Coffee Bean

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I just bought a small load of assorted hardwoods from a SE Kansas mill/ dealer. He had some Coffee Bean, also called it Buckeye, and he said it came from Kentucky. I bought 5 or 6 nice wide planed boards about 8 to 10" long. Widest is about 12". It has an attractive Oak or Ash- like grain pattern but it is much redder. He told me if finished with oil or varnish, without stain, it would provide a natural color similar to cherry but it wouldn't oxidize. It feels like it is a little lighter than Oak and it is supposed to machine well.
I have Googled and found opinions that are all over the place with regard to machining properties. Has anyone here have any experience with this wood? How does it work? Any favorite finishes?
Thanks.
RonB
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"RonB" wrote:

------------------------------------- Ohio is known as "The Buckeye State".
A Buckeye is defined as a "Worthless Nut".
Don't know why but it may have something to do with the tree.
Lew
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Coffee Bean is supposed to be poison when raw.
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Buckeye is the name of the nut that grows on the Horse Chestnut tree. The nut looks like a Buck's eye, and is not edible by people.
I never heard the tree called that before -- sort of like calling oaks 'acorn trees'.
But since you've verified that what you have is Kentucky Coffee tree wood, that's irrelevant.
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On 11/10/11 4:22 PM, Fred the Red Shirt wrote:

Probably calling the wood by that name. I've often heard people refer to Hickory as Pecan.
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On 11/10/2011 5:02 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

Same Genus, different Species. One is, more often than not, sold as the other. AAMOF, mills make no distinction between the logs when milling, and they are not graded separately, so you pays your money and gets what you got. :)
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Like this whole tulip poplar thing up here in Kanuckistan. One yard was showing me 'tulip wood' and I saw the green streaks and I said: "you mean poplar?" He said: "Sure"...LOL Lately I have been intrigued by olive wood. The colour...wow... NO idea yet how it works, but sure can be pretty.
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On 11/10/2011 6:51 PM, Swingman wrote:

Yeah, my local supplier (Fine Lumber in Austin) puts it all in the same bin marked "Hickory/Pecan". I kinda wish they wouldn't do that. Yes, they are related and the lumber is similar, but they ain't the same. I have a big stack of Shagbark Hickory (from Missouri) drying in my shop right now, and it's quite different from the batch of Texas Pecan I had a few years ago. One look at the trees themselves and you can tell that the lumber isn't going to look or behave the same. Shagbarks have very tall and straight trunks with very little canopy until you get near the top (sometimes 60-80 feet), whereas Pecans spread out much earlier and much wider. In my case, the Hickory is darker than the creamy colored Pecan, and appears to be more stable as well. Temperature and humidity changes cause more movement in that Pecan than any other wood I've used.
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wrote:

This has a grain pattern that is somewhat similar to Pecan or Red Oak, but definitely its own look. The main discriminator is its color. The wood I bought is more red - lightest similar to Red oak but darker features are nearly rose in color. He advised it works up well but it is prone to splitting. With an oil finish the color should he similar to Cherry.
The fellow I bought it from is an interesting guy. His family owns one of the historic buildings in Coffeyville and it's adjacent to one of the banks the Dalton Gang tried to rob. He advised on a documentary about the gang. He is an artist, a gun enthusiast and avid woodworker. It sounded like he makes a fair amount of money from his lumber business and a lot from identifying and cutting rifle and shotgun stock material from his lumber. He had two walls lined with square-cut chunks of figured 2-1/2" shotgun and rifle sized Walnut; and he was heading for a Tulsa gun show this weekend. As I recall he said he would get anywhere from $50 to $200 for each chunk; and some of the folks who buy them will resell them higher. I bought some Walnut, Red Oak, White Oak (quartersawn) and the Coffee from him at his standard price of $1.75. He sells poplar for around $1. All is air dried for 2-3 years and finished in one of his kilns.
I also bought a big chunk of Walnut that measures 58" x 18" x 2-3/8" thick - $50. I suspect there is another rocking horse inside of it somewhere.
RonB
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On 11/10/2011 9:45 PM, Steve Turner wrote:

Yep, that's part of the problem, the pecan that makes the good nuts that you can eat doesn't make very good lumber, except for smoking meat. AAMOF, much of it is hybrid stock and anyone selling that stuff for hardwood lumber is ripping off the customer.
What we called hog pecan, and milled and used when I was a kid in S Louisiana, is what is intermingled with the different species of hickory in the hardwood wood pile. The trees are easier to tell apart, but once cut the wood is often indistinguishable in all aspects.
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On 11/10/2011 5:22 PM, Fred the Red Shirt wrote:

That is incorrect. Buckeye is the name of the nut that grows on the buckeye tree. The nut that grows on the horse chestnut tree is called, unsurprisingly, the horse chestnut.
Buckeye (Aesculus glabra) and horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) are related, but distinctly different species. I used to have one of each in my yard, but the horse chestnut died a few years ago. FWIW, horse chestnut makes damn fine firewood.
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On 11/9/2011 5:37 PM, RonB wrote: ...

...
<http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/32164
I've never tried anything with it; nothing I've ever heard would give me much incentive.
If you learn something different, it'll be interesting to know.
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On 11/9/2011 6:37 PM, RonB wrote:

Sounds like the dealer doesn't know his products very well. Coffee Bean, aka Kentucky Coffee Tree, and Buckeye are two *very* different things.

That description sounds a lot more like coffee tree than buckeye, but if I were you I'd Google for photos of both, so you can verify which you have.

No experience with either coffee tree or buckeye, so I can't help you there, but I think your first step should be to find out which of the two you actually have.
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wrote:

I have Googled Coffee Bean and Kentucky Coffee Bean and have found close up pictures of wood that looks like mine. Some say it works well, others say it doesn't. One says it works a lot like Hickory, which means it might be a little difficult. With this variance of opinion I was hoping someone here had some experience and tips.
BTW, at least one of these sites also referred to it as Buckeye.
Confused -- but will be working with it in a day or two.
RonB
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On 11/9/2011 8:25 PM, RonB wrote:

Weird. They're not remotely similar. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kentucky_coffee_tree http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesculus_glabra
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On Wed, 09 Nov 2011 20:04:41 -0500, Doug Miller

Buyckeye is horse chestnut, isn't it? Nice looking wood but not terribly strong from what I remember.
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On 11/10/2011 6:37 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Same genus, different species.
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While buying oak and cherry from a local sawmill in 2005 I came across Kentucky Coffee Tree. Knew nothing about the lumber. The dealer said these trees were planted as ornamental shade trees in the local town about a hundred years ago and now were dieing off. The mill was selling the material for a buck a BDFT. I bought 75 BDFT of 8/4 material and built a workbench top 2"x30"x 84" with a 4" apron from the stuff. Nice heavy bench top and it has stayed flat. I liked working this wood; it machined OK, worked well with hand tools and took an oil finish well. I would use this lumber again if I could fine the material.
MGH
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OK - More research and what I bought was Kentucky Coffee Tree. Pretty wood that is supposed to finish up nicely. Comments I have seen so far range from "nice to work with" to "hardest thing I have every put in my saw mill".
Anybody else have experience?
I probably will tomorrow.
RonB
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On 11/10/2011 2:57 PM, RonB wrote:

I had never heard of it...
Go to following link and do search for it...didn't find a way to get a direct link from the search result to post, sorry.
<http://plants.usda.gov/java/nameSearch
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