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Elm wood

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Blog entry by Monte Pittman posted 915 days ago 3687 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I don’t see many entries of LJ’s using it. I know from cutting slabs it is not particularly easy to cut (sparks fly from chainsaw while cutting). but I think it is a beautiful wood. I have access to LOTS of it. Any reason more people don’t use it?

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability



12 comments so far

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

547 posts in 937 days


#1 posted 914 days ago

Totally agree with you about elm. You can get some beautiful figuring from it. I made this box awhile back

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View woodtickgreg's profile

woodtickgreg

203 posts in 1743 days


#2 posted 914 days ago

Elm is a beautiful wood. I think many people don’t use it because it is not readily available unless you go to a smaller sawyer. I find that it dries well with little checking and remains stable and flat when properly stickered. Sparks flying when cutting is probably just dirt and grit embedded in the bark, I have never run into that. I have two logs of siberian elm dry right now and I can’t wait to use it! I chainsaw mill also and find it fairly easy to mill, I have done 3’ diameter logs and found it easier than other hardwood logs of the same diameter. It’s tough to split for firewood unless you have a splitter due to an interlocking grain. Monte, if you have access to it use it. The issues you had may have just been dirt in one log, It’s not usually like that.

-- wood tick tools for turners by woodtickgreg @ woodbarter.com

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13731 posts in 963 days


#3 posted 914 days ago

i work with a couple of the local tree services because they have access to trees I wouldn’t get otherwise. They were surprised because generally they said nobody wants the Elm.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13731 posts in 963 days


#4 posted 914 days ago

it cuts easier than some of the Oak and Ash i am Slabbing right now.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3584 posts in 2359 days


#5 posted 914 days ago

Not sure about the USA but in these parts if you are suspected of moving an American Elm log from one province to another, you could do time and/or heavy fines.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

2876 posts in 1710 days


#6 posted 914 days ago

I have never had access to elm, now that you have brought it up, I will have to keep my eyes open. Thank
you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 75 yr young apprentice carpenter

View HalDougherty's profile

HalDougherty

1820 posts in 1862 days


#7 posted 914 days ago

I have some beautiful elm lumber that I’m going to use to build a dining room table and chairs. Here’s what the log looked like when I sawed it.

Click for details

Some of the log was already cut into sections to split for firewood when I got it. I made this tea candle for our Christmas display from the log chunk in photo 5 above.

Click for details

I saw every elm log I can find.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

View stefang's profile

stefang

12869 posts in 1959 days


#8 posted 913 days ago

Elm is very sought after in many countries. It is a beautiful wood similar in color shade to Walnut, I have done some turning with it and it cuts beautifully. I know it is one of the Brits favorites. My understanding is that Elm was decimated in the U.S.A. by a decease or insect, I can’t remember which, so it probably hasn’t been widely used for some time. I’m sure there’s folks on LJ with more and better info than I have given here.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Don W's profile

Don W

14828 posts in 1192 days


#9 posted 913 days ago

my bench is primarily elm.

Here is some info on the elm blight.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3584 posts in 2359 days


#10 posted 913 days ago

@ stefang: Yes, Dutch Elm disease killed off most american elms, and having logs in your posession can be illegal. The highly contageous nature of the disease, spread by beetles, is the reason. The bugs live in the bark, which must be disposed of properly even if you DO strip the logs. In our city there is a wood harvester that operates right in the landfill, turning the endless supply of diseased felled elms into lumber and flooring. Perhaps other communities have a similar program in place. Though our facility exists, they are not particularly consumer-friendly. Perhaps you might have luck pursuing a local operation?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View woodtickgreg's profile

woodtickgreg

203 posts in 1743 days


#11 posted 913 days ago

Dutch elm’s here in michigan are gone, The species that are left are siberian elm and a couple of others of which I can’t remember the names of. The siberian elm is very beautiful, reddish orange color when fresh milled and turns a nice cocoa brown color when dry. The crotch wood has very nice figure.

-- wood tick tools for turners by woodtickgreg @ woodbarter.com

View Jim Mullen's profile

Jim Mullen

8 posts in 896 days


#12 posted 894 days ago

I agree re: siberian elm. My sawyer gave me eight or ten slabs about 22” wide x 5’ long 4/4 last spring. I stickered it at the bottom of a stack with cypress and spruce slabs on top. My understanding is it has a tendancy to warp/cup/bow if improperly stickered. I’ll be pulling it out and checking moisture contenent in the next month or two. Was 12-14% in December. I’m told it looks like mahogany when finished.

-- Jim, Wichita, KS

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