PDA

View Full Version : Hated Woods



mr drinky
02-27-2012, 12:57 AM
I know that Dave in his subforum has a list of woods he doesn't like to work with, but after Stefan's post about people buying woods and sending them to him, I double checked Dave's list to see what I shouldn't buy if and when that time comes.

For those all make handles, boards, sayas etc., what are your least favorite woods to work with?

k.

sachem allison
02-27-2012, 01:02 AM
morning:rofl:
had to say it.

hax9215
02-27-2012, 01:14 AM
At our age, be grateful!!! :happy3:

Haxthe Cook CLEAVERS RULE!!! :D

sachem allison
02-27-2012, 01:32 AM
i wish i could be, heart drugs suck!

bcrano
02-27-2012, 10:41 AM
Cocobolo dust is pretty hard to breathe in large quantities... at least for me.

Marko Tsourkan
02-27-2012, 10:57 AM
Cocobolo dust is pretty hard to breathe in large quantities... at least for me.

I can't think of any wood I hate. I love cocobolo. The only problem is it loads belts very quickly, just a step below Lignum Vitae - fastest wood to load a belt. But cocobolo's smell and ease of drilling and sanding as well its stability makes it one of my favorite budged woods. I have several boards of it and will offer it for as long as I can obtain it.

Ebony is also my favorite, though fine dust will stain your hands and you have to wear respirator. For that matter, one should wear respirator with working any woods, including domestic hardwoods like walnut.

Poorly stabilized woods, particularly acrylic stabilized, are a huge pain to work with. Bits clog up with gooey stuff that needs to be removed immediately, or it will glue itself to warm bits and will have to be scraped. I won't work any woods stabilized by other than K&G and one or two other companies.

In terms of hardest wood to work with, I would say tiger maple and other highly figured (grain in all direction) hardwoods when carving a cavity for saya. Carving with the grain is not difficult even in hardwoods like maple, but against the grain or carving a difficult grain, could take a long time, there is tearing and chisels dull quickly. Sometimes I choose layout for the best figure, even if it is against the grain.

So in short, I don't know of any woods that I hate. I wear respirator, work clothes and take a shower after working woods like ebony. :)

M

Lucretia
02-27-2012, 11:41 AM
Could mango wood cause problems? Mangos are related to poison ivy and can cause allergic reactions--would think the wood could be the same.

El Pescador
02-27-2012, 12:16 PM
Mango can be super toxic.

Seth
02-27-2012, 12:48 PM
I always disliked padouk because it makes an extremely fine paprika dust that floats in the air for days. It's also prone to tearout. The bright orange is very cool but the color fades within a few weeks.

apicius9
02-27-2012, 12:51 PM
I'm with Marko as far as wearing respirators, especially with the rosewoods (cocobolo) and ebony which have an extremely fine dust I don't want to breathe in. I react to ebony dust immediately with coughing, sneezing etc. and I try not to use it too much. Other than that, I am pretty open to everything. Lignum vitae can be hard on the material as Marko said. Oh, I am using less palm woods because they can be a bit brittle even when stabilized. Walnut is not my favorite but that may just be because I didn't finish it right to get the results I expected. Not much else I can think of.

Stefan

jmforge
02-27-2012, 07:23 PM
Interesting. The one thing that I have been told about curly maple is that it works so well for write inlay because it is one of the woods that you can cut into in any direction without it chipping our or cracking.
I can't think of any wood I hate. I love cocobolo. The only problem is it loads belts very quickly, just a step below Lignum Vitae - fastest wood to load a belt. But cocobolo's smell and ease of drilling and sanding as well its stability makes it one of my favorite budged woods. I have several boards of it and will offer it for as long as I can obtain it.

Ebony is also my favorite, though fine dust will stain your hands and you have to wear respirator. For that matter, one should wear respirator with working any woods, including domestic hardwoods like walnut.

Poorly stabilized woods, particularly acrylic stabilized, are a huge pain to work with. Bits clog up with gooey stuff that needs to be removed immediately, or it will glue itself to warm bits and will have to be scraped. I won't work any woods stabilized by other than K&G and one or two other companies.

In terms of hardest wood to work with, I would say tiger maple and other highly figured (grain in all direction) hardwoods when carving a cavity for saya. Carving with the grain is not difficult even in hardwoods like maple, but against the grain or carving a difficult grain, could take a long time, there is tearing and chisels dull quickly. Sometimes I choose layout for the best figure, even if it is against the grain.

So in short, I don't know of any woods that I hate. I wear respirator, work clothes and take a shower after working woods like ebony. :)

M

jmforge
02-27-2012, 07:27 PM
You can acquire an allergy to most woods, but I suspect that it might happen faster with mango as it does contain the same toxin/allergen as poison ivy. My least favorite woods (ugly ones excepted) are ebony and snakewood. BRITTLE!!! Ironwood has broken my heart a couple of times with gorgeous blocks of burl that had huge internal cavities. The Argentine "lignum vitae" (its not the real stuff) looked good when first shaped and oiled a bit, but it always seems to go back to green, so it is off my list now. My most commonly used woods are maple, blackwood, amboyna and black walnut. Stephan is right about the walnut. You really do have to spend some time on the finish and it can take quite a while. I just scored a couple of pieces of rather dark old growth Honduran rosewood burl and it is HEAVY and very hard. Report to follow. if it works out, there is apparently quite a bit more available as the guy who had the stuff at the Lakeland show has gotten permission to start shipping his stash out of Belize once again. I was apparently cut when a highway was put in a number of years ago and has been drying since because their was a temporary moratorium on exporting it. I do like the rosewood family.

apicius9
02-27-2012, 07:40 PM
Oooh, I have just a few pieces of that rosewood burl but love it :) Also like African blackwood, much more interesting than the 'plain' select grade ebony IMHO. Of course this is the blackwood I really want:

http://www.penturners.org/forum/attachments/f66/6341d1233775343-african-blackwood-burl-100_1314.jpg

Never seen blackwood burl in person, but it sure looks nice...

Stefan

Marko Tsourkan
02-27-2012, 07:47 PM
Interesting. The one thing that I have been told about curly maple is that it works so well for write inlay because it is one of the woods that you can cut into in any direction without it chipping our or cracking.

Inlaying, if I not mistaken, requires small cutting instruments to outline inlaying shape, and then to clean up the area to the desired depth.

Carving (a cavity) is different, as your cut is much longer and so is resistance. Sharp chisels are a must, but even sharp chisels don't make it very easy.

M

jmforge
02-27-2012, 10:20 PM
My introduction to maple came from Bill Moran's videos, a couple of conversations I had with him right before he died and talks with jay Hendrickson, Joe Keeslar and others. Jay, Joe and the other guys that i have gotten pointers from were folks who did things similar to what Bill did with carved and wire inlayed maple handles, sheaths, etc. All of them seem to say that maple was one of the easiest wood to work with. Now some of them do use power tools like Dremels and air hand tools for some of the rough carving like the shell carving on the handles and the stippling , but I know that Bill used chisels for carve out the sheaths and he made most of his tool himself. I'm not sure what Jay Hendrickson uses to carve his sheaths (I mostly talked with him about inlay nd dying the wood) but he has done quite of few of them. I have heard that the different species of maple can act differently. i think that I have pretty much used big leaf maple which is I hear is quite a bit softer than the rock maple. I have also talked to a number of guitar guys who say that it works very well, but they are definitely using routers these days to carve those flamey guitar tops.
Inlaying, if I not mistaken, requires small cutting instruments to outline inlaying shape, and then to clean up the area to the desired depth.

Carving (a cavity) is different, as your cut is much longer and so is resistance. Sharp chisels are a must, but even sharp chisels don't make it very easy.

M

JohnnyChance
02-28-2012, 01:30 PM
I have never worked with it myself either, but after talking to Ed Jones, Josh Diaz and Stephen Farrelly, and after watching some youtube videos (got side tracked while watching cute kitten videos), I agree with Marko.

Marko Tsourkan
02-28-2012, 02:46 PM
There are different species of maples with different hardness levels.
The one I was referring to is Rock Maple. I sometimes work Red Maple, that one is much easier to carve.

http://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/differences-between-hard-maple-and-soft-maple/

4973