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Red Elm- Anyone ever use it?

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Forum topic by CoachSchroeder posted 02-17-2014 05:04 PM 873 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CoachSchroeder

97 posts in 1071 days


02-17-2014 05:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip resource jointer planer milling finishing

Just got set up to start using rough cut lumber for the first time.
I thought I would begin with some inexpensive stock while I figure out how to use my new machines.
Looks like the Red Elm is the least expensive species I can get in my area at the moment.

Has anyone used this before? I read up on it in my little wood encyclopedia but thought I would check with this community.

-- -Sam, in Wisconsin


4 replies so far

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knotscott

7224 posts in 2842 days


#1 posted 02-17-2014 05:32 PM

Red elm has some of the most spectacular grain I’ve worked with….it can be cheap, but is also one of the more difficult species that I’ve worked with. It’s very prone to warpage after it’s been cut than most. It’s also very prone to leaving fuzzed edges even when you use very sharp cutters….the fuzz will be stiff enough to cut your hand open if you try to knock if off by hand….it’s not your typical pine fuzz that brushes right off. You might consider experimenting with some other more predictable wood, but when you do get around to working with the elm, I’d suggest letting it acclimate in your shop for several days, dimensioning it slightly oversized, then let acclimate another day or two before taking it to final dimensions (including any planing and jointing) .....that method seems to reduce the movement in the final piece quite a bit. Good luck!

A lot of the subtle details are lost with the digital pics, but here are some examples of the grain:


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

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CoachSchroeder

97 posts in 1071 days


#2 posted 02-17-2014 06:22 PM

Stunning stuff.
I’m excited to try working with it someday. Beautiful grain patterns is my #1.

I did read that is is difficult to work with but the books didn’t elaborate beyond the fuzz comment.

Any idea of what might be a better combo of work-ability/economy? I’m in Wisconsin so North American hardwoods are plentiful.

-- -Sam, in Wisconsin

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knotscott

7224 posts in 2842 days


#3 posted 02-17-2014 06:24 PM

Oak, maple, and ash are all plentiful and pretty easy to work with.

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

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CoachSchroeder

97 posts in 1071 days


#4 posted 02-17-2014 08:11 PM

Looks like ash is a winner.
Pretty inexpensive around here.
Thanks knotscott

-- -Sam, in Wisconsin

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