Reply by EPJartisan

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Posted on why so up tight!?

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1118 posts in 3091 days

#1 posted 02-12-2011 05:41 PM

From what I understand about trees… and I love researching tree species. Reaction wood comes in only a few forms but mainly in two we woodworkers worry about: Compression and Tension. A bit of knowledge anyone can verify… Conifer woods (gymnosperms) can not be in tension, only in compression, and then mostly under the horizontal branches, so cedar and pine will still twist and fold but only in order to expand not relax. Conifers are more “simple” in cell structure than hardwoods, lacking parenchyma cells and acting much more like sponges than structures. Angiosperms have both tension and compression and can form in the wood anyplace the tree was bent, twisted, burled, and Tension wood is always above the tree branch and Compression below. If you study enough wood grain and research how trees grow, you can actually learn how to identify reaction wood before you cut and how to work with them. NO system is perfect and each tree is unique, but over all I can tell where a board will warp, twist, bind or split just by observing the grain and knots.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

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