View Full Version : ELM??? Any info would be helpful!

Greg Cole
03-16-2007, 2:23 PM
I have a line on 100 bf of 9', 6-9" wide american elm. I haven't verified the precise species, but it looks to be pretty much clear & flat.
I've never used elm for anything, but reading up it seems to be a decent all around wood. I can pick it up 20 minutes from home for $2.00 a bf (hit or miss surface). Most the lumber retailers in town can't touch any hardwood for double that or more. Even red oak with is overly plentyful in MO is more expensive.
Anyone done anything with elm? Have pics to share of projects made with it... etc, etc, etc.

Anything for feedback would be great.



scott spencer
03-16-2007, 2:48 PM
Hi Greg - I love the way elm looks. It's beautiful and interesting IMHO. The color and grain contrast are similar to oak, but the grain flows more freely like ash. The bonus is that it has an unusual "ghost" grain or secondary grain for lack of a better term...some folks call it "feathers"....it appears between the primary grain, and is what sets it apart from most other woods. I think hackberry has a similar characteristic.

It's not the easiest stuff to work. The cut edges will "fuzz" pretty easily. It's a really stalky wood, and is plenty strong. Sharp Whiteside, Forrest, and top Freud cutters still resulted in fuzzed edges. It does cut pretty easily...it's not like hard maple. It's a bit prone to moving after it's been dimensioned...let it acclimate well first. I initially milled it oversized, let it sit for a few more days and remilled to final size...so far it's held up well.

The unique grain gets lost in the resolution of these pics, but you get an idea in these links: http://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=42639

Greg Cole
03-16-2007, 2:56 PM
As mentioned in the post subject, any input is helpful. Nice table by the way.... red oak is all over out here in MO. The Ozarks are full of it. I am just not a real big fan of the stuff. One of my first big projects was all red oak... the days of buying sticks from the BORG are long gone.
I don't have a project specifically in mind, but I have a "mind full" of projects! Don't we all????
From what I got back from the seller, it was cut on a woodmizer 2+ years ago and has been stickered and stackered in a garage for over 2 years. I am assuming its pretty dry & well stabilized, since I would only be moving it 15 miles.


Happy shavings, dust or whatever you make this weekend... just make some!

Mike Parzych
03-16-2007, 5:58 PM
I'd be all over that like a cheap suit - especially if it's red elm. My experience is that it's a somewhat "stringy" wood but that really doesn't affect much. It can sometimes bow when planing.

But it finished really nice with BLO and whatever top coat - lusturous and with some nice "depth" - little variations that make it really unique. And since it's air dried, that will only increase it's depth.

And not many places retail it, at least around here. So it really stands out from the pack. I wish I could find more of it in the Twin Cities area where I am.

And $2 bf?...oh, hell yes.

William Fourness
03-16-2007, 6:18 PM
Be well worth your time and effort. You will be pleased with the outcome of the Elm. We don't have alot Elm out here in northern Pennsylvania, except for a small bit of American Elm. Most was killed off in that big blight years back that took the elm, walnut, butternut and chinsenut out of this area. Some still making a slow come back. But you should really snag that elm up at that price.


Greg Cole
03-16-2007, 6:43 PM
Snagging I will be doing!!! I was hoping to make a run this afternoon, but the guy is taking his family away for the weekend, so I guess I'll have to wait for a wood gloat.
I was pretty sure it wasn't a bad deal, but not knowing much about the species I thought I'd ask.... and if you look for elm or elm furniture etc.... google is full of Chinese Elm & made in China furniture.

It's the hour of the day on a Friday for some malted libation.... or good ol fashioned beer thirty!