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Normally funky smelly oak.................

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Howard M Emerson, Oct 1, 2008.

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  1. Howard M Emerson

    Howard M Emerson New Member

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    ..............was smelling very different yesterday as I was splitting it.

    I've been a woodworker for a very long time, and as far back as I can remember red oak always seems to have this particular funky smell, whether I'm working it kiln dried for cabinetry, or splitting logs.

    However, yesterday, I noticed that it had this smell of some sort of alcohol.............Almost as if it were fermenting. I got the wood, along with a bunch of black locust, on Sunday. It had been cut and stacked this past March if that time frame is meaningful.

    Any clues as to what's going on?

    HE

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  2. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Could just be one of the 'freak of nature' things Howard. Where are you posting from maybe someone else here ran into the same thing.
  3. Howard M Emerson

    Howard M Emerson New Member

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    I'm in Huntington Station, NY on Long Island.

    As a matter of fact we passed by a very large yard on Jericho Tpke yesterday afternoon that sells firewood, wood chips, totem poles, horse riding lessons, etc.

    I was telling my wife, at that moment, about the oak I'd been splitting earlier in the day, and all of a sudden this same smell came wafting through the car!

    Don't you love when that happens?

    :)

    HE
  4. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Pure speculation, but wood sap does contain small amounts of simple sugars and yeast/mold/fungi are naturally floating through the air, so it might not be too far of a stretch to think that something floating through the air has started a colony in/on your wood pile and may be making some trace amounts of alcohol or related type compound.
  5. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    IIRC- I had something very similar with oak staves that stayed wet. I smelled it when removing the bark (making a bow... red oak is not a great bow wood, but it'll do), which made me think it was some fermentation happening in the underbark or the sapwood. Wood in log form piled up in a rainy year- could explain this.
  6. Tfin

    Tfin New Member

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    Never noticed an alcohol smell from red oak myself. I DO however love the smell of freshly cut/split red oak though. Definatley an intoxicating aroma for me!

    I'd slap it on for a cologne if I could figure out how.
  7. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    When I'm forced to wear pants- I keep a fresh cut round stuffed in them. I love the smell, and the gents buy me drinks for some reason.
  8. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

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    I don't understand
  9. Tfin

    Tfin New Member

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    Oak envy. :coolsmirk:
  10. ScottF

    ScottF New Member

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    whats not to understand . He has a giant oak log in his pants because it smells nice and the gents like a man with a giant oak log in his pants so they buy him drinks. Happens all the time.
  11. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Definitely obsessed with pants! :) Just watch where you rub the log...you could get splinters!
  12. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    Hi Howard,
    Wood alcohol is the result of wood fermentation. Wood cut in the spring will have sugars in the sap from starches stored in the roots. Spring is the worst time to cut fresh wood as the sap/moisture content will be highest. Your nose is working fine...Cave2k
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