Author Topic: using yew wood  (Read 3825 times)

albreed

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using yew wood
« on: February 17, 2010, 08:06:38 AM »
Does anyone know anything about making furniture from yew? All I know is it was used for bows.
Is it stable?-Al
Allan Breed

R Bohn

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Re: using yew wood
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2010, 10:06:18 AM »
Al      Yew was used in making furniture and floors in England about 150-200 yrs ago. England has a spear dating back about 50,000 yrs. I've worked on many Windsor chairs with bent pieces in it. Yew wood bows were very common. Most bent members had cracks and places where there are knots there are also cracks.Old chairs also have twists and warps in the seats and rails. I have also seem cups and plates made of yew,but as to being food safe,I wouldn't use it.I've never found any stories of people getting sick using them,but the leaves,seeds and bark are known to be poison. Livestock has died eating it.The bark was ,and maybe still is, used to treat cancer.The wood its self is very hard but for stable?I think you might want to look at some of those old English chairs.  Randy
Restoration and Conservation of Fine Antiques Serving Museums, Dealers and Private Collectors Nation wide since 1979

albreed

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Re: using yew wood
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2010, 08:22:29 PM »
Randy- Thanks a lot. Having never seen anything made from it, I suspected it might not b the greatest furniture wood. I'll keep an open mind and maybe someone can come up with some ideas-Al
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mikemcgrail

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Re: using yew wood
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2010, 01:19:20 PM »
I seem to recall that I have seen pieces of old english or european furniture with what was described as burled yewwood.Lots of little tight eyes, I think. Could maybe do a nice william and mary type with some fancy burl veneer.

R Bohn

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Re: using yew wood
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2010, 05:27:44 PM »
Al   If your looking for something to use that yew wood on , google- Ronald Phillips antique yew wood lowboy. Great color     Randy
Restoration and Conservation of Fine Antiques Serving Museums, Dealers and Private Collectors Nation wide since 1979

Follansbee

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Re: using yew wood
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2010, 08:47:16 PM »
Does anyone know anything about making furniture from yew? All I know is it was used for bows.
Is it stable?-Al

Al: I just noticed this post, I only have a few things to add what others got..
I have seen joined stools and 3-legged, board-seated turned chairs from yew in England. Often it's turned pith-centered & doesn't really split! As I recall the chairs felt heavier than usual.

It turns beautifully. I have a bunch of it around that's branch-wood, I have turned chisel handles and junk like that from it. I'd love to make a joined stool from it, it polished quite nicely.

akraemer

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Re: using yew wood
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2010, 02:29:53 AM »
The limitation of using yew for furniture may be that suitably sized yew lumber is probably hard to find and priced at a premium.
I have used yew wood from a yew bush that had outgrown its location. The pieces of the stem I saved were up to 2 in in diameter, with lots of bends and knots.
I used them for two purposes:
1. As stakes for a planting line - worked very well the wood seems to be very rot-resistant.
2. I turned a few chisel handles. The wood is dense, beautifully reddish/orangish brown with undulating, distintive grain pattern. It turns easily. The dried pieces -after a year- showed no sign of cracking even in the endgrain. I was wearing a dustmask when I turned the pieces.

Alfred