Wood ID help, Antique Commode/Wash Stand - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-21-2020, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Wood ID help, Antique Commode/Wash Stand

Hope this is ok to post this, as it's not really woodworking but refinishing. Anyway, I'm restoring this wash stand and am trying to nail down what type of wood it's made out of. At first glance it looks a bit like Oak, but it isn't. It's fairly light, more like the weight of pine.


Full pic after being mostly stripped:
Wood ID help, Antique Commode/Wash Stand-foto_20200215_183352.jpg


Table top, finish removed:
Wood ID help, Antique Commode/Wash Stand-20200131_152754.jpg




The raw, unfinished wood:
Wood ID help, Antique Commode/Wash Stand-20200211_154752.jpg


Wood ID help, Antique Commode/Wash Stand-20200205_155830.jpg


The best I can figure out, is that it is Elm. Either American Elm or Red Elm.
Looked in a wood ID book here's American Elm:


Wood ID help, Antique Commode/Wash Stand-foto_20200212_114132.jpg


Red Elm:
Wood ID help, Antique Commode/Wash Stand-20200212_104817.jpg


I'm leaning towards American Elm as it doesn't look as red as Red Elm. I know it's hard to ID wood from just a few pics. Just curious about what it's made out of. I used this piece as a dresser when I was a kid, so it's got sentimental value. Thanks for any help that can be provided!
Brad
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-21-2020, 03:14 PM
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Ash! That is some loud grain.
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-21-2020, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, it certainly looks like Ash. It just doesn't seen to have the density of Ash. I have some Ash, I'll compare it when I look at it again. And yes it is LOUD grain. It was covered with a muddy lacquer finish to hide all that grain. I'm putting Poly Shades Walnut on it to hide that grain a bit. Thanks for the reply.
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-21-2020, 06:23 PM
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Using Minwax, I have had some issues staining Ash. The wide grain resists taking stain compared to the porous narrow grain. Oak doesn't have this problem.
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-21-2020, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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LilysDad, I believe you win a cookie. Here's a scrap piece of Ash next to the unfinished, inside of the door. I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't even consider that it was Ash! Thank you!

Wood ID help, Antique Commode/Wash Stand-foto_20200221_184143.jpg


I've put some of the finish on the drawers and it's looking OK.(it's still wet,it's a satin finish) The thing is, I use Lacquer Thinner to dissolve the old finish, but some of it stays behind and keeps the wood "sealed". I agree, sanded raw ash doesn't take stain/finish very well.



Wood ID help, Antique Commode/Wash Stand-20200220_164611.jpg
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Last edited by Brad712; 02-21-2020 at 08:35 PM.
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-22-2020, 08:57 AM
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Im thinking sycamore
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-22-2020, 12:35 PM
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Antique Chestnut looks just like that also and is light in weight. I built a hutch out of antique Chestnut about 30 years ago, see photo. It is dark because it has an oil finish.
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-22-2020, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Well shoot, looked at Chesnut, and it could be that too. So I've got in down to either Ash or Chesnut. Here's a pic of American Chesnut. (I see that wormy chesnut is a popular wood right now.)
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-04-2020, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Anyway, here it is finished. I'm going with it being Chesnut. Thanks for the help!
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-04-2020, 08:03 PM
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Looking good! Tell everybody that it's Ashnut.
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