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Thread: pith wood

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  1. #1
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    pith wood

    What is pith wood that watchmakers use? I know that pith wood is the center of a tree. Is there a certain kind of tree used for the pith wood that watchmakers use? Is it possible to go out in the timber and cut my own?

  2. #2
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    Re: pith wood

    Pith wood is used for cleaning the tips of tools before using them on movements. It prevents grease or oil contamination. It is not expensive and it arrives clean. Going out and trying to source your own (although I have heard of people doing so,) has always seemed like a false economy to me. While I'm spending your money, buy some 2mm pegwood as well. It works much, much better than cocktail sticks.

  3. #3
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    Re: pith wood

    The pith that watchmakers use is the pith of the Elder.

    Where I live in the UK these Elder trees grow everywhere...
    roadsides, riverbanks, hedgerows etc...they produce flowers
    and berries which make great wine so whilst gathering ingredients
    for their favorite tipple, watchmakers snap off a few fresh twigs, strip
    of the bark revealing a pulpy white pith... dry it in the airing cupboard
    and you have a handy material for cleaning your tools and watchparts.

  4. #4
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    Re: pith wood

    Thats awesome. There is all sorts of elder trees around here.

  5. #5
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    Re: pith wood

    I know where there is a couple elder trees near my home. I went out to get some twigs. Its winter here with a lot of snow on the ground. You can not imagine how difficult it is to identify the correct bush when there is no leaves on the trees. I know right where they are at but its impossible to identify the right one. I cut some pieces of last summers new growth off of a maple tree. The inside of it looks like what I am looking for but I'm not sure. Is the stuff I am looking for hard?

  6. #6
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    Re: pith wood

    No, not hard. It is like a whitish "foam". As far as I am aware, only Elder has the soft pith wood. In Europe anyway. So you can not make a misstake, even in winter.
    The "foam" soaks up the oils, fat etc like a sponge.

    Another use for the flowers is to pic them when they are fully open, in the morning preferably, (no rinsing) and mix the flowers with pancake batter (homemade, not the storebought premix crap). The pancakes are delicious.
    Do not worry about the small bugs that feed of the nectar.
    Just extra Protein and Flavour!
    U-Man likes this.

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