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Has anybody made a stick from lignum vitae?
I've heard it's the most dense wood there is. Myth is that Merlin's staff was made from this wood.
 

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I had to look the wood up. The wood data base says it is an endangered tree.

Additional reading lists the wood's Janka hardness at 4,390 compared that to say basswood at a Janka hardness of 410 or silver maple at 710.

I think your tools would get dull just looking at Lignum Vitae!
 

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One of our club members carved a Eagle topper from a broken crown green bowling bowl (Lignum Vitae), he said it was definitely a power tool job the wood is so hard.

My friends son Ian (Ian Randall Sculptor) uses old Crown or Flat Green bowls to make his mallets for sculpturing Granite.
 

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I looked up some stuff at the wood database site. Lignum Vitae isn't the hardest, or densest, but it is way up there. Its number 4 in density, and number 2 in hardness. Besides being extraordinarily hard to work, a "wizard stick" size piece would take some strength to carry.

I've carved osage orange, which is about half as hard as Lignum Vitae, and I spent more time sharpening my gouges than carving. I've also worked w. purpleheart, which is a little harder. Steel router bits just burnt up. Had to use carbide. Can't imagine what it would take to form Lignum Vitae, tho' I know it was done. Around here, about 200 years ago, it was used as the axles for stone mill wheels, or so I've read.
 

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I have a lignum vitae rolling pin ,its extremly heavy and it dosnt float in water.

The wood a devil to work , I have also ben given 4 ligna vitae bowls ,dont know what to do with them yet, but these are a musc lighter colour unlike the rolling pin which is jet black

The colour variation on the wood is quite large from rich dark browns, greens and jet black.

As for merlin theres loads of myths surrounding him , most of it made by film makers., but it helps to keep cornish tourist trade alive
 

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Lignum vitae has been used for a very long time to make bearings for ship's propellers, as they will not rust. I have never seen a piece available that was longer than about 2 feet.
 
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