Author Topic: WOOD ADVISE  (Read 8882 times)

Striker

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WOOD ADVISE
« on: August 22, 2009, 11:04:06 AM »
Folks.

 A local wholesaler had a yardsale today to clear out their slow selling material.  In the lot there is sapele & african mahogany in 8/4 and 12/4 by 30 - 48 width and 15 feet long.  I am interested in respect to a pie crust table. My question(s) is:

- To make a pie crust table top what thickness do I need to begin with?
- Is sapele or African Mahogany suitable for this purpose?
- At $2  a pound ( strange way of pricing) is something to pass on or jump on?

I need to get back to them ASAP so any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Stephen


Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.

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Re: WOOD ADVISE
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2009, 11:21:57 AM »
I use 4/4 ruff.  Hand plane to max. thickness.

Dennis Bork
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frangallo

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Re: WOOD ADVISE
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2009, 11:30:11 AM »
The density of mahogany is around SG .68 to .82 according to a chart in Bruce Hoadley's book Understanding wood. If a gallon of water weighs 8 lbs and there are 7.5 gallons in a cubic foot of water a cubic foot of water weighs 60 lbs so a cubic foot of mahogany weighs .75 X 60 lbs= 45 lbs. At $2 a lb. a cube is worth $90. Divided by 12 (12 bd.ft. per cube) and you will be paying $7.50 per bd. ft. I wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole. Unless its really decent mahogany. Sapale isn't that expensive. True, Brazilian Mahog can go as high as $22.00 a bd. ft. but African Mahogany? Sounds fishy to me.
Fran
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Re: WOOD ADVISE
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2009, 11:36:44 AM »
Here in WI African mahogany sells for a little less than Hond. mahogany which is $9-12 (4/4) per bd. foot.  $7.50 for African mahogany sound like an average price.  I would buy it.

Because Hond. Mh is getting very hard to find and very expensive, more people are buying African Mh which means it is now more in demand so the price is rising.

Dennis Bork
Professional period furniture maker since 1985.  Received a B.S. degree in physics then apprenticed and worked as a wood patternmaker for 12 years. Retired Dec. 2018.

Striker

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Re: WOOD ADVISE
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2009, 12:29:51 PM »
Thanks for the quick replies, Guys. 

Fran - I think your on the money with your calculations - falls in line with what the dealer was telling me for price. Whats not in the price is the cost of shipping which would be nill in this case since its 15 minutes from my house.  Dollarwise, I guess this just an "OK" deal.

How hard is it to find super wide material? Generally, I buy per project and usually pay a bit of premium to get what I want when I want it.  I don't go with the hoarding theory as I end up 1 piece shy of whatever I need. In this case,does it pay to get it especially without shipping charges? Maybe I should look at it in terms of weigh loss...8/4 to 4/4 I'll be losing some weight!



Stephen in eastern NC.

frangallo

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Re: WOOD ADVISE
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2009, 12:44:20 PM »
This is your lucky day! I know someone in Greenfield Mass. (Forest Products) who has been sitting a ton of wide mahogany for years. Genuine Brazilian mahogany. Some of the boards are nearly 4' wide, the majority around 36". Unfortunately it's all 4/4 although (since I have been drooling over this stack for ten years) I know much of it could be milled to 7/8" and there is a bunch that is 1-5/16" in the rough but not a whole heck of a lot. Here's the really bad news. She's asking $22 per bd. ft. which makes the smallest plank (3' X 10') worth $660. I'd need like 3 for a secretary and I'd still need to get the 8/4 and 10/4 for the drawers, fallfront and plinth. But every time I'm up there I am sure to go over and run my hand over this stuff. It is a temptation.
Fran
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Mark Bortner

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Re: WOOD ADVISE
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2009, 02:53:29 AM »
Is sapele or African Mahogany suitable for this purpose?

For a pie crust? I'm surprised no one mentioned either of these will carve about as nice as the average cinder block!!!
Chose woodworking as my profession in 6th grade, been doing it ever since. Self employed furniture mfg. and set-up/maintenance man in a commercial woodshop. Pics of my old shop and furniture on myspace site and facebook.

frangallo

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Re: WOOD ADVISE
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2009, 08:09:46 AM »
I think African Mahogany carves pretty well. I 've only guessed that Sapele wouldn't do as well because the material I used just once had a ribbon stripe to to it. From my experience African mahogany needs to be selected more carefully than others to get a good density and grain for the carving you intend to do. Dennis? Perhaps you'd like to help us out here.
Fran
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dkeller_nc

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Re: WOOD ADVISE
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2009, 01:40:35 PM »
Folks.

 A local wholesaler had a yardsale today to clear out their slow selling material.  In the lot there is sapele & african mahogany in 8/4 and 12/4 by 30 - 48 width and 15 feet long.  I am interested in respect to a pie crust table. My question(s) is:

- To make a pie crust table top what thickness do I need to begin with?
- Is sapele or African Mahogany suitable for this purpose?
- At $2  a pound ( strange way of pricing) is something to pass on or jump on?

I need to get back to them ASAP so any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Stephen

Stephen - In my opinion, African mahogany (Khaya sp.) is unsuitable for carving.  The grain is heavily interlocked on not just the macro level (ribbon striping), but also the micro level.  The stuff I've carved was a real bear - it just wouldn't cut cleanly, even with very, very sharp tools.

In regards to price, $7.50 a b.f. for 36" wide and wider African Mahogany is a very good price.  In my neck of the woods (NC), that's about the average price for 8-12" 8/4 stock, and about $6 a b.f. for 4/4 stock, 8" - 12" wide.

From the standpoint of the piecrust tables, most folks start out with 5/4, which allows a 1" thick rim and a 5/8" thick flat surface in the center of the top.  This is what Irion sells, by the way, for exactly this purpose - pie crust tables.

To Fran - I'd think long and hard before I paid $22 a b.f. for genuine (honduran) mahogany.  While it's true that Brazilian is sought after for carving because of its very fine grain, density also figures into this equation.  Irion will sell you all you want in 36" + range of very dense, figured mahogany from Peru for $22 a b.f.  The non-figured stuff's about $17 in that width and 5/4.  You can also get a matched set of 10/4 in figured stock for the drawer fronts at the same time - there are very, very few lumber sources anywhere in this country that can offer matched sets of mahogany.  And you can even order a set based on what you want to build (a secretary, for example).  Lou Iron used to own Irion Furniture Co, and understands precisely what is desired for a particular piece of furniture.

You're going to pay for it, but in my particular case I'd much, much rather pay a bit extra for superb service, matched and extraordinarly dense mahogany, and someone on the other end of the phone that understands what you want to do and how best to meet the need.
Period Furniture & Carving as a hobby - about 20 years woodworking

frangallo

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Re: WOOD ADVISE
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2009, 06:20:16 PM »
Thanks, Steve. I needed that kind of input. The thing about some of this mahogany is that some of it clearly has a the plum pudding figure. I wasn't aware that Irion even sold lumber to the public until now. One day, when I win the lottery, I am going to walk in to Forest Products and buy  the whole stack. Keep in mind that this wad of wood has been sitting for somewhere around twenty years. I have a recollection of seeing it first sometime in the late '80's.
Fran
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Striker

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Re: WOOD ADVISE
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2009, 10:02:45 PM »
Fran - Just to clarify, DKeller was just quoting me.  He should be credited with the Irion comments although I echo his sentiments about Irion.  I have never been let down by their service or material.

Concerning the material mentioned in my original post, I have decided to pass on it for now.  Based on all your very enlightening comments and my general lack of experience with these species, I think the safe bet is to mess with it on a smaller scale first. 

Thanks, Stephen

 

ChuckH

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Re: WOOD ADVISE
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2009, 11:02:47 PM »
But doesn't Irion have a 200 BF minimum order? 
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swedishiron

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Re: WOOD ADVISE
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2009, 11:50:26 PM »
Chuck,
I noticed in the back of the FWW classifieds that Irion lowered their minimum order to 150 BF.

msiemsen

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Re: WOOD ADVISE
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2009, 09:08:56 AM »
Here is a link to Irion's price page http://www.irionlumber.com/index.php?page=prices---general-information there is a 150 minimum for delivery, no minimum for pick up.
Mike
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mikemcgrail

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Re: WOOD ADVISE
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2009, 03:08:32 PM »
Wood being my favorite subject, I am no longer able to resist this thread. When searching for carving stock, I look for a medium to high density, and a short or smaller than normal grain- by this I mean the relative size of the "pore". I think that smaller grain or pore tend to make the wood cut 'cleaner' and the density is necessary to hold fine details. Even some south american will cut cut a little on the stringy side if it is highly ribboned and not so dense. I believe one could probably carefully pick a piece of african that would be carveable. I generally dislike the african since I tend to think the pores are way too big and dark to make proper looking 18th century furniture. When building furniture, I was taught that the large flat areas were where one showcased fine lumber. This large flat area on piecrust is where you need the finest lumber.
I would probably buy the boards that were in the stack that I thought might possibly look "south americanish " just because they are close to you, relatively inexpensive, and will become more valuable in time.
I would continue looking for the right board. I have no experience with Irion, but it may be the way to go if you do not enjoy the "hunt".
I will attach below a photo of a large african crotch I bought several years ago. Its a bit smallish and will make about a 30 inch top. It nice but not quite perfect, so I keep looking.....