Ironwood

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I pretty much find all tropicals easier to rip then American woods. but a lot of it is they don't warp and bind like too fast dried woods we get. Plus the wood is more dense and that makes cutting easier. the grain and hardness really makes a difference on how wood cuts
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When I was ripping my maple for benchtop laminations, one of the "elders" in the adult ed. class told me "maple is a bitch". He showed me to rip it three saw blade levels "up" at a time, per full cut, just to cut through 8/4 stock of hard rock. The old Chinese fence had to be adjusted three times PER BOARD to be ripped... so you are quite right. This was a 3hp 12" cab. table saw..."Yuang Kuang" brand or some shit like that (donated). It was some seriously hard work for me as a new learner. Each rip was very slow, total of 36 rips in 12 full cuts and 12 fence adjustments through 4 8/4 boards, and with a newly sharpened blade too!
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Alex
cravdraa - at - yahoo - dot - comment
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Get another instructor. Any time the blade remains buried in the cut it's under stress from poorly ejected or unejected waste.
Get the blade up so the gullets come into play and feed moderately. If the blade slows, ease the feed rate. Also helps to have a real rip blade versus a combination, though the WW folks will no doubt chime in with endorsements. I suppose if I had spent that much on a blade I'd try and justify it too.
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depends on the blade. I have used 20 and 24t 1/8" kerf rip blades in my jet contractors saw and even thin kerf blades. but not have cut as fast or as clean as my Forrest Woodworker II 30t blade. it cuts my tropicals faster and with else burning too. the only thing it does worse is wood when it binds it binds worse on it then the rip. though better then other blades. now I can't say how this setup would work with American woods though but it works great on tropicals.
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QED
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;~) Perhaps with some combo or general blades but I do have the WWII 30 tooth and find ripping with it faster than my seldom used Systematic rip blade. As far as justification, I bought another WWII after using my first WWII for 2 years. I simply did not want to be with out that blade when it goes in for a tune up.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Stop. Find out what specific wood he wants--"ironwood" covers a huge range--eucalypti, acacias, and several other geni all have members that somewhere, sometime have been described as "ironwood"--get a little bit, and make a box or a paperweight or something else small that floats your boat. If you find that working it sucks then you can bail on the project.
Just remember to treat it like a hardened metal or very strong plastic--don't count on it having any give to it. Find out what "special characteristics" like the lapochol in Ipe you'll have to deal with and what if any special procedures you need to apply when you glue it. And remember that the stuff is _heavy_.
You may find that you like the stuff.

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--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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I agree I cut ipe all of the time and it is fine. myself I rather work with tropicals then American woods. I can rip 8/4 purpleheart far easier then 8/4 maple.
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The only thing I can tell you is that the harder / dryer the wood, the easier it is to drill in a standard fashion. Less "gummy"a nd the chips move away easier...
For instance, I'll drill Oak any day before I do Pine... :)
Ironwood is supposedly on the harder end of the spectrum so I would assume it might be harder to turn or work but easier to drill.
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Regards,
Joe Agro, Jr.
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30 years ago while I was working in Thailand, the military base I was working at (as a civilian) was being shut down, and we were all turned into 'carpenters' and had to build crates to pack up the entire site.
A lot of the real carpentry work was done by locals, and they brought in truckload after truckload of both 3/4" Philip. Mahogny plywood and 4x4's, etc.. made of 'Ironwood'.
Now keep in mind that at the time my field was electronics and not woodworking, but boy do I remember that damn ironwood.
We had to change the blade in our table saw at least 3 times a day due to cutting that ironwood.
It was funny when it came time to drive nails into the ironwood. We manly americans, would simply reach for the bigger hammer when the one we chose first refused to drive the nail into the wood. The nail would simply bend right over. Of course no matter how big of a hammer we tried, we were never able to drive a nail into the ironwood. We finally ending up resorting to drilling pilot holes for all the nails AND soaping the nails.
But then the local carpenters would come along, (typical Thai carpenter was about 4' 6" it seemed and would weigh perhaps 85 lbs soaking wet) with what seems an afully small hammer (by our manly standards at least) with a handle that seemed to be about 6" longer than our hammers, and tap tap tap, the nail was driven right into the ironwood. All the way. No pilot holes. No soaping. Nothing else, just a simple tap tap tap.
The would just laugh at us with our 6 lb' sledge and pilot holes, etc....
They'd just walk up with that little hammer with the long handle and tap tap tap. I guess it does make a difference with a bit of leverage and the ability to hit the nail head square every time....
When our belongings got crated up to be sent home, the crates were made of the ironwood.
By the time by belongings made it back to the states, I was off on another job in Alaska, but I told my parents that perhaps the next door neighbor (retired carpenter that still did cabinetry) might be interested in the ironwood, but I found out later that when he saw it was ironwood, he wanted nothing to do with it.

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

intended as there are many woods that have picked up that name over the centuries. Basically when Europeans came into a new area they wound up calling whatever the hardest heaviest wood was "ironwood" and colloquially even more woods pick up that name in small localities.
As a sometimes turner when someone says "ironwood" to me I think of "desert ironwood" or Olneya tesota http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/desert_ironwood.htm or http://www.woodpens.com/show_Desert_Ironwood.html because that is what I've used most. It might make beautiful furniture but I'm too poor to afford it in any more than small flitches. Fantastically hard material that turns beautifully and can be polished just like stone BTW.
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John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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