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Ever made furniture out of sassafras?

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Forum topic by mrjinx007 posted 372 days ago 1270 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mrjinx007

1373 posts in 400 days


372 days ago

Hi,
So, I came across this sassafras tree and had it milled to some 3 and some 2 inch thick lumber. Some of the slabs are about 28” wide. I’ve never seen sassafras that big. I love the bark and am thinking of joining two slabs together for a table project. I have worked with small sassafras sticks and they have a lot of rosine and the wood is fairly soft. Wondering what type of finish would do best on this since it is a soft wood. Poly, is a pain to do on a large project but provides that hard protection. Oils probably bring out the best but no surface protection. Also, some of the bark in small places are damages due to the lift. I think I can manage to still make the natural edge look good by doing some sand curving of the bark toward the areas that has no bark.
Thanks for your input.

-- earthartandfoods.com


11 replies so far

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

1945 posts in 884 days


#1 posted 372 days ago

mrjinx—I helped build a bar with sassafras and cypress. You can see the project here. Note that sassafras is a direct toxin and special precautions are needed. The wood itself is beautiful and is not too difficult to work with. Just note the danger and act appropriately.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Don W's profile

Don W

14878 posts in 1200 days


#2 posted 372 days ago

Can we get some pictures of the 28” slabs? You don’t see many of those these days. I’ve never worked with sassafras. You don’t see many in upstate NY.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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reedwood

869 posts in 1308 days


#3 posted 372 days ago

I like saying sassafras,.......so sassy…....yea,......sexy too.
Sassafras, ssaaaassafraaaas, sassafrassy, sassafrerrious,.... sassman.

sumptuous, sappy, sexy, sassy, sassafras…....yea, I like it.

I’m so wierd

-- Mark - I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude. - Malo periculosam

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Fred Hargis

1729 posts in 1125 days


#4 posted 372 days ago

I made a bookcase out of the only sassafras I’ve ever had. Can’t say it’s the most beautiful of woods, but it’s easy to work, has that wonderful smell, and was relatively inexpensive. I’t snot an ugly wood; I like the color of the pieces I had, but the grain was fairly plain.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, we sent 'em to Washington.

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Don Broussard

1945 posts in 884 days


#5 posted 372 days ago

Fred reminded me that the smell is a pretty neat bonus, if you like root beer.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

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knotscott

5425 posts in 2008 days


#6 posted 371 days ago

Works well, smells great! It’s a little oak wearing perfume!

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

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mrjinx007

1373 posts in 400 days


#7 posted 371 days ago

Not the best pictures, but you get the idea. The crouch has some nice grain and I think some stone inlay may make up for the blah color. The little piece was the first cut after the bark cut.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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mrjinx007

1373 posts in 400 days


#8 posted 371 days ago

Don, love the bar. What do you mean toxins?? I use the roots for several purposes including drinking it and medicinal reasons. I know, there are rumors that it causes cancer, but I think that was because the beverage companies got tired of extracting their root beer from sassafras and now use artificial coloring and flavor.
I am interested to know what precautions you took.
Reedwood, too funny!

-- earthartandfoods.com

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

1945 posts in 884 days


#9 posted 371 days ago

@mrjinx—Thanks for the compliment on the bar. We were pretty pleased with how it came out. I read the information on this link about the toxicity of sassafras. The chart indicates that sassafras affects the heart and lungs. As for precautions, we used hand tools to minimize dust creation, and when we used power tools, we used a dust mask. No health consequences so far (that we know of).

Seems ironic that the wood is a direct toxin but it is/was used to make root beer . . . We did drink a lot of home made root beer when I was a kid—that explains a lot!

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

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WDHLT15

1098 posts in 1108 days


#10 posted 371 days ago

100% tung oil. Not the “tung oil finish”, but the pure stuff. I bet that it will look nice.

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

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mrjinx007

1373 posts in 400 days


#11 posted 316 days ago

Sassafeas first cut. Finally finished this one. I am so glad my wife talked me out of burning this one!

-- earthartandfoods.com

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