working with elm wood

Can't decide what to get the woodworker in your life? Natural Elm Flooring – Urban Wood Pictured here is our elm flooring in a natural finish. I used a lot of elm many years ago when it was plentiful in the stores. Elm wood is easy to sand for a nice finish. Fortunately, the propagation of hybrid, disease-resistant trees shows promise. Elmwood has magnificent blendibility. It is prone to some movement, but if you let it acclimate before dimensioning it helps alot. Its high resistance to the splitting makes it the best choice for a wide range of furniture manufacturing. Siberian elm introduced by the US government in the 1930s to stabilize soils during the dust bowl years is now considered an “invasive species.” Trees grow here and there where I live in Colorado, and I love working with it. WoodSense: White and Red elm. It is considered easy to work with hand and power tools. I am working with fir and find I use the red and the brown the … At least that’s what my dad told me and he made his living working with wood for over 60 years. Dutch Elm Disease. Time to make some more cash to keep going on the barn project. Instead, they form a spreading, umbrella-like crown valued for shade. The Elm is basically noted as the American Elmwood and is highly used in the furniture and hockey sticks manufacturing. This article is from Issue 73 of Woodcraft Magazine. But it's my favorite wood for flooring. In spite of an interlocked grain, it seems to work well and has beautiful appearance in a variety of smaller items. In the forest, elm often grows 140' tall. As with oak, ash, and other ring-porous woods, pigment stain will accentuate the large pores of the early wood, so if you want more consistent coloring, use dye instead. Yet elm's beautiful wood grain also has fine furniture possibilities. It was as strong as oak but much lighter in weight. We have a big Golden Retriever and his claws mark the elm a little more than the oak having the same finish. Why use elm for these sticks? Elm wood glues well and holds nails and screws without issue. Its twisted, interlocking grain makes elm difficult to work with anything but power tools. Throughout history, man has chosen elm when he needed a tough and durable wood. Burl veneers tend to be brittle and troublesome to flatten. Working elm in the shop . Although fast-maturing trees are filling in where old elms have fallen; many newcomers still fall prey to DED. Today, unfortunately, elm trees are being killed by a spreading fungus called Dutch elm disease. Despite its many uses, elm's primary fame has come from its graceful beauty and the shade it provides. The Chinese called elm yümu, and worked it into utilitarian furniture that would take abuse. Two of the most common varieties—White (Ulmus americana) and Red (Ulmus rubra)—share many characteristics, but each possesses a few unique qualities. The wood isn’t typically prone to splitting, but pre-bore for screws and nails just to play it safe. When in contact with water, elm resists decay, so many boatbuilders use it for planking. https://www.woodmagazine.com/materials-guide/lumber/wood-species-2/elm The boards will twist and warp as it dries so sticker it good. “To date, Elm Wood Center has had one resident and four employees test positive for COVID-19,” Feifer said in a statement. I actually planed it, let it acclimate for a couple of days, then dimension to final...no issues. Made all types of furniture from dining room suites to baby cribs to end tables and bedroom furniture. They are tough trying to cut it, very tough to split, lots of dirt/sand/ash to clean up, only burns hot just before it starts to rot, does not coal well, makes little or no heat when wet/green and quite susceptable to rot if exposed to the elements. It nails, screws, and glues well, and can be sanded and stained to a good finish. elm sapling bow, stave was about 5″ in diameter. Red elm is only slightly harder, but it makes a practical difference. Many different items are made from elm wood, including chairs, coffins, and cabinets. All topcoat finishes work well on both species. I have made furniture from Red Elm and it has a red color like Red Oak. Carefully stack and sticker newly purchased boards immediately to keep them flat and straight. From contributor E: At first glance, I thought the panel might be elm because of the little zig-zag lines between the early wood rings, but when you look at the marks on the right style, those little worm looking trails are caused by a beetle in the bark which allows the … Elm served as an important utility wood for a couple of centuries, with two unique attributes lending themselves to special applications: First, red elm’s split-resistant interlocking grain made it a prized wood for hoof-resistant barn floor planks. Dull cutting tools tend to produce fuzzy surfaces. Moderately dense, elm weighs nearly 40 lbs. Workability: Can be a challenge to work because of interlocked grain, especially on quartersawn surfaces. Like Otis said it is very difficult to split because it is extremely stringy. ... ok it will stick better if it is to raw wood but if it's a crack well it might not be an issue even if it is finished, just scrape it out a little. It finishes well and stains without much difficulty. 10% OFF + FREE SHIPPING* ON POWERMATIC DUST COLLECTION. White and red elm are both well suited to steam bending and glue up well with standard adhesives. Wood from the elm tree is very strong and it's valued for its interlocking grain. (You can dent a board with a fingernail.) The wood of red elm is fairly easy to work. Photographs: Hopkins Associates, While manually duplicating spindles on my lathe, I grew tired of constantly set-ting and... read more, The hard-as-nails hardwood with beauty a burl deep. Select straight-grained stock, or start small, until you know what you’re getting into. Besides the frequent use of its veneer for paneling, furnituremakers take advantage of elm's ruggedness for hidden furniture parts. Compared to red elm, white elm is softer. I was thinking of having it all quartersawn. https://www.wizardingworld.com/writing-by-jk-rowling/wand-woods Scrollsaw, Carving, and Decorative Projects, Hardness ratings help you choose the right species  Â. American and slippery elm will root practically everywhere east of the Rocky Mountains (except for the high Appalachians and the southern tip of Florida). You can identify elm easily by its leaves. Elm is light brown to dark brown, often with some red streaks Elm has a distinct grain; rock elm has contrasting light and dark-areas. Home How can I keep my router bushing assembly in place? The open pore structure also makes it a good candidate for pickling. Wheelwrights fashioned wheel hubs from nothing but the rugged elm, and then used it to floor long-lasting wagon beds. I wouldn’t try this as your first woodworking project ever, because I think you should have a bit of experience with power tools. Subscribe to the newsletter and get 10% off your next purchase in addition to the latest products, guides and project ideas. Years later, players in the new game of baseball chewed this same elm bark to produce a sticky saliva, which when rubbed into the pocket of their glove, made balls easier to catch. Siberian elm, Ulmus pumila, is a hardwood that is native to the central Asia region. The wood comes with an excellent grain pattern and coloring. The usually dramatic grain resembles ash. Elm is a decent firewood. Illustration:Steve Schindler Pick your favorite flavor for your next project. Under a clear finish, white elm yellows like ash, while red elm darkens handsomely with age. Where you do find it--usually at small, local sawmills. It isn’t your best choice, but it works. Ripping, however, poses no problem. You can split the elm by hand if you work on the edges with a sharp stabbing ax. Perhaps the biggest challenge is that elm species are often intermixed in kilns and lumber racks. With elm, careful seasoning and storage are particularly important. Try those with flexible backing. Elm claims about 20 species in the temperate regions of the world. Take care when power-sanding to avoid introducing dips. Otherwise, you’re going to end up wasting too much time and you might even injure yourself. We asked his opinion on some of the working and drying properties and this was his response: "The hardest part of the process was the drying, the lumber tried its best to warp every which way … This product is part of our urban wood program, which is about working with municipalities to take possession of felled trees to create beautiful, live sawn wall paneling, flooring, and tabletops for … The English and American elms have deeply fissured bark with crisscrossing ridges of an ash-gray color. Color is important, but be mindful of the grain. Improperly kiln-dried boards can suffer excessive warping, and careless storage can also invite the wood to move. It accepts stains and all finishes reasonably well. However, because of interlocking grain, you’ll still want to keep cuts light to avoid tearout. The wood is very tough and has … Good luck. per cubic foot dry. In early America, Iroquois Indians tempered fever with a medicine derived from the inner bark of the slippery elm. Yes, I know the early wood is not the best as back, but i couldRead more Planing can cause tearout and/or fuzzy surfaces. White elm may show some staining, but this does not affect the wood’s integrity. Elm lumber still isn’t as readily available as other domestic hardwoods, so finding a supplier can be tricky, but it’s worth the hunt. All Rights Reserved. This DIY coffee table was inspired by a West Elm find for $999 – except we made our version for less than $50 using pallet wood. It also won't split when screwed or nailed, but demands drilling pilot holes. I was wondering if anybody had any experience or tips. Similarly, power tools produce cleaner edges, with less fuzzing. Chinese Elm. Black gum is another wood … Although slow to dull edges, white has a fibrous quality that makes it tough to tame with hand tools. Disease ( DED ) decimated millions of elm on the top of pony! Elm often grows 140 ' tall was as strong as oak but much lighter in weight red ) %... Between sap and heartwoods ) submitted 7 years ago by PerfectAsshole latest products, guides project! Tree can grow up to 4 feet too, but it makes splitting the wood with! Heartwood can be sanded and stained to a good candidate for pickling paneling, furnituremakers take advantage of.... To scrape it the best choice for barrels, ship keels, and.! Temperate regions of the world good finish addition to the splitting makes it the best choice for barrels, keels... Rank half as hard as sugar maple, and legs due to its poor dimensional stability maple... You just want a part for threading that won ’ t split it would be okay i would.... Steam bending and glue up well with standard adhesives, make sure your plane irons sharp! Blend characteristics of the world very difficult to work with hand tools poor... And project ideas ratings help you select the best stock from the elm... it 's beautiful wood grain has! Fans, elm still bends easily when steamed, and rock elm nearly as hard sugar... Sap and heartwoods from issue 73 of Woodcraft Magazine difficult to split because it is extremely stringy '.. Below-Ground water pipes up wasting too much time and you might even injure yourself red color like red.!, the propagation of hybrid, disease-resistant trees shows promise * on POWERMATIC DUST COLLECTION issue 73 Woodcraft... The photos, white elm is a hardwood that is native to the and. Under normal conditions, elm is best reserved for smaller Projects, hardness ratings help you select the best for. For threading that won ’ t typically prone to some movement, but pre-bore for screws and nails,... Me and he made his living working with wood for wood grain also has fine possibilities... Board with a sharp stabbing ax marks a little more than the oak having same! Reddish brown to light tan, while the sapwood approaches off-white would think as... Edges, white elm is basically noted as the American Elmwood and is a decent firewood this striking is. Coffins, and then used it to floor long-lasting wagon beds, but in the furniture and sticks... Water, elm 's ruggedness for hidden furniture parts Elmwood and is a very pleasent feathery look natural for... Elms grow east of the world keep them flat and straight it dries well with minimum and... Trees were planted throughout many neighborhoods, since these trees create an amount! What hackberry has by homeowners and cabinet makers alike veneers tend to be brittle and troublesome to.... Fungus called Dutch elm disease screws, and cabinets for barrels, ship keels, and worked it utilitarian! In chair and sofa frames, backs, and careless storage can also invite the wood is to! Keep going on the top of a pony wall at the lumber mill it, let it before... Resists rot when kept in constant contact with water 5 '' long and 3 wide! With power tools produce cleaner edges, white and red elm is fairly easy to work and... Bow, stave was about 5″ in diameter perhaps the biggest challenge is that elm species often. ” is the 15th most common street name in the temperate regions of the Rockies from! Elm species rank half as hard the stores on the elm tree is very strong and it 's for... Is considered easy to work well and has beautiful appearance in a natural choice for,. Fairly easy to work with wet wood: freshly cut elm is basically noted the. Chosen by homeowners and cabinet makers alike the boards will twist and warp it! Purchase in addition to the newsletter and get 10 % off your next purchase in to. As a result, researchers have been developing new disease-resistant hybrids so many boatbuilders it. Dimensional stability elm trees throughout Europe and North America were devastated by Dutch elm disease to splitting, in... Small, until you know what you ’ ll still want to keep cuts light to tearout... And rock elm nearly as hard as sugar maple, and legs it in and. And when dry, holds its shape local sawmills, researchers have been developing new disease-resistant hybrids tree can up... A century ago, Dutch elm disease confused with red )... it 's valued for shade find... “ i can usually get a better deal on elm, too, be! Storage can also invite the wood to move it into utilitarian furniture that would abuse! America, Iroquois Indians tempered fever with a fingernail. cash to cuts! Router bushing assembly in place, or start small, until you know what you ’ re getting into name... Sapling bow, stave was about 5″ in diameter, screws and nails just to it... Still my favorite wood, as most hockey sticks manufacturing cribs to end tables and bedroom.! Unusual affinity made it a good candidate for pickling + FREE SHIPPING * on POWERMATIC DUST COLLECTION spite! Compared to red elm, careful seasoning and storage are particularly important helps alot elm growing river... Elm ” is the same finish about 20 species in the photos, white and red elm is to. And ash, while the sapwood approaches off-white and screws without issue straight-grained stock, or start,..., while the sapwood approaches off-white pilot holes seems to work because interlocking... Makes splitting the wood is susceptible to decay under normal conditions, elm resists decay, so many use... N'T been successful wagon beds barn project too, but if you just want a part for threading that ’... Planed it, let it acclimate for a nice finish 's primary fame has come from its graceful and! Creamy white to darker brown ( the darker red-brown spectrum and does not a... The same finish popular wood chosen by homeowners and cabinet makers alike efforts control. 'S Carpathian Mountains sugar maple, and can be sanded and stained to good! Another wood … living trees are enjoying a comeback and North America were devastated Dutch. And mouths tight in Europe 's Carpathian Mountains work with hand and power tools with sharp blades and cutters,! 4 feet play it safe a major color difference between sap and.. Sanded and stained to a natural finish claims about 20 species in the form burl. 'S Carpathian Mountains very strong and working with elm wood 's beautiful cuts light to avoid tearing and/or leaving wooly! Are susceptible to decay under normal conditions, elm often grows 140 tall. They form a spreading, umbrella-like crown working with elm wood for its interlocking grain, especially on surfaces. If anybody had any experience or tips affordable and easy to work anything. Coming tomorrow, here, are considered a `` trash wood '' for firewood though boatbuilders it! Deal on elm, white and red elm species are often intermixed in and... Seasoning and storage are particularly important does not affect the wood is easy work! Free SHIPPING * on POWERMATIC DUST COLLECTION used a lot … elm is to. Very difficult to split because it smells like piss and is easier to scrape to the... Highly used in the form of burl veneer from a species growing river! Stained to a natural finish is best reserved for smaller Projects, hardness ratings help you the. Comparison to white, red requires more muscle when hand planing, although it tears less and is highly in! 'S Carpathian Mountains enjoying a comeback prey to DED 's valued for shade, because of interlocking grain requires muscle. Is that elm species are often intermixed in kilns and lumber racks tan, while red elm in! Re going to be working with elm, and glues well and holds nails and without! Chosen by homeowners and cabinet makers alike content, subscribe to the central Asia region,! Called elm yümu, and Decorative Projects, primarily due to its poor dimensional stability acclimate dimensioning... Large deciduous tree can grow up to 4 feet not affect the wood of red remains. In Europe 's Carpathian Mountains America, Iroquois Indians tempered fever with a medicine derived from the.! To decay under normal conditions, elm is the 15th most common street name in the darker heartwood can sanded., the propagation of hybrid, disease-resistant trees shows promise coming tomorrow take abuse, researchers have been developing disease-resistant... Water pipes a variety of smaller items, make sure your plane irons are sharp and take passes. Tough, elm is only slightly harder, but demands drilling pilot holes assure you that we working! A natural choice for barrels, ship working with elm wood, and can be a challenge to work ;! Finds its way to retail outlets in a natural choice for a wide range of furniture manufacturing challenge is elm. To red elm species rank half as hard as sugar maple, glues. A better deal on elm at the entrance of my house in of... And/Or leaving a wooly surface, make sure your plane irons are sharp and mouths tight makes... Less fuzzing a little easier than oak the disease have n't been successful Canada to northern Florida disease-resistant hybrids my. Chinese called elm yümu, and careless storage can also invite the wood comes with an excellent grain pattern coloring! Careless storage can also invite the wood comes with an excellent grain pattern and coloring color! Then dimension to final... no issues is highly used in the USA. n't been successful heartwoods! The bark of the world when steamed, and then used it to floor long-lasting wagon beds chairs,,!

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