Birthday Crate - any guesses on wood species?

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Project by TravistheNewb posted 11-20-2015 05:53 PM 1993 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This crate was a birthday present for my wife. She likes boxes, baskets, etc. so I thought this would be something in that ballpark, but also a little different. This is my first pallet wood project. Pallet wood was interesting to work with- I definitely have different types of wood present in this crate. A few boards are all the same kind of wood, which was so hard it was bending my nails. I ended up pre-drilling holes just to get the nails in. The top board in the first pic is one of those “tougher than nails” boards. I would love to hear people’s guesses on the wood species present in this build. I’m only really familiar with eastern red cedar, mesquite, and bois d’arc (all species in my area in abundance) so I’m not really sure what I’ve got here.

I only sanded to 150 – I figured it wasn’t super important on this build to go any higher…it’s pallet wood after all… and I finished with 2 thin coats of shellac.

Thanks for looking!

10 comments so far

View TiggerWood's profile


271 posts in 2492 days

#1 posted 11-20-2015 07:51 PM

I originally guessed a collage of cedar, pine, and oak but the tough as nails board has me stumped.

View TravistheNewb's profile


68 posts in 1987 days

#2 posted 11-20-2015 08:00 PM

The super tough wood was also producing a lot of tear out when I was planing it. A whole lot. I don’t know anything about maple… is hard maple a possibility?

View TiggerWood's profile


271 posts in 2492 days

#3 posted 11-20-2015 08:41 PM

Maybe Hickory?

View Radu's profile


333 posts in 3929 days

#4 posted 11-20-2015 11:59 PM


View Daruc's profile


460 posts in 2019 days

#5 posted 11-21-2015 12:01 AM

1st pic, the top looks like cherry and the bottom, fir/pine

-- -

View OldGuysRule's profile


130 posts in 1859 days

#6 posted 11-21-2015 09:38 AM

I’ve got a lot of old boards off the old family barn. My Dad cut them with his saw mill years ago. They are Red Oak and not only can you not drive a nail but, they will dull a drill bit in nothing flat if you drill at high speed. And the grain pattern kind of reminds me of those boards. So yes my guess has to be very well seasoned Red Oak. Very hard on saw blades also. I’d say the moisture content in those board is less then 2%. If they drop very much more in moisture content I’ll have rock planks on my hands.

-- Rod P.........OLD GUY......Learning new things!

View PineSucks's profile


283 posts in 1913 days

#7 posted 11-21-2015 10:39 AM

If the reddish board on too was the one giving you the business, I’d be willing to wager that’s hickory heartwood. Smells very sweet when sanding and is often tougher than nails. Heavy/dense as well.

View Billy E's profile

Billy E

162 posts in 2966 days

#8 posted 11-21-2015 11:18 AM

Honey locust?

-- Billy, Florence SC

View Kennethjg's profile


50 posts in 1821 days

#9 posted 11-22-2015 02:29 AM

I work in industrial construction, and our structural steel gets shipped to us on 4×6’s of all kinds. There were some that we tried to use, and first of all, they were heavy as can be, and when we tried to drive nails in there, they’d bend over before they went very deep. Screws would snap, and even a few drill bits broke. I milled some of it up, and it smelled like ash, but it was much more heavy and dense than any ash I’ve ever seen. I showed it to my boss at my other job, and all we could figure was that it was some species of ash. Anyway, that top board looks like it.

There’s a picture of some of it

-- It ain't custom unless you fucked it up.

View KensWoodCrafts's profile


10 posts in 1829 days

#10 posted 11-24-2015 09:13 PM

Looks Like maybe White Oak, commonly used for fence posts.

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