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White Ash

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Machining methods

Machining methods

  • Nearly as hard and as dense as sugar maple, white ash burns easily if you use dull or dirty blades and cutting edges. And the burns won't easily sand off.
  • Avoid burning when ripping the resistant wood by choosing a rip-profile blade with no more than 28 teeth. Then, don't force feed it.
  • Be sure to feed white ash to the jointer so that the knives' rotation follows the grain direction, or the wood will chip. Feed figured wood slowly and at a slight angle.
  • Avoid burning and chipping with your router by taking shallow passes on the wood. In end-grain and all cross-grain passes, use a backing board on the exit side to eliminate chipping.
  • Always use pilot holes for nails and scews, and drill them with brad-point bits to eliminate wander.
  • White ash's hardness means that you can't skip grits when sanding or the wood scratches, and they're hard to get out. It can, though, be sanded glass-smooth.
  • Although the wood readily accepts all types of adhesive, it is slow to absorb, so a glue with a longer open time (white glue) performs better.
  • Unlike maple, white ash won't give you any problem in staining, and filling the grain for smoothness isn't necessary.

Continued on page 6:  Carving comments


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