cotton wood

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Forum topic by GSwoodworker posted 07-23-2010 03:56 AM 1510 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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74 posts in 2381 days

07-23-2010 03:56 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

well is it good for anything? I picked up a small log and was thinking about doing some sawing on my band saw. Is this wood worth my time and effort?

15 replies so far

View metalmelter's profile


5 posts in 1957 days

#1 posted 07-23-2010 04:39 AM

its hard to plane it, you have to have sharp blades and really high speeds to avoid the fuzzing. it could be used with a veneer covering if you have enough but most people use it as a carving wood. its a little heavier than basswood but works just as well.

here is a good write up i found :

hope this helps!


-- Opps....oh well, paint will cover that.

View laaksonendavis's profile


1 post in 1955 days

#2 posted 07-23-2010 12:14 PM

It has been almost a month and the cotton wood trees are still shedding their cotton in my area. Is it worse this year? And if so what makes some years worse then others?

View Toolz's profile


1003 posts in 2833 days

#3 posted 07-23-2010 02:19 PM

The wood is pretty much useless, but the bark is great for carving!

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View Tony Strupulis's profile

Tony Strupulis

251 posts in 2213 days

#4 posted 07-23-2010 08:04 PM

I’d like nothing more than to see my neighbor’s cottonwood trees in board form. What a messy tree!

I have seen it milled into 1×6 T&G paneling and it is really pretty. It has some nice color variation in it.

I’ve heard people say that the cottonwood in our area is actually tulip poplar. I don’t know if that’s true, but the boards do look sorta alike.

Whatever you do with it, make sure it’s dry. That stuff holds a ton of water.

-- Tony -

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 2864 days

#5 posted 07-23-2010 08:32 PM

I heated my shop in North Dakota with it. It wasn’t the best firewood either but it was cheap.

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View miles125's profile


2179 posts in 3096 days

#6 posted 07-23-2010 08:34 PM

I had a couple boards once. I recall it very well because when i ripped them on the table saw they both violently sprang into the shape of a compound curved banana.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 2996 days

#7 posted 07-23-2010 09:45 PM

It makes decent small drawer bottoms and secondary wood…but I agree not really good for much that is going to show. It’s soft and not attractive. I only use it to sticker good lumber coming off the sawmill.

View Gary Glaze's profile

Gary Glaze

10 posts in 1958 days

#8 posted 07-25-2010 04:01 PM

The only good use I know of for cottonwood is for decking on a lowboy. I cut some up for a guy one time but I can’t remember how thick it was. I have heard of other people using it for lowboy decking also. (This could be a good thing to do wtih your neighbors trees when they are not looking. My nighbore has one and I would love to saw it down.

View CovenantCreations's profile


127 posts in 1993 days

#9 posted 07-26-2010 06:27 AM

Actually it is a pretty strong wood. A lot of buildings have been built with it. A lot of sawmills in my area use it as there are a lot of trees in my area.

View vicrider's profile


179 posts in 1989 days

#10 posted 07-26-2010 06:43 AM

Around here we believe that it’s good for shade and firewood, and not much else. Fuzzy grain, soft wood, and it twists when drying.

-- vicrider

View Les Casteel's profile

Les Casteel

157 posts in 2150 days

#11 posted 07-27-2010 03:40 AM

I’ve carved several cigar-style indians from cottonwood logs. It carves reasonably well, and takes dyes and stains for color. It takes detail pretty well too. If cut into lumber its really only good for something like fences, boxes that sort of thing.

-- Les, Arkansas,

View CyBorge's profile


79 posts in 2265 days

#12 posted 07-27-2010 04:32 AM

I can’t speak on cottonwood’s properties as a woodworking material, but I can say those trees sure make a mess! Ask me, my yard, and my air conditioner screens how we know. Really good shade, though. :-)

-- "How can I be lost if I've got nowhere to go?"

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2012 posts in 2012 days

#13 posted 07-28-2010 03:59 AM

I have an unlimited supply of cottonwood scraps from a local interior shutter manf. here. I use it to make toys for toddlers. It is a true Poplar. I do not finish nor paint it. This cottonwood is dried already. It is just like poplar to work but with a lousy smell while cutting.

-- "Just my opinion, I may be right"

View ajosephg's profile


1874 posts in 2651 days

#14 posted 07-28-2010 04:09 AM

Cottonwood’s used to make wooden shoe soles that are used for walking on hot floors like steel mills, orthopedics, etc.

-- Joe

View ajosephg's profile


1874 posts in 2651 days

#15 posted 07-28-2010 04:16 AM

Here’s another use :)

-- Joe

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