Palm Tree Wood?

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Forum topic by bobkberg posted 02-02-2010 10:41 PM 27571 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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439 posts in 3069 days

02-02-2010 10:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: palm tree question

I’ve seen the base of palm trees – it looks like a whole bunch of soda straws stuck together – this is probably how they survive in high winds.

My question is though – has anyone ever done any woodworking with the “wood” from a palm tree?
Is it possible?
Was there anything special that had to be done to make it workable?
What do the results look like?

Thanks all,

-- Bob - A sideline, not how I earn a living

13 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3573 days

#1 posted 02-02-2010 10:44 PM

That’s strange you show ask, I made 5000 straws from one LOL Sorry I couldn’t resist

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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439 posts in 3069 days

#2 posted 02-02-2010 11:13 PM

Jim? I believe the word I want to use is spelled “PLBTBTBT”

-- Bob - A sideline, not how I earn a living

View dbhost's profile


5710 posts in 3227 days

#3 posted 02-02-2010 11:23 PM

Palm trees? The “wood” of Palm trees, at least the ones I have been around is VERY open celled and decays quickly, not unlike Banana tree trunks. Not worth pursuing as lumber IMHO…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View webwood's profile


626 posts in 3246 days

#4 posted 02-02-2010 11:29 PM

i’ve seen carvings done with palm here in fl.

-- -erik & christy-

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128 posts in 3603 days

#5 posted 02-02-2010 11:29 PM

You might be able to turn something interesting from it, sorta like people do with Banksia pods.

-- Dylan Vanderhoof - General hobbiest and reluctant penmaker.

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Daren Nelson

767 posts in 3901 days

#6 posted 02-03-2010 12:08 AM

I know sawmills down south (Florida) who have milled palm lumber, black palm I believe…They said it was murder on their bandmill blades. The wood is literally impregnated with sand. Sand blows into the leaf shoots as they grow out and gets incorporated into the heart of the tree.

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Vern Little

103 posts in 3532 days

#7 posted 02-07-2010 05:06 AM

I have seen it as bowl sized turning blanks, also I have a couple of pens out of it. Better go lite or it will blow out on you in a hurry.

-- Earth first, we'll drill the rest of the planets later. Vern

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5320 posts in 3877 days

#8 posted 02-07-2010 03:02 PM

I resemble that remark!


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View tamboti's profile


207 posts in 3137 days

#9 posted 02-07-2010 05:14 PM

Hi You can use it for turning and no special trixs are needed just keep the CA handy for in case of dig in
I have seen bowl with a diam o250mm and 200 deep If still wet the end product will distort as it dries
Regards Roger in SA

-- Africa is not for sissies

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1041 posts in 3139 days

#10 posted 02-07-2010 05:26 PM

Here’s something you can make from a palm tree!

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

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439 posts in 3069 days

#11 posted 02-07-2010 10:52 PM

Cute nailbanger2! Not quite what I had in mind though…..

Steve Palm – are you really resin impregnated? Did it hurt? Or is that how you acheived your “polish”? ;-)

tamboti – what is “CA” ?

-- Bob - A sideline, not how I earn a living

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3454 days

#12 posted 02-08-2010 01:31 AM

lol… CyanoAcrylate (Super Glue)

I have turned Palm before… it is very porous, and a pain to finish. It really needs to be stabilized with resin or CA to work well. For turning it is a pain because it doesn’t cut like other woods, it more splinters off.

-- San Diego, CA

View WDY's profile


4 posts in 3657 days

#13 posted 10-09-2010 09:41 PM

This thread is a little old but here’s my two bits – There seem to be dozens of palms, sort of like oaks, and the main thing is to use the material outside the “heartwood” region. There’s no real sap or heart in this material but, given an example of a 12” tree, the outside 4” would be good to use. We live in Baja California, Mexico and the lumber yard here has “vagas” or beams to use in construction. This is palm, imported from Mexico’s mainland on the west coast. The stuff turns well but you have to use a pretty slow speed and sharp tools. I BURNED the inside of a 4X8 bowl to get it really smooth because of small deep chips. The burning worked ok when sanded off. Also use shellac to seal it and alcohol dyes to add color. Wasn’t totally dry when I worked it up but not dripping wet, like other green turning. All and all, it ain’t bad. Not exactly HARDWOOD, but it’s nice to work with new materials. Next up is mesquite. CHEERS, WDY

-- WDY,

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