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Camilia wood


edward_k

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Hi everyone,

One of my camilia trees has fallen foul of a JCB and I was wondering what the characteristics / uses of the wood were ?

 

Anyone worked it before ?

 

I have looked for the characteristics / properties / usage / density etc in a wood book I have that lists about a million trees but strangely camilia is not there...

 

Any tips of drying it / storing it.

 

Any help would be appreciated.

 

Cheers

Ed

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Hi Ed,

 

Antique Japanese netsuke were sometimes carved from camelia, but I know nothing about the character of the wood. As to drying, take off the bark, seal the ends of foot long pieces with paint, carpenter's glue, tar, whatever you have, and let air dry. If they are fairly large in diameter, you might slice them into "lumber" longitudinally with a bandsaw, sealing the ends, and stacking them with small sacrificial pieces in between to keep each piece exposed to circulating air. The rule of thumb is one year air drying per inch of thickness.

 

You can try microwave drying small pieces (probably best without the center pith inside them) by microwaving on low power settings for about 20-30 seconds, then letting them cool, repeating until they feel dry to the skin on your cheeks.

 

Good luck, and let us know how the wood turns out...

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Ed we have a lot of camilas here on the Gulf Coast , but most are a bush , not many get big enough to be a tree. The wood that is from the bushes in the south are very wet and when you dry them they crack and split. I have tried in the past to slice a large piece to use in box building but it split. Thats about all I know Someone else must know more about the wood. I know that the wood had a beautiful grain and color. Ed

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THanks everyone - the tree has about four main trunks with each one about 4 or 5 inches thick. Guess I will save it for about five years time which is probably about when I might be able to make something worth looking at.

 

Was thinking of cutting it into slightly larger lengths but didn't know that you had to seal the ends - I guess too much moisture is lost from the ends and you get cracks.

 

Should be easy to dry indoors as I am currently rennovating so is a nice 'cool' temperature with alot of ventilation...

 

Might get round to cutting it up at the weekend - seems a shame but had a guy come and look at it who told me it was very suspect if it would grow again and anyway it was 'a bad shape'... The other ones he really liked and offered to buy them off me - I'm keeping them though. Just love camilia and magnolia too...

 

Cheers

Ed (still waiting for tools...)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi - I have now sawn the wood into four foot lengths.

 

Couple of questions :

 

Why cut it into one foot lengths ? What are the advantages ? Better drying ?

 

Also - how do you get the bark off ? Do you wait awhile and then peel it off after about a month or do you need to get it off right away.

 

I have it stored in a loose pile in my house - lying down flat.

 

Thanks for all the information - I have also really enjoyed looking at peoples work - truly inspirational and a joy to look at - strangely relaxing too as I ponder how things were made :)

 

Ed

 

(Also I have bought some wood off the internet - all for turning but figured it would be good for carving too. Mostly in 3 inch or 2 inch square blocks that are 12 inches long : zebrano / rosewood / bubinga / imbuya and paduak. I was curious to see what zebrano and paduak looked like - they are beautiful. Especially the paduak as it has some white wood in there too which looks a bit spalted - not sure if this is possible ?

 

Also a mate has given me a lump of lime to carve - think it might have to become a fish as I freedive with him alot. And I stumbled across a large lump of beech. Soooo ... alot of materials ... tools are here ... thumb is mended (surprisingly fast). I have no excuse :) gotta get sketching :) and scheming for piece numero uno ...)

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I have not the knowledgeable answers about drying procedures for wood. Sealing the ends right away it the first and most important thing to do. The rest, I am still learning about. Sorry that I am not more help!

 

Have fun with the new woods and tools!

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