Elm wood

Does anyone have any experience in working with elm wood, Chinese or Dutch? Does it have a nice color, grain, texture etc? How does it mill and sand? Is warping a problem. I'm getting close to the point where I can mill my own lumber and elm trees are regularly be removed during the summer and our local landfill will let me harvest lumber for only a few bucks per tree. I have a large project in mind, dining room table and 4 chairs, and I would like to use a lumber that is not run of the mill lumber yard. Any info you have would really be appreciated. Thanks
frank
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Had a few Chinese elms in the yard, around 8-10 inches, and when they up and died, I started in. Moderately hard, it's got many tight knots, (can be tough machining an edge) which can offer some nice figure.Bookmatching can be beautiful. Greens, yellows, and browns. Seemed to stain and take a finish pretty nicely. Not sure of it's warping tendencies, as the wood I harvested was pretty well dried when I cut it up. Use a metal detector first! Tom >FrankS wrote:

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Elm. A pain to dry without warping/twisting. Used mainly in furniture for structural strength where it will not be seen due to its lack of appearance. Extremely hard to work without power tools. You CAN'T split an Elm trunk section that has a big knot in it. It is a good wood after it is dries. Maybe others have worked it also?
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Reason it's tough to split is the grain reversals, which let you know that a properly finished piece should have lots of shimmer. The grain patterns of U americana (betcha that's the one with the "Dutch elm disease") are very vivid. Used to find it in ash furniture once in a while. Saw it 5/4 or 6/4 to protect against the twist, and it'll be some nice accent wood. Something as big as a table would be just too noisy, IMHO.

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I cut up an American Elm years ago and made lumber with a chain saw mill. Later I made a table out of it and various other small projects. The grain is similar to oak or ash but tighter and smaller, and not as porous. The color is uniformly blond. It's an extremely hard wood, so it is tuff on your saw and not easy to sand. I didn't have much probelm with warping or cupping. Be sure to let it dry, or kiln dry it, or you'll have problems with your project.

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I've actually got a nice board of "birdseye" elm that I bought from a local sawyer. Most likely a Dutch Elm. Beautiful piece of wood. The birdseye figure, while not intense, was really pretty in this type of wood. I like the gold/blonde coloring of the wood and it has a nice consistent grain to it. Tooled nicely for the chunk I cut off and used for a small hall table.
gary

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We made a couple of outdoor chairs out of it. They were beautiful. However, our wood was so hard they took two or three times longer to make as if we had used another wood. Very hard on the tools. The results we great but we would not do it again. Cheers, JG
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As far as English elm is concerned, which from accounts here is similar, good grain characteristics and color. As it is very tough to split virtully all English windsor chair seats are made from it..............mjh
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