Issue 836

Issue 836

Gopherwood — Go Figure!

Chris Marshall photo

Circling back to my inquiry last week about Kentucky yellowwood, I have a couple of tidbits to share with you. First, true to his pledge, Rob turned a yellowwood bowl – be sure to check his blog to see his handiwork!

Second, fellow reader Jim Miller sent me a photocopy of an article about yellowwood written in 1989 by columnist John Parris for the Asheville Citizen-Times. The story is far too extensive for me to paraphrase all the interesting historical factoids Parris shares about Kentucky yellowwood, but here are a few takeaways. The wood was first discovered in the northern foothills of the Smokey Mountains in 1796 by French botanist Andre Michaux. Michaux learned that the roots of yellowwood yield a yellow dye that early settlers extracted to color homespun fabrics. The tree trunks are too short to yield long board lumber, but the wood’s strength, lightness and ability to take a high polish proved to be ideal attributes for gunstocks and other sorts of small accent pieces. Southerners familiar with this relatively rare species typically call it gopherwood instead of yellowwood. It’s also known as Southern yellowwood, yellow locust and yellow ash. Thanks for sharing the article, Jim!

Chris Marshall, Woodworker’s Journal

Working with Festool Domino Tenons

Cutting loose tenons with various jigs and tools
A.J. Hamler explains how to make sturdy joints for your next project using the Festool Domino.

Carving Linenfold Panels

Ernie Conover teaches you how to carve a linenfold panel – a carving pattern that has the appearance of hanging fabric or tapestry.

English Garden Bench

Elegant bench built with templates
Mortise-and-tenon construction ensures that this classic bench will weather the test of time and Mother Nature gracefully in your yard or garden.

Westport Chair

Thermo-treated outdoor chair
The “big brother” of the Adirondack chair, the Westport chair is a familiar Northwoods classic. Our version of this iconic outdoor chair is reimagined using thermo-treated oak.

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