Wood Library #2: Hickory

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Blog entry by teenagewoodworker posted 06-01-2008 03:50 AM 736 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Ebony Part 2 of Wood Library series no next part

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.

5 comments so far

View Kipster's profile


1076 posts in 3175 days

#1 posted 06-01-2008 04:27 AM

Very insightful

Thanks for the post teenage woodworker

-- Kip Northern Illinois ( If you don't know where your goin any road will take you there) George Harrison

View dlcarver's profile


270 posts in 3152 days

#2 posted 06-01-2008 12:54 PM

good post. Thanks!

-- Dave Leitem,Butler,Pa.,

View pat's profile


123 posts in 3137 days

#3 posted 06-01-2008 06:33 PM

You should do one on maple Denny

-- check out my amazing woodburning , Pat

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3190 days

#4 posted 06-01-2008 06:53 PM

i should pat! too bad i haven’t used maple yet, lol. maybe when i do though.

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3135 days

#5 posted 06-02-2008 04:00 PM

I wrote the first entry on hickory and I agree with you 110% that the more entries the better. I have certainly learned a lot from your entry that I must keep in mind as I have a fairly large stock of hicory remaining. We should probably add pictures as we continue on with the library showing the shortcomings as well as the fine points. Great entry and I think exactly the kind that conveys real information that iwill be useful to anyone who is considering using this wood in a future project.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

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