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  • Horse Chestnut Wood

    A cabinet builder in town gave me this piece of horse chestnut wood. It is half inch thick and has some splalting in it.
    Has anyone used this for either turning or scrolling ???
    He said he also has some of it in 2" thick he can give me if I can use it.
    We have lots of big horse chestnut trees in this area but this is the first time I have seen it in lumber form.
    I am curious about its machining characteristics as well as its hardnes (or softness)
    W.Y.

    http://www.picturetrail.com/willyswoodcrafting

    The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us

    Delta P-20 Scroll Saw, 14" x 43" Craftex Wood Lathe and Jet 10" Mini Lathe .

  • #2
    Product Description: Chinkapin
    (Castanopsis chrysophylla)
    Color: Pale reddish brown.

    The Tree: A medium to large size tree 50-120 feet tall with a broad, rounded crown, and straight trunk, up to 6' diameter and free of branches for up to 50'.

    The Wood: Similar to Chestnut with a rather coarse, open grain. Most boards have a subtle curl. Very easy to work, finishes smoothly and quite stable.

    Typical Uses: Great furniture wood.

    Source Region: Northwest USA

    Im not sure if its the same as horse chestnut but thats what turns up at woodworkers source for chestnut.unsure if i helped or not, play with it and let us know if its any good.
    Dale w/ yella saws

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    • #3
      Oh Lucky-Lucky You-
      When I first got bit by the wood working bug waaaaaaay back in 84- I use to buy cottonwood just like that to make my portraits and any thing else I dreamed up
      I loved it and wish I could get somemore- now --I had rough cut from the saw mill and I had to sand it smooth with a belt sander- now they have plainers that are more affordable.
      I use to do a lot of carving on mine to and it carves and cuts beautifully.I would take a scene or a portrate and instead of cutting it through with a scroll saw I did the 3D relief carving- leaving the bark on the sides was a bonus on the indian and rustic work--I carved a lot with a dremel way back then and gouges and blades and had a ball- so enjoy my friend -- WHAT YOU HAVE THERE IS A TREASURE FOR SURE IN MY BOOK..
      sHARON

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      • #4
        sharon...

        Didnt you find the cottonwood tened to fuzzy up? And, didnt it stink awful when working it?
        Dale w/ yella saws

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        • #5
          lucky788
          Thanks for that info. I am not sure but I think the difference is that horse chesnuts are not edible where as the ones grown for edible chestnuts are a different tree.
          The ground it littered with chestnuts that fall off these trees every fall but nobody eats them.

          Sharon;
          Are you saying that horse chestnut and cottonwood are classified as the same thing where you live ?
          We have lots of cottonwood around here but they are totally different trees in shape and size and leaves and cottonwood does not produce any nuts of any kind. . Cottonwood is soft and fuzzy to machine while this chestnut seem quite a bit harder although I have not machined it yet to find out.
          W.Y.
          http://www.picturetrail.com/willyswoodcrafting

          The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us

          Delta P-20 Scroll Saw, 14" x 43" Craftex Wood Lathe and Jet 10" Mini Lathe .

          Comment


          • #6
            I never had any problems with the fuzzies but then I used it before I had a scroll saw - but I loved it for its ease with cutting and its workability. It cut clean and I liked the fact that that it did not break on the fine detail work that I did . as far as fuzzies goes I have that with Baltic Birch if I use certain blades.. But I would love to try the horse chestnut for scrolling --- I just had a terrible thought- Wonder if your horse chestnut is what we down here in the deep south are the same as a horse apple- also called Bo'darc-- if it is then I d stay away from cutting it because the horse apple tree is only good for fence post because they will ruin even the best saw because they are so hard ...
            Sharon

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            • #7
              will what do the nuts look like - if they are the size of a baseball - green with a rather bumpy surface then it is a Bo'darc and not very good-Lucky -- I love the smell of wood - didn't know any of it stunk -- lol
              seems I rember when I was buying this wood for the first time I wanted balsm but the lumber mill said cottonwood and balsm were basically the same- which I agree
              also I was dealing with Texas redneck guys and they have a tendency to be kind of " thick-headed" ---sweet but not real sharp - if you know what I mean -- but a we Texas ladies love them anyway ..lol
              Sharon

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              • #8
                SharonW0111,

                if you would have gotton a sour piece of cotton wood you would have known it,

                us boys in my family would delight to climb the tall cottonwoods down by the river and when we got home mom could always tell where we had been from the smell, she would make us go straight to bathe...
                Dremel 1680 & Delta ss250 shopmaster

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                • #9
                  Osage Orange

                  The tree you're calling "horse apple" is probably Osage Orange based on your description of the fruit. And you're right, The wood is harder than a woodpeckers lips.
                  If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

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                  • #10
                    Osage Orange is called Bodark, from the french bois d'arc -- wood for making bows, for which it is excellent.

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                    • #11
                      Steve you are a fountain of knowledge <grin>. I've seen a lot of Osage Orange growing everywhere from Illinois to Northern Florida but never knew it was used in making bows. I used to be a dedicated bowhunter and even harvested a couple Pope and Young record bucks several years ago.
                      If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

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                      • #12
                        Bois D'Arc (Bodark in Texas) is, as Sharon said, used to fence posts (used to be anyway) and housing foundations. It is beautiful wood. Usually yellow and/or orange in color and some of the hardest stuff known to man. It wears the chains out on chain saws. It is also referred to around here as a "horse-apple" tree. The apples are as big as soft balls, bright lime green, and sticky. Squirrels love them. I have never heard of them being called "Osage Orange" before, but you live and learn. Cottonwoods are (in Texas) very tall, big leafed (you can hear the wind blowing through them), with almost white bark that peels off in tan pieces. The tree has little balls on it about the size of a golf ball that come apart in little furry pieces (hence "cotton" wood). I have never used either of the two trees for woodworking. Just to hunt squirrels in.
                        Moon
                        Old Mooner

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                        • #13
                          Cotton Wood

                          Sharon, I Dont Know Where You Are From But I Get Cotton Wood Shipped To Me In 3/4 Inch Slabs All The Time. This Place Has Cottonwood, Claro Walnut, English Walnut, Pepper Wood, Redwood Burl, All Kinds. He Will Plane It For You But It Usually Needs A Good Sanding. I Havent Experienced A Bad Odor From My Cotton Wood Yet. If Interested, Let Me Know.

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                          • #14
                            It's funny what different types of trees are called in different areas. The Bodark that is called in Texas is Hedge in Iowa. The green balls up here are used to keep spiders out of you house in the Fall. Alot of people burn it mostly for heat. When Its green it pops if it's dry it will burn forever. I've .seen fence post's made from it that you can't drive a nail into after a few years.

                            Kevin
                            When you hit rock bottom the only answer is to look up

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                            • #15
                              Rainman- I would love to be able to get some of those NICE wood you have up there- unfortunalty I am in the part of the world where I can only get Poplar, Cedarand Pine- Not much of it is good for scrolling but Poplar and it is out of my price range.. I did get to buy one 6 ft board once for a special statue I had to do --but last night I got a 10" band saw so everything I can get my hands on will be resawn and scrolled for as long as i can -- I have a 2x12x15 board of extremely good quality pine that has been in my patio door for the last 10 yeas- since I haven't a use for it any longer it will be resawn as soon as I can get my son to shorten it enough for me to handle --it should make for some beautiful victorian fretwork baskets .. wish I could take you up on the offer for the address of the wood but finances keep me from it...But you could send me your scraps...lol
                              Sharon

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