Sunday, January 2, 2011

Wood Density 101

I am going to attempt to answer a few wood questions as time allows. We get this one a lot so I thought I would begin with it : I love the colors on this spindle, is there any way you can make the exact same one but make it weigh more/less?
The short answer is no.....the longer answer is, it has to do with the density of the wood. Some woods have a closer grain then others which determines how heavy or light the wood will be. The grain of the wood also effects the density of the woods. If a wood is slow growing it is going to be denser then other woods......ebony, teak, pink ivory, ligium vitae, are all very dense woods. Ash, pine, aspen, cypress, almost all spalted woods, mahogany, are all fast growing light weight woods. So unless we can make the tree grow slower we can't change the density or weight of the wood pieces.
Another consideration is where the wood comes from on the tree, heart wood is denser then sap wood which is the outer ring of the tree. Heart wood is actually a dead wood where the wood is beginning to dry out, the growth of the tree is in the sap wood. You can identify heart wood as it is usually the darkest part of the wood. So we sometimes have the same type of wood with different weights, because one piece may have come from the outer rings and another piece may have been closer to the inner heart wood.
There are also various types of laminated woods, we use several name brands one of them is Dymondwood. There is a weight difference between the different brands and has to do with the adhesive used on the various woods. Dymondwood, uses a polyester resign to saturate and bond the wood veneers together creating a dense block of wood. Others brands use a wood glue to bond the veneers together creating a lighter block of wood. This is why some of the color wood spindles weigh more then others, we can not change the weight on these anymore then we could change the weight on the other woods we use.
We hope this answers your spindle weight question if there is anything I can clarify, please let me know and I will answer it in another post.

1 comment:

  1. This is very helpful and informative. Thanks for sharing!