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Thread: Bending Ziricote

  1. #1
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    Default Bending Ziricote

    I don't have a lot of experience bending wood, but I've got some and this Ziricote wood was downright weird. It never really went limp and rubbery like other woods (exception ebony which is just plain nasty) and just submitted reluctantly but without complaint and ultimately quite politely but not without a struggle and severely high temperatures. The weird grain was not an issue. It bends. It just takes awhile. Picture below in my crude drying form.

    Other observations: This wood seems to splinter more than it chips. Spring back is brutal. Pores are extremely deep. Has mineral deposits which are as bad as rosewood. Very hard on tools. The Janka rating is about 1900 I believe, but I find it much, much harder than that. Appearance: Incredible. A weird tropical hardwood. Really fun wood to work with. Really different.

    DSCN7096.jpg

  2. #2
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    Be forwarned. It's a complete PITA to work with. You've only started down the path to the misery of getting one finished.

  3. #3
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    I hear you Allen. This stuff is just stubborn. Fighting me the whole way. And pore filling when it gets time to finish? Ha ha is about all I can say.

  4. #4

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    So far I have found that all the rosewoods bend easier with less splintering if I steam them in a Pandora's Box for 10 or 15 minutes before wrapping in foil and bending as usual. The other day I had to resort to Super Soft 2, Pandora's Box and a regular tin foil wrap to bend Leopard Wood sides. Man that stuff wants to stay strait.
    Michael Smith
    Goat Rock Ukulele
    www.goatrockukulele.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Greenville, VA.
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    This thread has me baffled. I've used many of the rosewoods, and ziricote, and found them universally easy to bend with virtually no spring back. This using a Fox bender and water, though for awhile now I've used Super Soft 2 just in case. Mahogany is still a bear, with way too much spring back. Never tried leopard wood, though I'd like to.

  6. #6
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    What can I say John. I have not bent a lot of ziricote (never) and the springback on mine was tough. What can I say. It tamed sure. I dunno. What I did like was that all that weird grain didn't separate and for that I am eternally grateful. Shrug. I don't want to baffle you. Now as to ziricote's other rather nasty habits I won't go into in this thread. Like its tendency to splinter off if you are not careful. Not that I got any splinter tear out, but it could happen. Anyway, I really, really like this wood, but won't be working with it again mainly because I can't afford it. Oh, in its favor, it planes nicely sorta like frozen chocolate ice-cream. Only problem is that my cheap plane blade was good for only a couple of rounds. Basically what I am saying is that this stuff is harder, stiffer and more difficult than I thought, but I love it. Absolutely love this wood. How could a wood worker not like that kind of grain?

    DSCN7115.jpg

    DSCN7117.jpg

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sequoia View Post
    What can I say John. I have not bent a lot of ziricote (never) and the springback on mine was tough. What can I say. It tamed sure. I dunno. What I did like was that all that weird grain didn't separate and for that I am eternally grateful. Shrug. I don't want to baffle you. Now as to ziricote's other rather nasty habits I won't go into in this thread. Like its tendency to splinter off if you are not careful. Not that I got any splinter tear out, but it could happen. Anyway, I really, really like this wood, but won't be working with it again mainly because I can't afford it. Oh, in its favor, it planes nicely sorta like frozen chocolate ice-cream. Only problem is that my cheap plane blade was good for only a couple of rounds. Basically what I am saying is that this stuff is harder, stiffer and more difficult than I thought, but I love it. Absolutely love this wood. How could a wood worker not like that kind of grain?

    DSCN7115.jpg

    DSCN7117.jpg
    One bending trick I don't trust is wrapping the wood in foil. I use foil to protect my slats from staining and excessive rusting, and that's it. The sides go between sheets of craft paper. Both the paper and the wood are spritzed with water (or SuperSoft 2 on the wood). Heat blanket goes on top of the paper, but under the foil of the top slat. Once the top slat gets to 250 F. I start bending, starting with the waist, then lower bout, then top bout. (All this in a Fox bender). I want as much water as possible to steam out to help set the bend. A foil wrap probably steams the wood better but doesn't release that steam into the air. The wood should be dry to the touch after cooling. If it comes out wet it must be clamped into the mold immediately to set the shape.

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