#45: Hickory

Bird number: 68
Date: June 2, 2012
Wood: Hickory (Carya tomentosa)
Source: Southern Oklahoma

I think this is the last of the woods that Debra brought home from her trip to Oklahoma three years ago. I had placed this hickory log in a corner to make sure that it had dried sufficiently before I started cutting it up. I don’t know for certain that this is Carya tomentosa, but that is the most abundant of the hickory species and it is native to the region where we got this wood.

Hickory is often used for tool handles, so I knew that it was hard. I didn’t realize quite how hard, though. I had to be very careful with the Foredom on this piece. Too much speed or a heavy touch tended to burn the wood. But with patience and a lot of sanding, it turned out really nice.

I got my first power carver injury when carving this one. The bit caught an edge and I lost control of the handpiece briefly. The thing took a bit of skin off my thumb before I got it under control. I’m glad I have a foot-operated speed control. At the first sign of losing control, I took my foot off the pedal and the bit slowed down very quickly. Fortunately, I ended up with just a little surface scratch.

Lovely stuff, that hickory. Debra said that she’d like to have a floor made from it. That might have to wait a while. In the meantime, I have another hunk of this stuff out in the shop that’s going to get turned into something.