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Wood, most and least favorite (Read 487 times)
 
Ron Sardo
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Wood, most and least favorite
Mar 5th, 2018 at 9:16am
 
QOTW: what is you most favorite or least favorite wood to turn and why?

My favorite is curly maple but sadly after years of working with this wood I am now allergic to it. Even with respirators, dust collectors and air scrubbers I start having problems breathing when I start cutting it.

So now my favorite is bubinga. Even though it is very hard I find with sharp tools it cuts like butter, takes an oil finish beautifully and looks wonderful when completed.

My least favorite to turn is oak, it turns everything black because of the tannins. While it looks great on bookshelves, tables and desks I find it kind of boring when turned.
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Glenn Jacobs
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Re: Wood, most and least favorite
Reply #1 - Mar 5th, 2018 at 12:16pm
 
Favorite: anything that's free.  I do not mind Ash, Oak, Sycamore, Maple. Will not allow in shop any exotics due to my allergies.

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Grant Wilkinson
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Re: Wood, most and least favorite
Reply #2 - Mar 6th, 2018 at 9:58am
 
Anything wet is good.

Dry, I like turning cherry and ash.

I turned some lignum vitae yesterday to make home-made "cool blocks" for my bandsaw. It was like turning steel.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Wood, most and least favorite
Reply #3 - Mar 6th, 2018 at 10:32am
 
Well out of what I've turned so far, I would say I'm sort of on the same page as Ron.
I don't care for open grained woods like oak or stringy grain like palm, I find they're just not worth the effort you need to put into them.

It's difficult to choose a favorite but I suppose I would say as of today, it would be Claro Walnut. It can be tough on tools at times but cuts well, holds detail and provides a great final result.

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Tom Coghill
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Re: Wood, most and least favorite
Reply #4 - Mar 6th, 2018 at 10:54am
 
I prefer hard woods for turning.  Where I live that limits me to White Birch also called Paper Birch by some.  I like it because I can get it at low cost, the material can be used for anything (pyro, paint, stain, etc.) and I am not allergic to it.

My least favorite local wood is cottonwood.  The cottonwood here is like trying to turn a Q-Tip! soft, stringy and useless when you are done with it!
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: Wood, most and least favorite
Reply #5 - Mar 6th, 2018 at 4:10pm
 
Tom... Some of the nicest pieces I have turned are spalted Black Cottonwood from Washington State.

I guess the cottonwood up in Alaska is a bit different.

I really like turning maple as it seems to be the cleanest but I also really enjoy making small lidded boxes out of walnut. It's soon pretty when it is finished!!

..and Birch is nice, too. Especially my blocks of spalted birch root burl.

I have a piece of Sycamore on the lathe right now and am not impressed with.  Seems to tear out even if i have just sharpened the tool. Too much sanding to clear it up, tho it is coming out ok.


I finally got my vacuum system assembled and plan to try it out on this Sycamore when I finish the bottom off. Thumbs Up



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Tony Rozendaal
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Re: Wood, most and least favorite
Reply #6 - Mar 6th, 2018 at 4:27pm
 
Oak, especially red oak is my least favorite. White oak is OK and actually smells good.

Favorite native wood is elm - especially red (slippery) elm or American elm (if you can find it). Strong grain, nice density, you can turn the bowl thin and it will still be tough. Cherry burl is not too bad, either.
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Rick Caron
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Re: Wood, most and least favorite
Reply #7 - Mar 11th, 2018 at 8:44am
 
I know i don't like   pecan.  Dulls my tools quickly.   I have 5 blanks, 2 years old  still very heavy.  Easiest wood for me is beech, only there's almost no good looking grain in it.  Natural edge spalted is my favorite.
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: Wood, most and least favorite
Reply #8 - Mar 11th, 2018 at 3:18pm
 
Just an update on that sycamore bowl on the lathe...

As i was starting to hollow it out, it started to wobble. Realized that  the tenon had cracked at the base!!!

Turned it back around to return a new tenon and discovered a rotted area behind the tenon..completely hidden inside the piece of wood. Shocked

Ended up going almost all the way thru so now it is in a snowpile outside!

Now discovering  that teak is an interesting wood to work. Making a little lidded box from some. Thumbs Up
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« Last Edit: Mar 12th, 2018 at 8:48am by Ralph Fahringer »  

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Glenn Roberts
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Re: Wood, most and least favorite
Reply #9 - Mar 11th, 2018 at 7:18pm
 
Black walnut for sure. Like Glenn J says: Anything that's free. The exception is very soft bland woods. Hackberry, any spalted wood including fruit woods and hickory, - any hard wood in the North East will do. A Friend gave me some mesquite that I will save for when there is almost no chance of ruining it!
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David Hill
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Re: Wood, most and least favorite
Reply #10 - Mar 12th, 2018 at 8:42am
 
Fave:  Mesquite!
Can’t beat it for variabilty, color, and grain.
Least liked: Live Oak
Only turn that when I need a butt whoopin’.
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Everyday liberating nice things from ordinary chunks of wood---and I like gnarly wood, the outcome is nearly always better than the start.
 
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Jenny Trice
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Re: Wood, most and least favorite
Reply #11 - Mar 14th, 2018 at 8:34pm
 
Hard maple and black walnut would be at the top of my list.  Poplar and hackberry would be on the bottom.  For the most part, I can find something to appreciate about any wood.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Wood, most and least favorite
Reply #12 - Mar 15th, 2018 at 8:50am
 
Jenny Trice wrote on Mar 14th, 2018 at 8:34pm:
For the most part, I can find something to appreciate about any wood.


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Allan Miller
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Re: Wood, most and least favorite
Reply #13 - Mar 16th, 2018 at 7:53pm
 
Pecan and walnut are my favorite, oak I find somewhat bland. Pine has to be my least favorite since it is so soft but also up there with my favorites due to the interesting pronounced grain, just a pain to turn and finish
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Ron Carrabotta
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Re: Wood, most and least favorite
Reply #14 - Mar 17th, 2018 at 9:11am
 
Ambrosia Maple, Walnut, Cherry - favorites
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« Last Edit: Mar 17th, 2018 at 3:00pm by Ron Carrabotta »  

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