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  • What type of wood do you like

    I am just curious what your favourite wood is to cut. I know it depends on the project. But I would be interested to see, which woods beside Baltic Birch are popular with scrollers, what kind of projects they do with the various woods and why they like them.

    My favourite wood so far has been cherry, although I have had some nice black walnut which cut very well.

    I did a project in purple heart that was very hard on the blades.

    Any info would be good for us all to share.
    Thanks
    CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

  • #2
    Wood

    Like you said, it seems like it depends on the project. The most unique I've tried so far is Bumbinga. This was a hard wood! I had scrolled out a lighthouse clock for my mom (for got to take a picture of it). I had read that because this wood can be 'gummy' it was best not to 'glue' it. So to attach the piece to the base I used some brass wood screws. Man! Just drilling the holes was harder than normal. (or it's time for that bit to be sharpened)

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    • #3
      I've got a lot of favorites, but if I had to use only one for the rest of my life, I think I would go with walnut. Not suited to everything, but I could live with it.

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      • #4
        I seem to do a number of projects out of Oak. I am currently using some 5/8th oak about 8" wide given to me to make a wall shelve. Both the end pieces and the front have a number of inside fret cuts.

        I have been using Flying Dutchman blades, mostly #5's for this project.

        Second choice would be walnut but I don't have any pieces at the present time...other projects were cut out of popular or baltic birch plywood.

        Jim
        Jim Paskett
        RBI HAWK 220

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        • #5
          I have no favorites and have used so many including many exotics. Exotics can be harder to use because of the density of them but for each project I like to have the natural color of the woods show off the piece instead of stains because that is what sets the piece off. Each project will dictate the wood. You say most scrollers use baltic birch but the fact is many of these users are portrait makers or puzzle makers. You need because of the fragility of the piece something that is strong. A plywood will give you the most strength and baltic birch or finnish birch is the perfect choice because of no voids through out the wood. But if you want carachter to a piece then natural hardwoods are the way to go. Grain and color are important.
          John T.

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          • #6
            I've been working with a lot of walnut recently and even though it's a hardwood it cuts easily. As for the hardest wood to work with, bloodwood is extremely dense and I go through a lot of blades with the little bit of work I did with it. It finishes very nice, though.
            Dan H

            I would rather be friendly to a stranger than be a stranger to my friends.

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            • #7
              My favorites change from month to month. Lately I've been working with some mesquite lumber which I think is sort of unique. It has some interesting grain character, easy to cut although it is on the heavier side and wow, my garage smells wonderful. Sure can't over look walnut either, very nice to work with. I noticed most of the burl wood I have isn't to bad to cut either, just a little difficult to find a completely straight unwarped piece, but it's sooooo pretty. Certain Elms are nice (red elm) certain elms are miserable (grey). Those also are hard to get a straight board. (We cut and dry our own lumber so warped and twisted boards are a bit of a issue with me)

              Seems like the woods I like best finished are some of the hardest ones to work with. I have some nasty figured maple and birdseye with super tight grain, just miserable to work with, but I love the way it looks finished. I thought wenge was hard at one time, now I'm using ziricote instead, very hard, have to use tape on the entire piece to avoid burns (even using the agressive cutting blades, plain cheap blades are not even an option). I also dislike certain woods because of their smells aromatic cedar leaves a nauseating smell in the shop, especially after planning it (same with sassafrass) and I'm not to fond of working with pines (smell and softness of wood).

              Oops, this was suppose to be about favorite woods. My list can get pretty big with least favorites. I still work with them (the least favorites) because they have interesting color or grain patterns. I guess overall my favorite stuff has to have some type of interesting grain patterns and some ease of cutting.

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              • #8
                I do a lot of compound cutting so I am frequently cutting through over an inch of thickness. Walnut is a love-hate thing with me, because at that thickness it cuts very slowly and is prone to burn if I crank up the SPM at all, but it comes out looking so rich when it's done.

                A good, clear white pine is like a vacation while cutting, but it doesn't look at all interesting. I do like to use pine if I'm going to dye or paint the finished product.

                Butternut is perhaps my current favorite. It's easier to cut than the walnut but the grain stands out and it takes a good glow from a clear finish. Not as dull as pine, and not as hard to cut as walnut!

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                • #9
                  Question for Joanna

                  Joanna

                  I noticed in your posting you mentioned alot of exotics as well as mesquite What do you make with mesquite and all the other exotics. Mesquite could be troublesome to work with with all the worm holes and the splitting. Are these intarsia projects where the pieces are not that large. You also mention burls. These are usually turners woods. Just curious.
                  John T.

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                  • #10
                    I use just about anything on sale or I can get for free!

                    I do enjoy cedar though as it covers up the stinky dog breath smell of my two four legged assistants who watch my every move. I swear if these dogs had opposable thumbs they would be scrolling too.
                    Todd

                    Hawk G4, Dremel 1800

                    Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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                    • #11
                      Yep, My main work is intarsia. I really don't consider most of the woods I work with exotic, the only two I buy is mahogany and ziricote (use to use wenge). The rest is milled on our sawmill. I guess I think of exotic as from other countries. Most my wood comes from WI, MN and MI, and sometimes my husband will bring home odd logs when he works in other states (Mesquite - TX, sassafrass - VA? to name a few). If set with the right type of jig, small boards can be made from burls on the band sawmill we have. My husband's little side line hobby is his sawmill. (some fish, some play golf, mines like to cut lumber)

                      Hey Rivari, you have to put your dogs to work like I do with mine. I have an extremely hyper german short hair that I have trained to throw away wood scapes and paper (for a piece of dog food of course). I just throw all my scraps and papers on the floor in my shop for her to throw away. After she cleans up that she starts picking up shavings from the planer. When I have the doors open in the summer she throws away rocks and leaves. She owes me. she used a few of my projects as chew toys as a puppy.

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                      • #12
                        Joanna,

                        I beleive you used a redundant term; hyper active and German Shorthair Pointer...I know this because my two assistants I speak of are Shorthairs as well. They too like to pick up the scraps but they feel the need to consume them...not healthy for dogs to eat them little bits.

                        I digress...what was the topic again?
                        Todd

                        Hawk G4, Dremel 1800

                        Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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                        • #13
                          I like black walnut cause it smells so good.
                          FreeScrollSawPatterns
                          [email protected]

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                          • #14
                            Pris,

                            Everytime I smell Walnut, I'm reminded of my dad working down in the shop when I was a kid. The memories that brings back! The smell of Persimmon does the same thing (we use to form/wrasp our own wooden golf heads.)

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                            • #15
                              I scroll a lot of Christmas ornaments and like to use cedar for those. It's easy to cut and I like the red color. But it is also a great conversation opener during shows - and I find if customers pick an item up to look (or smell) they are more apt to buy.
                              Oak is very plentiful here, so I use that a lot. I have a little walnut and maple that I also use. I buy my hard wood from a local, small sawmill so am somewhat limited. The cedar comes from an Amish shop that makes cedar furniture - they let me purchase some boards.
                              Theresa
                              Theresa

                              http://WoodNGoods.weebly.com

                              http://woodngoods.blogspot.com

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