Care to share your wood knowledge?

Ask your wood and other materials questions here. Please DO NOT post pictures and ask us to identify your wood, we have found that accurate ID is nearly impossible, and such discussions will be deleted. Thanks.
Jim Hepler
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:15 pm

Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Post by Jim Hepler »

Back to the original question...
I have learned that wood is not plastic. Grain direction and wood movement are real. I've learned what run-out is. There is a pretty great series of videos on youtube by Curtis Buchanan where he builds a Windsor chair starting from logs. Watching that series really drove home for me a better understanding of the structure of wood. He talks a lot about the long wood fibres and why split or riven wood is important to what he does.

I've learned that some woods respond better to planing, and some to scraping, and some to sanding - which I prefer not to do. I don't mean this in a dogmatic way, but for me working wood by hand - planning, scraping, and even sawing, has given me a better understanding of how to approach the various shaping and gluing that goes into building something. I've learned that some woods are a pleasure to plane - walnut, alder, usually cherry, and some - hard curly maple comes to mind - not so much.

I started out with minimal knowledge, and so coming to these basic understandings through direct experience has been tremendously rewarding. I still have a lot to learn, and I've come to appreciate the depth of knowledge and that some people have, and their generosity in sharing that knowledge.

Matthew Lau
Posts: 466
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:03 am

Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Post by Matthew Lau »

I'm glad to see the thread isn't dead.

The stuff that I *don't* know regarding wood could fill a cellar.
I've found some woods work much better with a fancy fox pipe than a hot pipe (or it may be my lack of skill).
Also, most wood dust and oils are potentially toxic.

Thankfully (?), I've only recently started to have a quasi workshop (not really, it's a garage full of crap).
Anyone want a lightbox? I have five.

Anyways....I wish that I knew as much as Al Carruth's pinky.

Michael Lewis
Posts: 1465
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:22 am
Location: Northern California USA
Contact:

Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Post by Michael Lewis »

Matt, get hold of the book "Understanding Wood" by R. Bruce Hoadley.

Stephen Neal Saqui
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:59 am
Location: Challis, Idaho
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Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Post by Stephen Neal Saqui »

I was very interested in the first post...what I thought was the subject of this thread.

You can build good guitars out of #2 pine...with the knots.

You're right, Matthew, the builder is the most important element. Not science.

Matthew Lau
Posts: 466
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:03 am

Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Post by Matthew Lau »

I haven't been on here for a *very* long time.

Thanks for the book post.

Incidentally, I've found it necessary for me to work with fairly good dust collection even with a n95 face mask.
I was rasping a rosewood knife handle for a friend's ayu deba, when I noticed myself sneezing despite using a mask.
15 minutes later, with a centrifuge, some clamps, and a shopvac, I found life much more workable.

The invisible stuff was sneaking through my mask through a less than perfect fit.
The scary thing is that I didn't smell it or even know it until I had a nasty sneezing fit.

I only hazard at what would happen with cocobolo, chechen, or similarly nasty stuff!

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