Uses for Cotton Wood - Router Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Default Uses for Cotton Wood

Due to all the intense flooding in North Dakota, a lot of cottonwood trees were flooded and died.I was wondering if anyone have used this wood for any wood working projects? Any suggtions would be apprciated thnks
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 11:32 AM
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Hey, Jim; this link from Purdue U. suggests coffins...
http://www.ces.purdue.edu/extmedia/FNR/FNR-282-W.pdf
Seriously though, sounds like a less than ideal choice for woodworking, especially from the finishing perspective. Is there no wood pulp or chip industry down there? Up here in B.C. that's usually where the less-than-desirable species end up. You'd think the MDF manufacturers would be grabbing it up for feed stock(?).
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 08:19 AM
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Cottonwood is a fuzzy wood, but good to work with. It works well for horse fencing and stalls.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 07:35 PM
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And to think I used to live with a tall cottonwood tree dominating the yard and now own a home on Cottonwood Rd!

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 11:25 PM
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Cottonwood used to be used for septic tanks because as long as it stayed wet it didn't rot. It was also used for barn/stable floors for that reason and that it does not sliver. It is nearly impossible to sand smooth, it keeps fuzzing. The Ministry of Forests in Vernon, BC had a test facility where they were growing some cottonwood and took it to Rouck Bros sawmill near Lumby, BC and had it sawn into lumber to see if product could be made from it. I never heard the results. One of my neighbors in Cherryville, BC sawed up a test batch for a customer in Nevada (if I remember correctly). I think they were going to try case hardening it by heating it to see if that would solve the sanding problem and it didn't according to what I heard.
Unless there is newer technology to deal with the problems that I haven't heard about, I think you might be out of luck. The dead snags do make great wildlife trees.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 02:16 AM
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after you finish your work, don't forget to share the photos with us
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 06:52 AM
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Cottonwood bark carves very well. Carvers like to carve fairy houses and other whimsical stuff out of them. I carved a piece over the winter. We spent the winter in southern Texas and carving is VERY popular down there. Bought 5 more pieces from Slim's Woodshed in southern Minnesota when we got back home.

Good luck.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 08:24 AM
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I made one piece, a band saw box, from cottonwood. Solved the fuzziness problem by staining, sanding and spraying poly and sanding again.
It doesn't take stain well. I'd have been better off painting it.
But, my Dad built several out buildings with it and covered them with tin siding. 30 years and still standing.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-10-2012, 12:16 PM
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Hello friends,

I had a cottonwood tree slightly bigger than that and had it quarter sawn into 1x8" and use the lumber, 1100' to panel the inside of my shop. It's always a conversation topic. I lost maybe 3 boards out of something like 167. The three board were due to the WM bandsaw getting dull.

Best regards
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 02:15 AM
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I had bunches of cottonwood. My neighbor told me that long ago firemen would pack a cottonwood log in their fire engine. They would throw it into the fire to help put it out.

I know that cutting windfall and letting it season forever, that when it burned, it still had water coming to the surface, boiling and steaming.
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