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3 distinctive and affordable project stock

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Exotic figure made in America
Much of the world's most gorgeously figured wood comes from tropical forests, but you'll also find it in those giant sycamore trees in neighborhoods across the South and Midwest. When quartersawn, sycamore's heavily rayed grain displays a spectacular flecked pattern that rivals lacewood and leopardwood. Use it in decorative projects, such as jewelry boxes, that call for striking figure. In stark contrast, plainsawn sycamore's grain looks disappointingly plain and proves prone to warping when hastily kiln-dried. Properly processed, though, plainsawn sycamore becomes serviceable as a secondary wood in drawer sides, dust partitions, and cabinet nailer cleats.

Prices for quartersawn sycamore hover in the walnut range, making it an inexpensive choice for such a distinctly figured wood.

Can't find these woods locally? Try:

  • Woodworkers Source:
  • West Penn Hardwoods:


Comments (1)
robbyw11 wrote:

I used Red Alder for several projects. It does do a wonderful job of imitating cherry, but I found two problems with it: It is brittle and splintery. It is very light compared to cherry and burns easily. Second, it tends to make my nose run-It appears to be a wood I am sensitive to. I made a cradle for my granddaughter and ran out of wood when making the stand. I grabbed a piece of alder, make the second leg. Once it was finished, you can't tell the difference without looking carefully.

6/22/2015 02:18:26 PM Report Abuse

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