Anyone ever used pear before?

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Forum topic by marcbousquet posted 11-13-2011 07:21 AM 8969 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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18 posts in 2682 days

11-13-2011 07:21 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

My friend recently lost a large ornamental pear tree in the freak snow storms this past halloween and has it cut up. I’ve been thinking of asking him if I could grab some of the large pieces to resaw for some of the wood, maybe turning into pen blanks. Has anyone ever used wood from a tree like this before?

14 replies so far

View Greg's profile


332 posts in 3141 days

#1 posted 11-13-2011 07:30 AM

Yes, its very hard, prone to cracking while dryings, and heavy. Depending on the species, it is a rather bland looking wood tho it can have nice figuring on accasion, and the color is rather warm toned. Good luck!

-- You don't have a custom made heirloom fly fishing Net?

View Pete Mohr's profile

Pete Mohr

75 posts in 3356 days

#2 posted 11-13-2011 02:51 PM

From David Savage:
“Pear wood is one of the most sensual and satisfying of hardwoods that a furniture maker can encounter. “

Here’s a spoon I carved out of pear.


-- "Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another." -Anatole France

View HerbC's profile


1798 posts in 3127 days

#3 posted 11-13-2011 03:07 PM


Sure looks bland to me… < GRIN >

Beautiful work in a beautiful medium. I really like the lines and forms you released with that one.


I say go for it. It may not be as spectacular as Pete’s piece but you can never know what’s in there unless you open it up.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View ChuckV's profile


3188 posts in 3794 days

#4 posted 11-13-2011 03:25 PM

Three years ago, we lost an ornamental pear tree in the ice storm in Massachusetts. I made a mallet out of one of the branches that I love using.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

11241 posts in 3696 days

#5 posted 11-13-2011 05:11 PM

Turned a smallish box and a tiny goblet from pear when I was in high school.
It was dry and worked easily on the lathe.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4247 days

#6 posted 11-13-2011 05:17 PM

The few times I worked with pear, I really enjoyed it.

I wouldn’t hesitate in using it again.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 2900 days

#7 posted 11-13-2011 05:26 PM

With a grain of salt:
Bradford Pear trees are commonly planted in the mid-atlantic for landscaping purposes. My understanding is that this particular species is rather brittle and difficult to machine (splinters/blow-out). I suppose thats why they always seem to litter the DC area after every weather event. I’d be weary of using it for anything that might take any sort of abuse. Might be fine for pen blanks though.
Of course, whay waste your time harvesting, drying, and turning a ho-hum wood for such a small project? Seems like a few bucks spent on something nicer would be more practical.
But my comments assume that the tree in question is a Bradford and that my assesment of the Bradford is accurate.

View RogerM's profile


799 posts in 2666 days

#8 posted 11-13-2011 06:23 PM

I have worked pear wood from a genuine pear tree (not Bradford) here in South Carolina. I air dried it in my shop for a little over a year and made several boxes with it. As noted above it is very hard but can be sanded and finished very smooth. I found that both water based aniline dyes as well as spirit stains work well on it. I used polyurethane varnish for a final finish followed by past wax rubbed on with 0000 steel wool with good results.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View Sylvain's profile


791 posts in 2767 days

#9 posted 11-18-2011 06:36 PM

Hi everybody.

Before the time where everything becomes made in plastic or aluminium, good quality drawing instruments, rule, tee-square, square were made in pear tree wood (at least here in Europe).

So I suppose it is quite stable and could also be used to make straightedge.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View Tennessee's profile


2895 posts in 2782 days

#10 posted 11-18-2011 08:32 PM

All I know is that pear spoon is really beautiful. Well done!!

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View EPJartisan's profile


1122 posts in 3393 days

#11 posted 11-19-2011 08:43 PM

Ornamental Pear is GREAT for carving!!! I would keep every bit, especially the root stock.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View Byron's profile


92 posts in 2648 days

#12 posted 11-20-2011 07:04 AM

I personally have not worked with pear yet but another student in my program did last year and I can tell you what he was advised before he started and what he found along the way.

Pear is a beautiful wood and is exceptional for carving. The problem with it is bark inclusions. Pear is notoriously known for this. Besides bark inclusions the grain can take finish differently in the same piece of wood. No matter how great the piece looks on the outside it could pop up an inclusion in the middle of the piece your working on. Pear really is a beautiful wood that is great for carving though and bark inclusions could add a little decoration to pen blanks as well.

-- Byron Conn, Woodworking/Furniture Design at Rochester Institute of Technology,

View marcbousquet's profile


18 posts in 2682 days

#13 posted 11-20-2011 07:21 AM

So far I’ve only slab a couple of the pieces up at 1.25” and sealed the ends to try but the wood looks nice. I grabbed most of the pieces I could that were not damaged. Probably won’t be until at least spring if not next fall before I will get to mill it, assuming the moisture content is right but some really wet swamp maple I had cut this april/may dried real nice slabbed up into 1” boards”. Those boards I forgot to seal but the basement has AC and heating for the whole house so it seems to me like a mixture of kiln and air drying. The wood from the pear though was a nice pale yellowish color that I think will come out looking very nice. Shame it was cut into stove length pieces but that’s life. I just put a riser block on my saw and have some maple the storm brough down to trim with the chainsaw before slapping some anchorseal on and get put with the pear to dry, stickered of course.

View Cornductor's profile


208 posts in 2934 days

#14 posted 11-20-2011 07:27 AM

I just bought some pink blossom pear from a new friend of mine in Chico I haven’t seen it yet as its sitting at my inlaws, but the figure is outstanding. Can’t wait to make some boxes out of it.

-- An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Benjamin Franklin

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