|Forum topic by Clarence||posted 02-17-2010 02:44 AM||815 views||0 times favorited||2 replies|
02-17-2010 02:44 AM
I have been intrigued by wood and have “worked with wood” in various ways most all of my life, though only marginally as a “woodworker”. Making a living, plus moving around a lot and generally getting my life in order hindered me from doing the fun, creative type woodworking I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. Most of what I’ve done has been the nitty-gritty stuff of rehabilitating old houses, clearing land and building sheds, garages and outbuildings.
With retirement coming up this summer, I have been preparing to indulge myself. I have been buying tools like a mad-man. (Most of the stuff I haven’t even used yet.) I’m also converting a shed into a floored, walled tool shop. Next year I’ll build a new shop/studio/hangout/cave from the ground up.
As I prepare to pursue “woodworking” I have come to realize that I really don’t know that much about wood from the perspective of a woodworker, and here at last is my point:
I would like to see discussion of the different properties of various species of woods, specifically those that are common to the southern U.S. I would like to know their characteristics in regard to general appearance, beauty, their structural strength and stability, their machinability, their carvability, their ability to take a finish, which ones are decorative but little else—all the things that are important to a master woodworker and which lead him/her to choose that wood for some project he or she undertakes. I don’t want to choose the wrong wood for some project I put a lot of time and effort into.
I have varying degrees of access to many types of wood. On my own land I have lots of oak (red oak, white oak, live oak, pin oak, post oak, etc.); elm, walnut, pecan, pear, sweet gum, black gum, hickory, sassafras, persimmon, wild cherry, cedar. In the area there is also cypress, beech, poplar, cottonwood, sycamore, Arizona ash, river birch, magnolia, bois d’arc, red bud, dogwood, mulberry, and I’m sure dozens of others I’m forgetting.
Whatever I use I plan to mill myself, either by using my own Alaskan rig or by hauling it to a band saw mill. I plan to build some furniture items and some fine cabinetry, but I also plan to do various forms of carving.
Sorry this was so long, and I realize this is a very broad topic, but I just wanted to throw it out there. Thanks for the input.
-- Getting old is a good thing, but being old kinda stinks.