Limb Wood in Short Sections

Why can’t limb wood be used in short sections like spindles on Mission furniture?

John Swanson: Limb wood has excessive tension in the top half and compression in the lower half. Therefore, the drying is very unpredictable.

John Brock: Because it didn’t grow straight up, it is likely to contain “compression” wood, meaning it will warp when being turned.

Richard Jones: The growth rings in a branch will typically be a sort of egg shape and uneven. When branches like this are processed into planks, the tension and compression forces are relieved in unpredictable ways, and the stick you create could warp and twist equally unpredictably.

Carol Reed: It will crack and twist. Branches grow horizontally, more or less. That means the grain is different between the top and bottom and that the internal stresses are different. By placing the limb vertically, those stresses now will react in a different manner because they no longer have to hold the branch horizontally. However, you could use it and invent Mission furniture with an attitude.

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