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
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