question about using apple for greenwood chair

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Forum topic by jdh122 posted 12-12-2013 01:27 PM 608 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12-12-2013 01:27 PM

Someone who knows I’ve been dabbling in greenwood chair-making has recently offered me some apple wood. Of course I said yes (duh), since at worst I can use it to carve a few spoons and bowls or make a few shortish boards on the bandsaw, but I’m wondering about trying to make a post and rung chair from it. Any input would be appreciated – is it possible to split and drawknife it reasonably straight? It looks, from that it is a very dense and heavy wood, fairly strong, but less so than the oaks or maples. Has anyone tried steam-bending apple?

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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#1 posted 12-12-2013 05:06 PM

Apple wood moves a LOT when it dries, and tends to check/split badly. Not sure how well that would go with the free movement needed to build a green wood type chair. If you can make it work, however, it would be a beautiful price considering the fine grain pattern and nice color of apple wood.

-- Minnesota Woodworkers Guild, Past President, Lifetime member.

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#2 posted 12-12-2013 05:24 PM

Thanks. I’ve never managed to get my hands on any fruit wood and am quite curious. On the web people seem to suggest that it’s probably steam-bendable, but that the density and hardness is an issue for machining and that drying is a real problem.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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#3 posted 12-12-2013 05:31 PM

Hi Jeremy
Woods that steam best are open ceiled woods like oak. Using any green wood for rungs is not a good Idea ,because once it shrinks it loosens , on the other hand people make chairs with green seats and put very dry rungs in it and when the seat drys it tightens around the tenon of the rung.

-- Custom furniture

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#4 posted 12-12-2013 05:46 PM

Hi Jim,
Right. Kiln dried tenons into air dried mortises is the general rule. But it gets worked green with the wedge, froe and drawknife. Sorry if I wasn’t clear.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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