Who all has worked with ash? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 01-18-2009, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
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Who all has worked with ash?

Just finished paneling a couple's great room in ash, and basically was noticing how ash plywood varies SOOO much from one piece to another. Some looks identical to oak, while others are more like a really nice flamed piece of birch, and some are some weird combination with a crazy, almost marbled or zebra look. All the solid we used pretty much looked like white oak. All I'm worried about now is if the customer likes the variation in the paneling with the different grains we had to use. I'll post some picks later...
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post #2 of 27 Old 01-18-2009, 07:20 AM
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Never worked with Ash ply ,only solid ash which looks almost exactly like oak.Enough to fool my wife anyway.Years ago I built a deacons bench with ash that turned out quite nice,and no one knows it isn't oak.Show us some pics of the ash ply bet its pretty
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post #3 of 27 Old 01-18-2009, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah we actually used oak PM6 for the paneling with ash ply and face frame. Our customer couldn't tell a difference.
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post #4 of 27 Old 01-18-2009, 08:21 AM
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Currently restoring a 36 Plymouth woody, all the solid wood is ash. Does look like white oak, but there is a big difference. It seems ash is considerably more rot resistent, which is why it was used on those old wood cars. If finishes beautifully, does not seem to warp, but easy to work, as hardwoods go.
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post #5 of 27 Old 01-18-2009, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
Currently restoring a 36 Plymouth woody, all the solid wood is ash. Does look like white oak, but there is a big difference. It seems ash is considerably more rot resistent, which is why it was used on those old wood cars. If finishes beautifully, does not seem to warp, but easy to work, as hardwoods go.
Yeah I noticed that it was pretty easy to work with. I assumed it would mill like oak, but it's noticeable easier than oak.
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post #6 of 27 Old 01-18-2009, 10:15 AM
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If you order, or pick out "numbered and sequenced" sheets, the "A" face will be almost look alikes as the numbers sequence. The veneers are collected and laminated sequentially from the end of one sheet to the start of the next sheet. It may cost more, but the difference in price makes for a very uniform look.






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post #7 of 27 Old 01-18-2009, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
If you order, or pick out "numbered and sequenced" sheets, the "A" face will be almost look alikes as the numbers sequence. The veneers are collected and laminated sequentially from the end of one sheet to the start of the next sheet. It may cost more, but the difference in price makes for a very uniform look.
The lumber yard we used had to special order all of it in except for 2 sheets of 1/4", but those were a few years old and pretty nasty, so we we never got to see any of it before it was delivered. I guess next time we'll see if they can order numbered and sequenced material. We matched each wall we did with similar sheets so each wall is uniform.
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post #8 of 27 Old 01-18-2009, 11:26 AM
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Ash does look similar to red oak in the general grain pattern, but it can vary a whole lot on each board when the area was near a knot. I think ash ply is usually selected out to present a fairly uniform look, kinda like they do with hickory. Stuff kinda stinks when its planed.
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post #9 of 27 Old 01-18-2009, 02:10 PM
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Nothin' like a nice piece of ash. I used it to redo my laundry room and adjacent bathroom. Made a couple of vanities out of it and all the woodwork. There was quite a bit of variety in the wood grain, which is what I really liked about it. I almost hate looking at red oak anymore just because it has been so overused.
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post #10 of 27 Old 01-29-2009, 07:54 PM
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Hey Firehawk that is a real nice piece of handy work there!!! I planed some ash boards for my cousin and burned out the feed motor on my 25" planer. He gave me $50 dollars to plane the boards which I thought was a real good deal until the next time I went to use my planer and found the drive motor gone! Can you buy ash boards? I have never seen a lumber yard around here carry anything like that!

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post #11 of 27 Old 01-29-2009, 11:14 PM
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Steve,
Around here ash is fairly common. Most lumber suppliers carry it. Rough sawn and dried, I paid 1.50/bd. ft. for it through a small solo operation. This fellow buys wood fresh sawn and dries it in his own kiln setup. From there he sells it or will plane it for a fee, or make molding also.
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post #12 of 27 Old 01-30-2009, 07:10 AM
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Ash can vary a lot in color and grain detail, but it's not hard to find beautiful examples of it. The contrast of the grain is similar to oak, but IMO, the nicer examples of ash are much prettier than the nicer examples of red oak (QSWO excluded). It's very nice wood to work with...stable, machines well, stains well, and is a reasonably light hardwood.

Never worked with any ash ply.
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post #13 of 27 Old 01-30-2009, 07:58 AM
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Great for steam bending as well.
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post #14 of 27 Old 02-11-2009, 11:21 AM
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I don't mean to throw a wet blanket on the nice ash discussion, but thought I'd post my experience. Our builder used solid ash and ash plywood for the wood trim in our family room. Apparently the solid stock they used was infested with powderpost beetles. Annually they chew their way out of the wood and make tiny, fine sawdust piles all over the wood. From what I've read, ash is more susceptible to them than other hardwoods. At least here in Texas, I'm going to stay away from ash and replace the delectables in my family room with oak, as folks have noted, it matches nicely.
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post #15 of 27 Old 02-11-2009, 07:57 PM
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I built some laundry room cabinets for my daughter using ash. I bought 100 bd. ft. just to have it, and I really enjoyed working with it. The 1/4" ply I used for the panels was pretty tame.


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post #16 of 27 Old 02-12-2009, 06:54 PM
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Here in Montana you probably pay close $1.50 a BD. ft. for pine any kind of hardwood goes for over two. Most of the Oak I buy goes for around 4.00 and walnut is like 7.00. Anytime anybody wants to come west with a load of hardwood come look me up maybe we can work a deal

Steve
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post #17 of 27 Old 02-12-2009, 11:01 PM
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I just finished a workbench out of ash. Cousin bought it back east for stickers for a heavy load he was hauling. Variable grains and colors makes a pretty bench.
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post #18 of 27 Old 02-14-2009, 08:14 PM
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The only experience I have had with ash was about 35 years ago.

I was a freshman in high school, and since I did not have the required money for my own project in woodshop, my shop teacher decided to have me help him build his own gun rack out of ash.

I did not know how to set up the planer, and shoved one of those beautiful wide pieces of wood into it. I planed about the first foot of that 1" board down to about 3/8" before I got the power shut off.
Can't remember If I got kicked out of that class or I voluntarily transferred somewhere else, but that was the end of that project for me.

Ron
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post #19 of 27 Old 02-23-2009, 09:52 PM
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here's a sewing table with a little ash in it as the frame and legs. wife wanted a quick, simple sewing table so i used a portion of 3/4" maple ply i bought at a yardsale that had a few dings and scratches for $10 then used some ash i had laying around. as you can tell, i cheated on the drawers. they can be taken out if necessary and changed but, like i said, wife wanted something quick.
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post #20 of 27 Old 03-01-2009, 11:09 PM
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I have always liked ash, and have done a few solid 3/4tg NG floors, and cabinet sets in it and they turned out really well. But they were in rustic cabins, so the variance in color was designed.
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