Last week’s Gibson Chair class – Chris’s first ever – was a rousing success. Only one person broke an arm (it was Chris), and everyone left with a gorgeous new Gibson chair in Ulmus rubra – red elm (with a red oak back rest), ready for finish. (I’m fairly certain every one is using a clear finish – this wood is too pretty to paint!)
But there is one mystery: Some of the sticks loosed some yellow powder upon planing…and we can’t figure out what caused this. I admit to spending but a limited time looking…because I’m busy and surely someone reading this knows! One possibility is “Elm Yellows,” aka elm phloem necrosis – but as far as I can tell from my limited reading, that disease turns the leaves yellow; there’s no mention of powder in the wood. I should also say that it doesn’t seem to have weakened the wood. Also, the powder didn’t bleed more out of the pores after further planing and a wipe-down with a rag. We did not do a taste test.
So – can anyone explain?