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Nov 28

Lumber from downed wood tends to be brittle, so, use fasteners and glue. And, in service, you'll find chestnut one of the most stable woods. At maturity, these burly trees stood 60-80' tall and measured 5-6' around the trunk. A. They'll replicate a part from sassafras, abundant throughout the South, then finish the wood to match. If you plan to mix a wood and its look-alike in the same project, such as walnut and red gum, you should stain or dye both woods. Caught short of stock for your project? Due to its coarseness, chestnut does not turn as well as oak. From the staple made of ground nuts called polenta that fed Caesar's legions, to chestnuts roasting by a yuletide fire, the tree's fame has spread by story and song. Savvy finishers also know that they can make white ash pass for red oak if need be. They have bands of large, circular cells parallel to the bark, which can be seen on the end grain, or cross-section. You can sand chestnut glass-smooth without difficulty, and the wood responds well to any finish. If you don’t absolutely have to burn it, don’t - sweet chestnut actually has more value when used for things like furniture building, cabinetry, and wood carving. The samples each got a sealer coat of thinned shellac and a finish coat of spray lacquer. Deeply furrowed bark formed broad, flat ridges spiraling up the tree. By the end of August, the hard-shelled burrs yielded nuts. Red lauan (Philippine mahogany) finished to look like Honduras Mahogany. However, it works easily with other hand and power tools. Chestnut has an oak-like grain, no visible large rays, and the early wood pores will have tyloses. Narrow sapwood is well-defined and is pale white to light brown. If you decide to do some woodworking with look-alike woods, you'll have more success if you keep the following in mind: A. However, you'll find it primarily on the East Coast, and in limited quantities. From colonial times, chestnut has been made into anything destined to last: shingles, siding, fence rails and posts, railroad ties, and furniture. Professional woodworkers, furniture restorers, and furniture manufacturers have long known the value of look-alikes--often less expensive woods that they can stain and finish to resemble more costly ones. The biscuit-colored heartwood, slightly lighter in weight than maple, resists decay. If you're looking for a few good stand-ins, you've come to the right place. Knowledgeable furniture restorers sometimes face a piece needing repair that's made from chestnut, once a widely available furniture wood. With its fine grain, pinkish color, and figure features, the red alder sample came pretty close to matching black cherry when each received one coat of Dark Wine Cherry aniline dye. Scrollsaw, Carving, and Decorative Projects, Air-drying lumber is more than a matter of time, A very personal experience with Lunar Lumber, How To Make A Translucent Transom with Veneer. The finish coat for each look-alike sample was lacquer. Pinworm infestation of the heartwood results in highly-valued "wormy" chestnut with tiny holes. Lookalikes/Substitutes: Horse chestnut can be confused with other European hardwood species with lightweight, diffuse-porous wood, such as European aspen (Populus tremula), European lime (Tilia x europaea), or crack willow (Salix fragilis). It and the walnut sample were dyed with a Medium Walnut water-soluble aniline dye, then sealed with shellac to warm up the color. At about $10 per board foot, you'll also pay dearly. They'll replicate a part from sassafras, abundant throughout the South, then finish the wood to match. Early July brought blooms among chestnut's long, thin, toothed leaves, followed by small, prickly burrs. Remember, all wood falls into three basic wood-grain categories: coarse-grained, such as oak and ash; medium-grained, like mahogany and walnut; and fine-grained, as found in cherry, maple, and yellow poplar. More readily available than chestnut lumber, veneer sells for about $4 per square foot. Furniture factories also commonly follow wood-substitution practices, turning to such species as alder, hackberry, soft maple, and selected imported woods for frames, legs, trim, and other secondary parts. Yellow birch finished to look like maple B. No chestnut, no problem. As we found out in one instance, the darker, more coarse-grained wood of the two species should get a sealer coat of thinned shellac before coloring so that it won't continually get darker. Color/Appearance: Heartwood is a light to medium brown, darkening to a reddish brown with age. No chestnut, no problem. If the look-alike wood is lighter in color, use two coats of color to darken it, but only one coat on the wood being imitated. Wormy Chestnut is also seen, which is chestnut that has been damaged by insects, leaving holes and other discoloration in the wood. A. Yellow poplar finished to look like black walnut, B. Yellow poplar finished to look like black cherry. Then, in the early part of this century, a severe blight swept the chestnut, reducing it to a nearly extinct species. Note how much the two woods look alike in the unstained, clear-finished part of the photographs. Growing to a girth greater than most oaks, the chestnut provided the country's pioneers with wood for every imaginable use. The captions with each pair of photos label the woods and tell you what we used to get the color match. A. That may require some tinting and experimentation before you get the color of the imitator exactly right. Chestnut has a tiny band of light-colored sapwood. For more related content, subscribe to our newsletter! Pinworm infestation of the heartwood results in highly-valued "wormy" chestnut with tiny holes. In color and grain, chestnut strongly resembles oak. Want to save some bucks on wood? Unless you provide an... read more. The wood samples were then stained (we used water-soluble aniline dyes) and clear-finished with lacquer to resemble other often more expensive woods, as shown in the photographs. Wood Look-Alikes. Researchers at the American Chestnut Foundation have found a thriving stand of chestnut trees at an undisclosed site. You may be better off saving this wood and using some other kind of wood in your fireplace . This has been a common manufacturing practice in moderately priced furniture for more than 50 years. Knowledgeable furniture restorers sometimes face a piece needing repair that's made from chestnut, once a widely available furniture wood. Maple Chosen for its lighter color, the yellow birch was almost a perfect look-alike for sugar maple even before staining with a highly diluted Dark Golden Oak aniline dye and finishing with lacquer. You often can substitute a look-alike wood for more than one wood species, such as alder for walnut or cherry, red gum for walnut or mahogany, and yellow poplar for a variety of woods. The finish coat was spray lacquer. And, antique furniture restorers demand chestnut for replacement parts. Scrollsaw, Carving, and Decorative Projects, Hardness ratings help you choose the right species, How To Make A Translucent Transom with Veneer, Air-drying lumber is more than a matter of time. Today, though, black cherry outpaces mahogany in the public's preference for furniture, so the look-alike role it once played no longer makes sense. To demonstrate what happens when you substitute one wood for another, we prepared samples of several common woods. The two wood samples were stained with a diluted Dark Golden Oak water-soluble aniline dye, but first the red oak was sealed with thinned shellac so it wouldn t darken too much. In these cases, oak is a great option. In most cases involving the substitution of wood, you'll have to stain or dye the look-alike wood. Extensive staining, sealing, glazing, and toning techniques finish these species so that they look the same as the cherry, mahogany, or walnut used on the major parts. And, according to a spokesman for the National Arboretum, foresters have discovered a new, harmless strain of the original chestnut blight fungus. As you can see, some of the look-alike woods play their role better than others. White ash finished to look like red oak. Today, the available chestnut lumber and veneer comes from blight victims or from European trees. Today the only available American chestnut wood suitable to architecture and interiors comes to us through reclaimed timber resources. After careful selection of yellow poplar samples to match the figure and grain of black walnut and black cherry respectively, each was dyed with aniline dye.

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