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Thread: What type of hardwood do you recommend?

  1. #31
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: What type of hardwood do you recommend?

    My gosh! Ebony, purpleheart, Mesquite??? Those are certainly split-prone very heavy materials. Purpleheart doesn't keep it color at all after UV exposure and it a nightmare to
    carbide. It is nice and straight. I was looking at some beautiful sticks of it over the weekend, and have worked quite a bit of it myself. There's a lot of old floors with it around
    here. Ebony is a camera brand of course, and I own one (though in mahogany). They have
    had some problems with end-grain splitting. Need to keep the wood from totally drying out,
    with finish refreshment perhaps if the original finish wears off. I've got a customer who just
    did over a hundred doors & window in solid ebony - needless to say, the client had a LOT
    of money - (that was just for the barn with its seven bathrooms! The guest and main houses are yet to be built!). Mesquite is pretty but very squirrely stuff. If you want another difficult wood that is so heavy it sinks, try mountain mahogany.

  2. #32

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    Re: What type of hardwood do you recommend?

    There is a very good reason that so many wood field cameras were made of cherry or mahogany (and lately, walnut).
    The key characteristics are density and dimensional stability.
    Both cherry and mahogany are relatively light weight for a given size (they are lower density materials) and have excellent dimensional stability.

    My personal preference is slightly in favor of cherry but, mahogany would be a very close second.

  3. #33
    C. D. Keth's Avatar
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    Re: What type of hardwood do you recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by BradS View Post
    There is a very good reason that so many wood field cameras were made of cherry or mahogany (and lately, walnut).
    The key characteristics are density and dimensional stability.
    Both cherry and mahogany are relatively light weight for a given size (they are lower density materials) and have excellent dimensional stability.

    My personal preference is slightly in favor of cherry but, mahogany would be a very close second.
    +1 to this. There's good reason these woods have been used for this type of thing for a long time. Don't let yourself be suckered into the "pretty wood club" with all of the guys who bought fancy stocked rifles that are either too precious to use and risk a scratch or else too heavy to carry into the woods.

  4. #34
    Les
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    Re: What type of hardwood do you recommend?

    Seriously though, quilted mohogany (African, Honduras or from Cuba/Dominican Repub) would likely be most stable and pretty for this project. The dense woods are superb, but they tend to be heavy. But, but but, I'd never walk away from a nicely figured KOA....it would be on par close to mohogany. Purchasing it, that's another story. Several years ago Hawaii stopped the export of this wood....and the price of it went through the stratosphere. Have fun deciding.

    Les

  5. #35
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: What type of hardwood do you recommend?

    Too much figure on a wood is just looking for trouble if you're thinking of a dimensionally
    stable user versus some nice conversation piece on the fireplace mantle. The traditional
    correct mahogany was "pattern grade" - plain, highly stable if properly seasoned, and very
    difficult to acquire. In this day and age, engineered composites will do a far better job.
    Thank you, Dick Phillips for starting the trend of highly functional if homely view cameras!
    Cherry is a bit soft, but if you impregnate it with penetrating epoxy, probably the best
    ordinary choice. The epoxy will yellow horribly over time, and shouldn't get a lot of UV
    when not actually shooting, but with greatly strengthen the material without added wt.

  6. #36
    C. D. Keth's Avatar
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    Re: What type of hardwood do you recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Too much figure on a wood is just looking for trouble if you're thinking of a dimensionally
    stable user versus some nice conversation piece on the fireplace mantle. The traditional
    correct mahogany was "pattern grade" - plain, highly stable if properly seasoned, and very
    difficult to acquire. In this day and age, engineered composites will do a far better job.
    Thank you, Dick Phillips for starting the trend of highly functional if homely view cameras!
    Cherry is a bit soft, but if you impregnate it with penetrating epoxy, probably the best
    ordinary choice. The epoxy will yellow horribly over time, and shouldn't get a lot of UV
    when not actually shooting, but with greatly strengthen the material without added wt.

    You're 100% right about highly figured woods. My knowledge in this area comes from rifles and many custom rifle makers won't guarantee stocks of AA and higher figure because it's just not stable or predictable.

    Cherry is plenty hard, especially if you pay the extra for wood from older growth trees. I've seen several cherry stocked rifles that are now well over 200 years old. A camera won't be used any harder than a hunting rifle.

  7. #37
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: What type of hardwood do you recommend?

    Having worked on both gunstocks and cameras, I'd say a camera is a lot more fussy. A minor dent in the wrong spot and a Graflock back won't fit correctly, or a tiny bit of warp
    on the back frame and focus might be off. And at least with a rifle you can get a spare
    shot or two off, if there's a bit of imprecision, while the grizzly charges. With a view camera you need to focus really really fast! But that's why my tripod has spike feet, to
    function as bayonets! We get ahold of lovely curly cherry here, but it needs a lot of
    hand scraping. Heaviest stock I ever made was mtn mahogany. Just dropping the gun
    creates a big hole in the earth which the grizzly will fall into before ever reaching you!

  8. #38

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    Re: What type of hardwood do you recommend?

    I used Makore on my 8 x 20. Makore is African Cherry I beileve. Looks like a cherry but with the color of Mahogony. Pretty good to work with and not that hard to get.

  9. #39

    Re: What type of hardwood do you recommend?

    "Could white ash be recommended? Anybody used it?"

    Yes and yes, as long as it's quarter sawn and straight grained, properly seasoned helps. It is stronger and tougher than white oak, about the same weight. Works well, glues well and finishes well. All around a fine choice.

  10. #40
    (Shrek)
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    Re: What type of hardwood do you recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Fitzgerald View Post
    "Could white ash be recommended? Anybody used it?"

    Yes and yes, as long as it's quarter sawn and straight grained, properly seasoned helps. It is stronger and tougher than white oak, about the same weight. Works well, glues well and finishes well. All around a fine choice.
    Old hardwood flooring can be a good source for ash (and maple, around here; oak further south). If you manage to get an entire room, you can pick and choose the best grain for critical elements, and of course being a 50-100 year-old floor means the wood is as seasoned as you're going to get anywhere. Plus I love recycling, I hate sending stuff like this off to a landfill. I rebuilt my sailboat's tiller using old flooring.

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