I know that there is already an entry on hickory but i figure that the more entries we get even if on the same wood our library will grow as everyone will present new ideas. so first off one thing that i noticed with hickory was that it chipped out a lot with router use. what i did to counter this though was take a lot of passes. even if you do take a lot of passes though you can still get chip out. also the king of chip out on hickory are the straight grained boards that are the ones that woodworkers usually like the best. i found this out on my second picture frame which has very straight grain that it chipped out a lot and sometime whole piece will come up along the length of the whole board. other than router use it works relatively well with most other power tools.
now for hand tool work. i found hickory to work good with hand tools. it was relatively easy to work with my chisels which aren’t very sharp so with sharp carving tools i would think that it would be relatively nice to carve. the only thing it that when going across the grain and exiting you need to watch out for chips as such as with the router you can get big strips lifting up along the board. i used a card scraper on it too and that worked well and provided a smooth surface.
last is finishing. hickory is a very streaky wood and color varies from board to board so you need to make sure that your boards match. another thing to watch for is the heartwood which is much darker and less desirable. a good finish for it in my opinion is General finished light walnut danish oil. i found it to really bring out the color and not even pictures can capture the color which i think is really good. also there are ways to equalize the heartwood. a darker dye will in essence cover up the heartwood and equalize it. so thats all for hickory. i will post some pictures when i am finished with the mirror frame. i think all in all hickory is a great wood to work with and it is gorgeous too. i will greatly enjoy any comments of suggestions.