Ash Chronology

When you are starting out there are a lot of questions. Ask them here!

Moderators: jrccaim, Bob_Fleet, gavin, Robin Fawcett, HughSpencer

Ash Chronology

Postby Stanford Peverill » Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:21 pm

Hiya, still feeling my way with green woodworking with some success, I have the opportunity to acquire some green ash billets/logs which are over 10 inches in diameter and about five feet in length. There is, I would assume, quite a bit of volume in the logs. The ash will used for Windsor chair seat backs and arms in particular and maybe a few rockers. The ash has been already felled and it is about six month old. I understand that to steam bend successfully with few 'tears' the stock needs to be as green as green can be with a high content of sap to facilitate the steam bending process. The degree of sap content is seasonal - I know that bit.

My question therefore; Is there an optimum age of ash, or any other wood for that matter, that is considered to NOT be viable to steam bend. In other words at what stage do you walk away from a supply. My dilemma is do I go ahead and purchase this supply and finish up 'crying' in my beer because the ash his insufficient moisture content to respond to the steaming process. I would appreciate any advice please. Thanks in anticipation.
Regards
Stanford Peverill
Stanford Peverill
Regular
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:49 pm

Re: Ash Chronology

Postby simon » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:42 am

Not had a lot of experience of steam bending but...
The larger the piece of wood the longer it will stay green.The ends dry most quickly, so if you are not going to use it soon cover the ends with old paint, wax,oil, glue etc.
Store the log off the ground, in the shade and expect to cut off 4-6 inches when you come to use it. Wood like that has been good for turning after a year.
If you have your steamer and jig ready make several bows at once. A bit of string across the ends will stop them unbending and keep until needed. Expect to make a few mistakes, that is how we learn, but if you have plenty of wood you can try again. Most importantly, have fun.

There is sap in the wood all year round, there is not more in the summer and less in the winter.
Make it, mend it, wear it out,
Make it do or do without.
FB Simon Lamb Green woodwork
User avatar
simon
Regular
 
Posts: 246
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:42 am
Location: Norfolk

Re: Ash Chronology

Postby TonyH » Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:13 pm

Cabinet makers (as opposed to green woodworkers) will steam bend seasoned wood, provided it has not been kiln dried.

IIRC, greener wood is easier to bend, takes less steaming, but exhibits more "spring back" on unclamping. Of course I may not remember correctly, so anyone who knows otherwise please do set me right !
TonyH
Regular
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:32 pm
Location: Bedfordshire

Re: Ash Chronology

Postby Stanford Peverill » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:44 pm

Thank you Simon and Tony for those replies. I suppose it is a question of experience, but as you appreciate I am reluctant to acquire 'old' stock for steam bending, particularly because I have limited space to store billets for any length of time. I will have a think about my next step. Cheers!
Stanford Peverill
Regular
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:49 pm

Re: Ash Chronology

Postby SeanHellman » Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:20 pm

I think that the quality of the ash is far more important than how dry or green it is. The quality is only discerned during splitting and bending, there are so many variables that can go wrong that it is often difficult at first to find out what the issue is ( that is if you have any ) I would have no issues in bending 6 month old ash.
"Scarcely anything is original- it`s very hard to be totally inventive, so I am not terribly interested in originality. Vitality is all I care about" Clive James
Green wood courses, tools, demonstrations.
http://www.seanhellman.com/woodwork/
User avatar
SeanHellman
Regular
 
Posts: 929
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:13 pm
Location: South Devon

Re: Ash Chronology

Postby Stanford Peverill » Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:49 pm

Hi Sean,
thanks for that reassuring comment and you are right it is an understatement that in this greenwood working world there is much to think about.
Stanford Peverill
Regular
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:49 pm


Return to Beginner's corner

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest