Working with Movingui

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Blog entry by TulsaWoodSmith posted 08-15-2010 06:11 AM 3326 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few weeks ago I posted a wood gloat about some wood I had acquired. The real purpose of the posting was to pick the brains of the LJ’s to see what I really had. I received wonderful input which put me on the trail to information about Curly Movingui.

None who wrote had ever worked with it. There was real interest in finding out about my experiences and impressions when I actually started cutting on it.

I only had about 30 BF, so a huge project was out of the question. The decision was made to make a legal size two-drawer filing cabinet. This piece needed to be eye-catching without being frilly. (I’m not sure how one would make a frilly file cabinet, actually) Due to the placement of this piece in the office setting, really all of the sides will be visible. I decided to do cathedral style panels on the 3 fixed sides.

The side panels are wider than the ends.

I continued the theme on the drawer fronts.

The drawers themselves have a reverse arch and box joint corners.

The finish is 4 coats of poly-semi-gloss with a final sand to 1500 grit.

The top is Obsidian granite which I had fabricated locally.

The full post on this project was done yesterday.
Now my experiences and impressions of this extrordinary wood:
Some of the research indicated that this wood had high silica content, and it would dull cutting tools. Because I was only working with 30BF, I did not detect that. It ripped and cross cut very easily and left a smooth edge. But is so easy to burn.

The planing and jointing process is where the trouble began. This wood chips and gouges with nearly every pass.
To have any success at all, it took tiny bites and held breath. The shaper was really tough. It took 3 passes on the rails and styles and 7 passes on the raised panels.

One of the panels kicked back and shattered, and I put a lovely bevel on my finger!

A lot of blood, but I was lucky this time. (I did get a SAWSTOP ordered however.)

It glues beautifully. It holds pocket screws well. We pre-drill as a matter of course.
It sands easily, which is fortunate since every surface that comes into contact with a cutting tool of any kind, ends up with a 2-day stubble.

The finish brought out the fabulous grain and rich colors. It also brought out the whiskers! So lots of sand paper, time and patience are required. After 4 coats the finish is like glass.

The grain and color are phenominal.
It glues and screws together well.
It seems stable
It is not remarkably heavy or dense.
It is eye-catching and makes a bold build.

The grain makes this wood delicate and touchy to plane, joint and especially shape.
It burns like cigarette paper.
The finishing process is arduous.
This wood is massively expensive, $30 to $40 PBF, if you can find it in quantities.
The saw dust and sanding dust is irritating. Not as bad as cocobolo, but noticable.

I am pleased with the build, but I would not opt to use Movingui for a large project in the future. Ribbon-grain Yellowheart is nearly as attractive, easier to work with and 1/2 the price, and usually abundant.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can answer any questions.

-- TulsaWoodSmith, Tulsa, OK The tools aren't the problem-It's the organic interface!

6 comments so far

View vicrider's profile


183 posts in 4143 days

#1 posted 08-15-2010 06:57 AM

Thanks for sharing, SD,

-- vicrider

View ARTbyGUNTHER's profile


26 posts in 4088 days

#2 posted 08-15-2010 08:05 AM

Yikes! I’m glad you’re alright. The cabinet looks gorgeous by the way; thanks for sharing.

-- Gunther, Marietta GA -- So many worlds, so much to do, so little done, such things to be. -Alfred, Lord Tennyson

View woodpeckerbill's profile


205 posts in 4518 days

#3 posted 08-15-2010 04:16 PM

Michael, Thanks for the info. Man, I am glad you are o.k. It could have been much worse.At least you got a new tool out of it!!

View GregP's profile


154 posts in 4122 days

#4 posted 08-18-2010 08:37 PM

I’m glad to hear you’re alright michael, injuries are never fun. the cabinet came out wonderful.

-- Greg P, Washington State,

View Ivan's profile


17013 posts in 4112 days

#5 posted 08-25-2010 11:20 AM

I see you had a hard time with it.But finally,looks great.Inside drawer is realy goodlooking.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View PASs's profile


605 posts in 4343 days

#6 posted 05-05-2012 04:16 AM

FINALLY, tonight, while clearing some photos off my camera I came across one of curly movingui that I took at Woodcraft a while back.
I did a google search and found that it’s some of the wood I’ve been using from time to time and posting as Indian dontknow.
I get it as dunnage in pieces roughly 2 by 2 1/2 inches and 24 or 36 inches long.

Everything you said is right….planing and jointing are almost impossible….i’ve got to get a better set of planer blades as mine seem to be dulling out and causing even more tearout.

You didn’t mention the smell….I have to wear a full face mask or the smell from the dust makes me sick.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

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