Sycamore Lumber ?

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Anyone have experience using Sycamore?
I understand it is moderately dense and heavy.
How does it machine?
Anyone built anything from it? Were you satisfied with the result?
Thanks
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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.
Thanks. Jeff
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

American sycamore is indeed plenty soft... but, quartersawn, it's perfectly stable.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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American sycamore (Platanoides occidentalis), yes. European sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), no.

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 justice to:
http://www.milmac.com/wood/Furniture/SycamoreEndTables.JPG
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.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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?

I think you have an incorrect URL there, Doug. I navigated to your site, and I think the link you meant was http://www.milmac.com/Furniture/SycamoreEndTables.html
Nice stuff, BTW!
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wood snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Interesting.
Nice flecking, but looks kind of "poplarish" to me.
Gus
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Gus wrote:

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.
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That's because the JPG image doesn't reproduce the grain all that well. This one shows it much better: (warning - 5.3 MB bitmap image) http://www.milmac.com/Furniture/SycamoreEndTables.BMP

--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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wood snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Oops, my bad. That one works. The one I *meant* was
http://www.milmac.com/Furniture/SycamoreEndTables.JPG

Thank you.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

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.
--
Owen Lowe
The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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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.
Luigi, 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?)
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Say what??
I've *never* seen quartersawn sycamore called anything but "quartersawn sycamore".
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

I have in a book, but since every other printed source I saw refered to quarter sawn silky oak as lacewood I figured the book was mistaken.
I still figure that.
--

FF


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On 19 Oct 2005 19:41:42 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net scribbled:

Here are the first four google hits on a search on "Lacewood" and "Platanus"
http://www2.fpl.fs.fed.us/TechSheets/HardwoodNA/htmlDocs/platan1.html
http://207.36.125.114/wwp/wom/europeanplane.cfm?printPage=1 &
http://www.redbridgemarquetrygroup.org/Roys_veneers_page_six.htm
http://advantagelumber.com/lacewood.htm
Luigi Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/humour.html www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/antifaq.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Woodworking
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On Thu, 20 Oct 2005 02:01:12 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

_Everything_ gets called "lacewood" if the figure is right,
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(Doug Miller) wrote:

Jim writes;
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 beautifully. Love the salmon color of the unspalted pieces.
Jim in KY

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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.
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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 hardwoods.
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.
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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.
Joel Jacobson
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Here's a partially finished jewelry box I built. The inset is sapele veneer, the corners are walnut and the rest is q-sawn sycamore. It worked the same as maple if I recall correctly.
http://musial.ws/images/Photos/Woodworking/IMAGE035.JPG
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