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Thread: i'd like to know if anyone has ever turned this wood

  1. #1
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    i'd like to know if anyone has ever turned this wood

    my dad and nephew are taking down a tree at the nephew's new house. at first they thought it was olive, or russian olive. i told them both to save the larger diameter trunk, and branch parts. after looking at the wood, i was pretty sure they were wrong, and brought home a leaf from the tree to identify the species. it turns out to be an aspen tree. the wood is very hard, and cannot be marked with a thumbnail. i am wondering if any of you, flat or spinny, have ever used this wood.
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  2. #2
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    The Aspen I've used (for FLAT work!) has been pretty soft. Easy to work, with sorta 'stringy' sawdust. Too soft to hold a profile - might be good for painted stuff, but probably best saved for use as a secondary wood.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  3. #3
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    When I lived in ny I used it for setup of machines. It is very soft and takes stain great. My old house has aspen stained to look like cherry. Like jim said it is stringy and finishes kinda fuzzy.

  4. #4
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    I used it by the truck load for unfinished stuff for the toll painters and did build some stuff and stained it. I liked it, most dont nice white wood.
    A Turn N Time
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  5. #5
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    I turned some aspen from Colorado. Like other said very stringy and no curls whatsoever. very soft sort of like turning balsa wood but that said the stuff had some amazing color to it browns, reds and even some green.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
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  6. #6
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    Something's not right here..."aspen" and "very hard, and cannot be marked with a thumbnail" are mutually exclusive. Are you sure it's not some type of maple? Or perhaps elm? Do you have any photos of the wood, bark or leaves?
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  7. #7
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    Vaughn brings up a great point plus aspens typically grow at high altitude such as the rocky mountains. I don't think they would do well in your area.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Baer View Post
    Vaughn brings up a great point plus aspens typically grow at high altitude such as the rocky mountains. I don't think they would do well in your area.
    Vaughn usually brings up good points.

    As far as aspens not doing well in Minnesota, ................WRONG. They are quite abundant in many areas.
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  9. #9
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    ok, i've now got a pic of the leaf. the cut part that i checked out had outer sap wood about 1/2" from the bark, and the rest, with no observable pith, was a pinkish color. the sample i checked is about 4" in diameter. i checked to see how hard the wood was, and ran my thumbnail across the saw marks, and didn't leave a dent. my dad said that the branches were difficult to cut, as the wood was so hard. i'm curious about this wood, as there will be bigger chunks coming when he takes down the trunk.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails leaf.jpg  
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  10. #10
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    I just finished two cabinets that run from the floor to the cieling. One on each side of a fire place. I used Aspen fore both the face frame and the stiles & rails of the doors and Also for the drawers. Nice to work with. Sands easly,but is for sure a soft wood. Have been getting it at Menards. It comes all wrapped in plastic and is about the same price as clear pine. Very good for painting. As there is hardly no grain to deel with.
    If you make a mistake it was part of the original plan!

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