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Sycamore is a monoecious tree with male and female reproductive parts on the same tree, allowing self-fertilization. The wood has a fine, close texture with interlocked grain. European “sycamore” and a variety of Australian trees that carry the name are actually a different genus and species altogether. 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. Inspect and flex suspicious boards to make sure they won’t snap or split during machining or afterwards in use. Sycamore trees have seed balls which are soft and don’t hurt if you step on them. 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. Many of the slabs are stored in locations that are very time consuming to access. Sycamore can also be … The sycamore 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. Contact Us Sycamore is a hardwood and as such produces a moderate amount of heat. In order to be stable the wood must be quartersawn. 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 … 200 Whiteside Drive As of this writing, American sycamore is not listed in the CITES Appendices, indicating that the current population is not under threat. 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. They prefer uncrowded conditions, and frequently line stream and riverbanks. Sycamore is a good firewood. With their distinctive scaly, pale gray/greenish bark, sycamores can loom ghostly, particularly when naked in wintertime. 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. It is used by woodworkers making high-end furniture or for … The branches and leaves are eaten by white-tailed deer, the wood … American sycamore is something of a sleeper as far as native hardwoods go. Sunday / Closed. 10% OFF + FREE SHIPPING* ON POWERMATIC DUST COLLECTION. |. View Our Woods The only real problem I experienced was a tendency toward tearout when hand-planing with my trusty, old Bailey #5 bench plane. Often, the wood has served more humbly for items such as pallets, which don’t require. 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. 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. Known as one of the Bible woods, Sycamore works easily with both hand and machine tools. 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. Sycamore finishes easily with all common finishes, both oil and water-based. Sycamore works well with both hand and power tools, although interlocking grain can make surfacing troublesome, particularly when hand-planing. Sycamore wood has a wide and twisting grain structure and is commonly used to manufacture decorative goods. 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 The hardwood giant of the virgin forest. Sycamore wood is used commonly for industrial purposes – butcher’s blocks, crates, boxes, etc. 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. Light and dark light. Saturday / 8am-4pm EST high-grade stock. Quartersawn stock is a good choice for a panel such as this, which must remain flat without a frame or battens to restrain cupping. Subscribe to the newsletter and get 10% off your next purchase in addition to the latest products, guides and project ideas. Our products include logs, live edge boards, lumber, guitar parts, veneer, flooring and much more. Sunday / Closed, View Our Products Sycamore, any of several distinct trees. 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. Business Hours 1.610.932.7400 / Int’l & Local American Sycamore, Platanus occidentalis, is a member of the Platanaceae family. As an important bonus, it’s also very stable. These days, nearly all commercially available sycamore lumber is quartersawn. As long as the temperatures are not … You know you are near water when you a see a group of sycamores. It is used for furniture in small lumber pieces as the wood is not very strong. Sycamore is relatively poor firewood. The most common sycamore wood material is wood… The American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), also called buttonwood, is native to the southeastern United States, growing along lowland streams and rivers. It has a distinct modular ray that reveals its fleck in the quarter-sawing process, and unlike the more commonly … American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) grows throughout the eastern United States and is most likely the species you’ll find sold as sycamore. A list and an appointment will save you a significant amount of time. Among the largest trees in the eastern United States, sycamores typically grow over 100 feet tall and 3-8 feet in diameter. Can't decide what to get the woodworker in your life? A mature American sycamore is beautiful, with its large crown of maple-like leaves and mottled, white and green-gray exfoliating bark. 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… This table lamp is a nice pairing of tawny quartersawn sycamore and black walnut. This tree possesses all the characteristics ne… Note the distinctive color difference between the sycamore’s sapwood and heartwood. The American sycamore is a favored food plant of the pest sycamore leaf beetle. Platanus occidentalis, commonly called sycamore, American sycamore, eastern sycamore, buttonwood or buttonball tree, is generally regarded to be the most massive tree … In that case, try planing diagonally to the grain or use a sharp scraper instead. It's fine and even textured, and quite … Sycamore trees produce vibrant green leaves in summer. Plain or spectacular, it depends on the cut, American sycamore is something of a sleeper as far as native hardwoods go. Other names for sycamores include … Fleckin’ beautiful. Talarico says American sycamore is not a commercial hardwood, and is more likely to be found at specialty lumber outlets. Its sapwood runs creamy-white to tan, while its heartwood is a darker reddish brown. With over 100 species of domestic and exotic hardwood lumber in stock, Hearne Hardwoods is one of the largest specialty lumberyards in the world. Sycamores (Plantanus occidentalis) and cottonwoods (Populus deltoides) are different species of trees. This is one of our locally grown North American species. Telephone – but less so for furniture and the like, primarily because the wood is very coarse and tough to work. It does … American sycamore is susceptible to Plane anthracnose disease ( Apiognomonia veneta , syn. The heavy, close-grained wood … Its “buttonwood tree” nickname stems from the fuzzy, ping-pong-ball-sized seed pods that drop in the fall. I switched over to a low-angle jack plane, and found it worked better. As seen in the gameboard on page 47, you can often incorporate both sapwood and heartwood into your glue-ups by carefully matching edges. 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. The tree loves moist areas. 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. 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. The flecks seen in quartersawn stock are readily visible in both the heart and sapwood. Other than its occasional use as a secondary wood in some old pieces, sycamore doesn’t have much of a pedigree in furniture making. Noteworthy Characteristics. The amount emitted is comparable to varieties such as red maple, elm or walnut. Although few woodworkers become acquainted with the … However, sycamore is not right for all situations. I might compare its overall working qualities to poplar or even soft maple. 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). Sycamore produces beautiful quartersawn lumber in a color range from light tan to an orange brown. It has been called the 'Ghost tree of the forest' due to the unique appearance of its bark. You must be logged in to write a comment. Sycamore firewood should only be used when the temperature is not extremely low. I use a lot of quartersawn sycamore in my work. The sapwood is white to light tan, while the heartwood … Log In. This article is from Issue 92 of Woodcraft Magazine. One reason is that plainsawn sycamore doesn’t dry well, twisting and bowing significantly unless preventative measures are taken. GENERAL DESCRIPTION The sapwood is white to light yellow, while the heartwood is light-to-dark brown. It is typically cut in either 4/4 or 5/4 thicknesses, and boards wider than 10" are not uncommon. There are 7 or 8 species in the geneus Platanus, but only Platanus occidentalis is native to the U.S. Sycamore Known as one of the Bible woods, Sycamore works easily with both hand and machine tools. It produces slightly less than oak or ash trees. 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. Old sycamore trees frequently were hollow, providing a handy frontier stable for settlers' livestock. With all the figure Quartered Sycamore has in one square inch, it’s the best bargain in figured lumber. Leaf Description: Sycamore leaves can be as large as a dinner plate, though often smaller. The wood is milled into thin narrow layers and the bark into strips to make woven baskets and other decorative objects. 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