Suitability of Magnolia grandiflora for woodworking

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Forum topic by rustfever posted 12-25-2015 12:21 AM 889 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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752 posts in 3338 days

12-25-2015 12:21 AM

I have 6 Magnolia shade trees that must be removed as they are damaging concrete and getting into the power lines.
The trees are from 10”D to 18”D. When cut, they should yield 6’ to 10’ logs. I have access to a Woodmiser mill for milling.
Questions: Is the wood desirable? How does it turn? Are the boards stable during the air-drying process? Is the wood stable after including in a project? How does it take finishes, stain? Is it desirable? Special milling required?

Should I spend the time and money to mill this lumber?

Any help or thoughts would be appreciated.

-- Rustfever, Central California

5 replies so far

View garysharp's profile


119 posts in 3507 days

#1 posted 12-25-2015 01:20 AM

The wood form the Magnolia is a very nice yellow. I have some that I use for rocking chair accents. Go for it.

-- Garysharp "When sharpening woodworking tools, good enough,...isn't" “Your life’s complete only when your knowledge passes on”.

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3783 days

#2 posted 12-25-2015 02:42 AM

Turns nice, too.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View MNgary's profile


301 posts in 2444 days

#3 posted 12-25-2015 05:50 AM

Tulip poplar is a member of the magnolia family. I think you could have many uses, from turning bowls to making jigs, and even for keepsake boxes, from your shade trees. But, if using these trees as just another poplar you may want to think about how much time, effort, and dollars it takes to yield something that typically can be purchased for about $2.00 a board foot.

However, I do suspect you have a great opportunity to create very interesting pieces from crotches, where limbs originate from the trunk, etctera for turning.

-- I dream of a world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View WDHLT15's profile


1748 posts in 2503 days

#4 posted 12-26-2015 02:33 AM

It is nice wood. However, small trees like yours are subject to a lot of growth stress which may make drying them straight without bow a challenge. If you get them sawn, make sure that your stickers are at least on 16” centers.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View rustfever's profile


752 posts in 3338 days

#5 posted 12-29-2015 04:32 AM

thanks for all of the advice. I will know in a couple days what the trees look like. I don’t ;like to just cut down a tree, but have no problem using those trees that must be removed.

-- Rustfever, Central California

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