Caveat: I'm not sure if it was sycamore they were talking about, but
if it was:
I saw an episode of TOH and Norm was talking to a cabinet maker in
England. They were using the European species of this wood. Norm said
the American species is too soft and isn't stable enough.
Again, I think it was Sycamore they were talking about, but I'm only
60% sure. I'm sure someone here can correct me if I'm wrong.
American sycamore (Platanoides occidentalis), yes. European sycamore (Acer
Not American sycamore.
American sycamore machines easily -- but make sure your tools are good and
sharp. It's fairly soft.
Yes, several things -- and delighted with the results. Quartersawn American
sycamore has a dramatic ray-flake grain that these photos really don't do
If you're going to use it, make sure to use quartersawn lumber. Flatsawn, it's
not stable -- and is pretty boring to look at, too. Because it's not very
hard, I don't recommend using it for anything that's likely to get banged
around much (like a kitchen table). For living room or bedroom furniture,
though, I think it's fine.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Not poplarish at all. The color is different, more tan, poplar doesn't
fleck, and is softer. Sycamore is wonderful for things like boxes,
though in its QS form (which is the only sensible way to use it) it
does have a tendency to tear out on surface finishing if tools are not
sharp. I've got some QS here that changes from a medium tan, heavily
fleck, to almost white, lightly flecked on the same face. Wonderful
wood for a lot of things that don't get battered and knocked around.
Not for table or desk tops, for example, but great for drawer
faces.some shelving, boxes, etc.
Right, the European Sycamore is really from the Maple clan and has the
characteristics of the Maples (Aceraceae). Pseudoplatanus translates to
"false platanus" referring to the Sycamore family (Platanaceae). The
Acer pseudoplatanus (European Sycamore) is what North Americans call the
European Planetree. There's an American Planetree (Platanus
occidentalis) which is the tree we N. Americans know as the Sycamore.
Who's on first...
BTW, I really like quartersawn Platanus occidentalis; it's very similar
in figure as quartersawn Prunus serotina (from the Rose clan), which
holds a special spot in my heart when ammonia fumed.
On Wed, 19 Oct 2005 10:57:33 -0700, Fly-by-Night CC
Just to add to the confusion, the English Planetree, which is also
widely planted in France and Italy is really a hybrid between the
American Sycamore and a Balkan Sycamore (Platanus orientalis). And
when quartersawn, sycamore (the American one) is called lacewood,
which is also the North American name for Silky oak (Grevillea
robusta) from Australia.
Who just bought 76BFM of Quercus rubra at $CDN6.95 today to make a
bunch of window trim. (or was it Q. velutina, or Q. pallustris or Q.
coccinea or Q. laurifolia, or Q. falcata, or Q. nigra, or Q. phellos,
or Q. texana or Q. nuttallii?)
On 19 Oct 2005 19:41:42 -0700, email@example.com scribbled:
Here are the first four google hits on a search on "Lacewood" and
Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address
I bought some air-dried in a pile of walnut. It was partially spalted (some
nicely), but many of the boards were "propeller" warped. I was able to use
a lot of it for painted moldings at a local church restoration. It worked
Love the salmon color of the unspalted pieces.
Jim in KY
Sycamore has a hardness scale of 770. By comparison, Red Oak has a hardness
of 1290, Yellow Poplar 550. So, Sycamore has a hardness more closely
related to Poplar than Red Oak. Sycamore is softer than some Pines. Its
density is similar to Walnut which is not very dense.
Well, it's a common (though dirty) tree, but not a plentiful wood. That
combination says a lot. Lack of stability is the accusation, though the T/R
shrinkage and volumetric information show it solidly in the middle of
I suppose the prominent ray figure would make it vulnerable to drying faults
like similar woods. Might also make it chip on machining. I've seen it as
an accent wood and a turning wood, but not a structural wood.
Yes. I've used figured sycamore for raised panels. Looks great.
Not at all.
I goes through the table saw cleanly with the burning you can get with
cherry or hard maple.
Primarily raised panels. I've also used it as a base for carvings. It's
a touch too soft for most other furniture use. By the way, Although I
haven't yet made a carving from sycamore, I've made test cuts with
various gouges, and it seems to carve cleanly.
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