Plain or spectacular, it depends on the cut, American sycamore is something of a sleeper as far as native hardwoods go. American sycamore, buttonwood, American planetree, buttonball, water beech, ghost wood HEIGHT/WEIGHT Average height is 120 feet but trees can be as tall as 175 feet. It contrasts well with other species. However, sawyers eventually discovered that quartersawing sycamore essentially converts it into a “domestic exotic” with a flecked figure that rivals many overseas imports, and at a much better price. Even though it isn’t supposed to, the alcohol-based dye I used for the checkerboard did raise the grain more than I expected. Sycamore trees can grow to be one of the biggest domestic timbers in North America and are often left to grow to full maturity because the wood is very difficult to split for firewood and most sawmills don’t quarter saw. As for price, expect to pay $5-6 per board foot, though wider stock usually commands more. Sycamore trees can grow to be one of the biggest domestic timbers in North America and are often left to grow to full maturity because the wood is very difficult to split for … They prefer uncrowded conditions, and frequently line stream and riverbanks. When working with spalted stock, keep in mind that sycamore is not a particularly strong wood to begin with, and once it begins to decay it can become brittle and weak. high-grade stock. Due to the color difference between the heart and sapwood, you’ll want to be able to carefully select boards, particularly if you plan to edge-glue them to make up wider panels. Inspect and flex suspicious boards to make sure they won’t snap or split during machining or afterwards in use. The branches and leaves are eaten by white-tailed deer, the wood … For years it was used as a secondary wood—for drawer sides, web frames, etc.—if it was processed into furniture-grade lumber at all. Sycamore is a hardwood and as such produces a moderate amount of heat. It's fine and even textured, and quite … It is used for furniture in small lumber pieces as the wood is not very strong. The sycamore shows the process more openly than many other trees. Old sycamore trees frequently were hollow, providing a handy frontier stable for settlers' livestock. A list and an appointment will save you a significant amount of time. Most recently, I selected it as the wood for the gameboards shown on the cover of this issue and featured in the story on page 47. Pullman train cars were even paneled with it. The wood has a fine, close texture with interlocked grain. Its “buttonwood tree” nickname stems from the fuzzy, ping-pong-ball-sized seed pods that drop in the fall. It has a low heat output of 20.7 million BTUs per cord of seasoned wood, which is much lower than denser hardwoods like Hickory and Oak. These days, nearly all commercially available sycamore lumber is quartersawn. You know you are near water when you a see a group of sycamores. Terms, Hearne Hardwoods Inc. GENERAL DESCRIPTION The sapwood is white to light yellow, while the heartwood is light-to-dark brown. The American sycamore’s leafs and round seeds were reminiscent of the Sycomore Fig, thus it was called Sycamore. Sycamore wood is used commonly for industrial purposes – butcher’s blocks, crates, boxes, etc. The wood is milled into thin narrow layers and the bark into strips to make woven baskets and other decorative objects. Sycamores (Plantanus occidentalis) and cottonwoods (Populus deltoides) are different species of trees. Quartersawn stock is a good choice for a panel such as this, which must remain flat without a frame or battens to restrain cupping. It has a distinct modular ray that reveals its fleck in the quarter-sawing process, and unlike the more … The American sycamore tree is a robust majestic tree, and it is unique in that the wood has interlocking fibers. 1.610.932.3130 / Fax, Monday-Friday / 8am-5pm EST I prefer the Rice figure but some love the big … American sycamore is susceptible to Plane anthracnose disease ( Apiognomonia veneta , syn. Noteworthy Characteristics. Sycamore The hardwood giant of the virgin forest. Known as one of the Bible woods, Sycamore works easily with both hand and machine tools. Gnomonia platani ), an … Saturday / 8am-4pm EST Sycamore is a good firewood. Its sapwood runs creamy-white to tan, while its heartwood is a darker reddish brown. A mature American sycamore is beautiful, with its large crown of maple-like leaves and mottled, white and green-gray exfoliating bark. Sycamore Known as one of the Bible woods, Sycamore works easily with both hand and machine tools. This table lamp is a nice pairing of tawny quartersawn sycamore and black walnut. Sycamore wood has a wide and twisting grain structure and is commonly used to manufacture decorative goods. For years it was used as a secondary wood—for drawer sides, web frames, etc.—if it was processed into furniture … Oxford PA, 19363 USA, © 2020 Hearne Hardwoods, Inc. | All rights reserved. WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE: American sycamore is a valuable timber tree; its wood is hard, with a twisted and coarse grain, but not very strong [13,30,76].It is used for furniture, interior trim, boxes, pulpwood, and particle and fiber board [13,30].Carey and Gill [] rated American sycamore as only fair (their lowest rating) for fuelwood.American sycamore … Common 1 & 2, Select and Better, FAS, Premium (Note all material is quartersawn), Beautiful underappreciated domestic timber, Good for high-end furniture and cabinetry, Has become more appreciated as a tonewood. The explanation is found in the rigid texture of the bark tissue which lacks the elasticity of the bark of some other trees, so it is incapable of stretching to acco… Can't decide what to get the woodworker in your life? Note the distinctive color difference between the sycamore’s sapwood and heartwood. Sycamore works well with both hand and power tools, although interlocking grain can make surfacing troublesome, particularly when hand-planing. Often, the wood has served more humbly for items such as pallets, which don’t require. Sycamore firewood should only be used when the temperature is not extremely low. Other than its occasional use as a secondary wood in some old pieces, sycamore doesn’t have much of a pedigree in furniture making. Sunday / Closed, View Our Products The bark of all trees has to yield to a growing trunk by stretching, splitting, or infilling. The flecks seen in quartersawn stock are readily visible in both the heart and sapwood. As long as the temperatures are not … Many of the slabs are stored in locations that are very time consuming to access. On the plus side, that characteristic also makes it spalt easily, creating attractive black fungus lines that can play well in cabinet doors and other panels. American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) grows throughout the eastern United States and is most likely the species you’ll find sold as sycamore. As an important bonus, it’s also very stable. It has a distinct modular ray that reveals its fleck in the quarter-sawing process, and unlike the more commonly … 10% OFF + FREE SHIPPING* ON POWERMATIC DUST COLLECTION. It might seem counterintuitive, but the low angle of the blade’s attack, combined with a tight throat opening virtually eliminated the trouble I was having with the interlocked grain. One reason is that plainsawn sycamore doesn’t dry well, twisting and bowing significantly unless preventative measures are taken. With their distinctive scaly, pale gray/greenish bark, sycamores can loom ghostly, particularly when naked in wintertime. European “sycamore” and a variety of Australian trees that carry the name are actually a different genus and species altogether. Leaf Description: Sycamore leaves can be as large as a dinner plate, though often smaller. However, sycamore is not right for all situations. Fine Furniture, Cabinetry, Architectural Millwork, Guitar Building / Instrument Making, Wood Turning, Boat Building, Wood Carving, Automotive / Aircraft Interior, Inlaying, Box Making, Timber Framing and many other uses. With all the figure Quartered Sycamore has in one square inch, it’s the best bargain in figured lumber. Along with its distinctive flecked appearance, I like that it is a native species, isn’t remotely endangered, and is relatively inexpensive. Saturday / 8am-4pm EST … I switched over to a low-angle jack plane, and found it worked better. The heavy, close-grained wood … It accepts stains well, though staining will tend to obscure the quartersawn flecking. We will then schedule an appointment and have the slabs out of storage and ready for you to view. It does … Although few woodworkers become acquainted with the … This is one of our locally grown North American species. Light and dark light. Monday-Friday / 8am-5pm EST Sycamore was once considered one of the most promising hardwood plantation species in the southeastern United States. Fleckin’ beautiful. Sycamore is a monoecious tree with male and female reproductive parts on the same tree, allowing self-fertilization. Quartersawn sycamore displays a beautifully flecked pattern reminiscent of lacewood. The sycamore Large oblong sheets of green and brown material … Sycamore can also be … Likewise the American sycamore provides food for many species of moths, leafhoppers, and other insects — who, though they may be damaging in some instances, are frequently also decomposers and pollinators. There are 7 or 8 species in the geneus Platanus, but only Platanus occidentalis is native to the U.S. Sycamore trees have seed balls which are soft and don’t hurt if you step on them. Talarico says American sycamore is not a commercial hardwood, and is more likely to be found at specialty lumber outlets. It is typically cut in either 4/4 or 5/4 thicknesses, and boards wider than 10" are not uncommon. Contact Us Among the largest trees in the eastern United States, sycamores typically grow over 100 feet tall and 3-8 feet in diameter. (Though it is not uncommon to also see entire boards of heartwood too.) Platanus occidentalis, commonly called sycamore, American sycamore, eastern sycamore, buttonwood or buttonball tree, is generally regarded to be the most massive tree … American Sycamore is the largest hardwood specie in North America. Planatos (plane) was a … View Our Woods The tree loves moist areas. The sycamore of the Bible is better termed sycamore fig (Ficus sycamorus; see also fig), notable for its use by ancient Egyptians to make mummy cases. American Sycamore, Platanus occidentalis, is a member of the Platanaceae family. It produces slightly less than oak or ash trees. The stock I used for the game boards was nice to work with and machined well. Sycamore’s relatively light color also provides a nice contrast for the dye used to differentiate the checkerboard squares. – but less so for furniture and the like, primarily because the wood is very coarse and tough to work. American sycamore is something of a sleeper as far as native hardwoods go. The sycamore has a smoothe, polished trunk and branch wood… As seen in the gameboard on page 47, you can often incorporate both sapwood and heartwood into your glue-ups by carefully matching edges. The beautiful and majestic American sycamore … The most common sycamore wood material is wood… It’s botanical name is a combination of Greek and Dead Latin. 200 Whiteside Drive With over 100 species of domestic and exotic hardwood lumber in stock, Hearne Hardwoods is one of the largest specialty lumberyards in the world. The American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), also called buttonwood, is native to the southeastern United States, growing along lowland streams and rivers. Business Hours 1.610.932.7400 / Int’l & Local In order to be stable the wood must be quartersawn. These trees are beautiful and strong, and after about 6 – 7 years, flowers will appear with the leaves during the springtime. Planetree, American planetree, buttonball tree Uses Industry: American sycamore is grown in short-rotation plantations primarily for pulp and it also is used for rough lumber. |. There are 2097 sycamore wood for sale on Etsy, and they cost $32.28 on average. In that case, try planing diagonally to the grain or use a sharp scraper instead. Sycamore, any of several distinct trees. However, as a softer hardwood, it does seem to soak up finish and may require more coats than usual. Color/Appearance: Similar to maple, the wood of Sycamore trees is predominantly comprised of the sapwood, with some darker heartwood streaks also found in most boards. Sunday / Closed. But before plastics became ubiquitous, the lumber was used for myriad utilitarian objects including barber poles, washing machines, lard pails, trunks, and butcher blocks (the wood is very difficult to split). Individual … The wood is a consistent pale color and the quarter sawn surfaces exhibit an attractive mottled figure. An American sycamore tree can often be easily distinguished from other trees by its mottled bark which flakes off in large irregular masses, leaving the surface mottled and gray, greenish-white and brown. Next time, I intend to raise the grain several times before adding color. Subscribe to the newsletter and get 10% off your next purchase in addition to the latest products, guides and project ideas. The sapwood is white to light tan, while the heartwood … It has been called the 'Ghost tree of the forest' due to the unique appearance of its bark. As a young seedling, sycamore quickly outcompetes all but the fastest-growing species, such as eastern cottonwood and black willow. Our products include logs, live edge boards, lumber, guitar parts, veneer, flooring and much more. Be aware that because sycamore has little to no rot resistance and is very susceptible to insect attack, it’s a poor choice for outdoor projects. Although not as widely available as red oak and other more commercial species, sycamore is stocked by many lumber yards and online dealers who cater to small shops. Sycamore "Somewhat durable and simlar in weight to mahogany. You must be logged in to write a comment. The American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) is a fast-growing deciduous tree hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 4 through 9. Other names for sycamores include … Please Note: If you are planning a visit to Hearne Hardwoods to view the live-edge slabs, we ask that you call ahead with a list of the slabs you would like to see. I use a lot of quartersawn sycamore in my work. Sycamore finishes easily with all common finishes, both oil and water-based. In the United States it refers especially to the American plane tree (Platanus occidentalis). Log In. The American sycamore is a favored food plant of the pest sycamore leaf beetle. Sycamore produces beautiful quartersawn lumber in a color range from light tan to an orange brown. As of this writing, American sycamore is not listed in the CITES Appendices, indicating that the current population is not under threat. 1.888.814.0007 / Toll Free (USA) For a wood that is visually about as exciting as white bread, it wasn’t worth the effort. Sycamore is relatively poor firewood. This tree possesses all the characteristics ne… Sycamore trees produce vibrant green leaves in summer. It is used by woodworkers making high-end furniture or for … It’s also very uncommon and it always makes a statement. The only real problem I experienced was a tendency toward tearout when hand-planing with my trusty, old Bailey #5 bench plane. The amount emitted is comparable to varieties such as red maple, elm or walnut. This article is from Issue 92 of Woodcraft Magazine. I might compare its overall working qualities to poplar or even soft maple. 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The flecks seen in quartersawn stock are readily visible in both the heart and sapwood next in! Though it is typically cut in either 4/4 or 5/4 thicknesses, and frequently line stream riverbanks! And as such produces a moderate amount of time the like, primarily because the wood is coarse! Few woodworkers become acquainted with the leaves during the springtime cut, sycamore! Doesn ’ t require a sleeper as far as native hardwoods go don ’ worth..., providing a handy frontier stable for settlers ' livestock drawer sides, web frames, etc.—if it was as!
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