Is Apple tree wood usable for woodworking?? - Page 3 - Router Forums
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post #21 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-19-2015, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by gmercer_48083 View Post
Rick, Apple wood is prized for making wooden hand planes.
It is also a traditional wood for the totes on Western-style hand saws.

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post #22 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-20-2015, 08:33 PM
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Apple wood is obviously a "fruitwood". Pear, apricot, cherry, etc. come to mind. Most have desirable wood properties. Many are very desired for "turning". One problem is finding trees (stock) big enough. In addition to the typical smaller diameters, many of these species are rather short in mature height. Another problem is longevity as a living tree.....many have aging problems and orchard managers tend to prune for short heights to assist in ease of harvesting the fruits. One exception might be pear. And as with most lumber, a woodworker wants to avoid the pieces (lumber) with that nasty central growth ring.
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post #23 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-11-2015, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Update on apple & cherry tree takedown

Well folks, today was the day when the monsoon rainy season stopped here in northeast OH, and the sun was out, so my dead apple and cherry trees were cut down. I experimented with coating the ends of the limbs with melting paraffin wax, and it was an easy process with my propane torch. The smaller diameter limbs, when dried/cured will be used for turning on my lathe. The larger diameter trunk sections will be slabbed into boards. In a year or so, I will add an update.
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post #24 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-08-2016, 09:48 AM
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One of the lazy susans I posted pics of in show and tell has an apple wood surround. It is the one with very dark wood near the outside of the marquetry. The apple had some spalting and interesting grain. As others have said it is very hard and burns easily during ripping. I use it in small pieces for decorative banding as well.
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post #25 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-11-2018, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by jaguar1201 View Post
I came to the wood species forum in search of an answer from the experts as to the worthiness of apple tree wood in wood working projects. Is it a "soft" or "hard" wood? What is its workability on lathe, router, drill, saw etc? What is the best application for apple wood? I ask these questions because I will need to take down an expired apple tree in my backyard this year. The trunk diameter is about 8", and some branches are 4", so the wood yield could be promising for some project, after suitable drying time. Any tips are sought.
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post #26 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-12-2018, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by jaguar1201 View Post
Apple Wood: Is it a "soft" or "hard" wood?
It is a hard wood. The designation is for trees that lose their leaves in the fall/winter.

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post #27 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-13-2018, 06:53 AM
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Applewood covers alot of ground simply because of the number of various speices.

My experience has been: (based on very limited use)

1: it is HARD...harder than sugar (hard) maple.
hard on edged tools! tends to burn easily if your not careful, but it does take an edge/profile beautifully

2: Prior to use, it has got to be dry, which takes a good bit of time when compared to some other domestics.

3: very susceptible to seasonal movement. More so than other domestics.

4: An excellent choice for tool use, ie. totes, plane body, saw handles, spoke shaves, mallets etc...
when it comes to furniture, turners like it, box makers, inlay and small decorative pieces

5: Spalting is not uncommon, in fact this IMHO adds excellent character to the wood. Can be kinda buggy/wormy.
Keep an eye out for punk wood as well.

I've only ever run across it in small privately owned mills/kilns. And always in smallish pieces and very limited quantities.

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post #28 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-13-2018, 12:06 PM
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I live in one of the 2 main apple growing regions of North America, the Canadian Okanagan Valley and the south part of it in Washington State. If the tree came from an orchard then it probably only has about 4 to 5 feet of trunk before it starts branching out and orchardists like to max the height out at around 12'. That's why you're unlikely to find anything long. I've known guys who got wood for turning from orchards that were taking over mature trees out or taking them out to replant with new more desirable species. It turns very nicely according to them.

That was the old way of growing apples. The new way is to plant the trees much closer together and only allow them to get about 8' tall and maybe 3 to 4' wide. I suspect that trees will be replanted more often too since one of the issues with the older trees is that those species of apples have declined in popularity (Macs and spartans for example) so the current strategy may be to replant more often to avoid that. Of course this means that apple wood will be even harder to find than before. Anybody really wanting some will have their best bet by finding a tree removal service who take them from people's yards where the trees have gotten too large and possibly dangerous.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #29 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-13-2018, 08:46 PM
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On the subject of saving fruitwood, sort of in the same category is Holly [Ilex opaca]. If you're getting rid of one don't wreck the wood; it's lovely stuff.
About the same hardness (Janka scale) as Black Walnut. Maybe not a lot of fun to work with though.
Holly | The Wood Database - Lumber Identification (Hardwood)
Ilex opaca
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post #30 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 07:44 PM
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I live in apple country too - Eastern Washington, USA. Since I am surrounded by thousands of acres of apple orchards and it's not uncommon to see hundreds of acres uprooted to plant new varieties of apples, I use a lot of fruit wood.

Apple has a lot of nice color and is dense, so it makes great kitchen utensils and turnings. If you can get big enough pieces, you can make bowls, small boxes and so on.
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