Box elder wood?

My neighbour and I have a box elder standing on the property line between our houses. It's already had a large branch (almost 2 ft. across at the base) come down and he feels it's time to take the tree down. I tend to agree as we have had some pretty high winds this year and if that brings it down it's going to hit my house. What I would like to know is other than firewood what can the wood be used for. Saw the article in wood magazine this month and the branch at least is full of bright red streaks but I don't have a lathe.
Thanks Rick
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wrote:

Yup, the tend to start falling apart right about then.

It's not even good for firewood, Rick. It's extremely light once it dries out, is hard to split, and burns about as fast as paper.

These days, when I drop a box elder, I try to get 'em small, and I leave them lay where they fall. For a 2' tree, that's not an option, but it's just not worth all the handling. If you have a nice place to drag the tree chunks, cut it up into managable pieces, and drag them to somewhere to rot. It's very much not worth using as firewood is the idea I'm trying to get across here, and as far as woodworking, it's got unattractive streaks and is very, very soft.
Dave Hinz
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snipped-for-privacy@sympatico.ca says...

know that you have it. The carnage could be too much for inexperienced people to handle.
Wood turners absolutely love red streaked Box Elder.
--
All the best,

Michael Mastin
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I haven't seen red streaks, but black stain-ish looking streaks. Not spalting like I see in maple, but just smudgy-looking blotches. Tell me that's not desirable? If it is, let's talk.

I did not know that.
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You bet we do. We turn it into stuff like this:
<http://homepage.mac.com/balderstone/PhotoAlbum2.html
and this:
<http://homepage.mac.com/balderstone/PhotoAlbum6.html
I've got a bunch of it stickered under cover including some 2 foot diameter burl slabs that are going to be end table tops one day.
But Dave H is right, it's not very good firewood.
'-)
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Geez, that is box elder?! Beautiful wood.
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wrote:

I snagged a couple of huge burl pieces when a chap in the neighborhood took an old tree down. It's pretty stuff.
The plain wood, however, is less exciting than a piece of Home Depot poplar.
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Wood is wood. Boxelder is a soft maple, if you have access to a mill saw, dry and use it if it's sound. http://www.dlumberyard.com/Wood/WoodD3.htm
Stuff can run to beautiful curl, spectacular burl, and then there's that strange read streak which ages brown.
If you have turning friends, endear yourself to them by letting them have the gnarly chunks and crotches between timber sticks.

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This may be helpful, see Table 3; soft hardwoods
http://ohioline.osu.edu/for-fact/0009.html

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Thanks, Paul, that's a fantastic page of information.
Dave Hinz
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Thanks guys, will save as much of the burls and areas with lots of colour as I can. After I have been here a while I will likely find a few guys in the area that do turning that will like it. The rest I will likely burn in the fireplace. Not trying to heat the house with it so it should be ok for the wife and I to curl up in front of. I've mainly worked with oak and walnut up to this point as the neighbor has lots of oak and walnut boards he had cut about a dozen years ago and sells them to me at a reasonable price. Most are about 16ft, by 12" and from 1 to 2" thick.
I do a lot of small boxes for keepsakes so may try some of the red stuff for that. It may be to soft but I'm one of those that learns by trying it.
If some of you are turners and live in the London - Chatham area of southern Ontario let me know and I'll post when the tree comes down.
Thanks again.
Rick

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