08-23-2010 08:50 AM - edited 08-23-2010 10:28 AM
Palm is reallly interesting stuff. Botanically, it's not a tree. It's a grass, and if memory serves it's also a distant cousin of the orchid family. Point is: it doesn't have wood like we're used to seeing wood.
Here's a shot of some things that I turned from black palm. When split open it has a sort of a resinous binder material with what look to be straws embedded in it.
At the lathe I've found that it requires brutally sharp cutters or I'd get a lot of tearout. I have never tried using a large enough chunk of it for regular ol' woodworking.
08-23-2010 09:31 AM
I'd be curious what the drying schedule is for palm. I've got to think that it's got a whole 'nother set of considerations for shedding moisture than traditional wood does.
Maybe something to look into, John. If you find out, share it with us. Now I'm curious.
ALSO: I almost always see palm turning blanks covered in wax. I don't know exactly what that means, but I'll bet that it does actually mean something in terms of moisture. So there's a story in there somewhere that I know I'm missing.