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Thread: Apricot wood uses?

  1. #1

    Apricot wood uses?

    I have recently cut down an apricot tree and wish to know more about the wood and its uses. I have found almost nothing on the internet about possible uses. The trunk is too short for any lengthy lumber beyond about 2' of the approximately 12" diameter trunk. There are large ridges that will not allow a 12" circle though. The wood is heavy, dense and hard when dry. The grain and dark pink color is fantastic when fresh cut but drys rapidly in a few minutes to a a few hours depending on exposure to light and sun to a much less striking appearance.

    Because the large limbs have a great amount of reaction wood, I don't expect to get any thing but small cuts out of them. I cut pieces of 1 1/2" thick by3" to 4" width and 20" length which are stickered to dry. The quartersawn bits are particularly beautiful and hopefully some nice boxes or similar can be had from them. Flat and end grain cutting boards are certain but a waste if there is not too much distortion in drying. Knife handles are certainly possible. I would like to try a couple bowls and plates but may not be able to handle the mass on my old Shopsmith lathe.

  2. #2
    You might find more under "fruit woods" . They seem to all share a lot of similitude. Even though they all find a special calling. Pear wood for picture frames in the 18th century. Apple wood for saw handles....probably some Union rule...anyway I have no doubt apricot is a member.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I would save most for woodturning - small bowls, spindles, boxes, etc. I've never turned any but from the description I'd like to, it's more dense and possibly has more figure than cherry:
    http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/person...cs/apricot.htm

    And from the Wood Datablase:
    Common Name(s): Apricot
    Scientific Name: Prunus armeniaca

    Workability: Areas with straight and clear grain are easy to work with hand or machine tools. Care must be taken when surfacing irregular grain or knots to avoid tearout. Apricot glues, turns, and finishes well.
    Pricing/Availability: Not commercially available in lumber form due to very small tree sizes, Apricot is most commonly seen among hobbyists and other small specialty woodworkers and related retailers. Most commonly sold in turning blanks or other small sections. Prices are likely to be high for a domestic wood.
    Common Uses: Turned objects, musical instruments, carvings, and knife handles.
    Comments: Although Apricot is related to Cherry (Prunus genus), it tends to be heavier and harder than Cherry, and much more scarce. Sizes are very limited, so Apricot tends to be assigned primarily to smaller, more decorative purposes.

    If you cut some into turning blanks on the bandsaw, wax the ends and let dry for a few years you can probably sell them to woodturners if you don't want to turn them yourself. I generally cut into squares 1.5"-4" by various lengths and dry on wire shelves.

    But this may all be too much trouble, you should probably just ship it to me!

    JKJ

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    I would save most for woodturning - small bowls, spindles, boxes, etc. I've never turned any but from the description I'd like to, it's more dense and possibly has more figure than cherry:
    http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/person...cs/apricot.htm

    And from the Wood Datablase:
    Common Name(s): Apricot
    Scientific Name: Prunus armeniaca

    Workability: Areas with straight and clear grain are easy to work with hand or machine tools. Care must be taken when surfacing irregular grain or knots to avoid tearout. Apricot glues, turns, and finishes well.
    Pricing/Availability: Not commercially available in lumber form due to very small tree sizes, Apricot is most commonly seen among hobbyists and other small specialty woodworkers and related retailers. Most commonly sold in turning blanks or other small sections. Prices are likely to be high for a domestic wood.
    Common Uses: Turned objects, musical instruments, carvings, and knife handles.
    Comments: Although Apricot is related to Cherry (Prunus genus), it tends to be heavier and harder than Cherry, and much more scarce. Sizes are very limited, so Apricot tends to be assigned primarily to smaller, more decorative purposes.

    If you cut some into turning blanks on the bandsaw, wax the ends and let dry for a few years you can probably sell them to woodturners if you don't want to turn them yourself. I generally cut into squares 1.5"-4" by various lengths and dry on wire shelves.

    But this may all be too much trouble, you should probably just ship it to me!

    JKJ

    John,

    I wish there was more available than I have but I do have a turner nearby who has a Oneway lathe who will get some. He will let me use his lathe and offer some training for an experienced woodworker who is not very experienced at turning. As you say, the smaller stuff may make some interesting things as well. What is your experience with reaction wood where the heart is often only 25% or less diameter from the top of the limb? How would you turn this?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Jonesborough, TN
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    78
    What is 'reaction wood'?

    Chuck

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Lathrop View Post
    John,

    I wish there was more available than I have but I do have a turner nearby who has a Oneway lathe who will get some. He will let me use his lathe and offer some training for an experienced woodworker who is not very experienced at turning. As you say, the smaller stuff may make some interesting things as well. What is your experience with reaction wood where the heart is often only 25% or less diameter from the top of the limb? How would you turn this?
    I've turned some, and cut some on my sawmill. My experience is it will make some really warped lumber! However, when cut into smaller turning blanks that problem mostly goes away since the shrinkage in a smaller piece still behaves as any other wood. I would cut smaller blanks and make sure none had the pith. I coat the ends with sealer. Since the tangential shrinkage is far more than the radial, for unknown woods and those with high known shrinkage and large T/R ratio (includes most fruitwoods) I also like to seal the sides with the most tangential exposure AND for good measure, any transition between the heartwood and sapwood. I turn mostly dry so if the blanks survive they should be fine for anything in a few years. If turning green, you might expect a lot of warpage.

    sealing_blanks.jpg seal_transition.jpg


    Chuck, reaction wood is where the pith is off center usually because the tree or limb is growing at an angle. A hardwood tree adds extra support underneath. This was the most extreme I've seen, in a 100 year old limb:

    reaction_wood_extreme.jpg

    This oak limb was not far off the ground and extended for 40' almost precisely horizontally before making a dip and rise at the end. It was a sad day when I found the limb had died and had to remove it. A few years later the entire tree came down across the fence behind my barn! That has been the biggest tree I've had to clean up yet. It dented the fence...

    tree_down.jpg


    JKJ

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Kansas City
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    1,250
    save small pieces for smoking meat. But its hard to store without getting buggy.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Jonesborough, TN
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    78
    Thanks for the explanation, John.
    I'm having fun re-sawing some Bradford pear from trees that came down in my yard. Some is spalted, probably beyond use, but some is real nice. I don't have a wood lathe, but have turned small things such as fly rod reel seats and file handles on my metal lathe.

    Chuck

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Pickering View Post
    Thanks for the explanation, John.
    I'm having fun re-sawing some Bradford pear from trees that came down in my yard. Some is spalted, probably beyond use, but some is real nice. I don't have a wood lathe, but have turned small things such as fly rod reel seats and file handles on my metal lathe.
    Ooo, ooo, spalted Bradford pear sounds like a good excuse to get a small wood lathe! It's great for turning. We have machined a number of species on the metal lathes and milling machine - haven't tried Bradford pear but it should probably be great (if it is good and dry). The best wood I've machined - Lignum Vitae! I used it to make a large bracket for the sliding table on my saw, tough, stable, naturally lubricated - works as well as aluminum would have.

    BTW, [on soapbox] Death to the evil Bradford pear! [off soapbox]

    JKJ

  10. #10
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    Tom

    To avoid a lot of splitting and checking, it's important to cut the logs in half lengthwise, through the pith (growth ring center) plus apply a sealer to the end grain.

  11. Thanks for this well explained the meaning of reaction wood. I really dont know that meaning too before. Thats the right term I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    I've turned some, and cut some on my sawmill. My experience is it will make some really warped lumber! However, when cut into smaller turning blanks that problem mostly goes away since the shrinkage in a smaller piece still behaves as any other wood. I would cut smaller blanks and make sure none had the pith. I coat the ends with sealer. Since the tangential shrinkage is far more than the radial, for unknown woods and those with high known shrinkage and large T/R ratio (includes most fruitwoods) I also like to seal the sides with the most tangential exposure AND for good measure, any transition between the heartwood and sapwood. I turn mostly dry so if the blanks survive they should be fine for anything in a few years. If turning green, you might expect a lot of warpage.

    sealing_blanks.jpg seal_transition.jpg


    Chuck, reaction wood is where the pith is off center usually because the tree or limb is growing at an angle. A hardwood tree adds extra support underneath. This was the most extreme I've seen, in a 100 year old limb:

    reaction_wood_extreme.jpg

    This oak limb was not far off the ground and extended for 40' almost precisely horizontally before making a dip and rise at the end. It was a sad day when I found the limb had died and had to remove it. A few years later the entire tree came down across the fence behind my barn! That has been the biggest tree I've had to clean up yet. It dented the fence...

    tree_down.jpg


    JKJ

  12. I have some apricot and flowering plumb wood that has been drying for 20+ years. I plan on trying to get some joiners mallets from the the material. One each to test the function. If successful, I will post back here.

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