Is Orange tree wood of any use for models?

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Does anyone have any experience with using orange tree wood for model boat making, either used for planking or as a decorative wood such as for carving? Unfortunately I have an orange tree that is dying/dead and I’m going to remove it but don’t want to waste a resource unless absolutely necessary. I have removed a few limbs and the wood itself appears fairly dense and has a whitish to pale yellow hue. It is perhaps not the most exciting from a visual perspective but used for structural elements which are not seen may be an option. Your thoughts would be appreciated before I go made with the power saw.

Regards Rick
 

Bryian

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Rick,
I cannot offer any advice on that particular wood, but you could saw it into billets and store it away for drying out.
I think you might need a moisture meter to check its ready to use.
 
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Does anyone have any experience with using orange tree wood for model boat making, either used for planking or as a decorative wood such as for carving? Unfortunately I have an orange tree that is dying/dead and I’m going to remove it but don’t want to waste a resource unless absolutely necessary. I have removed a few limbs and the wood itself appears fairly dense and has a whitish to pale yellow hue. It is perhaps not the most exciting from a visual perspective but used for structural elements which are not seen may be an option. Your thoughts would be appreciated before I go made with the power saw.

Regards Rick
Hi Rick
I took a chance on a wind damaged jacaranda and after air drying the billets for years I find it is the best timber available to me for my Medea build.
As Brian said, take a chance on the orange and you will probably be pleasantly surprised. Some varieties of citrus are beautiful timber.
 
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I knew there was a connection on here somewhere. Dave Stevens explained in this post. https://shipsofscale.com/sosforums/...-use-in-model-building.2047/page-5#post-37607

He likened our Queensland Maple (which I also use) to the orange family.

"What the Australians call maple (actually Queensland maple, Flidersia braleyana) Although the tree is known as Queensland maple, the family Rutaceae is commonly known as the Rue or Citrus family, and the Queensland maple is more closely related to orange trees than to maple trees."

I think you might be on a winner with you orange tree.
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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i have tried many times to get citrus wood the small sample i did aquire and tested were excellent for model building. The problem is getting the wood main sources are southern California and Florida orange and lemon orchards, citrus trees do not grow in Ohio. Old tress or trimming from trees are dragged to the edge of the orchards and given away as firewood or burned on the spot. There is not a high demand for the wood because pieces are small so there is no commerical supply.
If you manage to hook up with someone willing to collect the wood the shipping is outragious.


I haven't carved orange, but did lemonwood. The bark looks very similar, and i imagine the wood will be that, too. The lemonwood is quite dense, and even grained, rather pleasurable to carve. Not as heavy as box, but would not be much lighter. I also turned it, and it turns very cleanly, polishes up really well.


Many citrus trees are great for wood carving. To name a few, these are Lemon, orange, tangerine, and grapefruit. The wood from an orange tree will require sharp tools, and you will find that carving this wood will take longer simply because of how hard and dense the wood is. Lemonwood is a close-grained hardwood that is so strong that it is often used for making archery bows and fishing rods.
 
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Rick,
I cannot offer any advice on that particular wood, but you could saw it into billets and store it away for drying out.
I think you might need a moisture meter to check its ready to use.
Thanks Bryian

I’m going to give it a go. I’ll cut it into 25mm x 25mm billets (about the max size my mini table saw can handle) and keep a few other larger limbs for wood carving and see how I go. I’ll seal the ends in bees wax to avoid splitting and slow the drying process.
 
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Hi Rick
I took a chance on a wind damaged jacaranda and after air drying the billets for years I find it is the best timber available to me for my Medea build.
As Brian said, take a chance on the orange and you will probably be pleasantly surprised. Some varieties of citrus are beautiful timber.
Thanks Ian
I’m going to give it a go. I’ll cut it into 25mm x 25mm billets (about the max size my mini table saw can handle) and keep a few other larger limbs for wood carving and see how I go. I’ll seal the ends in bees wax to avoid splitting and slow the drying process.

The Jacarandas are in bloom at the moment down our way so too attractive to attack with a saw. However there are a multitude of tree loppers about so I’ll contact a few and see if they’ll come to the party and save a few bits for me. Generally they are obliging as most trees they work with end up in the chipper.
 
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i have tried many times to get citrus wood the small sample i did aquire and tested were excellent for model building. The problem is getting the wood main sources are southern California and Florida orange and lemon orchards, citrus trees do not grow in Ohio. Old tress or trimming from trees are dragged to the edge of the orchards and given away as firewood or burned on the spot. There is not a high demand for the wood because pieces are small so there is no commerical supply.
If you manage to hook up with someone willing to collect the wood the shipping is outragious.


I haven't carved orange, but did lemonwood. The bark looks very similar, and i imagine the wood will be that, too. The lemonwood is quite dense, and even grained, rather pleasurable to carve. Not as heavy as box, but would not be much lighter. I also turned it, and it turns very cleanly, polishes up really well.


Many citrus trees are great for wood carving. To name a few, these are Lemon, orange, tangerine, and grapefruit. The wood from an orange tree will require sharp tools, and you will find that carving this wood will take longer simply because of how hard and dense the wood is. Lemonwood is a close-grained hardwood that is so strong that it is often used for making archery bows and fishing rods.
Thanks Dave

Thanks for the great advice and the wood history lesson, hugely appreciated. Some years ago I had a tree in my front yard which was becoming dangerous. I.e. occasional limbs dropping off onto the footpath. A boring beetle had attacked it and essentially ring barked every branch and limb under the bark. Had a tree lopper come round and had it removed. I told him I wanted to keep some as a memorial to the poor old thing. They also couldn’t tell me what type of tree it was but it definitely wasn’t a native Australia. I salvaged 3 pieces and carved my cat, a rainbow lorikeet (without the rainbow colouring) and an Australian Magpie (a stylised to match the shape of the offcuts) which now reside in my front yard. Guess I pays to give anything you’ve got a go even if it takes up a wee bit of storage space. They’re not boats but I suppose I could call them figure heads, and still fit in with the nautical theme of the post. Ha-ha.

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I read somewhere that apple wood was a superlative modelling wood. So, I bought a couple of apple trees and have a small stash of apple wood that I am curing. I also had some boxwood in the yard that I cured in a plastic trash can. It was there too long and when I went to make a substitute chess man, a castle, the box was hard as nails and challenged my diamond bits. The lesson is that you have to periodically "try" the wood before it loses its usefulness.
 
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