mystery branch

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  • #124618
    chemical_cake
    Participant

    I picked up a branch from a guy round the corner from me. He said it was walnut, and although I’ve not had walnut before I’m fairly sure that’s not what this is. It’s very fine grained, and creamy all the way through with a little decay. I guess from the size and shape it’s some sort of fruit or ornamental tree wood.

    Any ideas on what it really is? Pics below.

    Thanks, Matt

    Southampton, UK

    #124619
    beran
    Member

    The grain sure looks like walnut to me, but the bark doesn’t. I’m going to say that it is walnut of some kind of species.

    #124621
    Frank Joseph
    Participant

    The sap wood is cream / off white the hart wood is brown can variety from Ltd to dark coffee brown. The bark is rough. . Are there walnut husks on the ground ?
    Frankj.

    In South Jersey the good part of New Jersey, USA.

    #124623
    chemical_cake
    Participant

    @frankj, I never saw the tree, I just picked up the branch and a few old chisels from his garage. I was expecting something in the region of dark brown and was honestly a little disappointed with what I got, which is more like the colour of maple or sycamore. Still, free wood is free wood.



    @beran
    , I had not considered it might be another species in the same genus. It does seems unlikely that you could mistake anything else for a walnut tree if it doesn’t produce walnuts.

    Then again, some ornamental species of pear produce fruit so unrecognisable compared to the commonly eaten fruit that I suspect they could easily be misidentified by a layman, perhaps this guy was just told it was an ornamental walnut and never questioned it.

    The wood is very nice to work with, whatever it is, I think I’m going to use a lot for carving practice.

    Thanks for your suggestions.

    Matt

    Southampton, UK

    #124630
    beran
    Member

    Like Frank said, the sap wood on walnut is a cream color, you don’t get to the dark stuff until the center. The branch doesn’t look big enough to have much dark wood in it. I will go in my wood shop and take a picture of some walnut with sap wood still on it and we will be able to compare it. I will be right back.

    #124632
    beran
    Member

    This is about 1/4 of the walnut that I have in my shop and I had to look pretty hard to find some sap wood. I always try to avoid it.

    I figured I would post this picture and make some of you jealous. Three walnut boards about 17″ wide.

    The final one is a couple of pieces edge glued together with sap wood, but as you can see from the picture the grain pattern is almost exactly the same as your piece.

    #124634
    James Savage
    Participant

    The bark looks like Beech to me, can Beech wood darken with age?
    Beech trees produce nuts which could have been confused for walnuts, although they look nothing like walnuts.

    Jim - Derbyshire.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqF49Zwmzs0

    #124641
    chemical_cake
    Participant

    @beran, I can’t see the photos, don’t know about others.

    It could be all sapwood I suppose, though I’d be surprised. The branch is about 4″ diameter and I count about 15 growth rings in the photo, which as far as I know is more than long enough for the sap-heart transition to have started in most species.

    In this branch there’s slightly lighter, softer wood towards the outside, I’d assumed it was decay but it could be sapwood. It’s barely distinguishable from the rest of the wood.



    @j1mmy
    , the bark reminds me of beech too but I don’t think that’s it.

    I have some stuff I’ve made in beech and I think the colour’s stayed pretty constant.

    Keep the suggestions coming!

    Matt

    Southampton, UK

    #124646
    beran
    Member

    #124928
    jeff100
    Participant

    If that wood came from my part of the world (NW US), I’d suspect it could be Alder.

    #125857
    Joel Finkel
    Participant

    Looks like spalted English Walnut to me. Whatever it is, you might get some nice boxes out of it.

    North side of Chicago. -- "Such a long, long time to be gone; such a short time to be there."

    #125860
    chemical_cake
    Participant

    You know I have started to believe that it might be walnut after all. I have a few books with wood charts in the back, and they all say English growth is much paler than most climates. Couple that with the grain pattern, which other members say matches up, and it looks like I might have to eat my words.

    Matt

    Southampton, UK

    #126283
    Joel Finkel
    Participant

    I find this to be a great resource: http://www.wood-database.com/lumber-identification/hardwoods/english-walnut/

    North side of Chicago. -- "Such a long, long time to be gone; such a short time to be there."

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