> Ash is available in Europe: Fraxinus excelsior or European Ash
> What isn't available is Hickory. Hickory, like Magnolias prefer a warmer had
> to flee in front of the huge glaciers of the last Ice Age. When the trees
> hit the Alps, they could go no further, so they died out in Europe. In North
> America, they escaped south and returned when the ice receded.
> But Ash was ale to survive in colder climates and is the preferred
> tool-handle wood in Europe.
> (Telling the difference between Ash and Hickory is difficult, and if I had
> one and not the other I'd freely substitute one for the other on any project,
> modern or period, personally. )
Ash and hickory being similar? I'll have to put some pieces next to each other
again and see... I'd be willing to say ash and white oak as I routinely have
difficultly telling which is which in my wood piles. Non tool handle Hickory
that I've seen has been in the form of hardwood flooring and cabinets and looked
closer to my maple floors in the house than anything else. My maple is mixed 3rd
grade for color and grain variety effects.
> Here is a trick I use for materials selections on period projects, since we
> agonize over this question in our own way. I determine my mood before
> getting materials. Let's say the project is like the glastonbury chair, that
> I am assuming is made from English Brown Oak
> If I am feeling Super-Duper-Authentic-Period, i get English Brown Oak. The
> actual wood-type used in the original. Preferably OLD wood, taken/reclaimed
> from the beams of an English barn 500+ years old and as close to the
> Glastonbury as possible. (Clearly I am feeling rich when I am in this mood).
> I am in AWE when someone does this. Even when they just import modern, but
> authentic species, lumber.
Or working from a green tree that was felled that morning :)
> If I am feeling Period, I select a wood that is indiscernable from the
> English Brown Oak to most people (including most of us on this list) on a
> cursory examination as an A&S judge. I'd use North American White Oak, Ash,
> Hickory. Maybe Chestnut. Something open porous that also resembles English
> Brown Oak and has very similar properties for strength and working.
> Something you could claim was actual English Brown Oak in your A&S paper work
> and probably get away with.... (woe betide you getting caught in such a lie,
> you miserable cur!) This mood is impressive and the only shame you feel on
> this one is for lying on the paperwork.
> If I am feeling Almost-Period, I select a wood that will work, but to a
> relatively sophisticated laymen is clearly not a period selection. Black
> Walnut, Maple, Beech, White Pine, Birch. Something I still would enter into
> an A&S competition. I'd note the materials selection in the paperwork.
Note that many of them are period woods, just may not have been used for the
Glastonbury chair. Much of the Viking age wood was beech or fir/pine or birch.
I'd insert a truly not period but still actually a real wood between almost
period and spiffy myself, things like the South American and African hardwoods etc.
> If I am feeling Not-Period, but Spiffy, I select anything I can make look
> reminiscent of the glastonbury chair. Plywood, Contruction grade 2x8 Spruce,
> pressure-treated Yellow Pine, that plastice Decking material made from
> recycled soda bottles. This project is probably being made to make the camp
> look spiffier and is replacing an ugly folding chair.
> It sounds like YOU are feeling Period or Almost-Period, but leaning Period.
> Select accordingly.
> Incidentally, I usually feel Period or Almost-Period, my compromising relies
> on what I have on hand or at the lumber yard. Same with other facets like
> hardware selection and tool-use selection.
I like the list and often go through a similar set of choices, always mitigated
by costs and expenses.