| Woodworker's Central
This sample was sent to us by Eric Beckman who is harvesting Chinese Elm. We asked his opinion on some of the working and drying properties and this was his response:
"The hardest part of the process was the drying, the lumber tried its best to warp every which way so I just piled more and more weight on top. Finally it settled down and actually straightened somewhat. After about 3 months air-dry I ran out of time and had to have it kilned for about 3 weeks. It straightened more during the kilning. It was cut to 1" rough, surfaced perfectly to 3/4. It sands easily but cuts very difficult [due to hardness]. I actually stopped every saw in my collection working with it when it came to the more figured boards.
It bends easily, holds screws well though pilot holes are needed, recommend countersinking also. It stains very well though it really drinks the stain, my table had almost 1/3" stain penetration. It will also finish well with alot of clearcoat type finishes. Oh, and here's something important, the bark is noxious when being cut, it will fume if burned by a saw blade, so if you have to cut through bark, go as fast as you safely can.
Hope this helps! - Eric"