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RE: [MedievalSawdust] Red , White, Oak or Chestnut

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  • C N Schwartz
    Chestnut was a king of American lumbers until the blight wiped them out about a Century ago. The difference between it and white oak is subtle, but there. I
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 7, 2007
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      Chestnut was a king of American lumbers until the blight wiped them out about a Century ago.  The difference between it and white oak is subtle, but there.  I am familiar with it because a lot of boxes for tools were made of chestnut.  It is slightly more brown and the rings are a bit darker than white oak.  I really wish it was still available in commercial quantities.
      I don't know how it differed with European varieties.
      I learned something... The North American Yellow Poplar is more closely related to Magnolia than to true poplars.  I think poplar in Europe is more akin to harder woods like Sycamore or Maple in NA.
      -----Original Message-----

      I can tell at a glance the difference between Ash and Hickory, but the real
      question is Chestnut. Is that an American only thing? I do remember the
      English were fond of roasted chestnuts.

      James Cunningham

      (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. )

      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.

      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.

      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.

      -Chris Schwartz
      Silver Spring, MD

      ------------ -- Original message ------------ --------- -
      From: Earl Ryan <dyderich@yahoo. com>
      > is Ash a concidered a period wood or is it an American species?
      > Thanks,
      > Dyderich
      > ----- Original Message ----
      > From: Haraldr Bassi (yahoogroups) <yahoo@.... org>
      > To: medievalsawdust@ yahoogroups. com
      > Sent: Tuesday, February 6, 2007 1:16:27 PM
      > Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Red or White Oak
      > Definitely go with the white oak. Red oak is an American only species and
      > to have no similar European equivalent. Red oak is often slightly less
      > than white oak, but the more open pores make it that much more
      anachronistic. I
      > believe you could darken the white oak to look more like an English Brown
      oak if
      > you wanted to but the color by itself is good enough. Ash is often
      mistaken for
      > oak and might be more accessible price wise in your area.
      > Haraldr
      > THL Isaac MacDaniel wrote:
      > > I am going to make another Glastonbury chair I made the first out of
      > > pine to get the pattern down. Now I want to make one of Oak the
      > > question I have is should I use red or white oak? Which is a closer
      > > match to what they used?
      > > Thanks
      > > Isaac MacDaniel
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
      > ____
      > Any questions? Get answers on any topic at www.Answers. yahoo.com. Try it

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