Red Tip Photina wood

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Bob Howell
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Red Tip Photina wood

Post by Bob Howell »

Red tip is a common ornamental hedge shrub around Atlanta. In the early 90's it began suffering from black spot as it is a member of the rose family and a lot died off. 5-6 years ago a friend gave me 5-6 logs from a 30 yr old hedge he cut down on his property. They ran 5-8" round and 6" long. I turned several objects including a carving mallet, because it seemed very dense and close grained. None of the pieces or remaining wood has developed any cracks or warping.
I have seen a lot of interest in local woods for finger boards and this might be a candidate. I finally calculated the density based on the mallet turned 5 years ago. Wt., 600g and vol is 550ml. Moisture content of every thing I have measured around my shop has been 10% over the years.

I will work out the relative density to other woods later when I have time. I will also saw out a finger board blank and observe it for a few months.

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Bob Gramann
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Re: Red Tip Photina wood

Post by Bob Gramann »

What color is it?

Bob Howell
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Re: Red Tip Photina wood

Post by Bob Howell »

light creamy like maple.

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Bob Gramann
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Re: Red Tip Photina wood

Post by Bob Gramann »

Darn, I'd really like a domestic hardwood darker than walnut. I can use Osage Orange for a fingerboard but need something dark for trim.

Bob Howell
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Re: Red Tip Photina wood

Post by Bob Howell »

I'm wondering if it is denser than osage orange

David King
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Re: Red Tip Photina wood

Post by David King »

Bob,
Claro walnut can get pretty dark. What about roasted oak? My local wood place has some that's very deep brown. Whether it can still be bent is another question.
Technically lignum vitae is a domestic wood. You'll need BSI's tropical wood epoxy to glue it.

Bob Howell
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Re: Red Tip Photina wood

Post by Bob Howell »

Just ran calculations and find;


Red Tip---600g/550ml at about 10%mc converts to 1090kg/m cubed or cubic meter.

persimmon-----835kg/cubic meter.

So, red tip is much denser than persimmon and 60% denser than hard maple, as I remember the numbers.

It is a close grained, dense wood that is readily available all around the south and I suspect other areas.

Please check my numbers. I am very distracted today but wanted to get this out there.
Last edited by Bob Howell on Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bob Howell
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Re: Red Tip Photina wood

Post by Bob Howell »

Bob Gramann wrote:Darn, I'd really like a domestic hardwood darker than walnut. I can use Osage Orange for a fingerboard but need something dark for trim.
I have tried some of the old methods of coloring wood like iron in vinegar, and lye and potassium manganite, I think. Anyway, there are many that profoundly change the color. Bog oak is sold from Ireland peat bogs that is almost black. Comes from tannic acid reaction. I have turned cherry deep red in hours with lye.
I have seen the information recently but don't know where.

I have not had luck with black dye. 1/16th " strips soaked for a week in black trans tint water and/or alcohol. Very little color.

Bob Howell
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Re: Red Tip Photina wood

Post by Bob Howell »

Just looked up EIR and it has numbers like persimmon, so density below red tip.

Gordon Bellerose
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Re: Red Tip Photina wood

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

It would help us as potential buyers, if you cut a finger board out of it and wet it to show any grain, took a picture or two.
Not being familiar with this wood makes it a risky buy.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Bob Howell
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Re: Red Tip Photina wood

Post by Bob Howell »

Gordon Bellerose wrote:It would help us as potential buyers, if you cut a finger board out of it and wet it to show any grain, took a picture or two.
Not being familiar with this wood makes it a risky buy.
I will do that soon but you won't find it for sale anywhere. It is something to look out for and experiment with. Hopefully some one will find some in their neighborhood large enough to use and continue the evaluation.

I've had this for 5-6 yrs and have just recently realized this potential use.

Mark Fogleman
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Re: Red Tip Photina wood

Post by Mark Fogleman »

A leaf fungal infection has pretty much wiped out this plant in the southern US. I remember ~10 years ago a North Carolina Ag Extension agent being interviewed on a weekly gardening TV show mentioned that there were two kinds of Red Tip...one was dead and the other was dying. There is a Chinese cultivar resistant to the leaf blight but I have no idea if they have been available long enough to be of a size needed. The wood I have seen was very heavy and spalted but clear sections had a light brown color similar to Apple or Hickory. A google image search should give you a better idea of color and grain. It would be a good option for an Apple substitute or Boxwood if you can tolerate prominent growth rings. You may want to try a gas torch to toast the wood if dye doesn't darken it enough.

David King
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Re: Red Tip Photina wood

Post by David King »

Something tells me this wood is toxic when burnt so be careful on the blowtorch idea.
I was thinking a darker version of boxwood also.

Bob Howell
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Re: Red Tip Photina wood

Post by Bob Howell »

Apple is a good description of my sample. I had a hedge in my backyard but it became infected and lost leaves, became unsightly. So I cut it down in the mid 90's. I thought it might be a substitute for boxwood also. I have turned numerous items of boxwood and have a bit left around. So I cut it up into small pieces and turned several items to compare with how boxwood turned. One was spindles for a chair. It turned fine but not as well as boxwood. However I remember the spindles never warped as I turned them. I first cut out 3/4"x20" blanks and turned them to 5/8" tapered down to 5/16". Never had any warping.

The wood is very bland so I lost interest. Very heavy but bland. Still it is stable. So, shape it into a fingerboard and dye it black. That is my plan.

I think it will be found growing neglected in out of the way corners. It was VERY common through the 1980's. It made a beautiful hedge.

Mark Fogleman
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Re: Red Tip Photina wood

Post by Mark Fogleman »

David King wrote:Something tells me this wood is toxic when burnt so be careful on the blowtorch idea.
I was thinking a darker version of boxwood also.
Some Photinia cultivars have leaves, fruit, seeds and flowers which are dangerous to horses and will synthesize into Hydrogen Cyanide in their digestive system. I see no citations of any toxicity reports related to its wood. It's in the Rosaceae family (Apple, Pear, Cherry, Rose canes, etc). I wouldn't burn the wood inside or breathe any wood smoke but use Cherry and Apple wood in my smoker routinely without any ill effects.

Bob Howell
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Re: Red Tip Photina wood

Post by Bob Howell »

Here is a piece I cut out and wiped with mineral spirits. 8x62x483mm. Weight=200g.

Has some curl. quarter sawn grain.
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Charlie Schultz
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Re: Red Tip Photina wood

Post by Charlie Schultz »

It does look pretty!

Bob Howell
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Re: Red Tip Photina wood

Post by Bob Howell »

I have noticed a lot of old stands of this along Briarcliff Rd in Atlanta Ga. I'm sure it is around elsewhere. Looks a lot like apple wood but is more stable. Member of apple family. Another domestic wood with potential.

Bob Shanklin
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Re: Red Tip Photina wood

Post by Bob Shanklin »

Try fuming it in a closed container with a small dish of ammonia added. It should darken it considerably.

Bob

Bob Howell
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Re: Red Tip Photina wood

Post by Bob Howell »

I had not thought of that, Great idea.

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