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You know you are near water when you a see a group of sycamores. American sycamore is susceptible to Plane anthracnose disease ( Apiognomonia veneta , syn. This article is from Issue 92 of Woodcraft Magazine. As of this writing, American sycamore is not listed in the CITES Appendices, indicating that the current population is not under threat. This tree possesses all the characteristics ne… 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. 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. Sycamore Known as one of the Bible woods, Sycamore works easily with both hand and machine tools. American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) grows throughout the eastern United States and is most likely the species you’ll find sold as sycamore. Sycamore trees have seed balls which are soft and don’t hurt if you step on them. Sycamore was once considered one of the most promising hardwood plantation species in the southeastern United States. 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… 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 … Terms, Hearne Hardwoods Inc. It is used for furniture in small lumber pieces as the wood is not very strong. The amount emitted is comparable to varieties such as red maple, elm or walnut. 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. Other names for sycamores include … Sycamore wood is used commonly for industrial purposes – butcher’s blocks, crates, boxes, etc. Its “buttonwood tree” nickname stems from the fuzzy, ping-pong-ball-sized seed pods that drop in the fall. Large oblong sheets of green and brown material … As long as the temperatures are not … 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. Along with its distinctive flecked appearance, I like that it is a native species, isn’t remotely endangered, and is relatively inexpensive. Note that, in addition to occidentalis, there are five other species of sycamore in the country, including Arizona Sycamore (Platanus wrightii) and California sycamore (Platanus racemosa), which you may stumble across regionally. Inspect and flex suspicious boards to make sure they won’t snap or split during machining or afterwards in use. Monday-Friday / 8am-5pm EST Quartersawn stock is a good choice for a panel such as this, which must remain flat without a frame or battens to restrain cupping. Note the distinctive color difference between the sycamore’s sapwood and heartwood. American Sycamore is the largest hardwood specie in North America. The wood is milled into thin narrow layers and the bark into strips to make woven baskets and other decorative objects. For years it was used as a secondary wood—for drawer sides, web frames, etc.—if it was processed into furniture … Among the largest trees in the eastern United States, sycamores typically grow over 100 feet tall and 3-8 feet in diameter. Sycamore’s relatively light color also provides a nice contrast for the dye used to differentiate the checkerboard squares. American sycamore is something of a sleeper as far as native hardwoods go. As a young seedling, sycamore quickly outcompetes all but the fastest-growing species, such as eastern cottonwood and black willow. You must be logged in to write a comment. Sycamore finishes easily with all common finishes, both oil and water-based. It is typically cut in either 4/4 or 5/4 thicknesses, and boards wider than 10" are not uncommon. As for price, expect to pay $5-6 per board foot, though wider stock usually commands more. As an important bonus, it’s also very stable. I switched over to a low-angle jack plane, and found it worked better. 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. They prefer uncrowded conditions, and frequently line stream and riverbanks. – but less so for furniture and the like, primarily because the wood is very coarse and tough to work. Sunday / Closed, View Our Products The beautiful and majestic American sycamore … Business Hours A mature American sycamore is beautiful, with its large crown of maple-like leaves and mottled, white and green-gray exfoliating bark. In order to be stable the wood must be quartersawn. |. Planatos (plane) was a … 1.610.932.3130 / Fax, Monday-Friday / 8am-5pm EST 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 … It has a distinct modular ray that reveals its fleck in the quarter-sawing process, and unlike the more commonly … Subscribe to the newsletter and get 10% off your next purchase in addition to the latest products, guides and project ideas. View Our Woods 200 Whiteside Drive Sycamores (Plantanus occidentalis) and cottonwoods (Populus deltoides) are different species of trees. Old sycamore trees frequently were hollow, providing a handy frontier stable for settlers' livestock. The tree loves moist areas. 1.610.932.7400 / Int’l & Local Sycamore, any of several distinct trees. It is used by woodworkers making high-end furniture or for … With all the figure Quartered Sycamore has in one square inch, it’s the best bargain in figured lumber. … 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. For a wood that is visually about as exciting as white bread, it wasn’t worth the effort. 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. Contact Us Although few woodworkers become acquainted with the … Can't decide what to get the woodworker in your life? Talarico says American sycamore is not a commercial hardwood, and is more likely to be found at specialty lumber outlets. The sycamore has a smoothe, polished trunk and branch wood… It's fine and even textured, and quite … The American sycamore tree is a robust majestic tree, and it is unique in that the wood has interlocking fibers. In that case, try planing diagonally to the grain or use a sharp scraper instead. 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. Quartersawn sycamore displays a beautifully flecked pattern reminiscent of lacewood. Sycamore produces beautiful quartersawn lumber in a color range from light tan to an orange brown. 1.888.814.0007 / Toll Free (USA) American Sycamore, Platanus occidentalis, is a member of the Platanaceae family. It’s botanical name is a combination of Greek and Dead Latin. Individual … With their distinctive scaly, pale gray/greenish bark, sycamores can loom ghostly, particularly when naked in wintertime. Platanus occidentalis, commonly called sycamore, American sycamore, eastern sycamore, buttonwood or buttonball tree, is generally regarded to be the most massive tree … Light and dark light. high-grade stock. Oxford PA, 19363 USA, © 2020 Hearne Hardwoods, Inc. | All rights reserved. I prefer the Rice figure but some love the big … Sycamore is a good firewood. However, as a softer hardwood, it does seem to soak up finish and may require more coats than usual. It produces slightly less than oak or ash trees. The branches and leaves are eaten by white-tailed deer, the wood … Saturday / 8am-4pm EST There are 7 or 8 species in the geneus Platanus, but only Platanus occidentalis is native to the U.S. 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. The flecks seen in quartersawn stock are readily visible in both the heart and sapwood. Sycamore can also be … 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. It’s also very uncommon and it always makes a statement. There are 2097 sycamore wood for sale on Etsy, and they cost $32.28 on average. 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 wood has a fine, close texture with interlocked grain. 10% OFF + FREE SHIPPING* ON POWERMATIC DUST COLLECTION. 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. 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. Often, the wood has served more humbly for items such as pallets, which don’t require. I use a lot of quartersawn sycamore in my work. 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 is relatively poor firewood. The wood is a consistent pale color and the quarter sawn surfaces exhibit an attractive mottled figure. 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. The sycamore Sunday / Closed. 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. The stock I used for the game boards was nice to work with and machined well. Its sapwood runs creamy-white to tan, while its heartwood is a darker reddish brown. Next time, I intend to raise the grain several times before adding color. The American sycamore’s leafs and round seeds were reminiscent of the Sycomore Fig, thus it was called Sycamore. Even though it isn’t supposed to, the alcohol-based dye I used for the checkerboard did raise the grain more than I expected. Fleckin’ beautiful. GENERAL DESCRIPTION The sapwood is white to light yellow, while the heartwood is light-to-dark brown. 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 only real problem I experienced was a tendency toward tearout when hand-planing with my trusty, old Bailey #5 bench plane. (Though it is not uncommon to also see entire boards of heartwood too.) The American sycamore is a favored food plant of the pest sycamore leaf beetle. Sycamore The hardwood giant of the virgin forest. One reason is that plainsawn sycamore doesn’t dry well, twisting and bowing significantly unless preventative measures are taken. Sycamore is a hardwood and as such produces a moderate amount of heat. The sycamore shows the process more openly than many other trees. Sycamore wood has a wide and twisting grain structure and is commonly used to manufacture decorative goods. Pullman train cars were even paneled with it. It has a distinct modular ray that reveals its fleck in the quarter-sawing process, and unlike the more … These trees are beautiful and strong, and after about 6 – 7 years, flowers will appear with the leaves during the springtime. A list and an appointment will save you a significant amount of time. Sycamore works well with both hand and power tools, although interlocking grain can make surfacing troublesome, particularly when hand-planing. With over 100 species of domestic and exotic hardwood lumber in stock, Hearne Hardwoods is one of the largest specialty lumberyards in the world. 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. It does … Plain or spectacular, it depends on the cut, American sycamore is something of a sleeper as far as native hardwoods go. We will then schedule an appointment and have the slabs out of storage and ready for you to view. It accepts stains well, though staining will tend to obscure the quartersawn flecking. Sycamore is a monoecious tree with male and female reproductive parts on the same tree, allowing self-fertilization. The American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), also called buttonwood, is native to the southeastern United States, growing along lowland streams and rivers. Sycamore "Somewhat durable and simlar in weight to mahogany. The bark of all trees has to yield to a growing trunk by stretching, splitting, or infilling. Noteworthy Characteristics. 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. Saturday / 8am-4pm EST Other than its occasional use as a secondary wood in some old pieces, sycamore doesn’t have much of a pedigree in furniture making. Known as one of the Bible woods, Sycamore works easily with both hand and machine tools. It has been called the 'Ghost tree of the forest' due to the unique appearance of its bark. 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 sapwood is white to light tan, while the heartwood … Sycamore trees produce vibrant green leaves in summer. Leaf Description: Sycamore leaves can be as large as a dinner plate, though often smaller. Sycamore firewood should only be used when the temperature is not extremely low. 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. The most common sycamore wood material is wood… Log In. Many of the slabs are stored in locations that are very time consuming to access. These days, nearly all commercially available sycamore lumber is quartersawn. 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. This is one of our locally grown North American species. European “sycamore” and a variety of Australian trees that carry the name are actually a different genus and species altogether. 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