Working with Chestnut

Last year, my MIL had a chestnut tree growing in her yard cut down.
The tree was planted when SWMBO was a kid, shaded a corner of the yard while she and her sisters were growing up and held a rope swing used by MIL's grandkids. So it had a lot of "sentimental value."
I managed to salvage a couple of pieces of limb, sliced them on the BS and have had them stickered and drying since last fall. My plan is to make some boxes for MIL, SWMBO and her sisters as Xmas gifts.
I've never worked with chestnut and don't know anything about it. Can anybody give me any advice? Anything special about this wood that I should know before I try to work it?
What about finishing? I ran one piece through the jointer today and it looks very pale with little grain figure. I wiped on some garnet shellac and it brought out some grain but also seems a bit blotchy.
-- jc Published e-mail address is strictly for spam collection. If e-mailing me, please use jc631 at optonline dot net
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Are you sure it's chestnut?? I don't know of any chestnut trees alive in the USA, I could be wrong. What did the nuts look like?
-- "Shut up and keep diggen" Jerry

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I've got a couple chestnut trees growing in my yard and get 1,000s of nuts and dozens of squirrel-hide seedlings every year... hybrid American/Japanese. There are quite a number of Japanese and hybrid trees around. The American Chestnut Foundation has an active propagation program underway to restore disease resistant American Chestnut trees. http://www.acf.org
Anyhow, back to the original poster's question, the hybrid stuff I've played with was much like red oak to work with...
John
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The ACF is actually trying to crossbreed Asian Chestnuts' blight resistance into American Chestnuts.
The American Chestnut Cooperators' Foundation http://www.accf-online.org / is working with pure strain American Chestnuts that are blight resistant. More survived than many realize. A lot of trees were cut when the blight hit an area even if the individual trees were unharmed, thus killing many trees that might otherwise have survived.
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"Micro*" wrote in message

I've got a couple of 8' long chestnut tubafours that I have been holding for an unknown future project for a few years. Wish I had more ... it is a beautiful wood that finishes like I wish walnut would finish.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 7/10/04
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I have over forty American Chestnut saplings growing in my backyard. These are one-hundred percent genetically-typed trees, not hybrids. They are part of a field trial sponsored by the American Chestnut Cooperators' Foundation (http://www.accf-online.org /). The tallest is about four feet tall at this point. I have several that were attacked by the blight this summer. All but two have actively resisted the infection at this point.
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