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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-30-2009, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Ash
White Ash

Fraxinus Americana



Let me start with a confessionů I like Ash. I like the way it works, the look and feel of the wood and the finish it accepts. It is a nice wood.

There are 18-20 species of Ash growing in North America with White Ash the most commercially important species. White Ash is widely distributed in the US and Canada from the East to the Midwest. It grows in all states east of the Mississippi and some to the west. Green Ash and Blue Ash share the same range, and are harvested and marketed together.

The tree has a narrow sapwood ring that is nearly white while the heartwood is cream, tan or brown sometimes with a reddish tinge. The wood is strong and hard with a straight, rather coarse grain and has a high shock resistance. Bold growth rings produce a look similar to Red Oak. The dry weight is about 42 pounds per cubic foot.

Shovels, spades, rakes and hoes frequently have Ash handles. Wooden baseball bats have always been made of White Ash. Before man-made fibers, it was also the wood of choice for tennis rackets and skis. You'll also find white ash as hockey sticks, polo mallets, oars and paddles, and playground equipment. Chair makers prefer white ash due to its bending ease. Its workability, plus good looks, make White Ash one of the top commercial woods in the furniture and cabinet industries.

The wood machines well with moderate cutting resistance and wear on cutters. Ash works easily with hand and power tools. It glues well. It holds screws well, but pre-drilling is recommended. When jointing edges be careful about the grain direction. Ash is well known for its excellent bending characteristics. Splintering can be a problem when turning it on the lathe. Make sure your tools are sharp and take a fine cut.

HERE is our library page with more information. Tell us about your experience with White Ash.

Keith Stephens
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-30-2009, 07:04 PM
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Hi Keith

Thanks for great info but you didn't say anything about the PRICE...

Let's say white Oak to Ash... ? and the sizes ? plus what you have on hand..?



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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-30-2009, 08:13 PM
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Since ash trees have been cut down by the millions here, it is pretty cheap. Several of us are making a run to get some next weekend. I believe it's about $1 to $1.50 bdft.

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 10:25 AM
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I think Keith is offering his expertise on the species of woods in this forum. If you want to know the price of the wood from Woodworkers Source. You should direct your questions to order desk of Woodworkers Source directly.

Keith is offering his expertise free of charge and NOT asking you to purchase from his company. I was hoping to get Keith to help build a resource of information on different types of wood. This forum is about quality info on different wood species. So let's keep on topic...

I propose that: If you guys think we need to a discussion on whether white ash is cheaper than white oak or there's a guy in tumbleweed, any-state that is selling X species for .50 cent per board ft. I can get Mark to add a sub-forum about wood prices that discusses where one can get that lumber.

It could be a place when and where you guys see a great deal on wood can post and discuss the opportunity. I would assume Keith would be glad to add his two cent about why not all boards are created equally and that price is not the be all end all.

So getting back on track does anyone have some experience using White Ash that they would like to share, if so please post about your experiences on this thread.

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 10:49 AM
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Thanks Keith for the great information

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 11:04 AM
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It is next to impossible to offer a price comparison in this section. Every location will have different costs for different woods. Right now there is a glut of ash available in Michigan because of the Emerald Ash Borer plague. This results in an artificially low price in our area, but it will not last. Locally available wood will almost always be cheaper than wood that is shipped. This section is not the Bargain Bin for pricing, it is to help us learn of the many varieties of wood available, and to understand their characteristics.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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I should have mentioned the Emerald Ash Borer in the original post. This beetle has killed millions of Ash trees in the north central midwest. Michigan has been hit the hardest. Many of the killed trees are in landscapes, parks and nurseries. To date there has not been an impact on the availability or quality of Ash in the lumber market. HERE is the US Forest Service web site for more information about this beetle and infestation.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 01:45 PM
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Hi Keith, thanks for sharing your info here on the forum. As a newbie woodworker I am very keen on learning about wood species and thier uses.
We are feeling the bite (no pun intended) of the Ash Borer here in Canada as well. Here in Southwestern Ontario they have taken their toll on thousands of trees.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 04:35 PM
 
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So Keith, all other things being equal, would you use Ash above any other wood for your projects?
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Not for everything, but it would be on my short list for furniture and cabinets. I like to work with a lot of woods. For me, part of the fun of woodworking is experimenting with different woods, enjoying their unique feel, learning how they, cut, route, plane, sand and finish. For household accessories, jewelry boxes, etc. I would try some of the more unusual imports and I am a sucker for any rosewood. For outdoor projects White Oak, Cypress or Ipe would be good choices. It is a big world and there are lots of choices. So much wood... so little time.

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