I want to bend ash for the stem of a canoe. I am trying to select straight grained quarter-sawn pieces. Should I select pieces which have faster or slower growing wood?

  • 1
    I'm not sure it's going to make that much difference at the end of the day. I suspect that if you measured the resistance during bending the tighter the grain the higher it would be, but the difference could be small enough that you don't really notice it. Very simple thing to test out at a small scale — steam two pieces with the widest and narrowest growth rings you can lay your hands on and see what's what.
    – Graphus
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 6:33

1 Answer 1

What is ‘best’? Straightness and freedom from
knots have already been mentioned. Equally, if
not more important is the speed of growth of
the wood. The faster it is grown, the greater the
proportion of summer growth to winter growth.
It is the summer growth that is strong and that
will put up with being bent, while the winter
growth is relatively weak. Wood with say three
growth rings per inch will bend far more
successfully than wood with 10 rings per inch.


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