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Subject:
If you really want to...
Response To:
What David said plus.... ()

David Weaver
..a good point at the end.

If there is good lumber in the trees and it's sawn and dried without staining or nastiness (presuming that's undesirable), if you really want to use it as a matter of using something you've done start to finish, you can probably make it work.

With the cabin being unheated, and unairconditioned, it may get lots of practice moving.

One other thing that I noticed when I checked the working properties for beech (it's divine for wooden planes and we finish them naturally and there's no nailing of it) is that twice I've tried coloring my own planes to make them look older. I tried using stain, and I tried using tinted wax. Both looked *terrible*.

In reading the working properties, I saw a note of this for floors - that it takes pigment stains very unevenly and even color requires dyes. The page also said it splits easily when nailing, maybe that's the splitting bill was talking about - but it does split in a very dry cold snap, even several years old it can do that. Once a check opens up, it doesn't fully close again.

Wood has a property of shrink and spring back (or expansion. not sure of the official terminology). Beech is bad with this - maybe all woods are, but it would be across the width of the board. While there's volatile gas in it (Which is probably a decade or decades), it will shrink when it gets very dry, and the amount that it expands with subsequent moisture is less - meaning seasonal gaps that form will stay.

But the kicker with it is that its tangential movement is a pretty high figure - 30% greater than oak.

hand planes are made quartered, and what happens (even with extremely well sawn and dried wood) is the width of the plane gradually shrinks over the first several years, and then probably slowly thereafter. The effect of this is to find old planes split on the sides where they break out against the iron, or to find plane irons that can't be removed from planes because they're gripped beyond tight.

A flooring person would know what to do based on this. Does it mean install the boards tighter than normal (if that's possible?) assuming they'll shrink further? I don't know.

All that said, it wears really well. Especially a flatsawn face (the quartered face - not so much), so if you got it in place and it was stable and you didn't care about uneven color, the face of it would probably stay nice.

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