Advise on Elm

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Forum topic by SteveMI posted 11-16-2009 04:58 AM 1391 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1092 posts in 3263 days

11-16-2009 04:58 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have a neighbor, who I am not real close with, that told about a wood pile behind his house of elm. It was supposedly cut and stickered about five years ago. It has been partially uncovered for some of the past year or so. His interest in it isn’t real high anymore. He offered it, but it wasn’t clear if money was involved.

I don’t seem many projects posted with elm and would like an opinion on what it may be best for and what it should not be used for. Elm isn’t even one of the tags offered under wood.

Also, when I go to look at the wood, what should I be looking for?


8 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


7984 posts in 3345 days

#1 posted 11-16-2009 05:32 AM

There are different varieties of elm. I’ve made a couple of projects from “red” elm. I think the grain is insanely pretty, but it’s not the easiest stuff to work with….it’s a bit prone to movement, is stalky, and fuzzes a lot even with sharp premium cutters. Wiorth the effort IMHO!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View jim1953's profile


2734 posts in 3811 days

#2 posted 11-16-2009 05:45 AM

Great Lookin Elm If it is like that I wood go for it

-- Jim, Kentucky

View Dustin Ward (aka Tearen)'s profile

Dustin Ward (aka Tearen)

176 posts in 3919 days

#3 posted 11-16-2009 05:51 AM

Elm can be a lovely wood. Bet you can make some great projects with it. Make sure you save some for the next lumberjocks picnic!

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3495 days

#4 posted 11-16-2009 06:22 AM

I love elm! Do everything you can to get it, of course while playing up that it isn’t much good for anything… Did I make mention that I love elm?

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 3875 days

#5 posted 11-16-2009 03:21 PM

Here is a book case my dad built out of elm I sawmilled.

View woodtickgreg's profile


212 posts in 3087 days

#6 posted 11-24-2009 05:45 PM

elm is probably one of the most under appreciated woods out there, it can fuzz when cutting so sharp tools are a must. like kindlingmaker said most people think its worthless and just burn it, bonus for us woodworkers! it also has some use in boat building due to its interlocking grain and some flexibility, not prone to breakage. its not rot resistant but most boats today are encapsulated in epoxy or resin anyway and this prevents rot. for furniture i think its beautifull and if flat sawn has great cathedral grain.

-- wood tick tools for turners by woodtickgreg @

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4187 days

#7 posted 11-24-2009 06:34 PM

I’ve been working with a little elm I picked up. I’m not sure of the exact variety, but it looks similar to what Scott posted. It is very pretty lumber. It reminds me of red oak in terms of grain, weight, and hardness.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View rustedknuckles's profile


160 posts in 3721 days

#8 posted 11-24-2009 08:20 PM

The vikings used elm to build their long boats and a few of those are still around, go for it.

-- Dave- New Brunswick

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