Why not sycamore?

I was helping my son cut up an 8" thick sycamore branch that he stuck in the garage LAST YEAR. He had this idea about carving it into something, sohe wanted it to dry. The stuff was hard as rock, which made me wonder why I never see it mentioned in lists of choices for woodworking. Granted, my woodworking knowledge is about a 1.2 on a 1-10 scale, but still.....are there problems with that wood?
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Then it wasn't sycamore. :-)

It's too soft for anything that's likely to see hard use (such as children's furniture) or even moderate use (such as a kitchen table). It's also not very strong. If it's plainsawn, it's prone to warp and has an indistinguished and boring appearance.
Quartersawn syscamore is stable, though, and has dramatic ray-flake figure, often stunningly so. (There was a thread here not too long ago about the appearance of quartersawn sycamore; several people posted links to photos. You might want to Google that up.) It's still soft and weak, though.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
Get a copy of my NEW AND IMPROVED TrollFilter for NewsProxy/Nfilter by sending email to autoresponder at filterinfo-at-milmac-dot-com You must use your REAL email address to get a response.
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wrote:

Interesting. Maybe the saw was ready for sharpening. It was definitely sycamore, though.
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http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr83.pdf
http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/usda/tb1267.pdf
Interesting stuff. Free, too.
wrote:

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wrote:

But it is definitely sycamore and it is definitely in the kitchen and it definitely is holding up perfectly well. Sure, it isn't hard maple but it isn't all that much softer than soft maple in my experience. As for boring, that depends on several factors but I must be doing something right because plenty of people like pieces I've made from sycamore http://johnmcgaw.com/furn15.html http://johnmcgaw.com/furn16.html http://johnmcgaw.com/furn18.html http://johnmcgaw.com/furn21.html http://johnmcgaw.com/furn26.html .
Yes, it does move around more than I'd like but with care even radical movement can be handled gracefully. I've learned to never use breadboard ends on a sycamore tabletop.
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wrote:

That primitive bench looks pretty refined to my eyes.
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American Sycamore has a nice even texture, and relatively lightweight. It works well with good finishing properties. Sycamore makes fine furniture, butcher block, and veneer.
On Tue, 02 Nov 2004 16:47:02 GMT, "Doug Kanter"

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Not hard on the eyes while growing on your parkway or lawn, either, although cleaning up the leaves, can be a pain. I love the way the bark, or lack thereof, looks.
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I agree, but tell that to my neighbor. The day after I moved to my new house, she came over and said "Hi. My name's Helen. Let me tell you about this hideous tree of mine." To make a long story short, she said she's consulted with the town's historic tree administrator (we have one), as well as two tree services, in an attempt to find out what disease makes the bark fall off. She thinks there's a conspiracy to keep the information from her. I told her that's just what sycamores do. She said "Well...if you're not a tree expert, I'm not inclined to believe you". I said "Have a nice day".
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Doug Kanter writes:

You know what fugly is, right? There are also fidiots out there, and you are living next to one.
Charlie Self "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." Abraham Lincoln
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Well, then, tell her the _truth_ -- that the tree was accidentally exposed to 'tincture of time'; which had an unfortunate effect on the bark, causing it to peel, in perpetuity. There is *no* known cure, nor ameliorative treatment, for that particular condition. The 'good news' is that the tree manages to re-grow the protective sheathing as fast as it sheds it -- and the health of the tree is not in danger.
That particular species *is* well-known for being susceptible to a _wide_ variety of illnesses -- there =is= a reason it's called "sick-a-more"
Explained "properly", you can be assured that she will _never_ bother you with any of her 'war stories' again. <muffled snicker> *GRIN*
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On Thu, 04 Nov 2004 12:44:53 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) calmly ranted:

There ya go. That five syllable word will knock her socks off.

NO, don't do that. If Doug lets her think the tree is sick, she'll hire some brainless-less-than-minimum-wager-with-a-chainsaw who will drop it smack dab on top of Doug's _house_.
The first option gets it.
-------------------------------------------------------- Murphy was an Optimist ---------------------------- http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
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On Thu, 04 Nov 2004 07:17:38 -0800, Larry Jaques

So point her to someone who can fell it and mill it into planks. Her nickel, of course. And then generously take the cut up sycamore off her hands.
--RC

That which does not kill us makes us stronger. --Friedrich Nietzsche Never get your philosophy from some guy who ended up in the looney bin. -- Wiz Zumwalt
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Come, now. Surely you don't believe that any town with a "tree historian" allows citizens to cut down their own trees, do you?
Kevin
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That job should pay only in acorns!
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I like it!
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Hard on the back, raking up the mountains of _huge_ leaves, not to mention the button silk mess. Me for something of a less spreading habit.

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.....and they named a lot of streets after it.
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Some problems drying it(goes brown). Other than that a good wood for kitchen utensils and wokk tops.
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