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Re: [MedievalSawdust] Sugar Maple

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  • leaking pen
    Oh, and because of its diffuse-porous growth, its pretty good for striking objects, like bats, or , um, paddles. :)
    Message 1 of 10 , Jun 26, 2012
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      Oh, and because of its diffuse-porous growth, its pretty good for striking objects, like bats, or , um, paddles. :)

      On Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 9:07 AM, leaking pen <itsatrap@...> wrote:
      Maple, sugar or otherwise, is a very pleasant wood to work with. I've turned bowls and cups with it, used it for buttons and open dowels, and its great for small boxes and furniture. also, oven dry the shavings and chips, and use them for smoking food.

      On Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 7:39 AM, Kirstyn <khaentlahn@...> wrote:
       

      Greetings,

      I am very new to woodworking in general, therefore, I was hoping some kind soul on this list would be able to help me.

      My husband found a local source for limbs culled from sugar maples. The people who own the maples are willing to give us the limbs for free as long as we cart them away in the fall when they trim their trees. I currently have no idea of the dimensions of the limbs that will be available.

      Would someone be able to give me an idea what the best use(s) for sugar maple limbs might be? My husband suggested wooden spoons. Anything else?

      Best regards,
      Kirstyn



    • Jeffrey Johnson
      The thing about limbs is that they are asymmetric, the top half grows under tension and the bottom under compression. So when the wood dries it bends. Thus,
      Message 2 of 10 , Jun 26, 2012
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        The thing about limbs is that they are asymmetric, the top half grows under tension and the bottom under compression. So when the wood dries it bends. Thus, anything made with it will trend to warp. So unless you want something warped or are making something short, you ought use it for firewood

        On Jun 26, 2012 11:01 AM, "Kirstyn" <khaentlahn@...> wrote:
         

        Greetings,

        I am very new to woodworking in general, therefore, I was hoping some kind soul on this list would be able to help me.

        My husband found a local source for limbs culled from sugar maples. The people who own the maples are willing to give us the limbs for free as long as we cart them away in the fall when they trim their trees. I currently have no idea of the dimensions of the limbs that will be available.

        Would someone be able to give me an idea what the best use(s) for sugar maple limbs might be? My husband suggested wooden spoons. Anything else?

        Best regards,
        Kirstyn

      • Avery Austringer
        As Jeffrey said, you re going to be dealing with the limb, which has been dealing with holding up a bunch of twigs and leaves against the pull of gravity since
        Message 3 of 10 , Jun 27, 2012
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          As Jeffrey said, you're going to be dealing with the limb, which has been dealing with holding up a bunch of twigs and leaves against the pull of gravity since forever, suddenly not having to deal with that force at all.  The magic phrase to throw into Google is "Reaction Wood".  In fact, if you are a visual person like I tend to be, the first few pictures in a Google image search for that term will tell you most of what you need to know. You're not going to be able to make furniture with this wood, and I'd probably avoid the table saw since there is a chance of the wood flexing and binding the blade as you make your cut.  (This is still a problem with a band or hand saw, but there it's not a problem that can cause serious injury.)


          OK, now that you know what you're dealing with, time to figure out what to do with some wood. Unless you have a project in mind where you need some very curved wood (like wagon bails or the bows of an ox collar) you're probably going to want shorter pieces - 12 to 18 inches.  There is also a minimum "worth screwing with" diameter that you need to fix in your heart based on what you want to do.  If you're carving that might be an inch or two.  Larger if you're turning.  Larger still for any kind of joinery.


          First thing I'd do is sort the kindling from the useful wood and put it somewhere out of the weather. Then I'd cut to wood that might be useful into bite sized chunks, like I said, a foot or so, and paint the ends with a latex paint to prevent all the moisture from escaping from the end grain and causing splitting. Then I'd see about peeling off the bark and putting it somewhere to dry.


          Avery

        • leaking pen
          Enh. If you can identify the top and bottom side, and make a series of cuts every 6-12 inches through the bottom before letting it dry, you can get a pretty
          Message 4 of 10 , Jun 27, 2012
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            Enh.  If you can identify the top and bottom side, and make a series of cuts every 6-12 inches through the bottom before letting it dry, you can get a pretty straight top after drying.

            On Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 9:33 AM, Avery Austringer <avery1415@...> wrote:
             

            As Jeffrey said, you're going to be dealing with the limb, which has been dealing with holding up a bunch of twigs and leaves against the pull of gravity since forever, suddenly not having to deal with that force at all.  The magic phrase to throw into Google is "Reaction Wood".  In fact, if you are a visual person like I tend to be, the first few pictures in a Google image search for that term will tell you most of what you need to know. You're not going to be able to make furniture with this wood, and I'd probably avoid the table saw since there is a chance of the wood flexing and binding the blade as you make your cut.  (This is still a problem with a band or hand saw, but there it's not a problem that can cause serious injury.)


            OK, now that you know what you're dealing with, time to figure out what to do with some wood. Unless you have a project in mind where you need some very curved wood (like wagon bails or the bows of an ox collar) you're probably going to want shorter pieces - 12 to 18 inches.  There is also a minimum "worth screwing with" diameter that you need to fix in your heart based on what you want to do.  If you're carving that might be an inch or two.  Larger if you're turning.  Larger still for any kind of joinery.


            First thing I'd do is sort the kindling from the useful wood and put it somewhere out of the weather. Then I'd cut to wood that might be useful into bite sized chunks, like I said, a foot or so, and paint the ends with a latex paint to prevent all the moisture from escaping from the end grain and causing splitting. Then I'd see about peeling off the bark and putting it somewhere to dry.


            Avery


          • Kirstyn
            Thank you to everyone who responded. I definitely know a bit more about maple than I did originally and I really appreciate the help. Just out of curiosity,
            Message 5 of 10 , Jun 27, 2012
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              Thank you to everyone who responded. I definitely know a bit more about maple than I did originally and I really appreciate the help.

              Just out of curiosity, is there a way to identify the top of a limb from the bottom, say if you find a limb that has already fallen from a tree and the branches still attached don't make it overly obvious?

              TIA,
              Kirstyn




              --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, leaking pen <itsatrap@...> wrote:
              >
              > Enh. If you can identify the top and bottom side, and make a series of
              > cuts every 6-12 inches through the bottom before letting it dry, you can
              > get a pretty straight top after drying.
              >
              > On Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 9:33 AM, Avery Austringer
              > <avery1415@...>wrote:
              >
              > >
              > > As Jeffrey said, you're going to be dealing with the limb, which has been
              > > dealing with holding up a bunch of twigs and leaves against the pull of
              > > gravity since forever, suddenly not having to deal with that force at all.
              > > The magic phrase to throw into Google is "Reaction Wood". In fact, if you
              > > are a visual person like I tend to be, the first few pictures in a Google
              > > image search for that term will tell you most of what you need to know.
              > > You're not going to be able to make furniture with this wood, and I'd
              > > probably avoid the table saw since there is a chance of the wood flexing
              > > and binding the blade as you make your cut. (This is still a problem with
              > > a band or hand saw, but there it's not a problem that can cause serious
              > > injury.)
              > >
              > >
              > > OK, now that you know what you're dealing with, time to figure out what to
              > > do with some wood. Unless you have a project in mind where you need some
              > > very curved wood (like wagon bails or the bows of an ox collar) you're
              > > probably going to want shorter pieces - 12 to 18 inches. There is also a
              > > minimum "worth screwing with" diameter that you need to fix in your heart
              > > based on what you want to do. If you're carving that might be an inch or
              > > two. Larger if you're turning. Larger still for any kind of joinery.
              > >
              > >
              > > First thing I'd do is sort the kindling from the useful wood and put it
              > > somewhere out of the weather. Then I'd cut to wood that might be useful
              > > into bite sized chunks, like I said, a foot or so, and paint the ends with
              > > a latex paint to prevent all the moisture from escaping from the end grain
              > > and causing splitting. Then I'd see about peeling off the bark and putting
              > > it somewhere to dry.
              > >
              > >
              > > Avery
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
            • leaking pen
              bird poop is going to be on the top, and probably a bark color difference.
              Message 6 of 10 , Jun 27, 2012
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                bird poop is going to be on the top, and probably a bark color difference.

                On Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 12:34 PM, Kirstyn <khaentlahn@...> wrote:
                 

                Thank you to everyone who responded. I definitely know a bit more about maple than I did originally and I really appreciate the help.

                Just out of curiosity, is there a way to identify the top of a limb from the bottom, say if you find a limb that has already fallen from a tree and the branches still attached don't make it overly obvious?

                TIA,
                Kirstyn



                --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, leaking pen <itsatrap@...> wrote:
                >
                > Enh. If you can identify the top and bottom side, and make a series of
                > cuts every 6-12 inches through the bottom before letting it dry, you can
                > get a pretty straight top after drying.
                >
                > On Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 9:33 AM, Avery Austringer
                > <avery1415@...>wrote:

                >
                > >
                > > As Jeffrey said, you're going to be dealing with the limb, which has been
                > > dealing with holding up a bunch of twigs and leaves against the pull of
                > > gravity since forever, suddenly not having to deal with that force at all.
                > > The magic phrase to throw into Google is "Reaction Wood". In fact, if you
                > > are a visual person like I tend to be, the first few pictures in a Google
                > > image search for that term will tell you most of what you need to know.
                > > You're not going to be able to make furniture with this wood, and I'd
                > > probably avoid the table saw since there is a chance of the wood flexing
                > > and binding the blade as you make your cut. (This is still a problem with
                > > a band or hand saw, but there it's not a problem that can cause serious
                > > injury.)
                > >
                > >
                > > OK, now that you know what you're dealing with, time to figure out what to
                > > do with some wood. Unless you have a project in mind where you need some
                > > very curved wood (like wagon bails or the bows of an ox collar) you're
                > > probably going to want shorter pieces - 12 to 18 inches. There is also a
                > > minimum "worth screwing with" diameter that you need to fix in your heart
                > > based on what you want to do. If you're carving that might be an inch or
                > > two. Larger if you're turning. Larger still for any kind of joinery.
                > >
                > >
                > > First thing I'd do is sort the kindling from the useful wood and put it
                > > somewhere out of the weather. Then I'd cut to wood that might be useful
                > > into bite sized chunks, like I said, a foot or so, and paint the ends with
                > > a latex paint to prevent all the moisture from escaping from the end grain
                > > and causing splitting. Then I'd see about peeling off the bark and putting
                > > it somewhere to dry.
                > >
                > >
                > > Avery
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >


              • conradh@efn.org
                ... Actually, the stresses in reaction wood aren t just in limbs, and aren t just from gravity. Strong and persistent prevailing winds can cause it in
                Message 7 of 10 , Jun 28, 2012
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                  > bird poop is going to be on the top, and probably a bark color difference.

                  Actually, the stresses in "reaction wood" aren't just in limbs, and aren't
                  just from gravity. Strong and persistent prevailing winds can cause it in
                  trunks as well as limbs, as can soil creep on hillsides. In fact,
                  "reaction wood" shows up fairly often in the piles at lumber dealers!

                  Reaction wood is often perfectly good for turning, for carving things like
                  spoons, and other parts. It's "no go" reputation mostly comes from
                  cabinetmakers, who need stability over all else. I wouldn't try using
                  your maple limbs for joinery. Used for single-piece, stand alone
                  projects, they often work just fine. Turners all over the world use limb
                  wood--especially the ones who make a living producing ordinary household
                  objects.

                  As for drying, it'll be way less work if you pick a tentative fate for
                  each piece, and rough it out as soon as you get it. (If you have to wait
                  more than a day or so, wrap the waiting pieces in plastic and keep them in
                  the shade.) Cut it very roughly to the shape of your spoon or rolling pin
                  or baby-seal club or whatever, and _then_ grease or paint the end grain
                  and put it away to dry slowly. It will dry much quicker, and the wood
                  will be easier to work while green. You still have little work invested
                  in each piece; if one or two warp all to hell, then _those_ are your
                  firewood. But you'll probably be pleasantly surprised how many usable
                  blanks you have when you go to do the finishing up. Often the warpage can
                  be accounted for within the thickness of the wood you're trimming off
                  during finishing.

                  Ulfhedinn
                • Jeffrey Johnson
                  You may find the top of the limb has rings more closely spaced. YMMV ... maple than I did originally and I really appreciate the help. ... the bottom, say if
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jun 28, 2012
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                    You may find the top of the limb has rings more closely spaced. YMMV

                    On Jun 27, 2012 4:21 PM, "Kirstyn" <khaentlahn@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >  
                    >
                    > Thank you to everyone who responded. I definitely know a bit more about maple than I did originally and I really appreciate the help.
                    >
                    > Just out of curiosity, is there a way to identify the top of a limb from the bottom, say if you find a limb that has already fallen from a tree and the branches still attached don't make it overly obvious?
                    >
                    > TIA,
                    > Kirstyn
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, leaking pen <itsatrap@...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Enh. If you can identify the top and bottom side, and make a series of
                    > > cuts every 6-12 inches through the bottom before letting it dry, you can
                    > > get a pretty straight top after drying.
                    > >
                    > > On Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 9:33 AM, Avery Austringer
                    > > <avery1415@...>wrote:
                    >
                    > >
                    > > >
                    > > > As Jeffrey said, you're going to be dealing with the limb, which has been
                    > > > dealing with holding up a bunch of twigs and leaves against the pull of
                    > > > gravity since forever, suddenly not having to deal with that force at all.
                    > > > The magic phrase to throw into Google is "Reaction Wood". In fact, if you
                    > > > are a visual person like I tend to be, the first few pictures in a Google
                    > > > image search for that term will tell you most of what you need to know.
                    > > > You're not going to be able to make furniture with this wood, and I'd
                    > > > probably avoid the table saw since there is a chance of the wood flexing
                    > > > and binding the blade as you make your cut. (This is still a problem with
                    > > > a band or hand saw, but there it's not a problem that can cause serious
                    > > > injury.)
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > OK, now that you know what you're dealing with, time to figure out what to
                    > > > do with some wood. Unless you have a project in mind where you need some
                    > > > very curved wood (like wagon bails or the bows of an ox collar) you're
                    > > > probably going to want shorter pieces - 12 to 18 inches. There is also a
                    > > > minimum "worth screwing with" diameter that you need to fix in your heart
                    > > > based on what you want to do. If you're carving that might be an inch or
                    > > > two. Larger if you're turning. Larger still for any kind of joinery.
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > First thing I'd do is sort the kindling from the useful wood and put it
                    > > > somewhere out of the weather. Then I'd cut to wood that might be useful
                    > > > into bite sized chunks, like I said, a foot or so, and paint the ends with
                    > > > a latex paint to prevent all the moisture from escaping from the end grain
                    > > > and causing splitting. Then I'd see about peeling off the bark and putting
                    > > > it somewhere to dry.
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > Avery
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > >
                    >
                    >

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