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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 1182 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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camps764

839 posts in 1208 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

248 posts in 1454 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

12132 posts in 1854 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

1753 posts in 1362 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

839 posts in 1208 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

5721 posts in 2433 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

806 posts in 521 days


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

Alistair, you probably have euro sycamore, a maple.

-- Bill....... " was you dryin' your nails or a wavin' me goodbye?" Tom Waits

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CharlieM1958

15913 posts in 3066 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

1205 posts in 2393 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

5594 posts in 1446 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

319 posts in 746 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

16420 posts in 1186 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

11068 posts in 1466 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

12419 posts in 1538 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

163 posts in 1539 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

1283 posts in 1324 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 LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

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