Who Has Used White Ash

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Blog entry by jim1953 posted 02-20-2010 05:52 AM 9150 reads 1 time favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Iam Going To Make My Daughters Kitchen Cabinets With White Ash But I Have Never Used Ash Before They Say It Looks Like Oak But It Is EasierTo Work With I Need Some Help Thanks

-- Jim, Kentucky

24 comments so far

View Dennis Fletcher's profile

Dennis Fletcher

467 posts in 3559 days

#1 posted 02-20-2010 06:00 AM

I have used it a couple of times. It is very soft and I have never been able to get it to sand down without that little hair like finish.

--, Making design and application one. †

View Luke's profile


545 posts in 3798 days

#2 posted 02-20-2010 06:13 AM

I had the same problem on a hall table that I made. I couldn’t get a really smooth surface no matter how much I sanded. It also had a lot of chip out problems. I cut the tree down and took it to a lumber mill then dried it for about 2 years so it should have been fine but to me…. it was difficult. A lot harder to work than the red oak I just made a rocking chair out of.

-- LAS,

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 3739 days

#3 posted 02-20-2010 07:41 AM

Built some raised panel doors for a guy that does remodels, it does resemble white oak and it seemed to work pretty well, seem to work the same as oak, don’t remember having any problems with it.

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View lumberdog's profile


245 posts in 3772 days

#4 posted 02-20-2010 02:39 PM

I have used it a little bit and found it to work with about the same as oak. take a look at my projects, the frame on the box/coffee table is white ash the top is maple…Jim

-- Lumberdog.. Morley, Michigan

View Dennis Fletcher's profile

Dennis Fletcher

467 posts in 3559 days

#5 posted 02-20-2010 02:43 PM

Why is it, then, if it is like oak, that every time I used it, I found it to be like a softwood? Is there a trick to working with it that I didn’t know? I mean, white ash is a pretty nice, clear wood. I would love to work with it a bit more, but I can never get it to finish nice.

--, Making design and application one. †

View Jesse's profile


66 posts in 3723 days

#6 posted 02-20-2010 02:51 PM

Ash is definitely a “hard” wood. It is used to make baseball bats. I am using it to make my workbench. I find it pretty easy to work, about the same as oak. Hand planes nicely also.

-- Jesse, Hopewell Jct., NY

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3579 days

#7 posted 02-20-2010 03:48 PM

For what it is worth— A few weeks ago I turned a piece of ash to make a lamp. I sanded it progressively with 120, 180, 220, 320, and 400. It never took on the feel and smoothness of anything more than 220. I was wasting my time and my sandpaper with the 320 and 400. If I was working on a flat piece I think I would try to finish it with a scrapper. My intuition tells me that it would work well on this wood.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View lclashley's profile


244 posts in 4619 days

#8 posted 02-20-2010 04:35 PM

I just made my son’s bed out of ash, and found it’s workability similar to red oak. It seemed to sand OK to me, although I don’t sand past 150 if I’m going to apply a topcoat.

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 4410 days

#9 posted 02-20-2010 04:37 PM

I have used quite a bit of ash, I personally like it better than oak since that was thrown out there for comparison. And just for the record on it’s hardness it falls right between red oak and white oak on the Janka scale. RO being 1290, ash is 1320 and WO 1360.

View 4Bennett's profile


8 posts in 3522 days

#10 posted 02-20-2010 05:06 PM

I used it on our last project at work and would say that it is very similar to oak when it comes to workability and hardness.

View trimmer's profile


90 posts in 3946 days

#11 posted 02-20-2010 05:13 PM

I agree with Daren:
It’s one of my favorite woods. Glue’s well and very stable on movement. Stains very well and has very good grain contrast. If using water borne finishes, i would rate Ash to be better then Red oak, with a close second with white oak.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4178 days

#12 posted 02-20-2010 05:17 PM

I have never use Ash, but like the others say its a good wood.

View Dennis Fletcher's profile

Dennis Fletcher

467 posts in 3559 days

#13 posted 02-20-2010 06:10 PM

Oh, my, how embarrassing. I just realized, after looking around my desk, I used Aspen, not Ash. I’m so sorry for the mistake. I don’t know why I thought it was Ash.

The Aspen seems very soft, but I haven’t used Ash.

--, Making design and application one. †

View mahadevwood's profile


415 posts in 3524 days

#14 posted 02-20-2010 08:58 PM

you should try to Canadian ash, its very high grade ash, and good strength, density is really very high of other ash wood

View roaddog's profile


31 posts in 3526 days

#15 posted 02-20-2010 09:29 PM

I used it for a guitar body that’s still sitting in my shop waiting to be assembled. I liked working with it and didn’t encounter any problems. I was able to get a pretty smooth surface. If you find it hard to get rid of the fibers when finish sanding you might try to lightly wet the wood to raise the fibers and then use a brand new piece of sandpaper to cut them cleanly.

-- Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh

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