More on Woods
Last post I wrote about free turning wood, particularly about Caragana. Another wood I enjoy working with is chokecherry.
You won’t walk into your favorite hardwood store and buy a slab of chokecherry lumber. First of all, it doesn’t grow that big. Here, at the foot of Casper Mountain, we might see a five inch diameter trunk. According to M. Walter Pesman, Meet the Natives: The amateur’s Field Guide to Rocky Mountain Wildflowers, Trees and Shrubs, chokecherry is common throughout the continental U.S. How bit it would grow in your area, I could not say.
The second consideration, after size, is chokecherry’s propensity to crack. If you look at a drying trunk, you will notice a split spiraling down the entire length. If it would crack straight, I could get two half trunks. But nature has not yet started listening to my demands.
To work with chokecherry, you must either work it green or be able to use small pieces split from a sound section of a seasoned trunk. I have been able to turn hollow vessels from the green wood without problems as it dried. The finished product can be quite striking and maybe even comparable to some of the expensive exotics.
Ellis Hein, author of The Woodturner’s Project Book
Have you seen the plans I have up for sale for the space saving cabinet?