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Wood properties

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    In ?Wood first project" Canadian Scroller talked about "close grained" wood. I have seen this as a suggestion on some of my patterns. I have done some fret work but no woodworking before I started and don't understand this term. Can you please explain it to me and give me some idea of which woods are "close grained" Thanks

  • #2
    Many specie of wood are close grained, but I may have been refering to mahogany. I like the way it cuts for certain projects. That being said I am sure there are hundreds of species of mahogany, some of which are not so close grained.

    I have some "Old Growth" cedar where the growth rings are extremely close together, I got it from some fence boards and planed it down. The cedar that you can afford to buy in the stores is no where near as good.

    I could be wrong but I find hardwoods have a closer grain pattern than softwoods. Someone is sure to correct me if I am wrong.

    I hope some of the wood exports step in and shed some light on this.
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


    • #3
      Close grained can also refer to how fast the tree grew. Carl touched on this when talking about the old-growth cedar. The faster a tree grows, the wider the distance between the growth rings. The distance beween the growth rings determines the closeness of grain.

      Look at a pine 2x4 stud. The grain is very wide on that--they have pine plantations to grow the trees as fast as possible for the building industry. Then look at a tropical hardwood tree that took a long time to grow--the grain is very tight on that.

      Look at Northen basswood vs Southern basswood--the southern basswood grain is a lot more open--it grows a lot faster down south!

      Oak, by the way, is notorious for having an open grain. The reason you want to watch the grain is that different sections of the grain cut differently and finish differently. The closer the grain is together, the more consitant your cutting, and your finishing will be.



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