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any hints/tips on using Sassafras wood ??

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Forum topic by ronbuhg posted 08-18-2012 09:04 PM 2130 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ronbuhg

121 posts in 871 days


08-18-2012 09:04 PM

I bought some sassafras wood today to build a computer desk….could not resist it because it was on sale for $2.00 a BF…could be I made a serious mistake for what I have in mind…..But I liked the grain and the fact that it was relatively lightweight also..I did read the comments in the forum posted by Ted ,when he asked what was everyone’s favorite wood and why…very informative, but very little was said about the type of wood I purchased…..please tell me the truth…did I make a really bad choice based on the selling price or did I just do ok??...I did have in mind to get some red oak and staining it with cherry stain…..which by the way is truly beautiful ,even though that’s not something most woodworkers choose to do…yeah I can hear it now,staining a red oak with cherry ? “DUH… RON WHAT WERE YOU THINKING” I came across this unusual combo quite by accident and have had several people ask me to make some pieces for them with this set-up….If sassafras wood is not ideal then I can always go back to my lumberyard and get some red oak …and just chalk it up to experience…thanks in advance for your comments and tips if there are any…this is absolutely the best website I have ever encountered pertaining to wood and woodworking…just a reminder… “BE SAFE ALWAYS”

-- the dumbest question is the one you dont ask !!


21 replies so far

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jusfine

2280 posts in 1649 days


#1 posted 08-18-2012 09:12 PM

Ron, I have purchased some QS sassafras and really like the grain also, but have not done anything with it. Sounds like your price was excellent! All the Best!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

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knotscott

5565 posts in 2099 days


#2 posted 08-18-2012 09:44 PM

Its a little prone to splitting, so pre-drill any screw holes. Otherwise it works well…. smells good too! (IMHO)

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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WDHLT15

1188 posts in 1199 days


#3 posted 08-19-2012 02:07 AM

Beautiful wood. You did good.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

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ronbuhg

121 posts in 871 days


#4 posted 08-20-2012 04:30 AM

thank you everyone for your thoughts….now I dont feel so bad….I’ll post my results when finished…finally finished my cedar chest ….I’ll post as soon as I can….loved the smell of cedar….never knew how many people are allergic to it until I finished with it…now I have to caution anyone who comes into my bedroom ….shame !!

-- the dumbest question is the one you dont ask !!

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 1774 days


#5 posted 08-20-2012 07:43 AM

Ron,

Yes to pre drilling. It might b a little stringy, but its’ durability and stability are very good. One use is to make boats of it. It is also a good furniture wood.

Steve

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

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Post_Oakie

84 posts in 877 days


#6 posted 08-20-2012 05:45 PM

I’ve cut some on my portable sawmill, and used it for a few projects. Very durable wood, and very strong for its weight. Hard to find good straight logs, though. I like working with it, but I’ve never seen any info on how it take a stain. Grain is all wrong for cherry anyway. It used to be a favored wood for canoe paddles.

-- Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

View crank49's profile

crank49

3481 posts in 1694 days


#7 posted 08-20-2012 05:51 PM

I have several large sassafras trees. Not easy to sell as they once were. They used to be the wood of choice for making heels on women’s shoes and for golf clubs. Now there are composites and other materials for shoes and golf “woods” are now usually metal.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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Post_Oakie

84 posts in 877 days


#8 posted 08-20-2012 06:03 PM

Crank, wish there were an easy way of getting one or two of those logs to southwest MO! Still, I’ve got hedge (Osage orange) to play with when I want a challenge.

-- Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

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keith204

36 posts in 387 days


#9 posted 03-20-2014 12:40 PM

Post-oakie: if you’re still in the mood for Sassafras, there’s an Amish mill north of Springfield that has some. I’m going today to get some walnut, and probably Sassafras (which is why I ended up researching it on LJ – thanks for the tips/recommendations).

If the price is decent and the lumber looks good, I’ll send you a pic and some info.

View mrjinx007's profile

mrjinx007

1796 posts in 491 days


#10 posted 03-20-2014 01:53 PM

Hi there,
I have some 26” wide, 3” thick sassafras and so far, I have made one table out of the first cut. The others will be for a conference or dining tables. Here is a pic:

-- earthartandfoods.com

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mrjinx007

1796 posts in 491 days


#11 posted 03-20-2014 01:55 PM

You do want to wear a mask and if possible, do your sanding and cutting outdoors as the dust is toxic. Although I still use the root of the tree for beverages and other things.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View dirtycurty's profile

dirtycurty

44 posts in 302 days


#12 posted 03-20-2014 02:45 PM

Nothing like a good cold glass of Sassafras tea!!!!!!!!!!!

View keith204's profile

keith204

36 posts in 387 days


#13 posted 03-20-2014 05:47 PM

Jinx, yeah I saw that table elsewhere on this forum. That’s crazy. Weird, but I like it.

Here’s my find from the mill today:

Sassafras: $0.90/bf
Been sitting there drying for 9 months. It’s very straight and feels great. I intentionally got a few pieces that are barky, to challenge myself to do something decent with them. Plus they look awesome.

Walnut: $1.00/bf
Been air drying for 12 months. I think there’s a good deal of figure to some of the pieces. I’m eager to plane some this evening.

And here’s what I took. That’s an 8’ truck bed. Total paid: $94

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mrjinx007

1796 posts in 491 days


#14 posted 03-20-2014 07:13 PM

Good prices. I love the sassafras bark very beautiful and sticks to the lumber pretty tight.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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mrjinx007

1796 posts in 491 days


#15 posted 03-21-2014 01:47 AM

Amazing thing is that you might get two pieces of furniture out of that and when you ask $1200 for it, people run the other way; not realizing the price of wood as well as the time it takes to create a furniture with fine workmanship.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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