Sunday, August 30, 2009

Stuck at home, so testing cedar elm

Well, I am stuck at home with the new baby! I guess if there is any reason to stay away from the woods, it is our new little girl. Another good thing to come from staying home is I get to use some of the wood harvested and milled from the property. Here is a pic of a box out of cedar elm I milled from a cull tree that was crooked and skinny. Nobody could tell me anything about the wood except that it must be similar to other elms. Duh, but how close? Well, this is one tough, pretty wood. The interlocking grain makes it stringy, and it is very tough. Sharp tools are a must with this wood to prevent burning. It has a very light sapwood and a medium brown heart wood, and there is a very dramatic break between the two. The sap tears out much more than the heart, and quartersawn rays are prone. It does show a very nice rayfleck in the quartersawn grain. The interlocking grain in the sapwood also shows a very interesting zigzag pattern that can make the planesawn faces nice. The hardness made it dificult for me to remove swirl marks from some coarse grit sanding. I think I have found a new favorite wood as long as I can get past the burning issue. I hope to be out in the woods working soon, but until then I have some fruits of my labors to play with.