Sliding contact surfaces (drawer runners/door slides)

Furniture making techniques with solid wood.
Gary Radice
Raw Log Import
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Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:20 pm

Re: Sliding contact surfaces (drawer runners/door slides)

Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:56 am

Here is the hornbeam used as runners and guides on the bottom of my tail vise. The rest of the bench is European beech. And as replaceable runners in a table I made recently. The drawer sides that slide on these runners are mahogany. The hornbeam came from some trees I cut on my property when I live in Virginia.
tail vise.jpg
tail vise.jpg (222.76 KiB) Viewed 716 times
finished table details - 1.jpg
finished table details - 1.jpg (345.56 KiB) Viewed 716 times
Gary
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Chris Hall
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Re: Sliding contact surfaces (drawer runners/door slides)

Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:58 am

I figured you must live somewhere like Virginia, as otherwise Hophornbeam is not something most of use are going to find in the lumber yard. How did you find it to work, plane/saw/chisel-wise? How is its stability and ease of drying?
Gary Radice
Raw Log Import
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:20 pm

Re: Sliding contact surfaces (drawer runners/door slides)

Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:18 pm

The hornbeam pieces I had were no larger than 6 inches in diameter or so, cut into 18 or 24 inch lengths and then halved or quartered. It is usually an understory tree, often with multiple trunks, and none of them very large. I intended to use them mostly for tool handles. (By the way, hophornbeam is Ostrya, a different species, with I think similar qualities. Hornbeam, Carpinus is the one with "muscle-y" looking bark. It is easy to confuse them). I air-dried mine. Most of the pieces twisted a bit and I had some checking but I also wasn't careful to sticker or weight them. I did paint the ends.
Hornbeam - 1.jpg
Hornbeam - 1.jpg (309.94 KiB) Viewed 710 times
It works wonderfully and planes especially nicely, leaving a silky surface with almost no visible pore structure. It isn't particularly dense. I haven't done anything with it requiring chisels so can't speak to that. I have turned a few handles and though I'm not an accomplished turner I had no trouble making the handles I needed. Lie-Nielsen makes their chisel handles out of hornbeam, I believe, which is where I got the idea. The only finishes I've used with it are boiled linseed or just plain wax. BLO will darken it.
Hornbeam handles - 1.jpg
Hornbeam handles - 1.jpg (389.51 KiB) Viewed 710 times
I live in Oregon now, and brought my hornbeam pieces with me. I've used or given away most of them. I'm down to just these three sticks and I'd love to have more, but it doesn't grow out here, and as you say, isn't readily commercially available as far as I know, either.
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Chris Hall
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Re: Sliding contact surfaces (drawer runners/door slides)

Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:37 pm

Looks like it might be a nice choice for a hammer handle.

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