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The Most Difficult Woods

Ash is by far the most difficult wood to work. While not as hard as oak, it has the disadvantage that the entire board is seamed with growth ribs which are extremely hard, while the intervening layers between these ribs are soft, and have open pores, so that, for instance, in making a mortise, the chisel is liable to follow the hard ribs, if the grain runs at an angle to the course of the mortise.

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