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Sycamore lumber - is it worth it or this stuff junk?

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Forum topic by camps764 posted 11-09-2013 12:56 PM 1633 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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camps764

867 posts in 1752 days


11-09-2013 12:56 PM

I’ve got an opportunity to get my hands on about 110 board feet of 4/4 sycamore for about $1.50 a B/F.

Never worked it, and never heard much about anyone working it.

What I’ve read online says that it can cup,warp and twist something awful. But pictures look sort of like lacewood/maple mix.

What do you guys and gals think? 1.50 sounds like a good price for anything.

-- Steve


15 replies so far

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Woodendeavor

275 posts in 1999 days


#1 posted 11-09-2013 01:06 PM

Sycamore is great wood when Quarter sawn. If it is not it will twist cup and warp even after it has dried. That is my personal experience

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chrisstef

15366 posts in 2399 days


#2 posted 11-09-2013 01:07 PM

From what ive heard unless its quarter sawn its really difficult to keep from cupping and twisting. I think it looks really cool when quarter sawn.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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Tennessee

2410 posts in 1907 days


#3 posted 11-09-2013 01:07 PM

I’ve used it a couple of times when it came in a load of assorted. Not a fan.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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camps764

867 posts in 1752 days


#4 posted 11-09-2013 01:17 PM

Thanks for confirming fella’s. I’ll take a pass on this one, maybe pick a small bit up int he future to try out.

-- Steve

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SCOTSMAN

5839 posts in 2977 days


#5 posted 11-09-2013 01:21 PM

Wow I just bought a load earlier this year not quarter sawn.LOL trust me to get it wrong.It is all thick stock so I am hoepeful. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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Texcaster

1089 posts in 1066 days


#6 posted 11-09-2013 02:31 PM

Alistair, you probably have euro sycamore, a maple.

-- Bill... "You have to wear a hat if you want to be in the band." Steve Earl

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CharlieM1958

16228 posts in 3610 days


#7 posted 11-09-2013 02:40 PM

I got hold of several bf of spalted sycamore once. It worked beautifully and looked great. I actually used some of it for this:

Click for details

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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woodsmithshop

1245 posts in 2938 days


#8 posted 11-09-2013 02:43 PM

I have only used quarter sawn, and I have had good luck with it.
American Sycamore is also a Maple

-- Smitty!!!

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ShaneA

6353 posts in 1991 days


#9 posted 11-09-2013 02:56 PM

If it is quarter sawn, that is a good price. It is easy to work with, and has a unique look.

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bannerpond1

397 posts in 1291 days


#10 posted 11-09-2013 02:59 PM

I have quartersawn Indiana sycamore and it’s very stable and attractive. I saw a reference to its being called, “American lacewood.” I have some QS boards with both sapwood and heartwood and it’s very striking. I’d take all the sycamore logs I could get and have them QS. Heck, burn the rest, but the QS is worth the trouble.

-- --Dale Page

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Monte Pittman

21234 posts in 1730 days


#11 posted 11-09-2013 03:20 PM

I really like the QS sycamore. I would check to see if it is QS. It might be a heck of a deal.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

13478 posts in 2011 days


#12 posted 11-09-2013 03:38 PM

It can be beautiful stuff, it’s true. +1 to Monte’s (and others) suggestion above.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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gfadvm

14900 posts in 2082 days


#13 posted 11-10-2013 04:11 AM

One of my favorites and I have found it easy to work and finish.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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Picken5

216 posts in 2084 days


#14 posted 11-10-2013 04:57 AM

I love QS sycamore. Beautiful and pretty easy to work with — but keep your tools sharp.

-- Howard - "Time spent making sawdust is not deducted from one's lifetime." - old Scottish proverb

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WDHLT15

1543 posts in 1868 days


#15 posted 11-10-2013 01:20 PM

American sycamore is a monotype, that is, it is the only species in its genus. It is similar to maple in pore structure, but is is not a maple. The genus for sycamore is Platanus. The genus for maple is Acer. They are in different families.

Quartersawn sycamore is the most beautiful North American hardwood in my opinion. I have sawn plenty of it.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

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