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Forum topic by Dave Pearce posted 05-23-2011 04:36 PM 1384 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dave Pearce

108 posts in 3136 days


05-23-2011 04:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wood purple leaf plum handles

Hello everyone,

Trimmed out a Purple Leaf Plum bush this weekend and was wondering if the wood is suitable for tool handles.

Anyone have any experience with it?

Thanks,

—dave

-- http://www.pearcewoodworking.com


4 replies so far

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Dave Pearce

108 posts in 3136 days


#1 posted 05-24-2011 03:30 PM

No takers, eh?

that’s disappointing.

-- http://www.pearcewoodworking.com

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5314 posts in 3176 days


#2 posted 06-11-2011 04:35 PM

Fruit trees are often used for handles. I guess the trick here is to try it and see what happens. My understanding is that you probably want to avoid branches because of the internal stresses that are inherent with how a branch grows. You of course want segments of wood that have a fairly straight and tight grain with no knots (sometimes difficult to achieve in some of the ornamental shrubs). I wish you success with this wood

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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Dave Pearce

108 posts in 3136 days


#3 posted 06-13-2011 03:11 PM

Thanks Mark,

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head mentioning internal stresses. All the pieces split quite a bit. The cuttings I took were mostly branches, but also some of the main trunk. Most were about 5-6 inches in diameter. I drawknifed off the bark, and sealed the ends with some wood sealer, but even so it didn’t prevent the splitting that occurs while drying. I noticed PLP is a “wet” wood. Being an ornamental it’s got a fair amount of juice in it, which is probably why the splitting was so pronounced. Perhaps I should’ve left the bark on longer to help it acclimate.

At any rate, I can see why it’s not mentioned much in woodworking circles, my guess is it’s too finicky to produce consistent workable pieces.

Thanks again for your input.

-- http://www.pearcewoodworking.com

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5314 posts in 3176 days


#4 posted 06-18-2011 10:13 PM

I suspect the finickyness (if thats a word:-)?) is why production environments don’t use such wood. Having said that if you have the time to dry it slowly, and put up with its unique characteristics you may be rewarded with some really unique pieces. Hobbyists can afford to experiment and try things that a production place couldn’t afford to. Try some projects with the wood from the main trunk and see what happens.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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