Wood Workability

This category covers a broad range of practical issues that may arise during normal woodworking procedures. Areas considered include:

  • Ease of shaping with hand tools (planes, scrapers, chisels, etc.)
  • Ease of shaping with machine tools (jointers, planers, routers, shapers, etc.)
  • Commonness of tearout or other machining defects such as fuzzy grain (tearout is most commonly caused by spiral, interlocked, or otherwise irregular grain)
  • Blunting effect on cutters (all wood tends to blunt cutting edges, but if a wood species has an above-average propensity for dulling cutters—usually due to silica or mineral deposits in the wood—it will be noted)
  • Steam bending (only woods that respond exceptionally well or exceptionally poorly to bending attempts will be noted)
  • Ease of turning on the lathe (the ideal is a dense, finely textured, straight-grained wood that can hold fine details without degradation or tearout)
  • Success in gluing (many dense tropical species can present problems in gluing)
  • Ease of staining (only woods that are commonly stained, or that routinely cause problems in staining will be noted)
  • Ease of finishing (much like gluing, some oily tropical woods can interfere with the curing process of some oil-based finishes, causing finishing difficulties)
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How do padauk and black walnut compare in regard to stability?


Why do woods like snake wood and blood wood brittle when worked on, even tho they have a high modulus Rupture and crushing strength