Old Hickory

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Forum topic by rantingrich posted 11-12-2014 11:19 AM 1253 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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372 posts in 1372 days

11-12-2014 11:19 AM

Topic tags/keywords: hickory

I am thinning of making my next cabinet project out of Hickory and Hickory Veneer. I have heard in the past it is hard to work with…

Any Opinions on that?

-- Rich

10 replies so far

View cdarney's profile


104 posts in 3058 days

#1 posted 11-12-2014 01:22 PM

I find it very hard. It cuts on the table saw well without burning much but it splinters easily on the router. It doesn’t just chip away, it tears off long pieces. Rout in lots of small increments. It takes a finish pretty well. I love the variation in colors throughout.

All in all I would use it again.

View one19's profile


65 posts in 1329 days

#2 posted 11-12-2014 02:58 PM

I just wrapped the front my bench top in a beautiful piece of hickory, 60” x 3.5”. It ripped nicely on my old Craftsman contractor saw and cross-cut OK on the miter saw. I’m really glad I chose hickory instead of another hardwood. It’s pretty striking in appearance.

View mudflap4869's profile


1755 posts in 1486 days

#3 posted 11-12-2014 03:54 PM

TAKE YOUR TIME! Hickory bites back if you try to to rush it. Hand tools are best because they offer perfect control of the work. Old school is the way I would go with it.

-- Still trying to master kindling making

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4999 posts in 2520 days

#4 posted 11-12-2014 07:20 PM

What they said. My wife choose hickory cabinets (factory cabinets) for our last kitchen remodel. My task was to make some matching hickory trim, accessories, and a door for the pantry. I love it, the appearance and hardness. But I sure don’t like machining it. The splinters were especially a problem when milling the base and door casings. Have very sharp tooling and slow feed rates.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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706 posts in 2053 days

#5 posted 11-12-2014 09:26 PM

+ 1 to small bites and slow even feed-rates. It is probably my favorite grain though

-- atta boy Clarence!

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scott ernst

41 posts in 1855 days

#6 posted 11-16-2014 05:30 PM

I find hickory to be one of the most obnoxious woods to work with. You get splinters in your hands, it tears out in long strings, the stock I’ve worked with was extremely unstable and it’s just plain heavy to carry around. I see that it has it’s proponents here, but given the choice I’d pick almost anything else.

-- Scott, NM

View JerryLH's profile


134 posts in 1338 days

#7 posted 11-17-2014 05:03 PM

I’m currently building a 5’, eight legged, hickory workbench – I can attest to the splintering tendencies – but, when your cutting, routing, etc comes out right, it’s a thing of beauty. I say – go for it.

-- Develop your character -- for it becomes your destiny. Jerry - Mannford, Ok

View HerbC's profile


1764 posts in 2886 days

#8 posted 11-17-2014 08:23 PM


I’m still puzzled by your workbench design… Seems there’s very little to minimize racking forces and that it will be rather unstable. And I don’t understand what the extra legs add to the design…


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View JerryLH's profile


134 posts in 1338 days

#9 posted 11-18-2014 03:45 PM

1st, it may be good to keep in mind this is just one pic in the middle of the build process. The legs, all eight, are tenoned through the top ‘to become’ wedged tenons. Normally in a wedged tenon the top end of the mortise is chiseled back to make room for the wedge. Hickory being hickory, rather than chiseling eight leg mortises to allow for the coming wedges – I cut 1/8” hardwood wedges and superglued them into the mortise.

Also, not seen in the pic, is a interlocking rail around the eight legs which locks each leg in place and makes it impossible for any ‘one’ of the eight legs from racking/moving unless all legs move.

As to why eight legs instead of four – I wanted eight legs.

-- Develop your character -- for it becomes your destiny. Jerry - Mannford, Ok

View HickoryHacker's profile


1 post in 1313 days

#10 posted 11-18-2014 04:25 PM

Hickory is difficult to work with, I make some of the nicest kindling, trying to turn 48” hickory golf club shafts. You should have better results with your project. My advise is after you sharpen your tools, really sharpen them again. Watch the grain it will tend to run out on you.

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