Question about hickory


At the same place I bought some cherry, they had a stack of random width hickory that they're selling for $1.85 /bd ft. I asked why it was so cheap, and he said that the cuts weren't very good.
My question is, what makes it "bad" wood? I guess if it is cupped and warped, I can see that, but at a glance, it looked like the only problem with it was that the cuts were pretty rough.
If it is nothing more than that, assuming it is 13/16", couldn't I buy it and plane it down to some nice 1/2" hickory boards?
Thanks, --Michael
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Clint Eastwood said in "Pale Rider", "There's nothing like a good piece of hickory."
I'm not sure the context fits your situation though.
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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

I thought that was from "Cool Hand Luke."
Maybe "Pale Rider" too as an allusion.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hickory is actualy quite nice to work. It cuts cleanly on a table saw, planes nicely except around knots, and has an interesting chocolate ripple effect in crotch cuts. The center of crotches are often "Pithy", so use care where they are in the wood.
I finished a couple of rough tables from a chain sawed crotch before Xmas. It's tough wood, but not hard to work. Literature says that dimensional stability is poor so be a bit careful how you use it. It is definitely not "bad wood". Now, if the cuts are bad (cups, twists) that's a different story.
Regards.
Tom
On 19 Jan 2006 13:36:38 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It is often the case that Hickory and its cousins will have an interlocked grain pattern, which helps to give it toughness but sometimes defeats those who would attack it with a plane. There are more forgiving sections of hickory, which are often used as tool handles and such. When the yardman was talking about "bad cuts" my guess would be that he knew those sticks to be suffering from the crossgrained problem. It can be a very intersting wood in its crossgrained form, used in small pieces that can be surfaced with a scraper.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Also, at the mill, when a blade gets dull, one end of a board may be 1" and the other end will be 7/8" or 1 &1/8. That's a bad board. Rural mills don't usually have kilns or planers to finish lumber. Often times those bad boards are thrown in the scrap heap, free for the taking. When squaring logs, sometimes there are ugly side cuts that are thrown to scrap, also. I recently picked up 4X5X12' ash and other varied dimensioned lumber. Anyone with a planer can often times get some really good "bad" lumber, free or cheap.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 19 Jan 2006 13:36:38 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Hickory is a good coarsely-textured wood and can have some interesting patterns. Due to its toughness it can be difficult to work but makes good handles, knobs, chairs, and other applications where strength is important. It steams, bends, and finishes well.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yeah... the handles on my Buck Bros. chisels are hickory, leather topped.
--
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for the replies. I think I'll buy a board or two and see what I can do with them.
Thanks, --Michael
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I've used ALOT of hickory in my house and apartment. About 2500 ft of hardwood floors and all the trim in both buildings. Some thoughts on it:
It's similiar to hard maple in a couple of areas. It's very hard but saws nicely. It planes or joints nicely if the grain is going in the correct direction but it changes directions often.
It can route nicely too but sometimes a piece will start to tear out with the grain and there's not much you can do to stop. Sometimes you have to use climbing cuts to route it.
No problems glueing.
It's a bear to sand! If you know someone who has a large, stationary belt sander or drum sander, become friends with them! :-) Sand the planer marks out before you start cutting to size.
IMO, it's one of the most beautiful woods there is. It's frustrating at times, but worth it in the end.
Bryan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2006-01-19 16:36:38 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com said:

Runout should probably be avoided with hickory, as well.
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.