Pecan

Page 1 of 2  

I've come across a source of pecan that is virtually unlimited and free. Does anyone have any experience working with or finishing pecan? What can you tell me about it?
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pecan is a member of teh Hickory family if I remember correctly. It takes a nice finish and , I think, you can buff it before hand to give it a beautiful luster or hand-rubbed finsihas you see on many OLD handrails. Doesn't blotch,
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I built a china hutch out of it years ago. It finished nicely. Don't remember any special problems with it other than it was hard. harrym

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
pixelated:

I used an oil varnish (unfortunately, it contained poly due to the church's wishes) on a pecan plywood bookshelf and it finished very nicely. It's very hard and not prone to blotching, but anything will blotch with a stain involved. I hope you're not staining it, too. Natural Watco, tung oil, or Waterlox would be just great. Watco is perfect out of the can but I tend to degloss the shinier oil mixes/varnishes.
Strip your hammer handle and try your choice of finish on it. Hickory and pecan are kissin' cousins.
------------------------------------------------------- "i" before "e", except after "c", what a weird society. ---- http://diversify.com Dynamic Website Applications
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It's been a really long time since I've worked with pecan, but it is pretty hard-- It's a member of the Walnut family-- as are butternut and hickory. Walnut & butternut are the softer woods & hickory and pecan are the harder woods. The grain is really nice. The last pecan I saw had a lot of knots. Use a sharp blade. The color is more like hickory. I believe it is an open grained wood like black walnut, but could be wrong. I just did a quick search on Google using "woodworking"+pecan as a search string & came up with 15000 hits
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A lot of wood stores that sell you pecan are really selling hickory and vice-versa. Almost impossible to tell them apart with just the naked (or dressed) eye
Second the sharp-blade comment. It does finish beautifully. Hope to one day redo kitchen cabinets in the stuff.
Bill W
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

How does one tell the difference?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jay Britton wrote:

Realistically, you don't. Pecan is in the genus "Carya". So are all the hickories. There are many species of "hickory", pecan being one.
BTW, walnut and butternut are in the genus "Juglans"...there is no close relationship between them and the hickories.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
    Greetings and salutations...
On 11 Aug 2005 13:41:41 -0700, "Phil at small (vs at large)"

a really nice workbench out of some 8/4 Pecan from a local lumber yard (Jeffery's Woodworks...a GREAT source of wonderful wood of all sorts...not cheap but great stuff). It was VERY hard, and, very dusty to run through the planer, but, produced a spectacular workbench top.     As it worked out, we were able to book-match slices across the bench, so, it looked rather like a slice from a trunk that was about 30" thick. One FINE looking workbench if I say so myself.     Regards     Dave Mundt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My experience is with hickory, but as someone else said, they are pretty much the same. It is very very different than walnut.
It is very hard and brittle; it tears out badly when routing and is tough to cut.
For the right application it is a pretty wood; but I wouldn't use it anywhere that required a lot of work. Making a frame out of it would be a real exercise; probably a poor choice even when free.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks for the replies. Your responses were fairly consistent. I saw a country club house done with the pecan (paneling, solid wood doors, window casements) and it was nice looking. I'll give it a try on something that would use the wood as a facing and see how it does.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
BillyBob wrote:

(from: http://www.exotichardwoods-northamerica.com/pecanhickory.htm )
Mechanical Values
Category     Green     Dry     Units Weight          47     lbs/cu.ft. Density (air-dry)               lbs/cu.ft. Specific Gravity     0.60     0.66      Hardness          1820     lbs Stiffness     1370     1730     1000 psi Bending Strength     9800     13700     psi Shearing Strength          2080     psi Max. Crushing Strength     3990     7850     psi Work to Maximum Load     15     14     in-lbs/in3 Radial Shrinkage (G->OD)               % Tangential Shrink. (G->OD)               % Volumetric Shrink (G->OD)               %
Environmental Profile Pecan is rather widespread, abundant, and secure globally, although it may be rare in some areas at the periphery of its range (Source - The Nature Conservancy - Rank of relative endangerment based primarily on the number of occurrences of the species globally).
Distribution This species is reported to be distributed in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. It is usually found in mixed hardwood forests, and prefers to grow in moist, well-drained soils of river flood plains and valleys.
Product Sources It is not known at present whether timber from this species is obtainable from sustainably managed or other environmentally responsible sources.
Pecan is reported to be available at a moderate price on the U.S. market in the form of lumber, veneers and plywood.
Tree Data The state tree of Texas, Pecan is reported to occur in the wild and is also cultivated. The largest member of the Hickories, it usually grows to heights of about 160 to 170 feet (49 to 52 m), with trunk diameters of about 72 to 84 inches (180 to 213 cm). Pecan trees are reported to have very long lives, with some trees reaching the age of 350 years.
Sapwood Color The sapwood is white to pale brown in color.
Heartwood Color The heartwood is rich reddish brown in color, and may contain streaks of slightly darker hue.
Grain Grain is reported to be typically straight, but may occasionally be irregular or wavy.
Texture The wood has a coarse texture.
Odor There is no characteristic odor or taste.
Ease of Drying The material is reported to dry fairly easily and rapidly, although it requires care because of fairly high shrinkage.
Drying Defects Slow drying with poor air circulation may cause chemical sapwood stains. End checks and hairline splits may also occur.
Kiln Schedules T8 - D3 (4/4); T6 - D1 (8/4) US
Movement in Service The timber is reported to have high dimensional stability, and holds its place well in use.
Natural Durability Pecan is reported to be vulnerable to the hickory bark beetle, and also succumb easily to frost damage. It is also susceptible to attack by fungi and insects.
Resistance to Impregnation The wood is moderately resistant to preservative treatment.
Mineral Deposits Magnesium carbonate deposits are reported to be often present and 'Bird pecks' leave residue that crystallizes.
Blunting Effect Blunting effect on cutting edges is reported to vary from moderate to severe.
Cutting Resistance The wood is reported to be rather difficult to saw.
Planing Pecan is reported to require careful machining, but it planes well, although a reduced cutting angle of 20 degrees is recommended in working stock with irregular grain.
Turning The wood is characteristically very easy to turn.
Moulding A reduced cutting angle of 20 degrees is required in moulding wood containing irregular grain.
Boring Boring properties are reported to be very good.
Mortising The wood has exceptional mortising properties.
Gluing Gluing properties are reported to be satisfactory.
Nailing The material is reported to respond rather poorly to nailing.
Screwing The wood is fairly easy to screw.
Sanding The timber is reported to require careful sanding to achieve the smoothest surface.
Polishing The wood responds to polishing to yield a smooth finish.
Staining The material takes stains well.
Steam Bending Steam bending properties are reported to be generally good.
Strength Properties Pecans can be differentiated from true Hickories by weight, and by the narrow bands of parenchyma, which appear between the rays and between the large earlywood pores. (In hickories the band occurs after the first row of earlywood pores). Strength properties of C. illinoensis are reported to be similar to those of other hickories. Bending strength in the air-dry condition (about 12 percent moisture content) is high, and maximum crushing strength, or compression strength parallel to grain, is also high. It is hard - harder than Teak, and does not marr or dent easily. The wood is very heavy.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Glen wrote:

Lots of interesting information since we have no Pecan here.
Most interesting was resistance to impregnation. Has to be very high since you never see a pregnant pecan tree.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"George E. Cawthon" wrote: snip

That sorta makes sense. Seems to me that once upon a time I was told that hickory and pecan were the male and female of the same species. I don't know that ot's true, but it *would* explain why you don't see preggers pecans. Unless I'm wrong about what burls are...
Dave in Fairfax
--
reply-to doesn't work
use: daveldr at att dot net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
George E. Cawthon wrote:

I think they are male trees. You can tell by their nuts.
;-0
Glen
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks, Glen. I was not familiar with this source. I especially liked the anecdotal comments about all the woodworking operations with the wood. That was very helpful.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"BillyBob" wrote in message

My maternal grandfather, who passed away in the late 50's, left behind a lot of "native" pecan furniture cut from his farm in S. Louisiana.
Wonderful wood for furniture, IME (though you need sharp tools/blades) - especially if you like a natural, unstained finish (pecan takes an oil/poly finish that looks terrific)... personally I'd take all I had room for, then some.
There must be a regional thing about pecan and hickory being the pretty much the same. Depending upon the variety, there is a notable difference between pecan and hickory in the tone of the final product when finished, at least in the species we get down here in S.E. Texas.
... and despite the "native" variety still being relatively easy to find, it is not cheap at the wood suppliers hereabouts.
My dream dining room table, as yet unrealized, is made from pecan, finished with a hand rubbed oil/poly ... one of these days.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 8/07/05
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It is a fairly common hardwood in SE Kansas/NE Oklahoma area. Very pretty grain and works about like walnut. When finshed close to natural color it is similar to Hickory but has a look of its own.
RonB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sounds like you might be someone good to know if you live close by ;-}
BillyBob wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Others have responded with specifics, but I'll note this: pecan is a short-trunked, "limby" tree, branching prolifically. The bulk of the lumber is likely to be from limbs, thus only available in short-to-medium lengths. The growth rings will be assymetric, as is common in all limbs.
That aside, it's lovely wood. But to be honest, I think it's best used to fuel the smoker when a brisket or butt is meeting its fate. :-)
Kevin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.