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Hornbeam


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Alrighty dudes,

I was talking to my mate the other night who's training to be a tree surgeon. Not only does this mean that I'll have a good supply of wood for my new stove (when I finally move in anyway), but I may have a good supply of logs to dry and use too.

He was telling me that hornbeam is the hardest UK wood so I was wondering if anyone had used it for an axe? I know it blunts tools really bad and if you tap it it sounds like concrete, but that's about it... oh yeah, it's real good for burning too.

Can't see him cutting down too many mahogany trees though :D

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I've used hop-hornbeam for knife handles but not a guitar... yet. There is a certain tree up at the cabin that is straight enough for necks. It is a very hard wood and what I have used has been very straight grain. For that reason I think it would make a good neck wood. It is a very heavy wood (denser than maple according to a few charts I've seen). I've tapped the small pieces I have and what I have sounds pretty ringy. I don't think there is much difference between hornbeam and hop-hornbeam (hop-hornbeam is the one with scaly bark). I can post a pic of the sword handle I made if you would like to see a finished pice

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Yeah man, I'd like to see that. i was looking on the UK knife building forum a while back when I was looking for something to build out of a nice block of wood that I had here. Think that one day I'll make a knife out of twisted demascus bar as I use a knife at work every now and again.

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Not to derail, but I wouldn't mind seeing that sword handle, either. I've been wanting to get into knife making for a while, but I only have time for so many hobbies.

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Okay. Here it is. The center of this piece (and most pieces of this wood) is a good deal darker that the outside. I split the piece then turned it inside out so the dark wood would be on the outside. I finished this with tru-oil and it turned out nice (except for some little runs). I bought the sword at a gun show for about $30. All it needed was a new handle.

Here's the plain side

Here is the cool side

The yellowish part of the wood is spalted. It is pretty stable and it looks cool

here's the whole thing

As you can see, this was a side project from my guitar

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Hornbeam

I love this site because it usually shows multiple pictures for each type of wood and sometimes a brief description. The link I posted is linked right to the hornbeam page and it only has a couple pics and nothing of much consequence, though it seems to be on par for the average hornbeam. Sounds like some wood worth trying instead of warming the house with. That site above is pretty neat if you can make your way back to the list of woods, its interesting to see how different pieces of woods can vary within a species. Best of luck. Jason

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