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mountain ash (green)?

August 10 2017 at 7:50 PM
danh  (no login)

I've got a nice green piece of mountain ash, but have heard that carving ash is slow, tough on tools, generally not worth it. I wonder if it's still hard on the tools when green? I kind of doubt it but thought I'd throw this question out there. I like the dark heartwood.

 
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AuthorReply
joe
(Login jbusch)

ash

August 11 2017, 9:54 AM 

I think it depends on what you are looking for. I think it carves nice.. I don't have as much experience with soft woods though. I carve a lot of ash and oak. I agree with the heartwood. It is very nice looking wood. If you want nice wood grain and are looking for sharp detail you will like it a lot. Just expect it to wear down the tools a lot quicker than you see with soft lumber.

 
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joe king
(no login)

Re: ash

August 11 2017, 9:58 AM 


I like it, the dark heartwood makes nice birds. I would say similar to oak or maybe a wee bit harder and slightly stringy. (axe & pick handle wood)

 
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Mike B
(no login)

Mountain vrs American

August 20 2017, 2:53 PM 

Is there a difference? I know that due to the ash borer we have tons of it. It's known to fire wood guys as a tree you can cut it down, split it in the morning and burn it in the evening as it tends to be so dry. Your chain needs to be sharpened well and very evenly. Your soft woods you can get away with an uneven sharpening job, but in your hard woods it will beat the hell out of you if your rakers are too aggressive or uneven.

 
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danh
(no login)

Re: Mountain vrs American

August 27 2017, 6:20 PM 

Thanks for all the insight.

I looked them both up, looks like mountain ash is a smaller tree, and has more leaves, also it has bright orange fruit.

I ended up carving an owl, I really liked the wood for carving, had to stay on top of keeping the chain sharp, but it was a pleasure to carve. I hope the still moist dark Heartwood doesn't lighten with time.

Joe King, this is unrelated, but I was talking to an friend who I met a few weeks ago, he's traveling and working temporarily on a farm here in WA State. He knows I carve and we got to talking about it. He told me he knew of a famous Carver by the name of Joe King where he's from in Western PA and he remembers seeing you carve as a kid. Small world.

 
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joe again
(no login)

Re: Mountain vrs American

August 29 2017, 9:05 AM 


In most wood with the heartwood /sapwood contrast it's more likely the heart will stay dark, but the sap wood tends to darken, sometimes losing the contrast altogether. I find that the sooner you seal them up the better chance of saving the contrast.

Thanks for the story Dan, i met allot of carvers in 26 years!) and even more know me from writing in Chip Chats for a long time.

 
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