.

    Regards.

    Mike
    Sorry for the delay in responding. Two endview images and one I ran through the planer a while back.


    Sent from my 5049W using Tapatalk

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    car2

    I've planed a few of these boards and (in hindsight, after reading your posting twice I realized that)the wood does not tend to tear out the way oak tends to do when I plane it w/ my small hobby planer.

    I'm well aware of the Emerald Ash Bore, just another Chinese import, I live about 30 mile from ground zero where it first was discovered. My wife and I planted an ash tree just after the reports of the mysterious dying of ash trees. I treat mine yearly and its kept the borer at bay. There is no containment for the borer - its now killing trees beyond the adjoining states and province of Ontario.

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    Looks like ash to me. I was in the wood business.

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    Ash, for sure. Beautiful wood...I'll soon be doing our kitchen cabinets, ash all the way.

    Often, when you cut it and especially if it gets a bit hot, it will smell somewhat like vanilla, a pleasant aroma.

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    A lady was selling a little table at the swap meet. She told me it was oak. I looked carefully at it and told her it was ash. She called her husband over to tell me it was oak. I explained that ash was not an inferior wood. Fell on deaf ears. Once it is stained it is hard to tell the difference.

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    Looks like the stuff I buy as Ash. Locally grown stuff has rings much further apart and thus harder and denser still.
    Oak vs Ash is as simple as oak has a ray if quartered or ray fleck if flatsawn, ash has neither.
    Most people don't care, it's nice oak.

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    It does look like ash. A density check would differentiate it from oak.

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    Thank you all for your replies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwud View Post
    Looks like the stuff I buy as Ash. Locally grown stuff has rings much further apart and thus harder and denser still.
    Oak vs Ash is as simple as oak has a ray if quartered or ray fleck if flatsawn, ash has neither.
    Most people don't care, it's nice oak.
    Ditto on the rays, you can always see them in the end grain of oak, and I can't see them in the pics, so I'd say it's ash. Ash is a nice cabinet wood; looks like oak and easier to work.Not so for structural work as it's not nearly as hard or strong as oak, and has nowhere near the rot resistance of white oak.

    Dennis

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    Its texture appears to be ash. It's like one's I see in my home furniture. Ash is cheaper but very useful too.


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