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  1. #16
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    [ATTACH=CONFIG]4579392019-07-12 07.13.25.jpg2019-07-12 07.12.48.jpg

    This is another Axe Handle tree I found a few days ago that had fallen over in the rainforest here. It is not really a good log but it certainly looks interesting. I will cut it up in the next few days if anyone is interested in any of it. It was knocked over by a falling tree beside it and together with a load of vines caused it to fall.
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  3. #17
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    Apr 2015
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    Warragul Vic
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    Hi Bob, I would not mind some wood in suitable sizes eg 4" x 1.5" x 4 lengths 13" long would be ideal. As long as wood is mature wood, is near dry and sound, ie no cracks and no bug holes. These will be for a few ref samples for IWCS. Of course I am willing to pay for it. Thanks mate

  4. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Brisbane (western suburbs)
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    Default Update - some handles made from Aphananthe wood

    It has taken me a while, I had to wait for the sample Bob sent me to dry sufficiently, but I can now give you a brief update on the ‘Axe-handle wood’ (Aphananthe philippensis). It was pretty fresh from the tree when it arrived, so I split the piece in two to speed things up, put them on top of a stack of other wood, and forgot about them until a couple of days ago when I wanted to make some mallets. The date I wrote on it said they’d arrived 04/19, so it’s had more than its “year per inch” drying time, including a particularly dry Spring/Summer. I reckoned it should be ready to use.
    It has dried nicely, with no warping or twisting. I calculated the approximate density from the dry weight & dimensions and it worked out at about .74, which is close enough to the 12% MC figure of .72 in the Wood Database: Aphanthe dry.JPG

    I sliced off a handle-sized rectangle and popped it in the lathe (my method for making oval handles was described here so I won't bore you with that). The wood turned very nicely and was easy to sand to a smooth finish – I only sanded to 240 grit, which got it plenty smooth enough for a handle. I made a second handle & put one on a 300g chunk of Black Wattle (don’t know which species of Acacia it is, but it’s a dense, hard bit from a tree that died in our backyard) and the other on a piece of Blue Gum (E.tereticornis). This is the size head I like most for general chisel-tapping. Aphan handles.jpg

    So, this wood definitely fulfils most of the criteria I like to find in handle wood; stable, easy to work and takes a very nice, tactile finish. These are handles that invite being held. I won’t be able to comment on its toughness & durability for years to come, but I have little doubt it will be more than adequate in this role. It was considered a good axe-handle wood, and axe-handles have to cop more punishment than a mallet used for tapping chisels.

    I am not a wood anatomist, but I was wondering if this would classify as a “ring-porous” or "diffuse-porous" wood? The vessels are very fine & arranged in staggered rows throughout the earlywood : Aphan end gr.jpg

    It’s a member of the Elm family (Ulmacae), and the grain pattern is very reminiscent of Elm, but in miniature. You need the right cut to show them best, but you may be able to discern what I’m talking about in this pic - the arrow points to the most visible bit: Aphan gr lines.jpg

    A little ritual I go through when assessing woods for handle material is what I call my “snap test”. Not highly scientific, but it does give me an indication of how brittle the wood is. I cut a piece about 3-4mm thick following the grain as much as possible, then take it between fingers & thumbs & break it in the centre. “Good” handle woods are those that bend a long way before breaking, and when they do, they give-in reluctantly splitting into long fibres - in other words, a “greenstick fracture", in dry wood. The Aphanthe passed the test pretty well: Aphanthe snap.jpg

    So there you have it, I would rate this wood as excellent for mallet & hammer handles, and I strongly suspect it will also thread very nicely, though I haven’t got around to that est, yet….

    Cheers,
    IW

  5. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    Warragul Vic
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanW View Post

    It has taken me a while, I had to wait for the sample Bob sent me to dry sufficiently, but I can now give you a brief update on the ‘Axe-handle wood’ (Aphananthe philippensis).

    I am not a wood anatomist, but I was wondering if this would classify as a “ring-porous” or "diffuse-porous" wood? The vessels are very fine & arranged in staggered rows throughout the earlywood : Aphan end gr.jpg

    It’s a member of the Elm family (Ulmacae), and the grain pattern is very reminiscent of Elm, but in miniature. ...
    Cheers,
    The patterns you see in the end grain (x-section or transverse section) I don't think are pores or vessels as in "ring porous woods" or "diffuse porous" ....
    They may be either parenchyma (eg confluent parenchyma) OR maybe fine pores in an "ulimiform arrangement". Pics here show what I am talking about... I am not a wood anatomist either. (ref below)

    Don't think this rainforest wood is deciduous, like ordinary elms (Ulmus species), so does not show early wood latewood but more even growth and very fine pores. This is a fine wood from my own samples from Bob.

    Hardwood Anatomy | The Wood Database

    Euge

  6. #20
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    Mar 2004
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    Thanks Euge - one of these days I must sit down & learn some wood anatomy! It's got to be a bit simpler than the mammalian/avian micro-anatomy I dealt with for 50 years, but still complex enough to need a good deal of application to understand properly. It doesn't help when I no longer have access to a microscope, either....

    Cheers,
    IW

  7. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Australia
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    201

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    Ian,
    I'm pleased that the wood from the Aph phil, the fabled axe handled wood seems to be as good as the old reputation. If you need some more, just let me know.

  8. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Townsville. Tropical Nth Qld.
    Posts
    1,032

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    Bob, would you be prepared to sell me a blank that I could make a handle for a ball pein hammer out of?
    Thanks,
    Rgds,
    Crocy.

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