Ash problems

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aham
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Ash problems

Post by aham » Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:26 pm

Hi

Can anyone tell me what this darker staining is caused by that is found on Ash? Hopefully the attached image will show it clearly enough.

I buy some timber from a tree surgeon who now has a yard where he sells timber but also some goes to firewood/chippings for biofuel(?)

Nearly all the Ash I get from him has loads of this staining on it. His prices seem to be about right (£32 per cubic foot). I also buy from a timber yard who's prices are steep (£40 odd depending on who serves me), but all of the timber I have is really good quality, and never has any of this staining.

I appreciated that certain markings can be beautiful, but most of the time I find this particular one just looks rubbish. I find it hard to bookmatch and make anything of it because it just runs wild throughout the timber with no predictability, and I've ended up dropping his timber from projects and replacing it with the more expensive, but reliable stuff; costly.

Hopefully it is down to my inexperience and somebody can just put me straight on what this is caused by and whether I can work around it? Failing that does anybody know any good suppliers of furniture grade hardwood, with reasonable pricing in the north west, closer to Wigan the better?

Cheers
Andy
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jrm
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Re: Ash problems

Post by jrm » Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:18 pm

It looks like some sort of chemical stain. When you say it runs wild through the timber I wonder whether it is just that the inside is a different colour than the outside resulting in the patchy appearance as the outer stuff is planed through? I think the clue is "tree surgeon...now sells timber". Drying timber - how hard can it be? I don't pretend to be an expert but I know enough to understand that drying timber is a very complex subject in its own right. Chemical stains result from incorrect relative humidity, too slow drying, insufficient air-flow or a combination of the above. I got a few interesting pieces a while ago from a tree-surgeon who had decided to sell some of what he was cutting down to the craft market. Utterly clueless. I applaud what he was trying to do but he had made no effort to learn the first thing about drying timber, other than if it was for firewood. I think the £32.00 is a bit steep. It's probably worth about£18.00 in my opinion and very useful at that price for painting. I would definitely try to get some money back from him as this is a fault caused by incorrect drying.Just my opinion.

John

aham
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Re: Ash problems

Post by aham » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:24 pm

Thanks John, just the kind of information I need if I am going to question him about it. It isn't the first time I've had problems with his timber either unfortunately. I say unfortunately, because he;s a nice enough fella and more pleasant to deal with than some that you come across in timber yards with no interest in the users need whatsoever. having said that, what use is interest if you can't deliver results..

I see you're from Lancashire, John? Any recommendations of where I could source the timber I am after?

jrm
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Re: Ash problems

Post by jrm » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:10 pm

Hi Andy,

The last English ash I bought was from Hoghton Timber http://www.hoghtontimber.co.uk/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. Super quality and with olive heart but that was many, many years ago. Probably worth having a word with them.

John

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Re: Ash problems

Post by sgiandubh » Fri Nov 22, 2013 12:03 am

I agree with jrm. I think the problem is in the drying with not enough air flow leading to what I've seen described by a wood scientist as "enzymatic oxidation of accessory phenolic compounds" in the wood causing dark staining. I can't recall seeing this much in ash, but I've seen it quite often in sycamore and maple. Pale woods are more likely to show this kind of drying fault than dark woods in my experience and to my knowledge. Slainte.

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