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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Think i may have posted part of this before ?

I have a couple of large blocks of wood which i have had for quite some time i managed to salvage from being burnt.

there some sort of burl wood dont know what and the guy said there where at least 600 years old? They where bought down during a storm some years ago

I decide to take a slice off it and make a couple of leg cleeks and heres the state of play to date.

Would love to know what the wood is?

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I can not identify the wood but it is a great looking grain. I will have to look around and see if I can find out what it could be. I have piece of zebrawwod I will flow your project with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Zebra wood looks great and would make a nice topper ? dont know what its like to carve

The above wood is extremly hard and is easyer to use the rotary tool on than try to use the chisels but it should polish up very well.

I had to cut a slice by hand for the cleeks it must have taken mt a hour or so to do it . its to thick to get into the band saw.its at lest 2.5 ft long by about 18 inches thick and about 18-20 inches high the other peice i have is much larger .Not to sure what to do with it yet .I fancy trying to carve a swann with it but i shall just treat the wood with oil and not paint it ,the grain should come up well.
 

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It is harder to tell what burls woods are, because the grain can be so different from normal growth. O did some searches, and found that the species that reach 600 years in britain are mostly yews and oaks. The color of the wood doesn't look very much like oak so my guess is yew.

I've been messing w. some yew branches and a small burl for the last year. Very tough wood. I'll try to post some pics later today of on I've been polishing recently. If you do have yew, the final surface can be almost mirror like.
 

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I have no idea what type of wood it is. Perhaps the person whom you got the piece from has more trees of the same type that might help identify it?

What is really awesome about the wood is the history the tree was around for. Think of it, the wood in your hand was around before Columbus sailed to the New World!! That should make it tingle under your fingers!! Looking forward to seeing the progress Cobalt!!
 

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I was very pleased to get the wood far better than burning it.People pay a lot of money for it and its not to easy to come by.

Parts of the trunk have been attacked by wood worm which isnt helpful. To think someone would burn it is crazy.

It took me over a hour to saw a slice of the lump its so hard in parts until you hit a part that has been attacked by worm.

Just a small part is effected and have tried to work round those parts.

Its unbelivable hard to carve almost imposiable , I burnt out a drill bit just drilling a hole for the threaded bar ,The rotary tool will manage it but i found using rasps the best way of shaping it .

Problem is where the worm had been and you cant tell until you cut it is soft so using the rotary tool didnt get a flat finish .I have cut and shaped it and treated the soft area wood with a solutiopn on PVA to harden it .But the rest is to hard to use a chisel on it.

Some people sat its maple some oak some yew have seen some wood like it which was maple but i think its to difficult to tell what it is.

I have yet to smooth resand it and polish it

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You have gotten a lot done cobalt good looking hooks. I had said I was going to use a zebrawood but i did not have a large enough piece for the hook. I am going use walnut.
 

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I did some more "dendritic sleuthing." Seems unlikely that the wood is maple. Assuming the original claim of the tree being 600 years, very few if any maples reach that age, and no maple native to Britain, or brought in centuries ago could have reached that age.

I'd be willing to bet its yew. And a chunk that size would be very valuable, from what I can find. +Work needed to shape it, I don't think you will want to give those away except as a most extraordinary gift.
 

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thanks for your replies regading the wood much appreciated. I think its yew?. I doubt very much if i will come across any more of it. but i am happy with the 2 large chunks i have.

Your right aboutt keeping the wood and will be planning to do some toppers with it. and of coarse they will have to have a clear protective coating on. think mayby a griifin or gargoyle?

I have burnt out one of my rotary tools working on the wood due to its hardness and will try to do as much work on it by hand , i have already lost the use of another one as the bush`s have gone and need to replace them.

It isgood to work with wood so old and it needs something which will reflect both a quality design / carving as well the woood its self. just hope i am up to it.

Wood like this i understand can fetch £75 - 100 per block if you can find it. not cheap

I will however do a market /crook stick from some any off cuts wiil be stored /incorporated into other carvings.and jewelry
 

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The color and figure on the partially finished cleeks have much the same color and figure the I'm seeing in the much younger yew I have. While there are a few oaks and plane trees in Britain that are at least 600 years old, very old yews are more common. I think the wood you have is most likely yew on those grounds. The stuff I have has a sort of waxy feel in my hands. I've worked a few pieces of some exotic hardwoods, and a few of those had a similar feel. None of the other woods I handled felt the same.

As I've mentioned, I work with a lot of harder woods. Rasps seem to be the best way to work them. Craft blades may snap against them, and even better blades may chip. I've only had one rasp deteriorate severely. I'm looking for some acid to try and re-etch a few files I have from my grandfather, who used them for iron work.

I too am considering using some of the nicer bits of wood I have sitting around for jewelry. That's one reason I'm fussing so much w. the finish.I figure that the closer I can get to a glass like finish before adding a top coat should be good for "jewel" woods.
 
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