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White Ash

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Within white ash's natural range, dealers that stock hardwoods should carry an abundant supply of white ash at about $2.25 per board foot. And wide boards are usually available. Some dealers may even carry 3"-diameter bat blanks and furniture squares. Ash plywood costs about $60 per sheet in 3/4" thickness. You'll also find ash veneer, in sheets and as edge-banding, carried by cabinetmaking suppliers. From board to board, flat-sawn white ash can have some real wild grain. If that's not the look you like, you'll want to handpick for more subtle stuff. On the other hand, you can combine boards with figure, contrasting grain, and "defects" such as flecks from burrowing insect larvae (long deceased!), for eye-catching pieces. Once you have your white ash, remember that it is hard, so expect the wood to have a moderate blunting effect on your hand or power tools. For best results, plan on sharpening your tools before you begin, and then again during the project. With power tools, you may want to tackle white ash with carbide-tipped cutters. Otherwise, the following suggestions will help you work this wood.

Continued on page 5:  Machining methods


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