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Oak smells like POO

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Big Donnie Brasco, May 25, 2013.

  1. Big Donnie Brasco

    Big Donnie Brasco Feeling the Heat

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    I have never split oak before but today I split a full cord with my fiskers!

    I was a bit intimidated by the big rounds versus my tiny splitter but we got it done!! While I was cutting, my neighbor that had been mowing her yard came over and said that she thought she'd run over some dog poop because of the smell! It was the oak! It was nasty smelling inside! About an hour later my wife hollered from INSIDE the house "what is that nasty smell".... it was the OAK!
    I'm not complaining, just curious if this is normal?

    Split about 20 rounds!!... and got the years first SUNBURN !!!

    [​IMG]

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  2. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Yah, there are many threads here on this forum on how fresh split red oak smells, or stinks to some. I think The Overkiller(TM) has posted about it a lot.

    It does not smell like shyte to me, though it can be pungent. It fades in time.
    ScotO likes this.
  3. Big Donnie Brasco

    Big Donnie Brasco Feeling the Heat

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    yea, I wasn't worried about burning it I was just caught off guard by the funkiness! :)
  4. paul bunion

    paul bunion Minister of Fire

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    Dog poop comes to my my nose also. I think pin oak smells the worst. But any of the red oak family definitely can have that funkiness to it.

    I bet it was fun knocking them apart though. So much fun with those big rounds when they split 97% apart and are only held by a few splinters and you can whack them 3 more times into a bunch more pieces before they fall over.
  5. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    White oak I got smells like vinegar.
    I have noticed the poo smell in the wood shop cutting kiln dried red oak lumber
    Big Donnie Brasco likes this.
  6. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Smells like nasty socks to me.
    Big Donnie Brasco likes this.
  7. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    I must have a problem - I love the smell of fresh split (red) oak - I can just sit in the stacks and whiff away! Cheers!
    Shane N, red oak, ansehnlich1 and 4 others like this.
  8. jackatc1

    jackatc1 Burning Hunk

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    I find oak to be a clean natural smell.
    Like scotch it's an acquired taste.
    I like both ;)
    chvymn99, Shane N, red oak and 4 others like this.
  9. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    That Oak smell is like $$$ to me! I happen to love the smell.
    Shane N, Jack Fate, ScotO and 2 others like this.
  10. Big Donnie Brasco

    Big Donnie Brasco Feeling the Heat

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    my back and sunburn tell me that I should have only split HALF a cord !!!
  11. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    A couple of weeks and the stench will be lessened considerably.
  12. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Scotch is oak flavored aged vodka. Seriously, that's what it is. Nothing like a good single malt.
    Shane N, ScotO and jackatc1 like this.
  13. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    I like the smell, too. I wonder whether there's something genetic going on, like with cilantro (which tastes like soap to a significant fraction of the population).
    Seanm, Shane N, ansehnlich1 and 2 others like this.
  14. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Smells like hard work done, to me.
    ScotO likes this.
  15. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    red oak is an acquired smell. First time I ever smelled it, I was gagged out. Now, I don't mind the smell. But I'm also a guy who likes to take a shot of malt vinegar from time to time, I love the taste of that stuff. And IMO, the red oaks we cut around here pretty much smell like malt vinegar!!

    White oak, on the other hand, almost smells heavenly.........kinda a vanilla-ish scent when splitting......
  16. Fifelaker

    Fifelaker Feeling the Heat

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    I have found that Red oak around here has two smells. When fresh green it is a very dog poo when seasoned a bit it has a sweet earthy smell I like.
  17. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    It grew on me and now smells like money in the bank plus the interest/dividend is heat. Smells good when burning.
    I catch a whiff even from the c/s/s stuff that's over 2 years old.
    I lub it.
    Big D, if you did a full cord with the Fiskars, ...:eek:
    Put some spf 30 on so you don't end up with skin cancer.
  18. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Funny... all this chat about red oak. Not much of it around here. In northern Oregon it all Oregon white oak (Q. garryana), which grows from SoCal to BC. In southern Oregon there is also a lot of California black oak (Q. kelloggii), which grows from the other BC (Baja CA) as far north as Eugene, OR. California black oak is actually a type of red oak. The only way to tell the difference between the two (when they are live trees) is that CA black has pointed tipped leaves, and OR white has rounded leaves. Otherwise they get to the same size, grow in the same form and the leaves are the same size and shape. Cutting into them, CA black has a reddish-brown heartwood, and OR white is all white. To me they smell the same when cutting, and I never really noticed any smell other than 'oak', which I like.

    Of course in the Midwest and back east there may be more stinky types of red oaks. CA black oak is related to the other black oaks in the midwest and eastern US. The oak used for aging wines are white oaks. In the US, wines are almost always aged in either French oak or American oak (Q. alba). Wine aged in American oak has a stronger tannin smell and taste to it, and wine aged in French oak is smoother. I talked to a cooperage company in Napa when I was on a trip there and they said that they tried using OR white oak for making wine barrels for several years, but they said that the results were sub-par. The tannin levels are much higher in OR white oak vs. American oak and the tannins do not break down as fast with age and heat treating. That produces a rougher more astringent wine. Some wineries in the PNW are using OR white oak barrels though.

    The most stinky firewood I have aging here is Leyland cypress. Stronger than western red cedar, it has more of a funky vinegar smell to it.
  19. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Can't say I ever minded the smell of oak. It is a strong odor so can be smelled from quite a distance. Every time I cut some it reminds me of when I earned a living in the woods.
    ScotO likes this.
  20. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    Am I crazy? I love that aroma. I can sniff out red oak blindfolded in the dark.
    Sad when it fades away.;lol
  21. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl Minister of Fire

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    Horse pee and poo. In other words, a stable. Luckily it dies down quickly.
  22. bigbarf48

    bigbarf48 Minister of Fire

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    I love the smell of red oak, very vinegar-y. Although pin oak does smell like cat crap to me
  23. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

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    Try white fir...we call it piss fir...stinks to high hell for a while....smell fades after a while
  24. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    It's gotta be genetic 'cuz red oak smells absolutely wonderful to me, in fact, I make a point of taking a big whiff of fresh split stuff from time to time because it smells that good. Weird huh?
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  25. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    I like the smell of red oak too - a few months ago had about 3 cords that I split over the course of a week. Was walking the dogs and realized I could smell it a quarter-mile from the house!
    Backwoods Savage likes this.

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