My neighbour and I have a box elder standing on the property line between
our houses. It's already had a large branch (almost 2 ft. across at the
base) come down and he feels it's time to take the tree down. I tend to
agree as we have had some pretty high winds this year and if that brings it
down it's going to hit my house. What I would like to know is other than
firewood what can the wood be used for. Saw the article in wood magazine
this month and the branch at least is full of bright red streaks but I don't
have a lathe.
Yup, the tend to start falling apart right about then.
It's not even good for firewood, Rick. It's extremely light once it dries
out, is hard to split, and burns about as fast as paper.
These days, when I drop a box elder, I try to get 'em small, and I leave them
lay where they fall. For a 2' tree, that's not an option, but it's just not
worth all the handling. If you have a nice place to drag the tree chunks,
cut it up into managable pieces, and drag them to somewhere to rot. It's
very much not worth using as firewood is the idea I'm trying to get across
here, and as far as woodworking, it's got unattractive streaks and is very,
Oh my if it is loaded with red streaks, don't let any local woodturners
know that you have it. The carnage could be too much for inexperienced
people to handle.
Wood turners absolutely love red streaked Box Elder.
You bet we do. We turn it into stuff like this:
I've got a bunch of it stickered under cover including some 2 foot
diameter burl slabs that are going to be end table tops one day.
But Dave H is right, it's not very good firewood.
Wood is wood. Boxelder is a soft maple, if you have access to a mill saw,
dry and use it if it's sound.
Stuff can run to beautiful curl, spectacular burl, and then there's that
strange read streak which ages brown.
If you have turning friends, endear yourself to them by letting them have
the gnarly chunks and crotches between timber sticks.
Thanks guys, will save as much of the burls and areas with lots of colour
as I can. After I have been here a while I will likely find a few guys in
the area that do turning that will like it. The rest I will likely burn
in the fireplace. Not trying to heat the house with it so it should be ok
for the wife and I to curl up in front of. I've mainly worked with oak and
walnut up to this point as the neighbor has lots of oak and walnut boards he
had cut about a dozen years ago and sells them to me at a reasonable price.
Most are about 16ft, by 12" and from 1 to 2" thick.
I do a lot of small boxes for keepsakes so may try some of the red stuff for
that. It may be to soft but I'm one of those that learns by trying it.
If some of you are turners and live in the London - Chatham area of southern
Ontario let me know and I'll post when the tree comes down.
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