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a tree by any other name wood stil ...

updated mon 17 aug 98


Joseph Herbert on sun 16 aug 98

Dannon Ruddy said:

"Here, have used several things including wood from Bois D'Arc tree
(pronounced Bo Dark, accent on the "Bo", locally). Soften it in a 50/50 mix
ammonia/water overnight."

The tree to which she refers is also called Osage Orange and Hedge Apple in
other parts of the country. The name she uses is linked to the use of the
wood from this tree to make long bows.

The Ammonia trick works on other wood. There is an industrial process for
wood bending that saturates oak with anhydrous ammonia ( a really different
material from the household variety) and then easily bending really large
pieces. Makes it almost floppy. The bending sometimes has to be form guided
because the wood is soft enough to crush on the inside of the bend if you are
not careful. It is said the oak recovers its normal properties after the
Ammonia evaporates.

Don t try this at home.

Joseph Herbert