Using Beech

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Using Beech

Postby davestovell » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:26 am

I have managed to get hold of a nice beech log and am intending to use it for mainly spindle turning and will try some steam bending. I have never used beech before, I mainly use ash and sycamore as thats what I can normally get hold of but when an opportunity to use something new came along I have to give it a go.

I'm interested if anyone has any tips/techniques/advise on using this species. I am interested in anything from log, (bark on) through to finishing, anything! I have done some turning yesterday and have loved using it (see photos).

I can get more but understand that painting the ends to slow drying will encourage spalting.
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Re: Using Beech

Postby gavin » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:49 am

This looks straight grained. Somewhere north of Chilterns beech develops a wavy grain making is f-all useless for cleaving.
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Re: Using Beech

Postby davestovell » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:09 pm

This is from north Essex and as you say (Gavin), very straight grained and very clean, no marks or blemishes.
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Re: Using Beech

Postby ToneWood » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:49 pm

I like beech, I carved 3 smallish bowls from it, and the head of my shave-horse. I was a little cautious at first, as I used to think it was brittle, having seen quite a lot of huge broken beech limbs blown down but actually its not like that at when carving it. To me, it seemed softer & less fibrous than oak, generally easier to carve and it finished very nicely too (struggling with some dense, stringy young oak at the moment).
ImageImage

Your beech looks very pale and uniform at the moment, mine seemed to have some slight red/pinkness to it:
Image
After oiling with linseed though, they developed a delightful rich pattern, not really apparent in the images above. I have the little bowl in the middle in front of me, oiled now, it has developed dark reddy areas, pale areas, black streaks, "tiger stripes" across the grain in places and small flecks with the grain - underneath there are all kinds of strange loops patterns. Quite complex and attractive I think.
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