Best wood for tripod legs?
Posted 05 February 2014 - 03:38 AM
Posted 05 February 2014 - 04:20 AM
Posted 05 February 2014 - 04:59 AM
Posted 05 February 2014 - 09:25 AM
Eight times harder than redwood.
A dense wood with close grain. Coloration similar to Teak.
Difficult to work, but resists weathering better than most wooed. It can be sealed to stabilize the color (or it will turn gray in time, but can be pressure washaed back to normal color)
You can often find scraps from deck companys. Call one in your area that installs Ipe decks and ask them if they will give you some short scraps after their next project.
Of course all of these other woods mentioned are fine choices too, but you asked for other alternatives so I thought I would mention it.
I am not kidding though... If you rush a long rip, you will dull out your saw. It is horribly dense stuff. For Ipe, it is best to keep the cuts slow to avoid melting out the edge on the saw teeth.
Honestly though, this would likely be overkill. I am sure that some ash would work well enough and be far easier to work. Again, you asked for alternatives, so I am just offering another one that most people don't know about.
Posted 05 February 2014 - 12:25 PM
Posted 05 February 2014 - 01:37 PM
I like to work with red oak, and it sure is heavy and dense (which is good for mount stability) but I'm not sure about its dampening abilities. Heavy is good, but rigid isn't good if it propagates vibration. I'll have to see what the tradeoffs are.
Posted 06 February 2014 - 10:23 AM
Posted 06 February 2014 - 11:12 AM
Posted 06 February 2014 - 11:32 AM
Posted 06 February 2014 - 11:33 AM
While almost all of the tripods and bino mounts that I have built over 30 years were made from red oak I like ash even better.
Posted 06 February 2014 - 11:57 AM
Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:58 PM
Ash is my preferred wood, followed by white oak, but you have to use stainless steel hardware with white oak or the the wood blackens.
I didn't know that for white oak. I like working with red oak (for the stiffness) but I don't like the weight or the toxicity of the sawdust. For this, though, either redwood or oak might be the best answer.
I was reading through Roth's Compendium earlier, and it seems that the tradeoff for any tripod is between stiffness and the ability to dampen or "bleed" vibrations quickly. There's a chapter by a fellow named Zaegler (I think) that covers mount design and has a bunch of good stuff in it.
There is one other characteristic that's important, as pointed out here: weight. I should be able to move it. So some of the lighter woods win out on that point.
Posted 06 February 2014 - 06:51 PM
White Oak is NOT like red oak. It is stronger and weathers well for outdoor purposes.
Teak and ipe have been mentioned but they are heavy.
My 3 would still be ash, hickory or white oak.
Posted 06 February 2014 - 08:01 PM
Posted 06 February 2014 - 08:12 PM
Cedar 4x4's would work ok.
Cypress would work good.
Dogwood is probably the hardest hardwood I have ever worked with even compared to ebony.
If you are up north look for rock maple, also very hard.
If you are in the south look for long 8 foot pallets behind buildings, they are usually supported by oak 4x4's, which are kiln dried and very strong, probably white oak.
Beech is very strong but will be expensive.
Heartwood pine and refurbished barn beams would do great.
If you live near a lumber mill that dries wood on site, ask if you can buy their kull wood, which is scrap cut off of the ends. Usually you can find some good sized pieces.
What you want to stay away from is wood which has not been kiln dried which will cause all kinds of problems.
Posted 07 February 2014 - 01:37 AM
Here's a link to a page showing the various characteristics of common hardwoods.
Hope this helps....LINK
Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:14 AM
Anything in the hickory or pecan families appears to be the best, based on work at maximum load. It's about twice as strong as oak.