Sweet Gum Wood

//Sweet Gum Wood
Sweet Gum Wood 2015-10-06T19:37:29+00:00
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    Topic
  • #2027319

    BFgeronimo
    Participant
    Post count: 38

    Had anybody ever used sweet gum for anything? I have several logs of it and still have to cut some trees down from time to time. I never heard of the wood being used for anything, so I thought I’d ask. It’s no good for the fireplace. I was thinking about using it to build a new pole lathe frame. Anybody ever used it?

    OWOF

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    Replies
  • mtr2115
    Participant
    Post count: 5

    hard to split

    I have – the one thing that really makes this a challenge is that sweet gum is virtually unsplittable.  If you are working with logs, you may need to machine the wood rather than rive it.  I spent the better part of an afternoon with a wedge and a sweet gum tree one day and put more knicks in my sledge than the tree.

  • BFgeronimo
    Participant
    Post count: 38

    Yeah just some logs lying around. I haven’t put a froe or wedge to any of them yet so thanks for that tip. So do you think it is better for utility purposes than building?

    OWOF

  • mtr2115
    Participant
    Post count: 5

    The wood is neat – but if you are using mostly hand tools this could be very frustrating.

  • Mike in TN
    Participant
    Post count: 258

    I have used a tiny amount of it and it worked beautifully with hand tools. The problem with sweetgum is that it has an interlocking grain which helps to prevent splitting in use , but it also has a bad reputation for bowing, twisting, cupping. and splitting during the drying process. It continues to move a lot from changes in humidity . Using it in small pieces and in quarter sawn sections will help a lot but it is to be avoided for large flat surfaces like table tops and carcass sides. Some folks do use it as secondary woods, particularly for small pieces of quarter sawn work like drawer sides and backs. Sounds like it might work well for tool handles as long as you start by sawing out the blanks.

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