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Blog entry by hoosier0311 posted 02-05-2014 04:40 PM 1641 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So we had this big ice storm here in PA last night. It appears that my Dogwood in the front yard may lose a big limb or two. (I hope the tree itself fares better). Has anyone made anything of Dogwood? I have never heard of projects being done with it. The picture is said tree, with grandaughter and Pappy getting ready to rake, and being closely guarded by the Pup.LOL

from wiki,
Dense and fine-grained, dogwood timber has a density of 0.79 and is highly prized for making loom shuttles, tool handles, roller skates and other small items that require a very hard and strong wood.[7] Though it is tough for woodworking, some artisans favor dogwood for small projects such as walking canes, longbows, mountain dulcimers and fine inlays. Dogwood wood is an excellent substitute for persimmon wood in the heads of certain golf clubs (“woods”). Dogwood lumber is rare in the fact that it is not readily available with any manufacturer and must be cut down by the person(s) wanting to use it.

Larger items have also been occasionally made of dogwood, such as the screw-in basket-style wine or fruit presses. The first kinds of laminated tennis rackets were also made from this wood, cut into thin strips.

Dogwood twigs were used by pioneers to brush their teeth. They would peel off the bark, bite the twig and then scrub their teeth.[8]

-- atta boy Clarence!

7 comments so far

View Clay Ortiz's profile

Clay Ortiz

83 posts in 3062 days

#1 posted 02-05-2014 06:54 PM

I have made a few things from dogwood. My chisel cabinet has dogwood as the door and back panels, it is posted on my page. It is a nice wood to work with and it has tight grain. Also it is harder than hickory. The only problem with it is, the trees don’t get very big so you have to glue multiple boards up.

-- Clay Ortiz, North Georgia

View clieb91's profile


3520 posts in 3929 days

#2 posted 02-05-2014 09:30 PM

I have done a number of pens out of Dogwood as I have access to a number of them that are pruned. As mentioned very tight grain, turns quite well and also takes dyes nicely.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View leafherder's profile


1413 posts in 1946 days

#3 posted 02-06-2014 12:07 AM

Sorry to hear about your storm damage (we got it in Ohio also but not quite as bad here). Now you know the original meaning of the word “windfall” (centuries ago in Europe, peasants were not allowed to cut wood in the King’s forest but they were allowed to collect anything that fell in a storm. Also the source of the phrase “by hook or by crook” because they would use hooked poles or shepherds crooks to knock broken limbs out of the trees.)
I have no direct experience working with Dogwood – yet. I am patiently waiting for two Dogwood branches to dry to test Wiki information about canes – mine were from the storms last summer. I have also heard that it makes good knitting needles and crochet hooks because the tight grain does not snag the yarn. (I saved some smaller pieces to try that also).

From the picture it looks like the limbs are a good circumference – if nothing else you might try something like the ornament I made for the current Walnut winter awards contest (see my project titled “Something Different”). There is a legend that Dogwood was used for the Cross at the Crucifixion of Jesus. Some Dogwood ornaments might be popular at a local church bazaar.

Good luck and keep us informed of your projects.

-- Leafherder

View Bigrock's profile


292 posts in 2957 days

#4 posted 02-06-2014 01:57 AM

When I was Backing years ago I always carried two Dogwood wedges so i could split larger pieces of wood. They were light and very hard. I Carried a small saw and the wedges. never needed a axe.

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1274 posts in 1628 days

#5 posted 02-06-2014 02:33 AM

Generally branches don’t make good stable planks. But they can be used for mallets (round), knobs, turnings.

Hope it turns out nice.

-- Jeff NJ

View hoosier0311's profile


706 posts in 2020 days

#6 posted 02-06-2014 12:25 PM

Looks like the branches will be spared, enough ice melted that the branches are back up and don’t seem to be in jeorady of breaking off. I’ll keep an eye on them.

-- atta boy Clarence!

View mahdee's profile


3883 posts in 1762 days

#7 posted 02-08-2014 11:41 PM

Dogwood is pretty tough wood. It looks a lot like apple, red, pink and so on. I use the ash to make some of my highest quality soap. But if you find a piece that is not cracked so badly, it makes excellent handles for homemade tools.


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