Hand Tools Archive

Re: wood-database-how do I use it

david weaver
Wood database can sometimes have cut and pasted comments across a lot of woods.

I'm sure Jarrah isn't something one would want to work up by hand, but the commentary makes it sound like it's not as abusive as some other similar hardness woods like some of the hickories or locust. Locust is very variable (I've seen turners use it, but i've never seen anyone working it by hand. One of my mothers' friends tried to give me some logs that had been saved to turn, but they were nasty nasty stuff.

Beech and hard maple are also close to each other on there but not similar when hand tooling, even with wood that doesn't have damaging stuff in it. Beech planes longer and the shaving has a different quality (less friction, more pillowy, whereas the maple is very smooth and strong - seemingly a lot of friction).

It just struck me as a not much time power tool user that maple was one of the woods that always seemed to have trouble burning if you didn't clear your head and get it through the power tools quickly, too. you can really feel that with the hand tools if you're planing something else.

Worth trying with it in terms of tensile strength and smoothness is getting a bunch of shavings, stretching them out and trying to tear them. Compare the same thing to a similar weight of shavings from oak or beech. They are extremely strong.

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