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?
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.