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Forum topic by live4ever posted 12-30-2010 02:18 AM 1693 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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live4ever

983 posts in 2470 days


12-30-2010 02:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: lyptus tip

I recently purchased and worked with lyptus for the first time. For those that don’t know, lyptus is a close-grained, hard (janka ~1700) species that is a cross between two types of Eucalyptus. It’s grown on plantations in Brazil, so it’s actually a sustainable resource compared to many of the exotics we woodworkers enjoy using. Trees are ready to be harvested in as little as 15 years, apparently. It is largely being marketed as a mahogany substitute.

Of course, every silver cloud has a dark lining and in this case there are some rumblings that one of the companies that manage the plantations has not been so good to the local peoples. But that’s about the extent of the downside with lyptus as far as I can tell.

It machines and finishes really well. My boards had a beautiful salmon pink color and a grain pattern somewhere in between maple and mahogany (non-ribbon). I really enjoyed working with it – it was used in several end-grain cutting boards I made for Christmas. In my neck of the woods, it costs a bit less than African Mahogany, coming in at about $5/bdft S2S.

If you haven’t worked with it before, see if you can get your hands on some. It’s a nice wood to work with and it made me feel just a bit more eco-friendly…

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.


11 replies so far

View rowdy's profile

rowdy

375 posts in 2902 days


#1 posted 12-30-2010 02:51 AM

I agree. Lyptus is nice to work with and is really pretty when finished.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

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Brad_Nailor

2539 posts in 3417 days


#2 posted 12-30-2010 03:05 AM

Does it have good outdoor capability like mahogany?

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 2470 days


#3 posted 12-30-2010 03:28 AM

In theory it should but I personally haven’t used it for outdoor purposes – it is supposed to be just as decay resistant as mahogany. With good finish I don’t see why not.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1510 posts in 3585 days


#4 posted 12-30-2010 10:22 PM

On the “machines well”, I had trouble cutting dovetails with a router in it. My technique may have improved since then, but it was somewhat splinter prone.

However, aside from that I’d definitely use it again.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 2470 days


#5 posted 12-30-2010 11:33 PM

Good point Dan – I forgot to mention that. I had some splintering trouble as well routing hand-grips in my end-grain cutting boards. Not the worst splintering I’ve encountered, but certainly more significant than mahogany or walnut. Was sort of on par with purpleheart as far as splinter potential…

Mahogany wood filler was a good color-match for me…

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Viktor's profile

Viktor

456 posts in 2879 days


#6 posted 12-30-2010 11:50 PM

It works well when the grain is straight. I’ve seen boards with wavy grain that was very prone to tearouts. It might have high tannin content (ebonize easily). Every time cast iron sole of the plane went over a drop of sweat it left a hard to remove stain. So, don’t sweat on it. Literally.
Overall I like this wood.

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2608 posts in 2510 days


#7 posted 01-01-2011 02:55 AM

I’ve also had good success with it on numerous projects. And vie also had the tearout issue almost every time vie cut, or sanded it. That’d be my biggest caution to others that haven’t worked with it before is to watch your edges.

I’ve not been able to get a true handle on the actual hardness of the wood though, but from my personal experience, on the stock i have, it would appear to be closer to mahogany on the Janka hardness scale?

I’ve used it to add more of a pink color to projects, or salmon as stated above.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 2418 days


#8 posted 01-03-2011 08:02 PM

I know a major distributor that deals with lyptus, and they trimmed out their complex with it… beautiful stuff, but after 4 years I could see quite a color shift in it; the filled nail holes all popped out pretty well. I would recommend using a paste of glue and lyptus dust for a filler. Just for the info, they made their interior doors with it, and they still open and close, and fit the jambs, perfectly.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Colin 's profile

Colin

93 posts in 2271 days


#9 posted 01-04-2011 12:06 AM

Nomad62, I have been thinking about using lyptus for screen and entry doors since it is supposed to be pretty rot resistant and stable. Is it stable enough that they were able to make the doors out of solid lumber or did they engineer a core?

-- http://www.columbiawoodscreendoors.com

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Nomad62

726 posts in 2418 days


#10 posted 01-04-2011 01:28 AM

Honestly Colin I’m not sure. Your best info may be from them… Hardwood Industries in Sherwood, Oregon. They do retail as well as wholesale, and are very friendly. You can talk to just about anyone there.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Colin 's profile

Colin

93 posts in 2271 days


#11 posted 01-04-2011 08:04 AM

Thanks, I’ve dealt with them before. I dread going down there because of the traffic though. I think it’s worse than anywhere else in the Portland area. I’ll give them a call.

-- http://www.columbiawoodscreendoors.com

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