gum, worthy or worthless?

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Forum topic by roadrunner0925 posted 06-04-2009 02:37 AM 1306 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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43 posts in 3616 days

06-04-2009 02:37 AM

i have been doing a bit of research on using sweet gum lumber. i have read that when stained it holds a striking resemblance to walnut. when left raw or clearcoated, it looks like cherry. what does anyone know about this? i have an opportunity to get a huge amount. thx, wm

-- wm, brandon,ms

8 replies so far

View Durnik150's profile


647 posts in 3317 days

#1 posted 06-04-2009 08:30 AM

Sweet Gum wood is very hard to dry, that’s the reason you don’t see it a lot. It tends to warp. twist, bow and move in every possible direction. HOWEVER, if you can get the wood to stay straight it is a great wood to work with. Take a look at my projects and you will see a little sweet gum box that I really like.

Usually, Sweet Gum has a lot of streaks and color, similar to Ambrosia Maple but nowhere near as hard. I really liked working with it but my experience with it is limited to a couple pieces here and there. Since it doesn’t dry well most of mills and kilns don’t bother to even cut it.

If you want to see what some of the milled wood looks like, keep an eye on Lumberlady1 and FamilySawmill48 on eBay. They carry Sweet Gum every so often.

Best of luck and if you get a bunch, make sure to show us what you make of it!

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18267 posts in 3671 days

#2 posted 06-04-2009 08:56 AM

That box is really nice!! Beautiful wood!! I missed that one, must have been out of town. Looks like gum would be worth waiting for :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View kimball's profile


323 posts in 3293 days

#3 posted 06-05-2009 02:03 AM

I re-finished a bed made of gum (not sure if sweet or not. I believe it is eucalyptus but again not sure). It turned out beautiful and did resemble walnut but with more figure. If I had the opportunity, I would gladly build a project from this beautiful wood. Oh and by the way, WOW! I envy you.
Good luck,

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4396 days

#4 posted 06-05-2009 03:46 AM

The sawmill I work with makes rail road ties out of it, But no lumber, he states that it’s not worth the effort. I picked up a couple of boards off the scrap pile but done nothing with it yet. It warped.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View roadrunner0925's profile


43 posts in 3616 days

#5 posted 06-18-2009 03:45 AM

thx alot for comments! i may give it a try. i like a challenge. i alo have access to quarter sawn southern long leaf pine as long as i want and up to 18 in wide. the trees are on my grandfathers place. the pine trees are a min of 24in in diameter and near 100 ft tall. wiiiiish i had a warehouse.

-- wm, brandon,ms

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 3988 days

#6 posted 06-18-2009 04:00 AM

it is very yru that gumwood warps if you do get this supply store it horazotaly and get some heavy wight on it evenly make sure that the ends of the boards are sealed “latex paint works just fine and let it sit their to adjust to the room unless the wood is already dry in that case your good to go to store any way you like i have had 200 board feet in my shop for 3 years and it hasnt moved at all. the table in my projects it all gum wood and you can see the hart wood of it on the top kind of

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

View roadrunner0925's profile


43 posts in 3616 days

#7 posted 06-19-2009 04:42 AM

thx, gumwood. ill give it a shot

-- wm, brandon,ms

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3330 days

#8 posted 06-19-2009 08:26 PM

I agree with you Bob. That sweetgum box is really something.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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