Riven ash to weave seat and stool tops

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Riven ash to weave seat and stool tops

Postby gavin » Sun May 20, 2012 11:16 am

I wondered if you could use ash rods, pulled or bashed thru dowel plate at say 8 mm diameter , then woven in a lattice. It would be like a hazel hurdle, but with the dowel-ends exposed and not wrapped round. This design probably would need at least one extra front-to-back rod in the middle of the seat-top at approx 15 mm diameter.

This falls into the category of If this is such a brilliant idea - why am I the first to think of it?
- so I'd appreciate any comment before I spend time on this plan.
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Re: Riven ash to weave seat and stool tops

Postby SeanHellman » Sun May 20, 2012 1:01 pm

Can be done, I do not like the idea of the ends of the woven rods exposed. These can catch. We do not do it this way because of the huge amount of material prep, why not just use willow, as it will save hours if not days of your time. Try ash splint, if you need to use ash. The only time I would use a dowel plate is prepping very long material such as cane.
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Re: Riven ash to weave seat and stool tops

Postby jarrod stonedahl » Sun May 20, 2012 11:13 pm

ash splint works great for chair seats...anyone tried to pound any over there? we usually pound 4-5 12'dia. ash logs a year. if anyone needs help/info just ask it is pretty straight forward though...the pulled through plate does seem like a awful amount work when it grows on the coppice stools.....i think your right gavin you might be trying to reinvent the wheel.
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Re: Riven ash to weave seat and stool tops

Postby gavin » Mon May 21, 2012 7:36 am

jarrod stonedahl wrote:ash splint works great for chair seats...anyone tried to pound any over there? we usually pound 4-5 12'dia. ash logs a year. if anyone needs help/info just ask it is pretty straight forward though...the pulled through plate does seem like a awful amount work when it grows on the coppice stools.....i think your right gavin you might be trying to reinvent the wheel.

Yep I do need help. I do not know what an ash splint is. I thought it was just a bit of riven ash. But Jarrod's post indicates he pounds (or beats? )ash to create this. So please do tell more!
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Re: Riven ash to weave seat and stool tops

Postby Davie Crockett » Mon May 21, 2012 7:54 am

Interesting! just googled this series of Photo's on youtube. The comments underneath are helpful too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I58hcMWnB_0
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Re: Riven ash to weave seat and stool tops

Postby gavin » Mon May 21, 2012 9:48 am

Davie Crockett wrote:Interesting! just googled this series of Photo's on youtube. The comments underneath are helpful too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I58hcMWnB_0

This is good. That link's speaker says I beat every inch of the ash - the hammer blow separates each successive growth ring and creates strips approx the width of the hammer's face.
    Does it matter when you fell the ash?
    Does this work with UK-grown ash?
    Does this only work with fresh-felled ash?
    Can you use the ash splints right away?

I can feel a foot-operated pounding mill coming on. :D
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Re: Riven ash to weave seat and stool tops

Postby jarrod stonedahl » Tue May 22, 2012 2:26 am

ok...i'll break it down. use fresh/green wood. if not using right away keep moist or wet..soaking in trough or pond until pounding. you can use fresh or stored/dried when you want to use the dried stuff then the splint can be soaked and used. I'm not sure if this can be done with english ash....meaning it might be grown too fast. the key is the spring growth(ring)vs. summer growth(ring)...the tree intended to be pounded should have a maybe a 20/80 spring vs summer ring. when you pound the tree(peeled first) hitting all the surface many times, with a smoothed edged tool i.e small sledge, back of an axe. the pounded destroys the bond between the two types of rings....the spring ring should is porous and the summer dense. the pounding basically disintergrates the spring ring, leaving the summer ring to peel off the tree. very simple...if it does not delaminate pound it more....but here is the key...if your english ash has a very thin spring ring meaning under a 1/16ths or thinner it may not pound very well. remember that ring is the bond between summer rings and needs to be destroyed by pounding....now here in teh states we use black ash for this...which is a moist water loving tree. i've pounded white ash which here grows in the uplands...the white ash wood is generally dry compared to black ash even when green. go for ash growing the the wettest places.it'd try a piece before making a machine. there might be a reason why it's has not really been done much over there....like willow might just be better....faster prep, and cut,sort, and peel...your good to go. pounding a 12 dia tree(black ash) takes over 2 days to pound through. white ash will take longer. the material is very strong and very light. a very superior material for baskets woven with "splint" which is any flat thin basket weaving material. i think i have some photos in my website too or some blog photos...you can check them out as well. My wife april is one of only a the few traditional native(Ojibwe) basket weaver in wisconsin. we got through about 4-5 trees a year...well she weaves...i do the pounding/material gathering.
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Re: Riven ash to weave seat and stool tops

Postby jarrod stonedahl » Tue May 22, 2012 2:38 am

i just watched the link video. it's pretty good. i want to add that i have pounded all the way around the log seperating the ring with out lifting it off..then taking off the entire circumference in one piece...this is to help you understand that the fiber run long ways so after pounding all over you can peel up whatever width you want. just pick a width and peel it up...do not score the entire log...that is a waste of time and that will mess up splints underneath...
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Re: Riven ash to weave seat and stool tops

Postby gavin » Tue May 22, 2012 8:28 am

jarrod stonedahl wrote:i just watched the link video. it's pretty good. i want to add that i have pounded all the way around the log seperating the ring with out lifting it off..then taking off the entire circumference in one piece...this is to help you understand that the fiber run long ways so after pounding all over you can peel up whatever width you want. just pick a width and peel it up...do not score the entire log...that is a waste of time and that will mess up splints underneath...

Thanks for this Jarrod! I know understand your process allows you to peel a whole sheet off at once to be scored later at what ever width you want and that scoring the log is potentially wasteful of the layers below.

Next question: does this work with European ash? Your post gives a few pointers about what to look for i.e. a weaker bond between growth rings that pounding will further weaken. I'll give it a go and report back.

Also: Has Jarrod or Mrs Jarrod used splints to weave chair seats / tops?
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Re: Riven ash to weave seat and stool tops

Postby jarrod stonedahl » Tue May 22, 2012 4:00 pm

yes i have used on chair seats. works well. and historically was used for chair seats here in the states in colonial times, although not as much as other materials...as for the ash you have there in the UK? i don't know...you'll have to try. please let me know what you find. I was thinking that really fast grown or thick summer rings might be a problem...too thick might prevent the hammer blows from working deep into the layers...when peeling....if they (the strips) don't come up pound more...never force them. should come off with slight pressure/pulling. good luck.
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