" " wisno wood furniture finishing: American pecan and hickory

Friday, January 28, 2011

American pecan and hickory

Hickory tree is the genus Carya. The species of Carya that named as Hickory are: Pignut Hickory, Pignut, Sweet Pignut, Coast Pignut Hickory, Smoothbark Hickory, Swamp Hickory, and Broom Hickory. They are mostly grow in North America. The hickory wood is  very hard, stiff, dense and very shock resistant.  

 hickory wood

While pecan is Carya illinoensis. The pecan wood is not as hard as hickory wood, but have less variation of wood properties. Pecan wood has a more uniform base color and grain pattern. Pecan trees are found in the south area of America.
Pecan and Hickory are considered as one type wood in the America woodworking industry. The Hickory and pecan wood sometimes is mixed and sold as the name of Pecan or Hickory wood. 

pecan wood

The properties of hickory and pecan wood.
 
The properties of the wood may vary depend on how it grew, but generally it is a dense, hard, strong, and stiff wood.  The Hickory wood generally have a density and higher strength compared with the pecans. This timber has high of varied base color from the white to the brown in its sapwood. While the heartwood may vary from light brown to the red and dark color. This wood has a straight grain figure with a rough texture, with little pores, small and shallow.
The pecan or hickory wood is relatively hard to be handled in the woodworking industry. It is hard and easily broken, it should be bored before any installation of  nail or screw. The wood is high risk to the insect attacked, it is need to be treated with  anti-insect chemical in its process. This wood has large volume  of shrinkage, the drying process should be done slowly to avoid the crack.

Here are the properties of hickory and pecan wood


Specific gravity (12% m.c.)                     : 0.75 (hickory),
0.66 (pecan)  
Average weight (12% m.c.)                     : 833 kg/m3 (hickory), 737 kg.m3 (pecan)
Modulus of elasticity                                : 15.583 MPa (hickory), 11.928 MPa (pecan)
Hardness                                                  : 8095 (pecans). 

Average volumetric shrinkage (green to 12%): 14.3% (hickory) 
( the data are taken from: American Hardwood Export Council)
 
The uses of pecan and hickory wood.

 
This wood is widely used in a variety of purposes in the woodworking industry. His toughness gives lot of advantages in the woodworking industry, especially to make the wood stuff that need the maximum strength and stiffness. It is widely used to make staircase, parquet for flooring, tool handles, stick, furniture, etc. The hickory or pecan is considered safe for food, so it is also widely used to food place and kitchen furniture. The use of pecan wood to make furniture has been done for many years although not as much as other popular wood like oak or maple. Some well-known furniture companies have used this wood as a brand name and company. There are some pecan wood are also cut and sliced to be sold as veneer and plywood.

Finishing for the hickory and pecan.

 
In general, this timber has
varied base color that should be anticipated in the finishing process. The pecan wood usually has  more uniform color and lighter than the hickory. The color variation of hickory wood is quite high from the light brown to dark brown. One species of this wood even has a blackish brown color.
The uses of equalizer stain and the sap stain is highly recommended to make the even color in the finish color. Since it is high dense and hardwood, it is can be stained quite easy. Many stain can be applied with small risk of blotchy color.This wood is also easy to be sanding to produce a flat and smooth surface
Various colors and finishing styles can be applied to this wood to produce an attractive appearance. Finishing with natural color is mostly used for this wood. His natural brown color is much liked in the furniture industry. Pecan color even is known and often used as color reference in the furniture industry. Finishing with other transparent color such as dark brown or black color is also nice.
This wood has small and shallow grain texture and pores, so it can be finished in the close finished quite easy. It also can be distressed to make antique finish as well. 

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