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post #1 of 10 Old 12-07-2012, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Willow Wood

Hey everyone,

Does anyone here use willow for woodworking? What's a good site to go to for it's properties?
I have some really good sized logs (~30"+) and some crotches. Instead of making firewood out of these trees that were cut and have been drying for about 3 years, could it be possible to use the wood for projects and jigs? Is it even worth using?

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post #2 of 10 Old 12-07-2012, 07:20 PM
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I haven't worked with willow since I was in high school in 1971. From what I can remember except for the color it's looks and works like poplar. It's just more white in color and kind of bland looking.
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-07-2012, 07:55 PM
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Not sure what kind of properties you are looking for, but here are some places to try.

http://www.woodbin.com/ref/wood/strength_table.htm
http://www.woodbin.com/ref/wood/willow.htm
http://www.wood-database.com/wood-identification/#w

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post #4 of 10 Old 12-07-2012, 08:01 PM
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When I taught shop a few years ago, we often used black willow as a utility hardwood. Like Steve said, it works much like poplar as it's a softer hardwood. When kids would do something to burn it, like run a drill bit in reverse or use a dull saw blade, you always knew it because it would stink up the whole shop.

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post #5 of 10 Old 12-07-2012, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul
I haven't worked with willow since I was in high school in 1971. From what I can remember except for the color it's looks and works like poplar. It's just more white in color and kind of bland looking.
Thanks for the insight. Would you use this kind of wood for a workbench frame?

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post #6 of 10 Old 12-08-2012, 01:17 AM
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I've used willow for drawer sides. Agree it works and finishes similar to poplar, though I found it generally darker than much poplar I've worked with. It does have a distinctive smell when it is worked.

For just a little more, you can do it yourself.
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-08-2012, 01:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OIFSquirrel View Post
Thanks for the insight. Would you use this kind of wood for a workbench frame?
I think its too nice for a workbench but there is no reason you couldn't do it. I make most of my workbenchs with 4x4's for legs and 2x4's for skirting. Then as far as the top I have two benches with just 3/4" birch plywood for the top. I have another that doubles as a cold press for veneer that is made from 2x12's. Then I have another bench I have a vice on that I use for woodcarving that has a 2" thick ash top.
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-08-2012, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul
I think its too nice for a workbench but there is no reason you couldn't do it. I make most of my workbenchs with 4x4's for legs and 2x4's for skirting. Then as far as the top I have two benches with just 3/4" birch plywood for the top. I have another that doubles as a cold press for veneer that is made from 2x12's. Then I have another bench I have a vice on that I use for woodcarving that has a 2" thick ash top.
I already have a top I glued up yesterday. Old truck flooring made from different maylasian hardwoods. Nice top, just needs refinishing job. At least I can use the willow wood for the bench framing. Ive got a good amount I can use with plenty left over. Thanks for the input.

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post #9 of 10 Old 12-08-2012, 12:25 PM
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Willow was also the wood of choice in prosthetics before plastics took over.
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-08-2012, 01:03 PM
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We just had our large willow taken down after Sandy. It is stinky. It is a relatively soft, fast growing wood. I would not use it for workbench support myself. I saved a few pieces for turning projects but have not used any yet.
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