The characteristics of gumwood lumber for use in interior wood decoration.

¶ One wood that hitherto has been very little known, but that is coming more and more into prominence for the finer sorts of interior woodwork, is gumwood, which is obtained from the red gum that grows so abundantly in the Southern States and on the Pacific Coast.

¶ It is a pity that this beautiful wood should have been so little used that most people are unfamiliar with it, because for woodwork where fine texture, smooth surface and delicate coloring are required, quarter sawn gumwood stands unsurpassed among our native woods.

Treating of Gum Wood

¶ The best effects are obtained from gumwood by treating it with the iron rust solution used in the way already described in connection with maple; but much more diluted, as the color of gumwood needs only the slightest possible mellowing and toning to make it perfect. When treated with a very weak iron rust solution it bears a close resemblance to Circassian walnut, and the surface, which is smooth and lustrous as satin, shows a delightful play of light and shade. Sulphuric acid may be used on gumwood, but should be much more diluted than for any other wood, the proportion of acid being not more than one part to eight parts of water. This treatment gives a pinkish cast to the natural gray brown tone of the wood, and while this does not harmonize as readily with most colors as does the pure gray brown, it is very effective with certain decorative schemes.

Next Page: Black Walnut, Butternut, Sycamore.

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