Should I use weeping willow to build a teardrop trailer?

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Forum topic by SST posted 10-10-2011 09:50 PM 1763 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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790 posts in 5244 days

10-10-2011 09:50 PM

Okay…that’s not exactly my question, but now that I have your attention…

I am curious about willow & it’s usefulness. My neighbor had a sizable willow taken from her yard a while back and, knowing that I collect wood (how else can you describe the condition where even though you have enough stacked up in your basement & garage for more projects than you will ever complete, and still want more) she mentioned today that her dad had cut it into boards & planed them & I could have them if I wanted.

Now, let’s pretend that my wife doesn’t mind my taking up more space with more lumber (a guy can dream, can’t he?), my real question is whether it’s useful/workable once it’s dry. I’ve not heard of anyone making stuff with it. Is it worth my time to go pick it up & hide it somewhere in the shop?

What about stability, working properties, attractive grain, etc? I’d appreciate input from some LJ’s who may have used it with success (or failure). Thanks. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

8 replies so far

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 4008 days

#1 posted 10-11-2011 12:17 AM

I have heard (heard, not proven out or studied) that willow wood is somewhat toxic; I do not know if it was willow in general or a specific willow, but that’s what I read somewhere. If you are serious about working with it I would recommend snooping into it. Gotta be worth a try, those trees get to be absolute monsters around here, NW Oregon. Good luck.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4762 days

#2 posted 10-11-2011 12:31 AM

The only experience I have with willow is cutting it out as a huge landscaping weed. I found it to be extremely wiry and prone to almost instant rotting. It will be interesting to see what the collective LJ wisdom is.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


20601 posts in 4725 days

#3 posted 10-11-2011 12:39 AM

Yeah, I think you should use it. It nails well without splitting and bends fairly easily. Report back and let us know how it holds up.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 3830 days

#4 posted 10-11-2011 12:44 AM

Very stinky as firewood, carves quite nicely while still “wet” or “green”..and actualy has some nice figured grain in spots , but can also be very bland.
What I’ve used, and it was from the next door neighbour lady like yours,worked very well.

(why I got it was we came home from vacation and one BIG branch had taken out a section of our joint fence, and most of my sons’ sandbox, cover and all…)

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View JamesVavra's profile


305 posts in 4365 days

#5 posted 10-11-2011 03:51 PM

It’s pretty. As I recall, it was quite nice to turn while green. Here’s a bowl I made from weeping willow crotch

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 3930 days

#6 posted 10-11-2011 04:10 PM

I have not used it but I have looked into it a lot because I have 4 HUGE willow trees on my property.

One of the common uses for willow is artificial limbs for what ever thats worth.. Its a light almost white colored wood and I am sure its very usable for many woodworking projects. I would assume its a lot like Basswood in that it carves easy and yet still considered a hardwood.

One of my willow trees in my front yard is looking sad and I have debated having it milled.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Bill Burr's profile

Bill Burr

12 posts in 3482 days

#7 posted 10-13-2011 11:35 PM

I have a large stock of Black Willow harvested from a wind-break in a muck field in north-central Indiana. I have sawn and dried several loads. Very light weight and really soft, easy to over-work. You can dent it with your finger nail. It has a very nice grain and finishes nice. Just not a good wood if the project is going to be bumped or used in a rough way. Very nice for a what-not shelf or a stand that won’t be abused.

-- Just another beautiful day in paradise.

View jeth's profile


262 posts in 3887 days

#8 posted 10-14-2011 08:51 AM

It is used for cricket bats traditionally. This suggests it must be fairly tough and resistant to denting and splitting. The wood used for bats is always pretty bland, almost without grain.

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