HICKORY
Woodcraft Magazine|October - November 2021
As tough as they come
Ken Burton

As Presidential nicknames go, they don’t get much better than that of Andrew Jackson. He was dubbed “Old Hickory” after exhibiting his toughness during the War of 1812. And tough is an apt word to describe hickory. Its combination of hardness, stiffness, shock resistance, and density make it the toughest of the commonly available North American hardwoods.

While not as showy as some of the other more prized hardwoods, hickory is not without its aesthetic merits. The creamy yellow sapwood is reminiscent of birch and pine, but a lot more hardwearing. And the tawny brown heartwood compares with cherry before it ages. A lot of hickory flooring comes through with “calico” boards displaying a combination of sapwood and heartwood that adds a bit of down-home charm.

Where the wood comes from

A handful of species from the hickory and pecan family (genus Carya) are sold generically as hickory. True hickories such as shagbark are slightly stronger than those from the pecan side of the family, though the pecan-hickory species are more stable. But, as the species tend to be lumped together, the differences are moot. Essentially, if you’re after maximum strength, check the end grain for boards with wide growth rings. In hickory, faster growth makes for stronger wood. Hickory (and pecan) trees grow abundantly throughout eastern North America and are not listed on the CITES or IUCN Red List.

History in woodworking

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

RELATED STORIES

RARE AIR

Whether hitting or pitching, Jackson Jobe does things on the field that few have seen

5 mins read
Baseball America
August 2021

HISTORIC FINISH

Vanderbilt’s dynamic duo of Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter are the first teammates to win our College Player and Freshman of the Year awards in the same season

5 mins read
Baseball America
August 2021

FINAL PIECE OF THE PUZZLE

Chris Lemonis earned a reputation as a recruiter, but after winning a national title at Mississippi State, he will be remembered as a champion

6 mins read
Baseball America
August 2021

DO COVID TITLES COUNT?

If a team wins Game 7 and no one is around to cheer and high five, is it still the champ?

1 min read
Men's Journal
January - February 2021

Stepping Up to the Plate

A longtime baseball card collector seizes the opportunity to do good after a destructive wildfire

2 mins read
Reader's Digest US
September 2021

MARIAHVS.J.LO: THE NEXT ROUND!

A PAIR OF DIVAS!

1 min read
Star
May 17, 2021

Covid Means There's Even Less Joy in Mudville

Capacity constraints and distancing rules bring big headaches for season ticket holders

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 10, 2021

HIGH SCHOOL- THE TALE OF TWO TOOL SETS

Jackson Jobe realized his true upside is on the mound

6 mins read
Baseball America
May 2021

RESOLVE WILL BE TESTED

Teams will face new challenges entertaining fans, but they should emerge stronger for it

5 mins read
Baseball America
May 2021

MINORS- SURVEY SAYS

Our annual survey of minor league operators highlights the ways in which things will never be the same

10+ mins read
Baseball America
May 2021