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Carving Wood & Materials

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  #1  
Old 04-07-2011, 05:35 PM
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Default crepe myrtle

Has anyone used any crepe myrtle wood? My boss has a decent sized one in his front yard and wants it gone. I like the look of the wood but don't want to waste my time if its useless to use.
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: crepe myrtle

Really Hard! Multi trunk or single trunk?
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: crepe myrtle

The pieces that I'm looking at are single, mostly straight branches between 3-5 inches in diameter. I'm really keyed up on a particular one thats about 7 feet tall and almost 5 inches across.

So it's really hard? Will it hold detail well? It may be a dumb question; but like I said, I don't want to waste time.
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:27 AM
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Default Re: crepe myrtle

I recently started carving a cane handle in a 2" dia. piece of Crepe Myrtle that's been cured for about 9 months, and I can tell you that is is pretty darn hard (harder than a lot of the Cherry that I've carved). The wood is very tight grained and even, and takes detail very well. It should make very nice canes and walking sticks.

Things I haven't tried yet are power carving and staining, so I can't speak to those properties.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: crepe myrtle

I agree with 33 about Crepe Myrtle's ability to show fine detail. That is one benefit of hard dense wood. Also keep in mind that you will be carving fairly small masses, so you wont have to remove large amounts of wood.

One final consideration is tools. Deep strong gouges will do it, detail knives probably wont. By deep and strong I mean #8,#9,#11; Sorby, Pfeil, Taylor, Two Cherries, etc. I would try a Dockyard, but wouldn't count on it. A good Dremel or Foredom would be effective.
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: crepe myrtle

I have made hiking sticks from crepe myrtle 1" to 1-1/5" in diameter and carved it green with good results. As it dries it does get very hard and I agree that it holds detail well.
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: crepe myrtle

Thanks guys, now I just have to get a little better with the skills and I'll be set. Although by the time I'm ready to jump on it, it should be well cured so that kind of works out.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:34 AM
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Default Re: crepe myrtle

When I was a kid growing up in Far North Queensland we knew from kid to kid cultural knowledge that the very best wood to make Shaghais out of (surgical rubber sling shots) were Guava, and Crepe Myrtle, I still have mine it is a Crepe Myrtle corker, with a tribal head whittled onto the main shaft. They are illegal now, so I have taken the rubber and wrist brace off (that thing was lethal with a No.2 ball sinker). Any way back to the wood, Crepe Myrtle is a very slow growing shrub, if you have a piece 5" in diameter, count the rings, it will be about 150 years old. When you cut the wood strip the bark off immediately, then paint the ends with pvc glue. after roughly rounding the ends screw on metal hose clamps and as the wood dries it should not split. If you want to work the wood, don't wait until it is completely dry, it carves beautifully when not quite dry. then feed oil or wax into the carved wood until dry. Dry the wood is as hard as a rock, but not brittle, it makes great wooden springs. It is also very light weight when dry. In all other aspects it is like ivory. I think it would be perfect for Netsuke or chess pieces. I have a supply I am going to make a wooden clock with.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: crepe myrtle

With all the Crepe Myrtle we have a round Mobile I have never carved any. I am going to have to give it a try. A just had a friend tell me he was going to be cutting some out. I have to call him and ask him to hold some back from the trash.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:41 AM
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Default Re: crepe myrtle

A sling shot is illegal? gimme a break!
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