Smell my Wood...

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Forum topic by DannyBoy posted 03-31-2008 03:49 PM 7259 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 4130 days

03-31-2008 03:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wood humor

Last night I was cutting into some wood that I have never used before (Brazilian Cherry) and I noted that it had a very pleasing smell to it as my hand saw rip through it. It got me to thinking about the smells in my shop (no, not the bad ones). I really enjoy the smell that pulls up in the air as I’m working with wood. Doesn’t really matter what type, but just the smell of sawdust is therapeutic to me. Though, I do have a favorite…

Smell and memory are heavily connected. We remember things by smell better than by sight or sound. Because of this, my favorite smell has to be fresh cut wall stud pine. It makes me think of building my parents house along side my father. Awe memories. A close second would have to be maple, but I don’t really have a memory associated with that.

So, what are you favorite shop smells?

-- He said wood...

30 replies so far

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4139 days

#1 posted 03-31-2008 04:52 PM

Sometimes White Oak smells like honey.

Sometimes Poplar smells like dog doo.

-- -- --

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 4026 days

#2 posted 03-31-2008 05:03 PM

It is a fact that our lungs have over two acres of surface area. This is why any fumes that are dangerous to our health can get into our blood stream very quickly. There are a lot of woods that are toxic, or will aggravate those who have allergies.

With the availability of so many exotic woods today, it is important to have a list of woods and their toxic levels. If you are cutting a type of wood with harm potential, it is a good idea to take the necessary steps to protect yourself.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View JUSToldTLP's profile


7 posts in 3984 days

#3 posted 03-31-2008 05:16 PM

Pine has got to be one of the best smells there is. I think that is cause it is the most widely used wood out there. But my all time favorite is Black Cherry I love to smell it I love to work it I love the look it has I just love Black Cherry. But you are right there is a memory to the smell I get from woods. Thanks for the post it did bring back some fond memories for me.

-- There is nothing in life better than sawdust and suds but don't get your sawdust in your suds

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4227 days

#4 posted 03-31-2008 06:23 PM

People walk into my shop and comment on the smell of leather and wood. Unfortunately those are two smells I can’t pick up much. I wish I could still smell them. My nose sure works over time on smells I’d rather forget.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Earle Wright's profile

Earle Wright

121 posts in 3985 days

#5 posted 03-31-2008 06:26 PM

Walnut’s my favorite.

-- Earle Wright, Lenoir City, Tennessee

View bobdurnell's profile


317 posts in 4162 days

#6 posted 03-31-2008 07:11 PM

I’m a big fan of walnut also. I like white oak, aromatic red cedar, teak, and sugar pine just to name a few.

-- bobdurnell, Santa Ana California.

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4036 posts in 4328 days

#7 posted 03-31-2008 07:31 PM

A topic near and dear to my heart, having blogged a bit about it in my workshop postings: “home of the sense of smell is the Olfactory bulb at the center of the brain above the brainstem, in an area of the brain called the limbic system. There are areas there that are responsible for emotional response to memory, so that there seems to be a sound physiologic association between scent and memory.”

I love the rosewoods, conifers and Spanish cedar, not so fond of ebony (smelly socks).

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 4130 days

#8 posted 03-31-2008 07:44 PM

Great comments so far. I wanted to relate another of my own.

Earlier this year (you may remember this post) I reclaimed part of a maple tree stump and borrowed a chainsaw to cut it to dry-able lengths. After working on it in the cold air one weekend for a couple hours, I came in the house and announced to my wife that I now smell like two of my favorite things: Sawdust and motor oil. <->s how a man should smell!

~Danny Boy

-- He said wood...

View Karson's profile


35157 posts in 4665 days

#9 posted 03-31-2008 08:01 PM

Cherry, Sasafrass, red cedar are some of my favorites

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 4019 days

#10 posted 03-31-2008 08:23 PM

I have to agree with Karson here, I love the smell of Red Cedar and Sassafras. As a kid, living north of Houston, I helped my father clear several acres of land that had a bunch of Sassafras which we cut up for firewood (I would cry now) and loved both the smell of it being cut by the chainsaw and it being burned in the wood stove.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View Toolz's profile


1004 posts in 4007 days

#11 posted 03-31-2008 08:32 PM

Spanish Cedar and Camphor are my favorites. I agree with Tom as to the smell of wood and leather. I started doing leather work years ago just because I loved the smell of leather.

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View dhg's profile


197 posts in 3977 days

#12 posted 03-31-2008 09:04 PM

I vote for walnut, cherry is good also.


-- Talent on Loan from God - Rush Limbaugh

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4253 days

#13 posted 03-31-2008 09:26 PM

Paduck, Cedar, Mahogany = good
Bass, Zebrawood = Bad

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View MountainWood's profile


17 posts in 3980 days

#14 posted 03-31-2008 09:43 PM

Walnut, White Oak, Ponderosa Pine, and Lodgepole = good

Elm = awful (smells like the sheep barn at the County Fair when green)

-- Arnie

View MarkN's profile


28 posts in 3984 days

#15 posted 03-31-2008 10:12 PM

cedar defanantly cedar

-- Mark from Deer Park, Texas

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