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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Know your wood #1-Cherry



Most people only talk about grain at the most superficial level of how it looks. We woodworkers enter the fibres. We tease the cells apart with the chisel's edge and search for weaknesses and strengths in the species. We want to know these intimate details so we can exemplify the strengths and protect the weak from harm. I thought that it might help to give my personal insights into the different woods that I have worked with for almost five decades. Most of them are common enough, but I also want to include the many exotic woods have worked with through the years too.

Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)

I first worked with cherry about 25 years ago in the US and I have worked with it ever since. It is indeed the king of hardwoods for several reasons not the least of which is its quiet, unassuming manner, a pleasing and submissive disposition in the hands of a craftsman and its solid, dependable stability under extreme duress. Perhaps this has much to do with it being a moderately slow growing hardwood that thrives throughout the more temperate zones of Europe and north and south America. The bark is unusual in that it is relatively smooth main body of bark crossed with unusual but highly characteristic feathery flakes and has a copper-beech leaf colour that's quite lovely.

Cherry grows to good proportions and produces large boards to a long length and sizeable width. I usually buy 8' lengths but 10's and 12's are easy to obtain in the USA. Fairly knot free with consistent even grain texture throughout and no noticeable difference between heart and sapwood in terms of density, grain texture, workability etc. Cherry is a moderately hard wood that works extremely well with all hand tools and responding particularly well to all of the edge tools such as handplanes, chisels, spokeshave and scrapers. When fresh cut the heartwood has creamy colour but quickly turns to a wonderful dark honey colour in a matter of weeks. During this colour change period it's important not to leave any item on the finished work for longer than a day or so as the wood will not change in the shielded area until later and you will end up with a light patch silhouetted in the surrounding areas. After a few weeks exposure the surface will change to a wonderful deep honey colour and I think that's what I love about this beautiful fruitwood we call cherry.

Warning! Though Cherry sapwood is equal in consistency with the heartwood, and the sapwood and heartwood look close in colour when first cut, planed, sanded and finished with a wood finish, the heartwood darkens quickly within a short time, but the sapwood on the other hand doesn't. What's more, it never will and the contrast in match between the darkness of the heartwood and the light sapwood can severely impair the way the piece will look later, though it may look fine at first. Best to cut out any sapwood right off the bat, or use it as a secondary wood somewhere less obvious.
 

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Know your wood #1-Cherry



Most people only talk about grain at the most superficial level of how it looks. We woodworkers enter the fibres. We tease the cells apart with the chisel's edge and search for weaknesses and strengths in the species. We want to know these intimate details so we can exemplify the strengths and protect the weak from harm. I thought that it might help to give my personal insights into the different woods that I have worked with for almost five decades. Most of them are common enough, but I also want to include the many exotic woods have worked with through the years too.

Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)

I first worked with cherry about 25 years ago in the US and I have worked with it ever since. It is indeed the king of hardwoods for several reasons not the least of which is its quiet, unassuming manner, a pleasing and submissive disposition in the hands of a craftsman and its solid, dependable stability under extreme duress. Perhaps this has much to do with it being a moderately slow growing hardwood that thrives throughout the more temperate zones of Europe and north and south America. The bark is unusual in that it is relatively smooth main body of bark crossed with unusual but highly characteristic feathery flakes and has a copper-beech leaf colour that's quite lovely.

Cherry grows to good proportions and produces large boards to a long length and sizeable width. I usually buy 8' lengths but 10's and 12's are easy to obtain in the USA. Fairly knot free with consistent even grain texture throughout and no noticeable difference between heart and sapwood in terms of density, grain texture, workability etc. Cherry is a moderately hard wood that works extremely well with all hand tools and responding particularly well to all of the edge tools such as handplanes, chisels, spokeshave and scrapers. When fresh cut the heartwood has creamy colour but quickly turns to a wonderful dark honey colour in a matter of weeks. During this colour change period it's important not to leave any item on the finished work for longer than a day or so as the wood will not change in the shielded area until later and you will end up with a light patch silhouetted in the surrounding areas. After a few weeks exposure the surface will change to a wonderful deep honey colour and I think that's what I love about this beautiful fruitwood we call cherry.

Warning! Though Cherry sapwood is equal in consistency with the heartwood, and the sapwood and heartwood look close in colour when first cut, planed, sanded and finished with a wood finish, the heartwood darkens quickly within a short time, but the sapwood on the other hand doesn't. What's more, it never will and the contrast in match between the darkness of the heartwood and the light sapwood can severely impair the way the piece will look later, though it may look fine at first. Best to cut out any sapwood right off the bat, or use it as a secondary wood somewhere less obvious.
Paul, I really enjoyed reading your comments about Cherry and looking forward to what you have to say about other woods. If you could add some additional photos in the future I think it would be even more interesting, such as: the shape of whole tree, close-up of the bark, close-up of a board, etc. I know this would be a lot of work on your part and I know this is shown in books and on other websites, but it would be a great addition to us here at LumberJocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Know your wood #1-Cherry



Most people only talk about grain at the most superficial level of how it looks. We woodworkers enter the fibres. We tease the cells apart with the chisel's edge and search for weaknesses and strengths in the species. We want to know these intimate details so we can exemplify the strengths and protect the weak from harm. I thought that it might help to give my personal insights into the different woods that I have worked with for almost five decades. Most of them are common enough, but I also want to include the many exotic woods have worked with through the years too.

Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)

I first worked with cherry about 25 years ago in the US and I have worked with it ever since. It is indeed the king of hardwoods for several reasons not the least of which is its quiet, unassuming manner, a pleasing and submissive disposition in the hands of a craftsman and its solid, dependable stability under extreme duress. Perhaps this has much to do with it being a moderately slow growing hardwood that thrives throughout the more temperate zones of Europe and north and south America. The bark is unusual in that it is relatively smooth main body of bark crossed with unusual but highly characteristic feathery flakes and has a copper-beech leaf colour that's quite lovely.

Cherry grows to good proportions and produces large boards to a long length and sizeable width. I usually buy 8' lengths but 10's and 12's are easy to obtain in the USA. Fairly knot free with consistent even grain texture throughout and no noticeable difference between heart and sapwood in terms of density, grain texture, workability etc. Cherry is a moderately hard wood that works extremely well with all hand tools and responding particularly well to all of the edge tools such as handplanes, chisels, spokeshave and scrapers. When fresh cut the heartwood has creamy colour but quickly turns to a wonderful dark honey colour in a matter of weeks. During this colour change period it's important not to leave any item on the finished work for longer than a day or so as the wood will not change in the shielded area until later and you will end up with a light patch silhouetted in the surrounding areas. After a few weeks exposure the surface will change to a wonderful deep honey colour and I think that's what I love about this beautiful fruitwood we call cherry.

Warning! Though Cherry sapwood is equal in consistency with the heartwood, and the sapwood and heartwood look close in colour when first cut, planed, sanded and finished with a wood finish, the heartwood darkens quickly within a short time, but the sapwood on the other hand doesn't. What's more, it never will and the contrast in match between the darkness of the heartwood and the light sapwood can severely impair the way the piece will look later, though it may look fine at first. Best to cut out any sapwood right off the bat, or use it as a secondary wood somewhere less obvious.
Brown Wood Trunk Brickwork Brick


Plant Flower Leaf Fruit Twig


Here is larger cluster of leaves, this year's cherries on the way and also the cherry bark with its typical characteristic color and scale. In a few weeks I will be picking these and of course eating them. The trees have literally hundreds of thousands of cherries on them and it's quite something competing with the birds to get to the ripe ones before they do. They get up so early!
 

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Know your wood #1-Cherry



Most people only talk about grain at the most superficial level of how it looks. We woodworkers enter the fibres. We tease the cells apart with the chisel's edge and search for weaknesses and strengths in the species. We want to know these intimate details so we can exemplify the strengths and protect the weak from harm. I thought that it might help to give my personal insights into the different woods that I have worked with for almost five decades. Most of them are common enough, but I also want to include the many exotic woods have worked with through the years too.

Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)

I first worked with cherry about 25 years ago in the US and I have worked with it ever since. It is indeed the king of hardwoods for several reasons not the least of which is its quiet, unassuming manner, a pleasing and submissive disposition in the hands of a craftsman and its solid, dependable stability under extreme duress. Perhaps this has much to do with it being a moderately slow growing hardwood that thrives throughout the more temperate zones of Europe and north and south America. The bark is unusual in that it is relatively smooth main body of bark crossed with unusual but highly characteristic feathery flakes and has a copper-beech leaf colour that's quite lovely.

Cherry grows to good proportions and produces large boards to a long length and sizeable width. I usually buy 8' lengths but 10's and 12's are easy to obtain in the USA. Fairly knot free with consistent even grain texture throughout and no noticeable difference between heart and sapwood in terms of density, grain texture, workability etc. Cherry is a moderately hard wood that works extremely well with all hand tools and responding particularly well to all of the edge tools such as handplanes, chisels, spokeshave and scrapers. When fresh cut the heartwood has creamy colour but quickly turns to a wonderful dark honey colour in a matter of weeks. During this colour change period it's important not to leave any item on the finished work for longer than a day or so as the wood will not change in the shielded area until later and you will end up with a light patch silhouetted in the surrounding areas. After a few weeks exposure the surface will change to a wonderful deep honey colour and I think that's what I love about this beautiful fruitwood we call cherry.

Warning! Though Cherry sapwood is equal in consistency with the heartwood, and the sapwood and heartwood look close in colour when first cut, planed, sanded and finished with a wood finish, the heartwood darkens quickly within a short time, but the sapwood on the other hand doesn't. What's more, it never will and the contrast in match between the darkness of the heartwood and the light sapwood can severely impair the way the piece will look later, though it may look fine at first. Best to cut out any sapwood right off the bat, or use it as a secondary wood somewhere less obvious.
Great job on this wood. We had a series like this going a couple of years ago.

Not as extensive as this one though

I did the following woods:

Boxwood
Beech
Holly
Swiss pear
Basswood
Mahogany

Also this one: Janka Hardness Scale
 

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Know your wood #1-Cherry



Most people only talk about grain at the most superficial level of how it looks. We woodworkers enter the fibres. We tease the cells apart with the chisel's edge and search for weaknesses and strengths in the species. We want to know these intimate details so we can exemplify the strengths and protect the weak from harm. I thought that it might help to give my personal insights into the different woods that I have worked with for almost five decades. Most of them are common enough, but I also want to include the many exotic woods have worked with through the years too.

Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)

I first worked with cherry about 25 years ago in the US and I have worked with it ever since. It is indeed the king of hardwoods for several reasons not the least of which is its quiet, unassuming manner, a pleasing and submissive disposition in the hands of a craftsman and its solid, dependable stability under extreme duress. Perhaps this has much to do with it being a moderately slow growing hardwood that thrives throughout the more temperate zones of Europe and north and south America. The bark is unusual in that it is relatively smooth main body of bark crossed with unusual but highly characteristic feathery flakes and has a copper-beech leaf colour that's quite lovely.

Cherry grows to good proportions and produces large boards to a long length and sizeable width. I usually buy 8' lengths but 10's and 12's are easy to obtain in the USA. Fairly knot free with consistent even grain texture throughout and no noticeable difference between heart and sapwood in terms of density, grain texture, workability etc. Cherry is a moderately hard wood that works extremely well with all hand tools and responding particularly well to all of the edge tools such as handplanes, chisels, spokeshave and scrapers. When fresh cut the heartwood has creamy colour but quickly turns to a wonderful dark honey colour in a matter of weeks. During this colour change period it's important not to leave any item on the finished work for longer than a day or so as the wood will not change in the shielded area until later and you will end up with a light patch silhouetted in the surrounding areas. After a few weeks exposure the surface will change to a wonderful deep honey colour and I think that's what I love about this beautiful fruitwood we call cherry.

Warning! Though Cherry sapwood is equal in consistency with the heartwood, and the sapwood and heartwood look close in colour when first cut, planed, sanded and finished with a wood finish, the heartwood darkens quickly within a short time, but the sapwood on the other hand doesn't. What's more, it never will and the contrast in match between the darkness of the heartwood and the light sapwood can severely impair the way the piece will look later, though it may look fine at first. Best to cut out any sapwood right off the bat, or use it as a secondary wood somewhere less obvious.
What a great resource. I'm not talking about just this one blog either, but our new member Paul with all his knowledge. Welcome, and thanks for sharing Paul. All of Gary's wood blogs in one spot too means I have to favorite this for a little more study.
 

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Know your wood #1-Cherry



Most people only talk about grain at the most superficial level of how it looks. We woodworkers enter the fibres. We tease the cells apart with the chisel's edge and search for weaknesses and strengths in the species. We want to know these intimate details so we can exemplify the strengths and protect the weak from harm. I thought that it might help to give my personal insights into the different woods that I have worked with for almost five decades. Most of them are common enough, but I also want to include the many exotic woods have worked with through the years too.

Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)

I first worked with cherry about 25 years ago in the US and I have worked with it ever since. It is indeed the king of hardwoods for several reasons not the least of which is its quiet, unassuming manner, a pleasing and submissive disposition in the hands of a craftsman and its solid, dependable stability under extreme duress. Perhaps this has much to do with it being a moderately slow growing hardwood that thrives throughout the more temperate zones of Europe and north and south America. The bark is unusual in that it is relatively smooth main body of bark crossed with unusual but highly characteristic feathery flakes and has a copper-beech leaf colour that's quite lovely.

Cherry grows to good proportions and produces large boards to a long length and sizeable width. I usually buy 8' lengths but 10's and 12's are easy to obtain in the USA. Fairly knot free with consistent even grain texture throughout and no noticeable difference between heart and sapwood in terms of density, grain texture, workability etc. Cherry is a moderately hard wood that works extremely well with all hand tools and responding particularly well to all of the edge tools such as handplanes, chisels, spokeshave and scrapers. When fresh cut the heartwood has creamy colour but quickly turns to a wonderful dark honey colour in a matter of weeks. During this colour change period it's important not to leave any item on the finished work for longer than a day or so as the wood will not change in the shielded area until later and you will end up with a light patch silhouetted in the surrounding areas. After a few weeks exposure the surface will change to a wonderful deep honey colour and I think that's what I love about this beautiful fruitwood we call cherry.

Warning! Though Cherry sapwood is equal in consistency with the heartwood, and the sapwood and heartwood look close in colour when first cut, planed, sanded and finished with a wood finish, the heartwood darkens quickly within a short time, but the sapwood on the other hand doesn't. What's more, it never will and the contrast in match between the darkness of the heartwood and the light sapwood can severely impair the way the piece will look later, though it may look fine at first. Best to cut out any sapwood right off the bat, or use it as a secondary wood somewhere less obvious.
great series… and thanks, GaryK, for the addition of the past postings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Know your wood #2-Beech



Beech trees grow abundantly throughout the temperate zones of Europe, Asia and North America. The wood is of very even denseness throughout the grain because of its relatively small pores evenly distributed through both the early and late growth of each growth cycle (annual ring). My first mallet was made from beech and most mallets for three hundred years would have come from the beech tree. Though that is the case, and beech is a hard wood, I find beech just a little too soft for making mallets of enduring quality from and so, in my view, mallets of beech have a limited lifespan. Probably fifteen years for me.



Entering the surface fibres of beech relies on a sharp cutting edge and the wood's even denseness means that penetration requires greater pressure than say oak or cherry. Though common enough, beech is not so commonly stocked as other hardwoods in the US. In Europe it's much more common and I find it available in many small lumber companies.

Beech leaves against the smooth silver grey of the beech tree trunk



The mature (heart) wood has a usual light brown to pinkish American red-oak colour and also characteristic surface ray fleck pattern that passes throughout the wood on most faces. These highly distinctive rays pass from the pith to the outer cambium as with the sycamore and maple woods.

Beech handled saw



Beech is a member of the nut family and has celebrated success from centuries of tool handle making for saws, planes, hammers, axes and chisels and much more. Walking through the woodlands of beech I find beechnut casings cover the woodland floor within the dripline of each tree: hazel nuts, though bitter, are a favourite food of squirrels and so beech woods host abundant levels of squirrels.

I first laid my hands on beech when I turned my first piece on the lathe when I was 13. It was a hefty rolling pin.

Early-growth beechnuts




Beech trees grow to huge sizes and 4′ diameters are not uncommon.

A beech marking gauge




I think its greatest success was as the plane wood used in the manufacture of millions upon millions of bench planes and moulding planes both in Britain and the USA.



In the manufacture of wooden planes and spokeshaves, beechwood knows no equal. It resists wear by its innate resistant qualities that far surpass harder woods and so planes lasted well.

Beech is a stable almost textureless wood that distorts minimally, even with weather changes, though no wood is exempt from some measure of distortion. It's an easy wood to work whether by machine or hand tool method, though often prone to tear for no apparent reason. I like to work beech, it responds well in general to hand planes and scrapers and also sands well.

A beech, screw-stem plough plane-one I still use

Fully grown beech tree




These are my thoughts from working with beech and seeing the work wrought in it by craftsmen of old. Here at the woodworking school we use a variety of domestic European hardwoods using hand tools. I don't think beech to be an attractive wood: It has no swirling grain and very little variation. Stain makes little difference to its colourless character, but its silent and hidden strengths have stood the test of time for craftsmen for millennia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Know your wood #2-Beech



Beech trees grow abundantly throughout the temperate zones of Europe, Asia and North America. The wood is of very even denseness throughout the grain because of its relatively small pores evenly distributed through both the early and late growth of each growth cycle (annual ring). My first mallet was made from beech and most mallets for three hundred years would have come from the beech tree. Though that is the case, and beech is a hard wood, I find beech just a little too soft for making mallets of enduring quality from and so, in my view, mallets of beech have a limited lifespan. Probably fifteen years for me.



Entering the surface fibres of beech relies on a sharp cutting edge and the wood's even denseness means that penetration requires greater pressure than say oak or cherry. Though common enough, beech is not so commonly stocked as other hardwoods in the US. In Europe it's much more common and I find it available in many small lumber companies.

Beech leaves against the smooth silver grey of the beech tree trunk



The mature (heart) wood has a usual light brown to pinkish American red-oak colour and also characteristic surface ray fleck pattern that passes throughout the wood on most faces. These highly distinctive rays pass from the pith to the outer cambium as with the sycamore and maple woods.

Beech handled saw



Beech is a member of the nut family and has celebrated success from centuries of tool handle making for saws, planes, hammers, axes and chisels and much more. Walking through the woodlands of beech I find beechnut casings cover the woodland floor within the dripline of each tree: hazel nuts, though bitter, are a favourite food of squirrels and so beech woods host abundant levels of squirrels.

I first laid my hands on beech when I turned my first piece on the lathe when I was 13. It was a hefty rolling pin.

Early-growth beechnuts




Beech trees grow to huge sizes and 4′ diameters are not uncommon.

A beech marking gauge




I think its greatest success was as the plane wood used in the manufacture of millions upon millions of bench planes and moulding planes both in Britain and the USA.



In the manufacture of wooden planes and spokeshaves, beechwood knows no equal. It resists wear by its innate resistant qualities that far surpass harder woods and so planes lasted well.

Beech is a stable almost textureless wood that distorts minimally, even with weather changes, though no wood is exempt from some measure of distortion. It's an easy wood to work whether by machine or hand tool method, though often prone to tear for no apparent reason. I like to work beech, it responds well in general to hand planes and scrapers and also sands well.

A beech, screw-stem plough plane-one I still use

Fully grown beech tree




These are my thoughts from working with beech and seeing the work wrought in it by craftsmen of old. Here at the woodworking school we use a variety of domestic European hardwoods using hand tools. I don't think beech to be an attractive wood: It has no swirling grain and very little variation. Stain makes little difference to its colourless character, but its silent and hidden strengths have stood the test of time for craftsmen for millennia.
Just had a couple from Switzerland came by the workshop and wanted to know if I would make two of these garden benches I made last year. They asked if I could box them and ship them to Switzerland.Thought maybe I should deliver them by hand! Spring in Switzerland sounds nice.
Flower Plant Sky Outdoor bench Building
 

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Know your wood #2-Beech



Beech trees grow abundantly throughout the temperate zones of Europe, Asia and North America. The wood is of very even denseness throughout the grain because of its relatively small pores evenly distributed through both the early and late growth of each growth cycle (annual ring). My first mallet was made from beech and most mallets for three hundred years would have come from the beech tree. Though that is the case, and beech is a hard wood, I find beech just a little too soft for making mallets of enduring quality from and so, in my view, mallets of beech have a limited lifespan. Probably fifteen years for me.



Entering the surface fibres of beech relies on a sharp cutting edge and the wood's even denseness means that penetration requires greater pressure than say oak or cherry. Though common enough, beech is not so commonly stocked as other hardwoods in the US. In Europe it's much more common and I find it available in many small lumber companies.

Beech leaves against the smooth silver grey of the beech tree trunk



The mature (heart) wood has a usual light brown to pinkish American red-oak colour and also characteristic surface ray fleck pattern that passes throughout the wood on most faces. These highly distinctive rays pass from the pith to the outer cambium as with the sycamore and maple woods.

Beech handled saw



Beech is a member of the nut family and has celebrated success from centuries of tool handle making for saws, planes, hammers, axes and chisels and much more. Walking through the woodlands of beech I find beechnut casings cover the woodland floor within the dripline of each tree: hazel nuts, though bitter, are a favourite food of squirrels and so beech woods host abundant levels of squirrels.

I first laid my hands on beech when I turned my first piece on the lathe when I was 13. It was a hefty rolling pin.

Early-growth beechnuts




Beech trees grow to huge sizes and 4′ diameters are not uncommon.

A beech marking gauge




I think its greatest success was as the plane wood used in the manufacture of millions upon millions of bench planes and moulding planes both in Britain and the USA.



In the manufacture of wooden planes and spokeshaves, beechwood knows no equal. It resists wear by its innate resistant qualities that far surpass harder woods and so planes lasted well.

Beech is a stable almost textureless wood that distorts minimally, even with weather changes, though no wood is exempt from some measure of distortion. It's an easy wood to work whether by machine or hand tool method, though often prone to tear for no apparent reason. I like to work beech, it responds well in general to hand planes and scrapers and also sands well.

A beech, screw-stem plough plane-one I still use

Fully grown beech tree




These are my thoughts from working with beech and seeing the work wrought in it by craftsmen of old. Here at the woodworking school we use a variety of domestic European hardwoods using hand tools. I don't think beech to be an attractive wood: It has no swirling grain and very little variation. Stain makes little difference to its colourless character, but its silent and hidden strengths have stood the test of time for craftsmen for millennia.
Great info….great subject. I have several pieces of beech wood to use in repairing handles and plane bodies. It is a good wood for anything needing durability as you discuss….and it is mostly a non figured wood with little beauty in natural form….I consider it a paintable hardwood….which is almost blasphemy to woodworkers.

Switzerland in the spring….that sounds wonderful….where I am in CA…USA…springtime is fading….the fruit trees have finished blooming….but the wild flowers are still out in abundance….this is truly the time of renewal for this part of the planet.
 

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Know your wood #2-Beech



Beech trees grow abundantly throughout the temperate zones of Europe, Asia and North America. The wood is of very even denseness throughout the grain because of its relatively small pores evenly distributed through both the early and late growth of each growth cycle (annual ring). My first mallet was made from beech and most mallets for three hundred years would have come from the beech tree. Though that is the case, and beech is a hard wood, I find beech just a little too soft for making mallets of enduring quality from and so, in my view, mallets of beech have a limited lifespan. Probably fifteen years for me.



Entering the surface fibres of beech relies on a sharp cutting edge and the wood's even denseness means that penetration requires greater pressure than say oak or cherry. Though common enough, beech is not so commonly stocked as other hardwoods in the US. In Europe it's much more common and I find it available in many small lumber companies.

Beech leaves against the smooth silver grey of the beech tree trunk



The mature (heart) wood has a usual light brown to pinkish American red-oak colour and also characteristic surface ray fleck pattern that passes throughout the wood on most faces. These highly distinctive rays pass from the pith to the outer cambium as with the sycamore and maple woods.

Beech handled saw



Beech is a member of the nut family and has celebrated success from centuries of tool handle making for saws, planes, hammers, axes and chisels and much more. Walking through the woodlands of beech I find beechnut casings cover the woodland floor within the dripline of each tree: hazel nuts, though bitter, are a favourite food of squirrels and so beech woods host abundant levels of squirrels.

I first laid my hands on beech when I turned my first piece on the lathe when I was 13. It was a hefty rolling pin.

Early-growth beechnuts




Beech trees grow to huge sizes and 4′ diameters are not uncommon.

A beech marking gauge




I think its greatest success was as the plane wood used in the manufacture of millions upon millions of bench planes and moulding planes both in Britain and the USA.



In the manufacture of wooden planes and spokeshaves, beechwood knows no equal. It resists wear by its innate resistant qualities that far surpass harder woods and so planes lasted well.

Beech is a stable almost textureless wood that distorts minimally, even with weather changes, though no wood is exempt from some measure of distortion. It's an easy wood to work whether by machine or hand tool method, though often prone to tear for no apparent reason. I like to work beech, it responds well in general to hand planes and scrapers and also sands well.

A beech, screw-stem plough plane-one I still use

Fully grown beech tree




These are my thoughts from working with beech and seeing the work wrought in it by craftsmen of old. Here at the woodworking school we use a variety of domestic European hardwoods using hand tools. I don't think beech to be an attractive wood: It has no swirling grain and very little variation. Stain makes little difference to its colourless character, but its silent and hidden strengths have stood the test of time for craftsmen for millennia.
I managed to get a trailer load of Beech off cuts from a builders site, 6×2, 8×2, 4×2's etc, dont know what part they played in the scheme of things, but these pieces turn beautifully, & can be taken to a real thin wall thickness. I have found they come up best if sealed first with general sealer or schellac, then spray with what ever your fancy
This was an imported timber, as opposed to one of our own NZ native Beeches
We have several varities in NZ, Silver Beech, Hard Beech, Red Beech, Black Beech & Mountain Beech. Our Sth Island is very heavily forested in beech. The Red beech is one of the most beautifull timbers to work & finish, as the name suggests to has a great colour.
Our varieties are from the "northofagus" Genus as opposed to the Northern Hemespher's "fagus" Genus.
I grew up as a Country kid on the West Coast of the Sth Island (NZ) with a forrest of Beech down to our back boundry fence, these are a truly magnificent species. (unfortunately now retired in the middle of a large ciy at the top of NZ)
You have bought back plesant boyhood memories raising this subject :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Know your wood #3-Oak



Oak leaves have a unique and distinctive leaf shape

Oak trees grow on each of the five continents and cultures at every level have relied on the wood and acorn, the tannic acid and the bark throughout the millennia. Great ships with oak bows and rudders crisscrossed the globe.



Massive barns and manorial homes came from the stems and crooks of full-grown oaks in every county. It would be impossible to catalogue the provision we have from the ancestry of the common oak.



Oak works well as both primary and secondary wood


I don't know that I would describe oak so much as a lovely wood, as I might cherry or black walnut perhaps, but oak stands alone in its own identity as a strong, resilient, durable, stout wood. That done, I have made hundreds of pieces from red and white oak throughout the years. Both have similar characteristics and work as well with hand tools as they do with machines. Much furniture in the castle at Penrhyn is made from oak and so too the doors, casings and panelled walls.





With these oak stiles I will form new doors at Penrhyn Castle

Oak is quite stable when seasoned well and especially when using quartersawn oak where the grain exudes an unpredictable yet often spectacular array of grain configurations beyond the range of any other wood.

I first used oak in my mid teens when I learned to work with its rebellious, stubborn streaks to discover an inner beauty of structure only a craftsman working its fibres can. Machinists know nothing of what I speak for they merely lift the wood and feed the machine. They miss the medullary rays beneath the chisels edge and the planes levelling swipe. They have never traced their hands over the smoothed wood after the plane's work.



Oak cutting boards, spoons and spatulas are some of my favorite things for the kitchen as are bookshelves and tables in the living room.



Here are the intersecting oak rails of a cabinet I made last year

The wood is densely heavy and ideal for a wide range of household projects as well as timber framed buildings. In the UK American-grown oak sells for three times its US price whereas European oak adds another 25% premium to the lesser quality US grades.
 

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Know your wood #3-Oak



Oak leaves have a unique and distinctive leaf shape

Oak trees grow on each of the five continents and cultures at every level have relied on the wood and acorn, the tannic acid and the bark throughout the millennia. Great ships with oak bows and rudders crisscrossed the globe.



Massive barns and manorial homes came from the stems and crooks of full-grown oaks in every county. It would be impossible to catalogue the provision we have from the ancestry of the common oak.



Oak works well as both primary and secondary wood


I don't know that I would describe oak so much as a lovely wood, as I might cherry or black walnut perhaps, but oak stands alone in its own identity as a strong, resilient, durable, stout wood. That done, I have made hundreds of pieces from red and white oak throughout the years. Both have similar characteristics and work as well with hand tools as they do with machines. Much furniture in the castle at Penrhyn is made from oak and so too the doors, casings and panelled walls.





With these oak stiles I will form new doors at Penrhyn Castle

Oak is quite stable when seasoned well and especially when using quartersawn oak where the grain exudes an unpredictable yet often spectacular array of grain configurations beyond the range of any other wood.

I first used oak in my mid teens when I learned to work with its rebellious, stubborn streaks to discover an inner beauty of structure only a craftsman working its fibres can. Machinists know nothing of what I speak for they merely lift the wood and feed the machine. They miss the medullary rays beneath the chisels edge and the planes levelling swipe. They have never traced their hands over the smoothed wood after the plane's work.



Oak cutting boards, spoons and spatulas are some of my favorite things for the kitchen as are bookshelves and tables in the living room.



Here are the intersecting oak rails of a cabinet I made last year

The wood is densely heavy and ideal for a wide range of household projects as well as timber framed buildings. In the UK American-grown oak sells for three times its US price whereas European oak adds another 25% premium to the lesser quality US grades.
Paul, you have shown some lovely examples as to the versatility of this magnificent timber, we sometimes take for granted natures wonderful gifts available for our use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Know your wood #3-Oak



Oak leaves have a unique and distinctive leaf shape

Oak trees grow on each of the five continents and cultures at every level have relied on the wood and acorn, the tannic acid and the bark throughout the millennia. Great ships with oak bows and rudders crisscrossed the globe.



Massive barns and manorial homes came from the stems and crooks of full-grown oaks in every county. It would be impossible to catalogue the provision we have from the ancestry of the common oak.



Oak works well as both primary and secondary wood


I don't know that I would describe oak so much as a lovely wood, as I might cherry or black walnut perhaps, but oak stands alone in its own identity as a strong, resilient, durable, stout wood. That done, I have made hundreds of pieces from red and white oak throughout the years. Both have similar characteristics and work as well with hand tools as they do with machines. Much furniture in the castle at Penrhyn is made from oak and so too the doors, casings and panelled walls.





With these oak stiles I will form new doors at Penrhyn Castle

Oak is quite stable when seasoned well and especially when using quartersawn oak where the grain exudes an unpredictable yet often spectacular array of grain configurations beyond the range of any other wood.

I first used oak in my mid teens when I learned to work with its rebellious, stubborn streaks to discover an inner beauty of structure only a craftsman working its fibres can. Machinists know nothing of what I speak for they merely lift the wood and feed the machine. They miss the medullary rays beneath the chisels edge and the planes levelling swipe. They have never traced their hands over the smoothed wood after the plane's work.



Oak cutting boards, spoons and spatulas are some of my favorite things for the kitchen as are bookshelves and tables in the living room.



Here are the intersecting oak rails of a cabinet I made last year

The wood is densely heavy and ideal for a wide range of household projects as well as timber framed buildings. In the UK American-grown oak sells for three times its US price whereas European oak adds another 25% premium to the lesser quality US grades.
I agree. Guilty! I think we undervalue many woods. I am currently working on pines, spruces and firs. I think we have high disregard for these incredible woods.
Chair Wood Natural material Hardwood Wood stain

Here is an oak rocker I made from red oak and coloured with a spirit dye before topcoating with a satin waterborne finish. I think it makes a nice piece of furniture both historically and today as it follows aspects of the Craftsman-style furniture around the turn of the 18-19th century. The table in the above post is a Thomas Hopper design from the mid 1800's. I see this piece often here in my Penrhyn Castle workshop and it's part of the massive collection in the museum. The column legs correspond to reflect features of the castle itself.
 

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Know your wood #3-Oak



Oak leaves have a unique and distinctive leaf shape

Oak trees grow on each of the five continents and cultures at every level have relied on the wood and acorn, the tannic acid and the bark throughout the millennia. Great ships with oak bows and rudders crisscrossed the globe.



Massive barns and manorial homes came from the stems and crooks of full-grown oaks in every county. It would be impossible to catalogue the provision we have from the ancestry of the common oak.



Oak works well as both primary and secondary wood


I don't know that I would describe oak so much as a lovely wood, as I might cherry or black walnut perhaps, but oak stands alone in its own identity as a strong, resilient, durable, stout wood. That done, I have made hundreds of pieces from red and white oak throughout the years. Both have similar characteristics and work as well with hand tools as they do with machines. Much furniture in the castle at Penrhyn is made from oak and so too the doors, casings and panelled walls.





With these oak stiles I will form new doors at Penrhyn Castle

Oak is quite stable when seasoned well and especially when using quartersawn oak where the grain exudes an unpredictable yet often spectacular array of grain configurations beyond the range of any other wood.

I first used oak in my mid teens when I learned to work with its rebellious, stubborn streaks to discover an inner beauty of structure only a craftsman working its fibres can. Machinists know nothing of what I speak for they merely lift the wood and feed the machine. They miss the medullary rays beneath the chisels edge and the planes levelling swipe. They have never traced their hands over the smoothed wood after the plane's work.



Oak cutting boards, spoons and spatulas are some of my favorite things for the kitchen as are bookshelves and tables in the living room.



Here are the intersecting oak rails of a cabinet I made last year

The wood is densely heavy and ideal for a wide range of household projects as well as timber framed buildings. In the UK American-grown oak sells for three times its US price whereas European oak adds another 25% premium to the lesser quality US grades.
Paul - I'm really enjoying this series. As a woodwrker and avid outdoor enthusiast I truely appreciate God's give of trees to man. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Know your wood #3-Oak



Oak leaves have a unique and distinctive leaf shape

Oak trees grow on each of the five continents and cultures at every level have relied on the wood and acorn, the tannic acid and the bark throughout the millennia. Great ships with oak bows and rudders crisscrossed the globe.



Massive barns and manorial homes came from the stems and crooks of full-grown oaks in every county. It would be impossible to catalogue the provision we have from the ancestry of the common oak.



Oak works well as both primary and secondary wood


I don't know that I would describe oak so much as a lovely wood, as I might cherry or black walnut perhaps, but oak stands alone in its own identity as a strong, resilient, durable, stout wood. That done, I have made hundreds of pieces from red and white oak throughout the years. Both have similar characteristics and work as well with hand tools as they do with machines. Much furniture in the castle at Penrhyn is made from oak and so too the doors, casings and panelled walls.





With these oak stiles I will form new doors at Penrhyn Castle

Oak is quite stable when seasoned well and especially when using quartersawn oak where the grain exudes an unpredictable yet often spectacular array of grain configurations beyond the range of any other wood.

I first used oak in my mid teens when I learned to work with its rebellious, stubborn streaks to discover an inner beauty of structure only a craftsman working its fibres can. Machinists know nothing of what I speak for they merely lift the wood and feed the machine. They miss the medullary rays beneath the chisels edge and the planes levelling swipe. They have never traced their hands over the smoothed wood after the plane's work.



Oak cutting boards, spoons and spatulas are some of my favorite things for the kitchen as are bookshelves and tables in the living room.



Here are the intersecting oak rails of a cabinet I made last year

The wood is densely heavy and ideal for a wide range of household projects as well as timber framed buildings. In the UK American-grown oak sells for three times its US price whereas European oak adds another 25% premium to the lesser quality US grades.
Here's another piece from oak that I did the design on a few years ago. Whereas oak isn't really a pretty wood, it does leave you in awe when you see it in raw woodland and then converted into a finished piece you know will last for a century or two doesn't it.
Furniture Table Wood Rectangle Desk
I'm making two big oak doors for the castle where I have my workshop right now. Nothing as elaborate as these, they are in the castle, but good work.
Brown Building Door Wood Interior design
Mine are nothing compared to these, but I love looking at what was made in the pre-machine era by working men like myself. Just honest handwork really. I have always worked with my hands. I was one of the fortunate ones that trained with men who did such things. I still love my work though I am in my 60s and have done it all my working life.
 

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Know your wood #3-Oak



Oak leaves have a unique and distinctive leaf shape

Oak trees grow on each of the five continents and cultures at every level have relied on the wood and acorn, the tannic acid and the bark throughout the millennia. Great ships with oak bows and rudders crisscrossed the globe.



Massive barns and manorial homes came from the stems and crooks of full-grown oaks in every county. It would be impossible to catalogue the provision we have from the ancestry of the common oak.



Oak works well as both primary and secondary wood


I don't know that I would describe oak so much as a lovely wood, as I might cherry or black walnut perhaps, but oak stands alone in its own identity as a strong, resilient, durable, stout wood. That done, I have made hundreds of pieces from red and white oak throughout the years. Both have similar characteristics and work as well with hand tools as they do with machines. Much furniture in the castle at Penrhyn is made from oak and so too the doors, casings and panelled walls.





With these oak stiles I will form new doors at Penrhyn Castle

Oak is quite stable when seasoned well and especially when using quartersawn oak where the grain exudes an unpredictable yet often spectacular array of grain configurations beyond the range of any other wood.

I first used oak in my mid teens when I learned to work with its rebellious, stubborn streaks to discover an inner beauty of structure only a craftsman working its fibres can. Machinists know nothing of what I speak for they merely lift the wood and feed the machine. They miss the medullary rays beneath the chisels edge and the planes levelling swipe. They have never traced their hands over the smoothed wood after the plane's work.



Oak cutting boards, spoons and spatulas are some of my favorite things for the kitchen as are bookshelves and tables in the living room.



Here are the intersecting oak rails of a cabinet I made last year

The wood is densely heavy and ideal for a wide range of household projects as well as timber framed buildings. In the UK American-grown oak sells for three times its US price whereas European oak adds another 25% premium to the lesser quality US grades.
Paul, the mind boggles at the skill of our predecessors, their economical use of the labour & get it right first time. All we do now days is reach for the nearest / latest toy, not saying this is a bad thing but it is great you reminding us of "how it was"
This is a fabulous door set, how long do you think it would have taken to make the door & the surrounding joinery???
I love your rocker, what make of dye did you us & what strength did you cut it too, I have been playing with some Briwax spirit dyes but boy are they concentrated.
Do hope you keep your lesson going with this topic. I will add you to my buddies so I dont miss future posts
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Know your wood #3-Oak



Oak leaves have a unique and distinctive leaf shape

Oak trees grow on each of the five continents and cultures at every level have relied on the wood and acorn, the tannic acid and the bark throughout the millennia. Great ships with oak bows and rudders crisscrossed the globe.



Massive barns and manorial homes came from the stems and crooks of full-grown oaks in every county. It would be impossible to catalogue the provision we have from the ancestry of the common oak.



Oak works well as both primary and secondary wood


I don't know that I would describe oak so much as a lovely wood, as I might cherry or black walnut perhaps, but oak stands alone in its own identity as a strong, resilient, durable, stout wood. That done, I have made hundreds of pieces from red and white oak throughout the years. Both have similar characteristics and work as well with hand tools as they do with machines. Much furniture in the castle at Penrhyn is made from oak and so too the doors, casings and panelled walls.





With these oak stiles I will form new doors at Penrhyn Castle

Oak is quite stable when seasoned well and especially when using quartersawn oak where the grain exudes an unpredictable yet often spectacular array of grain configurations beyond the range of any other wood.

I first used oak in my mid teens when I learned to work with its rebellious, stubborn streaks to discover an inner beauty of structure only a craftsman working its fibres can. Machinists know nothing of what I speak for they merely lift the wood and feed the machine. They miss the medullary rays beneath the chisels edge and the planes levelling swipe. They have never traced their hands over the smoothed wood after the plane's work.



Oak cutting boards, spoons and spatulas are some of my favorite things for the kitchen as are bookshelves and tables in the living room.



Here are the intersecting oak rails of a cabinet I made last year

The wood is densely heavy and ideal for a wide range of household projects as well as timber framed buildings. In the UK American-grown oak sells for three times its US price whereas European oak adds another 25% premium to the lesser quality US grades.
I mix my own dyes to colour using leather dyes and alcohol or mix the dye with shellac. On my rockers this is generally what I do. I usually avoid stains because of opacity and muddied colour. My son is a violin maker and he uses hand made grounds and varnishes to get the vibrancy he needs for his violins and then top coats with multiple layers of the handmade varnish until the thickness allows for polishing out to a high, flawless gloss.

I think that I am often surprised how little time was allowed for work in the 1800s. The library door above is 48" wide, 3" thick and 12' tall (it's one of hundreds in the castle) . My door (the one I am currently making) is wider by 4" but only 2 1/2" thick and 7' tall. Remember that today we allow a day for a drawer with handcut dovetails, but when these doors were made they had to dovetail six drawers in a day (front and back).

You can thin Briwax dyes and intermix them for colour. I do that from time to time. They are convenient for some projects. Ronseal, (UK available) and Minwax (US) do a similar dye that is like Briwax. They are all pretty much the same and they work well because they give evenness across wide or complicated surfaces. On some woods, especially crotch grain and fiddle grain like my rocker, it's best to seal the surfaces first with a coat of shellac (often called sanding sealer but is a thinned cut of shellac) to prevent blotching. Wiping on with a cloth rag works fine. This also works best with all of the pines and other softwoods because it prevents end-grain intake-absorption from massing into the more receptive grain areas say around knotted swells and so on.

Whereas I think you are right that we tend to dumb down the innate desire and ability to work creatively to spheres considered by others 'play' with 'toys', woodworking is no less a vocational calling for those who never had the opportunity to work full time in craft. In training others for the past 20 years I have always continued to work first as a producing craftsman simply because that was my calling. I never had the luxury of play in that I have always made my craft my living. But I don't believe that because I was privileged to do it full time for a living I am any different than those limited to weekends and evenings. In my heart I am an amateur that found a way of working at what he loved and got paid for it. Amateurs work with wood because they love it, ('amateur' from the word 'amore', love) not because they have to. Professionals only do it for money. My ambition nowadays is to continue passing on everything I know and have worked on to my fellow woodworking enthusiasts and that's what I do. I believe that the word vocational has been dumbed down too. At one time it meant that you listened for the voice (vocational, from the word 'vocare' voice) that would lead you into the critical area of life work. I listened to that voice and found great fulfilment for almost 50 years now.

Sorry this is so long. Don't want to be a bore.
 

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Know your wood #3-Oak



Oak leaves have a unique and distinctive leaf shape

Oak trees grow on each of the five continents and cultures at every level have relied on the wood and acorn, the tannic acid and the bark throughout the millennia. Great ships with oak bows and rudders crisscrossed the globe.



Massive barns and manorial homes came from the stems and crooks of full-grown oaks in every county. It would be impossible to catalogue the provision we have from the ancestry of the common oak.



Oak works well as both primary and secondary wood


I don't know that I would describe oak so much as a lovely wood, as I might cherry or black walnut perhaps, but oak stands alone in its own identity as a strong, resilient, durable, stout wood. That done, I have made hundreds of pieces from red and white oak throughout the years. Both have similar characteristics and work as well with hand tools as they do with machines. Much furniture in the castle at Penrhyn is made from oak and so too the doors, casings and panelled walls.





With these oak stiles I will form new doors at Penrhyn Castle

Oak is quite stable when seasoned well and especially when using quartersawn oak where the grain exudes an unpredictable yet often spectacular array of grain configurations beyond the range of any other wood.

I first used oak in my mid teens when I learned to work with its rebellious, stubborn streaks to discover an inner beauty of structure only a craftsman working its fibres can. Machinists know nothing of what I speak for they merely lift the wood and feed the machine. They miss the medullary rays beneath the chisels edge and the planes levelling swipe. They have never traced their hands over the smoothed wood after the plane's work.



Oak cutting boards, spoons and spatulas are some of my favorite things for the kitchen as are bookshelves and tables in the living room.



Here are the intersecting oak rails of a cabinet I made last year

The wood is densely heavy and ideal for a wide range of household projects as well as timber framed buildings. In the UK American-grown oak sells for three times its US price whereas European oak adds another 25% premium to the lesser quality US grades.
Hi Paul

(good name you got)

"Twice blessed is he who earns his daily bread doing that which he would willingly pay to do."

Have you ever used lye to colour oak? I've used it experimentally and it gives the effect of a century of aging in 30 minutes! If you haven't tried it, you should. A teaspoon full in a pint of distilled water is all you need. Apply with a rag or sponge as you would water to raise grain for sanding. Use care as it is caustic. Rubber gloves at the very least. Don't let the dust get in your eyes or inhale it when mixing, or you will be visiting the local hospital. Still, used with care it gives a wonderful colour to oak, cherry, or any other tannin rich wood.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Know your wood #3-Oak



Oak leaves have a unique and distinctive leaf shape

Oak trees grow on each of the five continents and cultures at every level have relied on the wood and acorn, the tannic acid and the bark throughout the millennia. Great ships with oak bows and rudders crisscrossed the globe.



Massive barns and manorial homes came from the stems and crooks of full-grown oaks in every county. It would be impossible to catalogue the provision we have from the ancestry of the common oak.



Oak works well as both primary and secondary wood


I don't know that I would describe oak so much as a lovely wood, as I might cherry or black walnut perhaps, but oak stands alone in its own identity as a strong, resilient, durable, stout wood. That done, I have made hundreds of pieces from red and white oak throughout the years. Both have similar characteristics and work as well with hand tools as they do with machines. Much furniture in the castle at Penrhyn is made from oak and so too the doors, casings and panelled walls.





With these oak stiles I will form new doors at Penrhyn Castle

Oak is quite stable when seasoned well and especially when using quartersawn oak where the grain exudes an unpredictable yet often spectacular array of grain configurations beyond the range of any other wood.

I first used oak in my mid teens when I learned to work with its rebellious, stubborn streaks to discover an inner beauty of structure only a craftsman working its fibres can. Machinists know nothing of what I speak for they merely lift the wood and feed the machine. They miss the medullary rays beneath the chisels edge and the planes levelling swipe. They have never traced their hands over the smoothed wood after the plane's work.



Oak cutting boards, spoons and spatulas are some of my favorite things for the kitchen as are bookshelves and tables in the living room.



Here are the intersecting oak rails of a cabinet I made last year

The wood is densely heavy and ideal for a wide range of household projects as well as timber framed buildings. In the UK American-grown oak sells for three times its US price whereas European oak adds another 25% premium to the lesser quality US grades.
Hello Big Tiny,

Well, yes I have used lye and experimented with it quite a bit actually. I used it on oak and also on Mesquite. Both these woods are high in tannic acid, which reacts strongly with lye (caustic soda). One experience I had was that lye lifted the finish some time after the finish was applied and resulted in a blotchy uneven surface: Your dilution solution may take care of that. But I countered this by applying vinegar which readily neutralizes the lye. The effect on Mesquite is truly dynamic too and as with oak, mesquite turns to its aged colour in a matter of minutes.

I also like fumed oak using ammonia and a tent. I use point eighty eight ammonia, the kind you get for reproducing architectural blueprints. A couple of saucers in a plastic tent will transform an oak dining table over night, but you must experiment to determine the depth of colour you want.
 

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Know your wood #3-Oak



Oak leaves have a unique and distinctive leaf shape

Oak trees grow on each of the five continents and cultures at every level have relied on the wood and acorn, the tannic acid and the bark throughout the millennia. Great ships with oak bows and rudders crisscrossed the globe.



Massive barns and manorial homes came from the stems and crooks of full-grown oaks in every county. It would be impossible to catalogue the provision we have from the ancestry of the common oak.



Oak works well as both primary and secondary wood


I don't know that I would describe oak so much as a lovely wood, as I might cherry or black walnut perhaps, but oak stands alone in its own identity as a strong, resilient, durable, stout wood. That done, I have made hundreds of pieces from red and white oak throughout the years. Both have similar characteristics and work as well with hand tools as they do with machines. Much furniture in the castle at Penrhyn is made from oak and so too the doors, casings and panelled walls.





With these oak stiles I will form new doors at Penrhyn Castle

Oak is quite stable when seasoned well and especially when using quartersawn oak where the grain exudes an unpredictable yet often spectacular array of grain configurations beyond the range of any other wood.

I first used oak in my mid teens when I learned to work with its rebellious, stubborn streaks to discover an inner beauty of structure only a craftsman working its fibres can. Machinists know nothing of what I speak for they merely lift the wood and feed the machine. They miss the medullary rays beneath the chisels edge and the planes levelling swipe. They have never traced their hands over the smoothed wood after the plane's work.



Oak cutting boards, spoons and spatulas are some of my favorite things for the kitchen as are bookshelves and tables in the living room.



Here are the intersecting oak rails of a cabinet I made last year

The wood is densely heavy and ideal for a wide range of household projects as well as timber framed buildings. In the UK American-grown oak sells for three times its US price whereas European oak adds another 25% premium to the lesser quality US grades.
Hi Paul

I've had no trouble with the finish lifting and all I do is wipe it down with a wet rag after the colour "develops" fully. I also let it sit in the open air a week or so before finishing to let things out-gas as much as it wants.

Cherry also reacts well with the lye, giving it the rich, deep colour of an antique in minutes. I've used it on cherry veneer with excellent results.

Another use for oak is the bark. The tannins in it are used in tanning leather and examples of such oak tanned leather were found in King Tut's tomb. The leather sandals were still wearable!

Paul
 
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