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Best wood for tripod legs?

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#26 herrointment


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Posted 07 February 2014 - 03:23 PM

I believe (white) ash to have the best combination of features that are desirable in a wood tripod....light, strong and damps quickly, usually straight-grained and clear. Easy to machine (watch for burning) and available. Inexpensive! This outfit will ship lumber UPS in any size or thickness, mill cut or planed. Tell them what you want and they'll pick it for you and do a good job............ LINK

I graded hardwood lumber for a living for a few years....hence my interest in the subject!

#27 TexasSky


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Posted 07 February 2014 - 06:05 PM

Definitely ash......more stable than the oaks...Less prone to twisting/warping.....

#28 TexasSky


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Posted 07 February 2014 - 06:16 PM

Here's a bad pic of the tripod I built of ash for my celestron mount.....
Ash is by far the best of all the "domestic" woods...
Stable/weight/beauty....next best would be true mahogany....very expensive....but nice.....I'm also an experienced wooden ship builder and know my woods!...As mentioned earlier.....ash period.....

#29 TexasSky


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Posted 07 February 2014 - 06:17 PM

:foreheadslap: forgot bad pic....

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#30 davebuechler


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Posted 07 February 2014 - 09:27 PM

Nice piece os ash!

#31 blueman


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Posted 07 February 2014 - 09:35 PM

I had a Walnut Televue mount, very nice.

#32 mountain monk

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 09:48 PM

White ash---+1.

Dark skies.


#33 HunterofPhotons



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Posted 08 February 2014 - 01:36 PM

While the specie of wood is a consideration it's important to remember that no two pieces of wood are the same.
Choosing wood solely on the specie will not guarantee it will function well in its application.
Of greater concern when choosing wood are things like "is the grain straight?', "can I get quartersawn pieces out of the rough lumber?", "how tight is the grain?", etc.
There is a reason that skilled woodworkers spend a lot of time looking at and thinking about rough lumber before they make the first cut. Many think it's because they want some time to drink coffee without being interrupted by work, but decisions made at this stage of construction affect the whole project right to the end.
At least that was my excuse. <g>

dan k.

#34 herrointment


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Posted 08 February 2014 - 04:14 PM

That's the difference between average and exceptional....good point!

Wood is an interesting and complex material. From seedling to dressed lumber there are many variables that will determine the quality and usefulness of the final product.

As an example...the first cut taken on a green log at the lumber mill plays a huge role in determining the value and quality of the lumber that log will produce. A skilled sawyer can turn an average log into a great one with proper placement and a bit of luck.

There's a lot of thought put into that board you just bought. The quality may be awful. It most likely could have been even worse!

#35 DocFinance


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Posted 15 February 2014 - 10:07 PM

Any reason to NOT use Red Oak other than weight?

The sawdust can be very toxic, or so I've heard. Other woods too, I'm sure, but this one I've had a reaction to.

BTW thanks for all of the replies, folks

#36 TCW



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Posted 16 February 2014 - 02:19 AM

I would talk to a good cabinet maker. What ever species you use, get one that is very dimensionaly stable and quartersawn with very straight grain. After that look for one that is pleasing to your eye and holds fasteners well. I would also make sure and get heart wood. Teak (real teak) might be a good choice.

#37 orlyandico


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Posted 16 February 2014 - 04:20 AM

I got to try one of the tropical hardwoods similar to teak, called balau.

It is extremely hard, extremely dense, machines like metal, dulls tools quickly (due to high silica content) and likes to destroy screws. Not recommended.

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