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Eastern Cottonwood

Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides) Common Name(s): Eastern Cottonwood Scientific Name: Populus deltoides Distribution: Central and eastern United States Tree Size: 100-165 ft (30-50 m) tall, 4-6 ft (1.2-2.0 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 28 lbs/ft3 (450 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .37, .45 Janka Hardness: 430 lbf (1,910 N) Modulus of Rupture: 8,500 lbf/in2 (58.6 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 1,370,000 lbf/in2 (9.45 GPa) Crushing Strength: 4,910 lbf/in2 (33.9 MPa) Shrinkage: Radial: 3.9 %, Tangential: 9.2%, Volumetric: 13.9%, T/R Ratio: 2.4 Color/Appearance: Heartwood tends to be a light brown. Sapwood is a pale yellow to nearly white, and isn't clearly demarcated, tending to gradually blend into the heartwood. Grain/Texture: Grain is generally straight to slightly irregular or interlocked. Uniform medium texture with low natural luster. Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples; medium pores in no specific arrangement, moderately numerous to numerous; parenchyma marginal; narrow rays, spacing fairly close. Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable, and also susceptible to insect attack. Workability: Easy to work with hand and machine tools, though sharp cutters are necessary when planing to avoid fuzzy surfaces, (subsequent fine-sanding may be necessary to obtain a smooth surface). Responds poorly to steam bending. Does not split easily, and has poor nail-holding capability. Wood has a tendency to [...]

Black Cottonwood

Black Cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) Common Name(s): Black Cottonwood Scientific Name: Populus trichocarpa Distribution: Northwestern North America Tree Size: 80-150 ft (25-45 m) tall, 5-6 ft (1.5-2.0 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 24 lbs/ft3 (385 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .31, .38 Janka Hardness: 350 lbf (1,560 N) Modulus of Rupture: 8,500 lbf/in2 (58.6 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 1,270,000 lbf/in2 (8.76 GPa) Crushing Strength: 4,500 lbf/in2 (31.0 MPa) Shrinkage: Radial: 3.6%, Tangential: 8.6%, Volumetric: 12.4%, T/R Ratio: 2.4 Color/Appearance: Heartwood tends to be a light brown. Sapwood is a pale yellow to nearly white, and isn’t clearly demarcated, tending to gradually blend into the heartwood. Grain/Texture: Grain is generally straight to slightly irregular or interlocked. Uniform medium texture with low natural luster. Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples; medium pores in no specific arrangement, moderately numerous to numerous; parenchyma marginal; narrow rays, spacing fairly close. Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable, and also susceptible to insect attack. Workability: Easy to work with hand and machine tools, though sharp cutters are necessary when planing to avoid fuzzy surfaces, (subsequent fine-sanding may be necessary to obtain a smooth surface). Responds poorly to steam bending. Does not split easily, and has poor nail-holding capability. Wood has a tendency to warp and distort during drying. [...]

Wood Finishes: What Works When

by Eric Meier "What's the best type of wood finish to use for this wood?" I'm always amused when I get asked this question, as if there is only one single "right" finish to use for a given wood species. The real answer would be, "it depends..." It all depends on what type of look you're going for, what level of protection you want, how much maintenance you're willing to do, etc. But the more I think about this question, the more I realize that although there is no "wrong" finish for a given wood species, there are definitely some finishes that seem to work better in certain situations than others. It all depends on context. With this in mind, the following is an overview of a number of consumer-level wood finishes, as well as my honest assessment as to which ones work best, and when. Rub-In Oils The Lowdown: These are more or less pure oils, and they are extremely simple to apply: you just rub them in, wait a few minutes (or hours) to allow the oil to penetrate the wood, and then wipe off the excess. The two main players in this category are tung oil and linseed oil. [...]