Lime any good for furniture or boxes?
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- This topic has 5 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 12 months ago by Matt Sims.
As a result of some tree surgery I have a few logs from a lime tree.
Each is approx 7″ diameter and approx 2 ft long.
I have a bandsaw and can convert these into planks to use in projects… But I don’t recall hearing or seeing lime being used in projects before. I know it can be used in carving… is that it’s only use? Am I wastine my time converting these?
Matt30 March 2022 at 9:15 pm #754021
No experience from lime/linden (Tilia x europa), but have worked with basswood (Tilia americana), which seems to have identical properties; and find it a delight. Knife lines are deep and precise; chopping and chiselling are effortless, accurate and precise; and even my dovetail joints look good. Planing has occasionally brought on unpleasant results, when not going along the grain. It’s easy to take shavings, also thick ones, and if going against grain tear outs may become nasty.
I use basswood/lime for drawer sides and backs. Apart from giving a contrast to the darker front (usually oak, as decreed by her majesty), it makes fitting the drawers a lot less tedious.
As Tom Fidgen says in a video: “Why don’t we use basswood more often?”
Attach two photos of a cabinet made out of basswood.
London, UK; Boston, MA
30 March 2022 at 9:24 pm #754025
- This reply was modified 12 months ago by Sven-Olof Jansson. Reason: grammar
Besides it’s excellent carving properties, Lime or basswood is excellent for secondary wood like drawers sides and such, as it takes detail work well. I have used it instead of pine or poplar on small work. I find you can get crisp dovetails without worrying about smal bits flaking off. The only caveat is dull planes leave a fuzzy surface, so sharpen up.
If you don’t like the light color, it takes stain well, but the wood is a bit bland for my taste on show surfaces.
- This reply was modified 12 months ago by Larry Geib.
One thing I’ve run into with basswood is having it develop grey areas. I’ve never understood why and wonder if this is a reaction between the chemistry of my hands and tannins in the wood. I’ve mostly used it for chip carving and a couple boxes. I do think it can dent and crush more easily than more common furniture woods.
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