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Favourite wood to work?

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Anonymous

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Hi all

Wondering if anyone has favourite wood that they like to work with hand tools?

I have always used Ash, Oak, Mahogany and Pine in my furniture

However, I have recently tried some sycamore and beech and they are both fantastic to plane and chisel. Definitely my favourite woods to work with hand tools - so enjoyable!!

What are yours?
 
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Anonymous

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hhhand tools? :-s what are these...hand tools of which you speak?
 
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Anonymous

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alright, in all seriousness I like working bird's eye maple with hand tools. Not because it's easy to work with plane , scaper and chisel but because it's so damn HARD to work with jointer and thicknesser! :!:
So, I guess it's more of a relief to handwork this my most favourite wood.
 

devonwoody

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Tony":235gnl3r said:
Hi all

Wondering if anyone has favourite wood that they like to work with hand tools?

I have always used Ash, Oak, Mahogany and Pine in my furniture

However, I have recently tried some sycamore and beech and they are both fantastic to plane and chisel. Definitely my favourite woods to work with hand tools - so enjoyable!!

What are yours?
Hi Tony I'm am going to try maching some of this sycamore that has arrived. (by the way is it kiln dried or have I got to store it for some time? from goodtimber)

 
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Anonymous

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Nice haul DW. As far as I know, it is fully dried and ready to go - the stuff I bought certainly was

Looking forward to seeing that cabinet finished :wink:
 

Jokerman

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Morning Tony

Mine has to be reclaimed wood of any description. A bit like the Salvager but hopefully not as rough!
I buy old and often broken furniture at houxe clearance auctions and enjoy either repairing or dismantling items wjich leaves a pile of odd sizes and shapes from which to make SOMETHING.
Often the pieces are simply too small to throw at machinery and you simply have to use hand tools to work the piece.
The beauty of wood like this is it's so well conditioned and stable. It has survived the ravages of time, coal fires, central heating, sunlight and damp, physical use and abuse etc.
It is often the only way of getting single width boards of otherwise very expensive hardwoods and fruitwoods and its interesting to note the construction methods used often before the type of machinery we have today was even invented or was at best powered by a water mill.It's sometimes a real challenge to emulate the skill used by previuous generations of woodworkers and I'm often amazed by how they made things purely by hand and eye.
To work timber like this your tools must be sharp and flat and the pressure applied determined by you and not preset by machinery or computer.
It's nice to see a small box, often made as a present for somebody made from wood that in a previous life has been a table leaf or part of a wardrobe.
Anyway at least it keeps me out of the pub and off street corners
It also gives me a perfect excuse to rummage in boxes at car boot sales loking for old tools which themselves need renovating before they can be put to use.
Hope this isn't too long winded.
Regards
hh.
 

Philly

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Good question!
There are two main types of wood-planable ones and what Krenov calls "mean" woods! :lol:
Personally I love Elm, Sycamore and Mahogany-although I am open to anything!
Cheers
Philly :D
 

Alf

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Well having just ordered a bunch of cherry, beech and walnut, I hope I won't take a sudden dislike to any of them... 8-[ Sycamore is extremely pleasant to work though, I agree, and I also enjoyed the little bit of nutmeg I used on the spokeshave handles. Planed like a dream and gave off such a wonderful aroma. :D But really I don't have any favourites; they all have good and bad points and the bad ones at least give you a bit of a challenge. :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 
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Anonymous

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Thus far, ebony has to be the winner...

It's an absolute pig to saw, both rip and crosscut (by hand), but beautiful to plane, produces lovely chocolate coloured shavings, and the sheen you get from a well tuned smoother is a wonder to behold...once you get the surface vaguely flat, the sing from the plane is lovely. OK, it takes a bit of grunt from a rough sawn piece to get to that stage, but once there, it's worth it! Chiselling isn't too bad either, though I've only pared it, not tried to knock big holes in it!
 

dickm

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My choice has to be brown oak - I've still got some collected from the family farm about 20 years ago, and it works beautifully - like planing chocolate might be, I suspect!
 

Midnight

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Straight grained scots oak is nice and predictable; knotty stuff can be an absolute bear to work... but worth the effort...

Likewise with elm... when it behaves it's real easy to work... when the grain goes nutz... Oi Vey....

Sycamore I found real civilised provided you remembered the basics..

By far the best to date however was some Indian Rosewood... felt like glass when smoothed... all the oil in the wood kept the sole well lubricated...
 

Jokerman

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I have to agree with midnight about rosewood. A few years ago a friend asked me if i'd like a bit as he was tidying out his workshop prior to moving house. What he brought was 15 lengths of approx. 3x11/2x70ish." already planed to a rough section. Aparently he'd been given it and more by another friend who used it for making the frets on guitars. So far I've used it for small jewellery boxes and a couple of presentation boxes to keep peoples treasured small items. It really does sing from the plane and it's smoothness is glass like. The more you work it the more the figure begins to show and the deep veins are beautiful. If anyone lives near to Mid Derbyshire and wants to collect a length for themself PM me and we'll sort something out. It's much too heavy for the post.
hh.
 

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