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Structural integrity of curly hard maple?

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Forum topic by bonobo posted 04-22-2013 12:14 AM 570 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bonobo

243 posts in 779 days


04-22-2013 12:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I need to make a panel gauge and I’m eying a piece of tiger striped hard maple from my scrap pile. I inherited it from my dad’s intarsia pile, so it has pretty wiggly grain and a few knots but I think I could get the pieces I need from it.

I obviously don’t want to test it to failure, so I just thought I’d ask here – if I make a 3/4” x 1/2” stick about 2 feet long from a “reasonably” straight section, am I just asking for trouble? Is it likely to snap the second time I use it?

I’d normally use something straight grained but all I have is some very open grainy ash and soft sapele.

-- “The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” ― Mark Twain


4 replies so far

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Mark Kornell

582 posts in 1254 days


#1 posted 04-22-2013 05:48 AM

If the grain is running in the long direction of the gauge’s beam, and you can avoid knots, then you should have no worries. The problem might be getting and keeping it straight.

And what makes you think sapele is soft? On the Janka scale, it is listed as slightly harder than hard maple…

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

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bonobo

243 posts in 779 days


#2 posted 04-22-2013 01:16 PM

Thanks Mark. I had some time last night and decided to cut out the components. I was getting a lot of deep, nasty tear out, so I put a high angle on my extra LAJ plane blade and it worked like a charm. I have a feeling what you say about keeping it straight is true, so I should probably leave it a bit oversized for now. Knocking it against the workbench, it seems pretty sound.

I’m surprised to hear that sapele is rated like that. Mine may not be sapele then. It’s from stack of off cuts I snagged from a dumpster but it’s definitely some kind of rowey mahogany and much lighter and softer than the maple. There’s a slide whistle among my projects using it.

-- “The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” ― Mark Twain

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Mark Kornell

582 posts in 1254 days


#3 posted 04-22-2013 08:44 PM

If it is real soft, it is definitely not sapele. While sapele is often used as a mahogany substitute, it is not a mahogany.

It your board is real soft, it might not be any kind of mahogany. Mahoganies are around the same hardness as western (soft) maple – which isn’t particularly soft, just softer than eastern (hard) maple – and harder. Softer than that and you’re got something that just looks like mahogany, such as meranti (lauan).

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

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bonobo

243 posts in 779 days


#4 posted 04-22-2013 10:30 PM

Glad to learn that. Thanks for all the info.

-- “The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” ― Mark Twain

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