Router Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,988 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:confused:Has anyone out here used Crepe Myrtle lumber? It is quite abundant around here in Georgia and quite often large diameter 5" - 6" diameter limbs are simply laying along roadsides. It is terribly hard and I am thinking of milling some into 2" x 2" boards to use in my hobby of making abaci. Any help is appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,637 Posts
No Otis, I just trimmed mine 2 weeks ago but since we are in Georgia, Have you milled any Pecan wood? How did it come out and how is it to work with?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,988 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Jim, thanks for your reply. Personally, I've not worked with Pecan lumber, but it is often available from local sawmills. Many hardwood lumber vendors make no separation between Pecan and other forms of Hickory, of which Walnut is also in the same family of trees. My wife's dad built a huge house in Roswell, GA. He owned and managed a furniture business (Roswell Seating Company - which made church furniture) for over 55 years. There's a "great room" in that house that is completely encased in Pecan Raised Panel Walls - up to a 24 foot ceiling height. The wood is beautiful. He also built his own kitchen and laundry room cabinets with Pecan. I hope to one day have a project that requires it. It is a quite heavy lumber, but most people who have worked with it speak very highly of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,494 Posts
I have used Pecan and Cypress (Cypress can be very beautiful ) and plentifol here in southern Louisiana.... Crepe Myrtle I have never seen used But maybe it would work.. I have seen some Crepe's 20' tall and taller with at least 6" trunks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,988 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Warren, Thanks for your reply as well. That's exactly what I've been thinking about Crepe Myrtles - potential lumber with [possibly] desirable characteristics. In preliminary testing, it appears to me to be harder than any other wood I've worked with. I'm looking for something unique with a dark natural coloration and the tougher the better. As far as Cypress - I've done quite a bit of work with it and I love it! Cypress has some distinct advantages over many other species for outdoor projects. I have; however, noticed some variation between individual boards regarding their outdoor toughness! It is a dream for milling, but for some projects a bit heavy for some applications. Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
Haven't tried that, but did harvest some manzanita when I lived in CA. It was growing on some property I owned in the Sierra foothills.
It was quite hard and very dense with a reddish color. I turned a lot of stuff out of it. It was only about 6" in diameter, so I never tried to cut it into boards.
Good luck with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,988 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Jack, my good friend Robert Applegate lives in El Cajon in Southern California and has those growing on his property. I've always wondered if they were similar woods - both of them are quite drought tolerant and bark is almost non-existant, but it would be difficult to take a stick home on a commercial flight. Is the manzanita also dark on the inside?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,494 Posts
If You use Cypress look for a product called TWP it is a stain type finish and I have used it on some swings,tables and chairs and it compliments the cypress beautifully and does a great job so far in helping keep the color in the wood
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,988 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Cool Warren, I will keep that in mind. Thus far I have not applied a finish to anything I built using Cypress - I've always let the items remain "natural".
Thanks Bill for your idea about short lengths - I may be able to employ that technique.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
:confused:Has anyone out here used Crepe Myrtle lumber? It is quite abundant around here in Georgia and quite often large diameter 5" - 6" diameter limbs are simply laying along roadsides. It is terribly hard and I am thinking of milling some into 2" x 2" boards to use in my hobby of making abaci. Any help is appreciated.
I've never used it but I hear that it has lots of uses. Canes, bows, furniture etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,988 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
John, I've only used it for decorative work (as limbs only), but have never milled any of it. I've had good success making limbs into lumber by attaching limbs to guide boards with wooden dowels. Using the guide boards to prevent [limb] rotation on my table saw allows me to slice off a side of the limb and simply cut through the dowels in the process. It's going to be interesting to do with crepe myrtle. I've got enough to make a few small boards that I've had downstairs drying for 3 or 4 years. I have built-in cages for several of my snakes and for the arboreal snakes there are limbs for climbing - crepe myrtle limbs have worked well for the really good climbers - but doesn't work perfectly for the heavier, less agile climbers. The slickness of the limbs is what gives minimal traction to the snakes. Working with CM for several years now, I've learned that it is quite likely the hardest of all woods I've worked with when it is dry and cured properly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
My house was paneled in old beautiful barn cypress. Wonderful! Barns were disappearing fast in the 70's. The biggest problem in recovering the cypress was that the best barns -- 60-100 yrs old -- were sheathed in cypress nailed to oak! There was no way to to pull nails out of that oak without splitting the cypress boards. Lots of waste, but I had a beautiful house, grey-paneled, built out of those barns.

As to splitting elm: Great way to lose wedges. My dad lit a dead elm with a burning cigarette -- the elm smoldered for two weeks, burned completely even to the roots down into the ground.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,988 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Lester, The "old growth cypress" is an amazing lumber! In the "old days" cypress was very difficult to haul - because it grows in swamps! Logging 100 years ago and even more recently was done with river floatation near rivers or drug by mules/horses on land. Today, cypress is carefully selected and plucked vertically with huge double bladed helicopters - it is quite an interesting process to observe! This was fairly common in parts of south Georgia - where I did a lot of hunting in years passed. Those big helicopters seem to be the only things that scare-away bears and alligators!

Elm? I will live happily ever-after if I never have to split any more elm! There is a way to retrieve those wedges, though! Make wedges out of oak or hickory and chase them aside of the steel wedges. But you do end-up losing the wooden wedges - this is also a good way to invite termites to help remove stumps. Around here, the hickory stumps are a real difficult removal project without wooden wedges.

Take care!
Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top