I have mixed feelings about Hackberry.  Some of the smaller pieces presented trouble beyond what I thought the appearance of the wood warranted but some of the larger pieces, especially the one kiln-dried piece that I worked with, turned and finished quite nicely.  I think the lesson therein is that although different samples may be of the same genus and species, there is always inherent variability amongst samples and one piece of Hackberry may behave in significantly different ways than another, even if from the same tree.  I will probably use Hackberry again in limited quantities because I greatly enjoy the sharp contrast between the almost white wood and the black spalting that is so commonly found in the wood.  At its absolute best a strongly spalted piece of Hackberry can easily remind me of the much more expensive and difficult to find Diospyros malabarica (Black and White Ebony) from Southeast Asia.  I wouldn’t say that Hackberry is my new favorite wood but I can’t imagine that I will banish it from the shop anytime soon either.

As always, I wish all my readers a great experience in whatever their wood working interests happen to be and to those who like working with lathes especially, do a good turn today!