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Author Topic: Vine Maple (acer circinatum) for pegs  (Read 1317 times)

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Offline srjones

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Vine Maple (acer circinatum) for pegs
« on: September 19, 2005, 10:45:53 PM »
Hello All,

I'm new to FF, so I thought I'd introduce myself and ask a quick question.

About me, I'm first time owner/builder building a 13,000 BF timberframe on 6 acres in Columbia County, Oregon.  I've been at this now for nearly 3 years.  1st year, clearing the land, cutting a driveway, logging a clearing, getting the trees milled into timbers.  2nd year, planning the location of the house, digging the foundation, pouring the footing, pouring the stemwall and backfilling for the eventual slab.  3rd (this year) has been mainly focused on cutting the frame of which I'm about 1/2 complete.

I'm trying to use local materials as much as I can, and while I admit the Northcott Wood Turning is really THE place to get pegs, I couldn't justify the cost of shipping my blanks from Oregon to New Hampshire.   So, I bought a Logman TennonMaker and have been turning my own pegs with pretty good results.

So here's my question. Has anybody used Vine Maple (acer circinatum) for pegs?  Up until now,  I've only considered it to be underbrush....but I read that it's pretty hard durable so I thought I might try it.  Any suggestions of how green or dry it should (or shouldn't) be?     The majority of my peg and spline material is Oregon Ash which has a nice blond finish when sanded and sealed.

 Thanks in advance,

Everyone has hobbies...I hope to live in mine someday.

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Vine Maple (acer cirinatum) for pegs
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2005, 10:58:57 AM »
Welcome Steve.

You're type of wood for pegs isn't a type I'm familiar with, so I can't comment on whether or not it's ok or not.
If you've researched the properties of this wood and it's in the strong end of the maples then it could be ok. You could compare it to other types and see how it actually does compare.

Most peg stock should be somewhat dry. The drier the wood the harder it is.

I'd figure out how many you'll need for your frame and make them now. Then they'll dry out while you finish the rest of your frame.

If you're concerned about peg shrinkage, you could make them a little over sized now, or use a different or larger bit then you're test hole, later.

Good luck with your project.

Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension

Online beenthere

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Re: Vine Maple (acer cirinatum) for pegs
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2005, 11:40:02 AM »
I would think a peg should be straight grained, for driving it into the hole. From the site that I looked at, the vine maple is a very knarly tree, thus the apparent name of vine.  The knarled grain IMO would show up as wavy or cross grain in the wood. This cross grain in a peg would likely cause the peg to split at an angle while being pounded 'home'.  Just a thought. The wood is apparently 'hard'. 

Maybe a few trial runs to see how well the pegs of vine maple peform.
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Offline srjones

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Re: Vine Maple (acer circinatum) for pegs
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2005, 04:25:21 PM »
Thanks Jim and beenthere for the input.  After doing a bit more research, I found that there are hard maples and soft maples, and that Vine Maple generally falls into the hard maple category.

This site lists the Modulus of elasticity and Modulus of rupture as being in the ball park range oak and ash, so I should be ok. 

The VM I have has been under a tall canopy for a long time, so the wood is fairly straight.  But to ensure the straightness of the grain, I'll split it down the center (which should speed up the drying process as well.

Everyone has hobbies...I hope to live in mine someday.

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