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Elder wood - of any use ?

Measure twice, cut once...
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peasant
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Elder wood - of any use ?

#1

Post by peasant »

Elder as in -flower and -berry, that is ...

Had to cut down a sizeable elder tree yesterday and came across a few branches / knots with interesting shapes that might turn out to be somewhat decorative after some whittling/polishing.

Have kept these to the side for seasoning and later use ...am I wasting my time or is this something worth keeping /doing ?

I'm no woodworker and these bits will not end up as anything structural..just maybe bases for flower arrangements or such.
CelticRambler
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Re: Elder wood - of any use ?

#2

Post by CelticRambler »

You can make great wands with it! :lol:

The kadman would have better advice on this, but while waiting for him to turn up, as far as I know it's okay if you don't ask too much of it. So yes, if you're going to make items that are purely decorative, it should be grand. My own pieces of elder have always been on the skinny side - probably never had a "trunk" wider than about 10cm, and most of that was unusable bark and/or pith, so it's not something I'd have kept. That said, I think there might have been a few older, thicker pieces that found their way into the wood pile last year, and were subsequently pulled out for turning, thinking they were something else. If that is indeed what they were, then the result was very different to my usual oak, chestnut, hawthorn and blackthorn! :mrgreen:
kadman
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Re: Elder wood - of any use ?

#3

Post by kadman »

To be honest I have only ever used elder flower for wine a few times, but I make elderberry syrup for immune system health,
As for the wood, I have never turned it, and never seen it turned either. If the wood is dense enough it would be fine for turning I imagine.

And the wand making, if you make one, do me a favour.

Zap celtics load of metal out of the woodshop please, it should not be there. :mrgreen:
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peasant
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Re: Elder wood - of any use ?

#4

Post by peasant »

To answer my own question ...Elder wood might be good for burning (haven't tried yet) but not much else.

It checks something horrible once it dries. Once the pith dries, there are radial checks running outwards from the pith channel and lengthwise down the wood. I'd bet, if you left it long enough it would probably split into several long sections.

Don't ever try and turn it, even if it looks ok from the outside...it might explode around your ears.
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Ncdjd2
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Re: Elder wood - of any use ?

#5

Post by Ncdjd2 »

I used to make fishing floats out of elder wood.
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Del.Monte
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Re: Elder wood - of any use ?

#6

Post by Del.Monte »

Elder is very sappy and from my experience needs to be cut and stored for sometime before it's much use on the fire.
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