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Forum topic by m7trevlyn posted 05-14-2010 06:18 AM 1127 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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21 posts in 2967 days

05-14-2010 06:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question maple hand tools

About a year ago I had a limb fall of my maple tree in my back yard. I cut it up with my chain saw into about 8” wide pieces with the largest having a 6” diameter. I wasn’t into woodworking yet so I was just going to burn them in my fire pit. However, now that they have dried I figured … free practice wood. I guess what I need to know is, using only hand tools what would be the best thing to do with this wood? A box? I am open to any ideas that will help my hone my skills.

4 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117114 posts in 3599 days

#1 posted 05-14-2010 06:22 AM

turn it In a year its not completly dry for other uses.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View michelletwo's profile


2744 posts in 3037 days

#2 posted 05-14-2010 11:25 AM

limbs have a lot of reaction wood. But it doesn’t mean you can’t use them. You can sure rip them into boards and make sure they are dry & make boxes. I’ve done it many times. But you must keep an eye on the wood and read it well. Good luck & lets see the project you make

View m7trevlyn's profile


21 posts in 2967 days

#3 posted 05-14-2010 05:39 PM

I don’t know what reaction wood is, I’ve only been wwing for about 3 months.

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2980 days

#4 posted 05-14-2010 06:55 PM

Wood that grows horizontally grows under stress; it’s always trying to lift itself up, which causes internal stress between the top and bottoms of the limb working to do so; once cut, the stress still remains, causing a reaction when cut, usually a warp or twist; hence the term reaction wood. Usually you can use it for small turnings and whatnot, but you must keep in mind there is no guarantee it will remain in the shape you make it as it dries. All of this is really small concern in this situation, as the way I read it you are looking for practice anyway. So here is a great way to learn!

Slice a few pieces up and let them dry, and see what happens; make sure to mark them as to which side was “up” when or “down” when it was still on the tree. You can often tell by the placement of the pith, it is always near the botton of the piece. Anyway, you will see what people are talking about when they comment on wood movement. Practice your lathe work, if you have one; cut the pieces you make and leave them thick, then let them dry; again, you will see the changes as they dry. Give them 6 months, it’s kind of amazing. The bottom line is you can do what you want, but learn here so if you go to do some nice work you will have a good reference on why not to use limb wood if you want the wood to stay straight. Lastly, keep in mind nothing is absolute, and alot of people, including myself, think wood of any nature can be beautiful.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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