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what do you spose these marks are? wood bugs?


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so had to snag some baltic birch for some jigs I'll need for scarf and laminate tapers... and while I was there I fell in love... again.

so this is 13.25" wide soft maple 13/16" 9 foot long.  has a really cool 'rustic' vibe that I think could be exploited.  that said... I'd love to know what these marks are.  at first I though it was fleck but looking at it closer it looks a lot like that ambrosia stuff.  like some sort of path a bug created (whoa... heebie jeebies!)

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41 minutes ago, ScottR said:

Beats me.

:huh:

SR

well... begining to think that it might be from beatlejuice wiping his arse on the wood?  he was very small.

it reminds me a lot of the fad in the 70s/80s to distress furniture.  

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I thought it might be similar to the weird chain link fence figure (my phrase) I had in the last pieces of ash I worked......but I really don't see that much similarity after looking closely.

And I never found out what caused that either.

SR

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2 minutes ago, ScottR said:

You beat me to that!

SR

hehe, the chained link thingy... yeah in some spots this does look a lot like that but in others it looks dark like flek.  def unusual and idk why but it is attractive to me.

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That appears to be more of what I would guess as stress/flex induced with mineral deposits? It runs with the grain of the wood. It looks as though it came from a large limb that moved a lot in the wind. It is not ambrosia stain, otherwise you would find small bug holes and they would be at many different angles. to any surface. Also the color is wrong for ambrosia stains.

juts my 0.02cents worth.

mk

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21 minutes ago, MiKro said:

That appears to be more of what I would guess as stress/flex induced with mineral deposits? It runs with the grain of the wood. It looks as though it came from a large limb that moved a lot in the wind. It is not ambrosia stain, otherwise you would find small bug holes and they would be at many different angles. to any surface. Also the color is wrong for ambrosia stains.

juts my 0.02cents worth.

mk

right on.  I very much appreciate your expertise.  interesting.  there are some bug holes in the live edge part of it... but I suspect there will be some sort of bug holes in 'any' live edge part.  I didn't necc think it was actual ambrosia... as in my experience those marks are not this small... but I thought perhaps/maybe some other bug.  it does look sort of like mineral staining tho so I'm inclined to believe you.  I didn't know that sort of thing could be caused by stress.  very much appreciate the insite.

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22 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

That looks a lot like mutated silver birch, Betula pendula var. carelica, where the brown stripes are actually bark captured inside the wood.

well was just looking at this: (bear claw specifically)

http://hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/_figureandgrainterms.htm

and top left maple example looks pretty close.  that said... I love the idea of it being 'mutated'!!!!  I haven't used birch other than birch plywood... but I was under the impression it was fairly soft by comparrison.  altho this is soft maple... it is quite hard.  i spose that's cause of the figure.

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Birch is pretty hard, much like soft maple. In fact, birch has been called poor man's maple since it looks and behaves so similarly!

The carelian birch is hard and stiff, the grain goes all directions so it won't split. You can't get seeds from one for cultivating, the seeds produce normal birch. The only way to grow them is cloning. Back in the late sixties my parents bought a riverside field with a tiny cabin. They then bought 90 birch plants to fill the open field with. It so happened that they had mixed the plants in the nursery, about half of them were of the carelian variation. So some birches grew long and straight and some grew crooked. Even small branches are valuable as it's very suitable for knife handles and pens which don't require large planks.

 

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Funny, the word 'masur' can't be found in online Eng-Fin dictionaries, but it was in Meänkieli (ancient Finnish used in isolated parts of Scandinavian Lapland)- Finnish dictionary, meaning the same!

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Just now, Bizman62 said:

Funny, the word 'masur' can't be found in online Eng-Fin dictionaries, but it was in Meänkieli (ancient Finnish used in isolated parts of Scandinavian Lapland)- Finnish dictionary, meaning the same!

if you haven't looked at that site (where I heard masur) - pretty interesting.  not exactly in depth but lot of good info there.  they backed up what mikro told me - that indeed stress on a tree can cause little fleck pockets.  had no idea.  

i often wonder about the lengths lumberjacks/mills go to to identify the wood they are sawing.  it is entirely possible that birch would get mixed in but then again... 31.25" - that'd be the biggest american birch tree I ever saw!  idk if it grows bigger by you... but about the biggest it seems to get here is maybe 8 or 9 inches diameter.  then again... it is at least possible in nature that two trees can graft into each other... so who knows.

it is some really interesting looking wood either way.  don't think it'd be a good candidate for dye... but could def see some sort of 'rustic' looking build working well w it.  someday!  got a crap ton of wood - I often have anxiety that I just want to build with so many pieces i have and get them done!

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Just for clarification I'm not saying it's birch. It just looks similar to the stressed carelian birch so there may be something in common in the reason for figuration.

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2 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

Just for clarification I'm not saying it's birch. It just looks similar to the stressed carelian birch so there may be something in common in the reason for figuration.

ah... right on.  makes sense.  carelian birch is caused by stress?

 

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9 hours ago, mistermikev said:

carelian birch is caused by stress?

That's something I'm not too familiar with. As said, it's a mutation that doesn't inherit. The trees don't grow straight up like normal birch trees so it's possible that a mutated plant doesn't stand the normal stress which causes them grow crooked and also causes the anomalies in the grain. It's not a sickness caused by some third party like virus, bacteria or worm. Nor has it anything to do with the place. It's not a sickness, it's a handicap. You could compare that with people: Some just are born special from 'normal' parents.

I've also heard that flames (tiger stripes and such) in wood are caused by stress, According to that theory the sheer weight of the trunk makes the lowest parts crimp like the bellows of an accordeon and when the tree continues growing the figure stabilizes. I've seen similar striping in branches that have been bent because of snow. In those branches the stripes are only on the bottom side where the wood has crimped. That also tells that you can make figured wood by yourself if you force a tree out of its normal growing direction. I've seen a pine tied into a knot while it was growing. It took at least one summer to tie the knot but when I saw the tree after a decade the knot was tight and looked 'natural'. The tree hadn't grown too much after the knot was tied, though, it was only about six feet high and for what I was told it was about four or five feet tall before the tying. -Just recently I read the book "The Sixteen Trees of the Somme' by Lars Mytting (highly recommended!). In the book there was a small forest of birch where a joiner had fastened steel bands around the trunks in order to create some special flaming. Mytting knows something about wood, he also has written a book about firewood.

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that is some interesting stuff.  i looked up some pics of the carelian, beautiful stuff.  as a full tree it's strange.  in wisconsin we have birch everywhere... entire forests of just straight trees.  have never seen a crooked one!

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