Reply by BobTheFish

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Posted on My Yew tree is dying

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361 posts in 2757 days

#1 posted 07-19-2011 09:53 PM

A dining table or a desk is what first comes to my mind. (actually I was going to say bows as well, but you said you wanted something you’d use, and I doubt you’re the type of person to use a bow. No offense if you are, but bow hunters are not exactly common, and if you were, you’d probably already know about yew’s usage in bows)

Turning is something you are also discounting, and, quite frankly, one of the properties of yew that makes it so great for bows is its natural compression resistance. I don’t see much bending or futzing with the wood into intricate shapes being a good idea.

Yew is also found oftentimes around churches and is a wood with a rich history in celtic/british tradition.

Personally, as a nod to this sort of history, I’d make a simple trestle style table or something equally humble in its design, perhaps with a 1 1/2” thick top and probably about 7-8’ long, using the more figured boards you might yield. (if you do not have enough wood for this, I’d do a contrasting base with yew pins and perhaps walnut or something equally dark yet relatively domestic for the legs and brace) and then possibly a matching bench or two to go with it.

Pacific yew, at least in the pictures I have seen, can have some nice contrasting yellowish to darker caramel brown tones that can really stand out.

After that, I’d use the cutoffs and thinner pieces from ripping to size to make a mirror or two from it (possibly accented with a celtic inlay design on the corners), a few picture frames, and other small pieces.

If you think you’ll have any other pieces after that, consider some outdoor folding style chairs. Pacific yew also has some nice decay resistance and has been used for fenceposts, so some folding chairs will hold up just fine.

If you think you can make these few projects and STILL have some wood (or if you can take some of the wood that can’t be turned into boards, like some burls or such), I’d suggest setting aside some of the pieces for turning. It isn’t going to hurt to hold on to a few blocks, and you never know when you might be able to hand them off to a wood turning friend to make something special for yourself (perhaps in exchange for a block or two), or you might end up starting some wood turning yourself.

Yew is a relatively pricey wood, so I would say make sure you get every scrap of it you can.

Best of luck.

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