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Old 09-12-2008, 06:40 AM
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Default Favorite Wood

I know you guys love wood. I have been working with alot of african woods lately. African mahogany (ribbon) I absolutly hate working with this wood. It tears out and fuzzes when planed and cut so alot of time is spent sanding. I have also been using alot of Sapele and Sipo. Out of all the woods I have ever worked with I like Sipo the best. It has nearly all the same properties as Sapele but is just a bit denser. I has some interlocking grain in the ribbon grain so it can tearout a bit. Even though it is not the easiest wood to work I am absolutely in love with the way it looks. In the ribbon grain (quartered and rift sawn) the ribbons have a great depth and golden irridescence. It is nearly as beautiful in the flat cut.

Ribbon Sipo Stair


My friend Kit's favorite wood is Teak. I love the way it smells when cut and I like how it cuts with a sharp chisel.

Poto likes Cherry.

how about you guy's? Favorites?

Eiji
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:04 AM
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Default Re: Favorite Wood

No other wood that I have worked with has the chatoyance of a gloss-finished Ribbon Stripped African Mahogany. I have had good and bad lots of this, and frankly, sometimes you get good lumber and sometimes bad.

I built this briefcase around 10 years ago from a left over 16" wide plank from a major project. I made it from solid limber knowing that it was a great risk having extremely wide cross-grain joints, but it was well worth it, and with the proper forethought to the construction, it has not failed after many years of severe abuse (including getting crushed under the 200 pound tonneau cover of my truck just months after making it). It has all solid brass hardware and a leather insert. Making the solid handle was the trickiest, and it was the closest my fingers have ever been to such a large shaper cutter.
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Old 09-12-2008, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: Favorite Wood

Nice Scrabble score!
My favorite tends to be what I'm working with that day, or what I just bought. But even that has limitations.
Maple and flat sawn oak bore me to tears.
Uber expensive boards are out of my budget.
I guess I'm a middle of the price field but off the beaten path guy. I do like cherry. I've enjoyed playing with some soft maple, elm, the butternut currently, alder . . .
If I have to pick a favorite it probably is cherry. Favorite to work with, not favorite to pay for.
But ask someone with ten kids which is their favorite. They all frustrate the hell out of you in their own special way! ;-)
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Old 09-12-2008, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Favorite Wood

Hey Rick - I think that's the first thing of yours that I've seen. Nice work, even if it is 10 years old. Do you still make things, or do you just cut chunks of wood while testing NAINA tools, and annoy the hell out of Fred? I can see the appeal of that as a job, but still...

Yes, I love cherry. But not all cherry. I'm pretty particular about what I use. I like the way it works, and the depth you can get with the highly figured stuff. I also love figured maple, though I don't like working it as much as cherry. Too much tearout and chipping. Which is probably because I don't know what I'm doing most of the time. I'd like to work with more black walnut, but it's a bit dark for our house, so I haven't gotten into it yet. Also, I haven't worked with it, but a really nice straight, tight-grain fir looks beautiful for certain pieces, and trim. The northwest coastal natives really knew how to make that wood work.

For small pieces or accent pieces, cocobolo is really nice to work with. It'll get some nice depth and gloss with the right finish.

I'll bet Okami has some nice woods that we don't have much access to, here. Hopefully he'll post...
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Favorite Wood

Well Poto it is kind of funny you asked. Eiji called me this morning and asked about the same thing. I donít do as much woodworking these days just due to lack of time and drive for making anything. Woodworking doesnít pay anywhere near as much as my keyboard pays, so I rarely take on any commission work any more.

The last project I did was more engineering than anything else, but did involve the tools due to the plastics fabrication work. It is just like woodworking, except instead of using glue and nails, it uses a wire-feed thermal plastic welder. It is a computerized (PLC) tester for large electrical cables (extension cords) and panels. It takes about a 3 days to a week to make one of these, and has a profit margin between $4000 and $6000 depending on the options.



I am surprised you did not see any pictures of my expanding table. This was the last major woodworking project I did last year, and I have a 16 page construction blog on how it was completed. It also used African Ribbon striped mahogany. Table Blog Index





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Old 09-12-2008, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Favorite Wood

I forgot to mention that the expanding table uses the innards from a Festool C12 drill to drive it. Here is a video showing the mechanics in motion before I installed the wood leaves.
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: Favorite Wood

Rick - mucho apologies! I did see your expanding table - it was the topic of discussion at several dinners, and Sharon still talks about it. Very, very cool. I love the way you combine such precise engineering with woodworking. I imagine it could be very satisfying. Thanks - again - for sharing.

But still - two projects in 10 years!

On the other hand, annoying Fred could become a full-time job.
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: Favorite Wood

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poto View Post
On the other hand, annoying Fred could become a full-time job.
It doesn't pay well, but annoying Fred is far more rewarding.
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: Favorite Wood

And I'm sure Fred gets great pleasure out of annoying you, too!
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