Who Has Used White Ash

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Blog entry by jim1953 posted 1613 days ago 5998 reads 1 time favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Iam Going To Make My Daughters Kitchen Cabinets With White Ash But I Have Never Used Ash Before They Say It Looks Like Oak But It Is EasierTo Work With I Need Some Help Thanks

-- Jim, Kentucky

24 comments so far

View Dennis Fletcher's profile

Dennis Fletcher

455 posts in 1649 days

#1 posted 1613 days ago

I have used it a couple of times. It is very soft and I have never been able to get it to sand down without that little hair like finish.

--, Making design and application one. †

View Luke's profile


526 posts in 1889 days

#2 posted 1613 days ago

I had the same problem on a hall table that I made. I couldn’t get a really smooth surface no matter how much I sanded. It also had a lot of chip out problems. I cut the tree down and took it to a lumber mill then dried it for about 2 years so it should have been fine but to me…. it was difficult. A lot harder to work than the red oak I just made a rocking chair out of.

-- LAS,

View zlatanv's profile


689 posts in 1829 days

#3 posted 1613 days ago

Built some raised panel doors for a guy that does remodels, it does resemble white oak and it seemed to work pretty well, seem to work the same as oak, don’t remember having any problems with it.

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View lumberdog's profile


223 posts in 1862 days

#4 posted 1612 days ago

I have used it a little bit and found it to work with about the same as oak. take a look at my projects, the frame on the box/coffee table is white ash the top is maple…Jim

-- Lumberdog.. Michigan

View Dennis Fletcher's profile

Dennis Fletcher

455 posts in 1649 days

#5 posted 1612 days ago

Why is it, then, if it is like oak, that every time I used it, I found it to be like a softwood? Is there a trick to working with it that I didn’t know? I mean, white ash is a pretty nice, clear wood. I would love to work with it a bit more, but I can never get it to finish nice.

--, Making design and application one. †

View Jesse's profile


66 posts in 1813 days

#6 posted 1612 days ago

Ash is definitely a “hard” wood. It is used to make baseball bats. I am using it to make my workbench. I find it pretty easy to work, about the same as oak. Hand planes nicely also.

-- Jesse, Hopewell Jct., NY

View richgreer's profile


4522 posts in 1669 days

#7 posted 1612 days ago

For what it is worth— A few weeks ago I turned a piece of ash to make a lamp. I sanded it progressively with 120, 180, 220, 320, and 400. It never took on the feel and smoothness of anything more than 220. I was wasting my time and my sandpaper with the 320 and 400. If I was working on a flat piece I think I would try to finish it with a scrapper. My intuition tells me that it would work well on this wood.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View lclashley's profile


244 posts in 2709 days

#8 posted 1612 days ago

I just made my son’s bed out of ash, and found it’s workability similar to red oak. It seemed to sand OK to me, although I don’t sand past 150 if I’m going to apply a topcoat.

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 2500 days

#9 posted 1612 days ago

I have used quite a bit of ash, I personally like it better than oak since that was thrown out there for comparison. And just for the record on it’s hardness it falls right between red oak and white oak on the Janka scale. RO being 1290, ash is 1320 and WO 1360.


View 4Bennett's profile


8 posts in 1612 days

#10 posted 1612 days ago

I used it on our last project at work and would say that it is very similar to oak when it comes to workability and hardness.

View trimmer's profile


90 posts in 2036 days

#11 posted 1612 days ago

I agree with Daren:
It’s one of my favorite woods. Glue’s well and very stable on movement. Stains very well and has very good grain contrast. If using water borne finishes, i would rate Ash to be better then Red oak, with a close second with white oak.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13337 posts in 2268 days

#12 posted 1612 days ago

I have never use Ash, but like the others say its a good wood.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View Dennis Fletcher's profile

Dennis Fletcher

455 posts in 1649 days

#13 posted 1612 days ago

Oh, my, how embarrassing. I just realized, after looking around my desk, I used Aspen, not Ash. I’m so sorry for the mistake. I don’t know why I thought it was Ash.

The Aspen seems very soft, but I haven’t used Ash.

--, Making design and application one. †

View mahadevwood's profile


400 posts in 1614 days

#14 posted 1612 days ago

you should try to Canadian ash, its very high grade ash, and good strength, density is really very high of other ash wood


View roaddog's profile


14 posts in 1616 days

#15 posted 1612 days ago

I used it for a guitar body that’s still sitting in my shop waiting to be assembled. I liked working with it and didn’t encounter any problems. I was able to get a pretty smooth surface. If you find it hard to get rid of the fibers when finish sanding you might try to lightly wet the wood to raise the fibers and then use a brand new piece of sandpaper to cut them cleanly.

-- Sawdust tastes mighty fine! Doane, Seattle WA,

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