I have a guy here in Chesapeake, VA who has offered me
Pecan for $1.50 bf. I've never used Pecan before. I DO
LIKE Hickory, however. Since these trees are very closely
related I was wanting to know if their wood has similar
properties (i.e. hardness, grain, etc) and if the pecan would look
right in areas where I've already built things from Hickory?
Joey in chesapeake
Quote from Paxton(wood dealer now called ore-pac) pamphlet:
"The hickory and pecans are members of the walnut family and are so
closely related that individual specimens of hickory and pecan cannot
be identified with any certainty. AN inspector of the National
Hardwood Lumber Association will not attempt to se[parate the two when
The color of the heartwood will vary, but pecan is a little darker
than hickory and inclined to display a slightly more reddish hue."
Hope that helps.
I was about ready to question your statement about both being members of the
walnut family, but I have the same Paxton booklet (great resource BTW) and
looked it up -- sure enough, same quote in my book. Not quite sure what
Paxton means about being members of the same family.
Walnut is genus JUGLANS, while pecan and hickory are genus HICORIA. I have
worked with all three and pecan and hickory don't behave anything like
walnut. Otherwise, I agree that pecan and hickory are so close to being the
same that it is difficult to tell the difference.
Paxton is still in business, jev indicates that they now have a different
name, but the last time I went to the one in Denver it was still called
Paxton Fine Woods, or something similar. The booklet I have (60 pages) is
copyright 1974, Frank Paxton Co. It sold for $1.50 back then. Don't know
if they still sell the booklet.
Paxton used to be primarily located in the Midwest and Southwestern states.
I checked on the web and found that they are still operating walk-in select
hardwood stores under the Paxton Woodcrafters Store name. The one in Denver
is part of a large lumber business, mostly supply to builders and tradesmen,
but also the walk-in hardwood store which is nice, but a little pricey.
Family is the classification above genus. Off hand I don't know what
family it is, but do recall that walnuts and hickorys are in the same one.
However, a close relationship does not mean the wood is similar.
Look at white (butternut) and black walnut.
"Hickory is very hard. ...
"Unless I had some particular structural need of it's hardness,
high shock absorbing qualities and durability, ...
"This wood makes a table top you can drum your fingernails on with
Drum indeed! Drumsticks are often made of hickory. (Drums are not,
however.) I've been playing for 40 years and have rarely used anything
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