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Author Topic: Is this sweetgum?  (Read 4064 times)

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Offline metalspinner

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Is this sweetgum?
« on: December 22, 2006, 12:22:46 PM »
The log didn't have any bark on it when I came across it.  It smelled sweet like cherry when we milled it.  Here are some pics of the lumber...







The grain is tight like maple or cherry.  For all the spalting that has happened and as bad of shape the exterior of the log was in the wood is very sound - even the sap. 8)  This was cut for turning (3"-4").

Thanks, Chris



I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline TexasTimbers

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Re: Is this sweetgum?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2006, 04:06:34 PM »
Could be. Sweetgum is so variable in looks it's hard  to say for me at least. I have some that is similiar but mine has lots of other different wild colors too. Let it dry for a few eeks if it twists all over heades and half of Georgia it probably is.
The oil is all in Texas, but the dipsticks are in D.C.

Offline twoodward15

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Re: Is this sweetgum?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2006, 11:13:23 AM »
My vote is yeas.  I have a table top that I made that looks exactly like that, and it's made out of sweet gum.
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Offline TexasTimbers

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Re: Is this sweetgum?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2006, 02:13:50 PM »
tw,

I sure would like to see some pics of it and a brief description of how you took it from sawmill to table top. I have several thick slabs of various speicies ready for sharp tools  and sweetgum is one of them. I am just leery of what the  SG is going to do.
The oil is all in Texas, but the dipsticks are in D.C.

Offline twoodward15

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Re: Is this sweetgum?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2006, 08:57:13 PM »
I bought it at my local sawyers barn.  It is spalted and has wrom (bug) holes throughout.  IT was 2 inches thick and about a foot wide.  It is an end table top, so is about 23 inches by 30 inches I think.  I think it looks rela pretty, but I can't keep it flat.  It started flat, then it warped, then it went flat again, now it's warped and won't go flat.  I should get another piece or 2 and start over, but while I was in florida last winter I picked up some pecky cypress to make a new top out of.  I'll try it and if I don't like it I'll get some more gum to make it again.
That stuff is going to move quite a bit.  I'd suggest starting with pieces real thick and joint and plane them to clean them up.  let them sit at least a few days to a week and joint and plane them again.  let them sit for another few days to a week and do it all over again.  If you still have considerable twisting, then I'd do it again, but usually by the third time it doesn't move much at all.  You should either sticker them between machining steps or stand them on their sides with a good sized space between them to let air circulate.
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Offline rebocardo

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Re: Is this sweetgum?
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2006, 08:48:02 PM »
The B&W stuff looks like normal sweetgum. If you have a round 12" or so across, try splitting it with a maul. If it does not evenly split and tears in all directions, probably sweet gum.

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Is this sweetgum?
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2006, 10:28:43 PM »
Thanks for the guesses evryone.  I will pull out the 10x lens when  get home and try to make a positive ID on the end grain.  I found an end grain sample in Bruce Hoadley's book "Identifying Wood."

twoodward,
I would try a pair of battens on the bottom.  A dovetailed slot across the grain with a corresponding dovetailed batten should do the trick.  Of course, no glue should be used.  Maybe a screw in the center of the batten to keep it centered.
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline twoodward15

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Re: Is this sweetgum?
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2006, 12:17:21 PM »
Ooooohhhhh, it's a little beyond that.  I should have done that at the beginning, but it was laying nice and flat until i finshed it, then it moved.  After I got it flat again it stayed that way for a while, then moved again when I brought it inside.  I'll make another top and try to flatten this guy out.
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Offline Tom

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Re: Is this sweetgum?
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2006, 01:07:39 PM »
Or............   You say, "Like it?"  " I meant for it to be crooked.  Worked hard at it. " :P :D
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Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: Is this sweetgum?
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2006, 02:43:32 PM »

 I've noticed that when you put a sealer-finish on one side of a board, it will cause the board to warp or cup. Think that might be the problem ??

  You stated that it was flat "Until I finished it".  ??? ???
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Offline DWM II

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Re: Is this sweetgum?
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2006, 06:26:18 PM »
FDH, would it help to finish both sides instead of just one?
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Offline fencerowphil (Phil L.)

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Re: Is this sweetgum?
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2006, 07:06:17 PM »
Not only does it "help" to finish both sides, it's a must.

Years ago in our refinishing work (before I learned that
we couldn't make money there), we found that even five-ply
veneered panels can warp, if you don't put at least a good
moisture barrier on the "back" side or underside of a panel.
Of course, you don't have to get too fussy with the sanding,etc.
We began to put at least a couple of coats of sealer on those
unseen surfaces, or one of a sealer and one of a top coat.

Phil L
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Bi-VacAtional:  Piano tuner and sawyer.  (Use one to take a vacation from the other.) Have two Stihl 090s, one Stihl 075, Echo CS8000, Echo 346,  two Homely-ite 27AVs, Peterson 10" Swingblade Winch Production Frame, 36" and 54"Alaskan mills, and a sore back.

Offline twoodward15

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Re: Is this sweetgum?
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2006, 07:46:50 PM »
Actually, I finshed both sides at the same time.  Used a board with nails to hold up the wet side.  It cupped and flattened out.  I've had about 3 years now and it still moves from season to season.  I looked at it the other day when I made my first post and it looks like it is starting to get flatter this winter.  Still another 1/4 inch to go in a couple spots, but she's layin' down.
Wifey loved it when it was flat.  I don't have the heart to take it off because it is so pretty.  I've got to get some more and try again.  I'll have to post some pictures of it.
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