Funny walnut smell?

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M_Chavez

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Hi All,

I've done a fair amount of work with walnut, American and Euro. It's one of my favourite woods. I love the way it works, the way it looks and, of course, the way it smells when you're cutting it.

A while ago I bought a great-looking piece of supposedly Euro walnut off some bloke on evilbay and I just got to roughing it out this morning. Well, it looks like walnut, works like walnut, but it smells of urine. Seriously.

Has anyone ever experienced this? Should I be worried (fungus infestation perhaps?). Some funky walnut sub-species? Or was this tree just a favourite spot with local dogs competing to mark their territory?

I guess there's nothing wrong with the piece, so I should proceed with it, but I just get confused (& upset) when I put a blade to it and instead of the usual spicy walnut aroma I get a faint smell of p*ss.
 

Phill05

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Who's to say it was dog's marking ?

I used to work on a farm and had a wood store for my oak and I used to get horse urine and leave buckets of the stuff around to colour the oak.
 

niall Y

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Some woods don't seem to have a smell that is consistent I remember joking with the owner of a wood yard where I used to buy my timber, about Elm. Certain pieces, when you cut into them, smelled of 'stewed apples', while others smelled of 'cow sh 1 t' The worst one I used was Paranah pine, which to me, smelled rather unpleasantly of vomit.
 

M_Chavez

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Interesting - I know some woods smell funny (ebony & ovangkol can smell of cheese, and sometimes IRW can smell like farts), and people's perception of smells can be different, e.g. I find doug fir inspiring, while the Mrs goes checking which wean has soiled his pants every time I bring a doug fir piece into the house :ROFLMAO:. But it's the first time I get such an outlier for a wood that usually smells so good that you want to roll up a £50 note and snort the dust.

Anyway, I've resawn the blank. I smell like I've gone for a swim in the aforementioned bucket of horse urine and then rubbed myself all over the workshop :sick:

Hopefully, the smell will be gone by tomorrow.
 

gog64

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I chopped down a “big” holly last year (or the year before, the old memory is not too reliable). The main trunk was about 3 foot diameter and some of the branches are 2 foot or so. Anyway, I turned a gnarly piece Green and it stank really bad. So I was convinced that holly smells bad. I’ve been 1st turning some bits of branch recently and it smells fine. The moral of the (boring) story? It probably a bit rotten and rotten stuff smells bad.

Bonus picture of my lathe after roughing a few bowls:
 

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