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Harvesting your own wood

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  • Jerry Harder
    I have about 2 years of posting I never got around to reading when I first joined this list. On occasion I find myself playing a little catch up and way back
    Message 1 of 30 , Feb 26, 2013
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      I have about 2 years of posting I never got around to reading when I
      first joined this list. On occasion I find myself playing a little
      catch up and way back several posted stuff on using sugar maple. I
      harvested a lot of my own wood for The Great Machine and am always
      amazed at how big a log produces such a little piece of wood and have
      just figured out why. If you Imagine (for the sake of argument) a 12 in
      diameter log and lets just say 5 ft long. Now draw a 12 in circle. Now
      draw a square inside it. That square is only 8.5 inches on a side! Now
      lets suppose its 1 inch from being straight. (and that's a fairly
      straight piece for what I have to work with.) You need to cut off 1
      inch from the top AND 1 inch from the bottom in order to straighten it.
      so now were down to 6.5 inches. My experience is that sapwood shrinks
      more than heart wood and so it is best to mostly remove it. I usually
      leave a little witness but it still means 3/4 inch a side or so which
      brings us to a 5 foot piece 5 in square. I often do this sort of work
      with a chain saw and a scrap straight old barn board as a guide. So
      after some dry time in which some warping happens, and I have done very
      careful chain saw work it may take a half inch per side to clean up.
      Thus a 4X4 from a 12 inch log. Also wider thinner boards are possible
      but the point is it takes a much bigger log for a board than you might
      think!

      Does anyone else have any experience cutting and drying there own wood?
    • D. Young
      Why dry it? A lot of furniture was made green.... Fine Armour and Historical Reproductions Custom Commissions Welcome....! www.partsandtechnical.com (Well
      Message 2 of 30 , Feb 26, 2013
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        Why dry it?   A lot of furniture was made green....






        Fine Armour and Historical Reproductions

             Custom Commissions Welcome....!

        www.partsandtechnical.com
        (Well Formed Munitions Catalog Coming This Spring)
         



        To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
        From: geraldgoodwine@...
        Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2013 03:53:52 -0600
        Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Harvesting your own wood

         
        I have about 2 years of posting I never got around to reading when I
        first joined this list. On occasion I find myself playing a little
        catch up and way back several posted stuff on using sugar maple. I
        harvested a lot of my own wood for The Great Machine and am always
        amazed at how big a log produces such a little piece of wood and have
        just figured out why. If you Imagine (for the sake of argument) a 12 in
        diameter log and lets just say 5 ft long. Now draw a 12 in circle. Now
        draw a square inside it. That square is only 8.5 inches on a side! Now
        lets suppose its 1 inch from being straight. (and that's a fairly
        straight piece for what I have to work with.) You need to cut off 1
        inch from the top AND 1 inch from the bottom in order to straighten it.
        so now were down to 6.5 inches. My experience is that sapwood shrinks
        more than heart wood and so it is best to mostly remove it. I usually
        leave a little witness but it still means 3/4 inch a side or so which
        brings us to a 5 foot piece 5 in square. I often do this sort of work
        with a chain saw and a scrap straight old barn board as a guide. So
        after some dry time in which some warping happens, and I have done very
        careful chain saw work it may take a half inch per side to clean up.
        Thus a 4X4 from a 12 inch log. Also wider thinner boards are possible
        but the point is it takes a much bigger log for a board than you might
        think!

        Does anyone else have any experience cutting and drying there own wood?

      • Don Bowen
        I am thinking of using some Sycamore on a project. I have several trees along the creek that could be used. Is Sycamore easy enough to split and does it dry
        Message 3 of 30 , Feb 26, 2013
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          I am thinking of using some Sycamore on a project. I have several trees
          along the creek that could be used. Is Sycamore easy enough to split
          and does it dry well or spin itself into knots?

          --
          Don Bowen AD0BR
          "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom."
          -Michel De Montaigne 1588
          http://www.braingarage.com/Dons/Travels/journal/Journal.html
        • bsrlee
          Being a city dweller I find it hard to get near green wood, by the time I see something cut down it is usually in small chunks which is then immediately wood
          Message 4 of 30 , Feb 26, 2013
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            Being a city dweller I find it hard to get near green wood, by the time
            I see something cut down it is usually in small chunks which is then
            immediately wood chipped, not even firewood. Sigh.

            As you seem to be in the fortunate position of accessing your own
            timber, I will put forwards a few ideas.

            Firstly, for modestly sized trees, forget sawn planks. A fair bit of
            medieval furniture (even in regular production down to the 18th century
            and later in places) was made from split or riven wood rather than sawn
            stuff. Saws were expensive and hard work to use. To make riven timbers
            you cut down the tree (axe) then used a large bow saw to cut the timbers
            into useful lengths ( just a thin metal blade to the saw, short lengths
            were lighter to carry). To split wood you used the axe that had just cut
            down the tree, a froe, mallet/beetle, wedges of wood (glut) or iron to
            split it radially into roughly sized billets. You then used an axe
            and/or an adze to remove the bark & sapwood, flatten one side, then
            chop the wood roughly to thickness. Only the show side would then be
            planed, along with the narrow edges that would go against other parts.
            Often within a few days the parts were basically shaped, depending on
            what the finished product was going to be you might wait for the wood to
            dry or just go ahead and fit it together using wedged or pinned tennons.
            Most of the wood in the trunk can be used this way and the resulting
            split pieces are very strong. Careful selection of wood for grain
            orientation would ensure that everything stayed tight.

            I would encourage you to look at Roy Underhill's TV shows, especially
            the early ones, on how this all works. The DVD's are available from
            Popular Woodworking's online shop, often on 'special' for $10 less than
            Amazon. The more recent shows from 2006-2013 are still available on-line at:
            http://www.pbs.org/woodwrightsshop/video/3100/index.html
            Roy is also a fairly proliffic author, and you may be able to get some
            of his books through your local library rather than buying them on line.

            If your project plans absolutely calls for sawn planks, I would suggest
            a bandsaw is what you need. Even some of the 'portable' sawmills use a
            large bandsaw turned on its side. A 14" bandsaw with a frame extension
            can cut 12" timber with the right blades - as wide & coarse as you can
            get - I have a local supplier who makes 1" blades with 1.3 teeth per
            inch for 'resawing' thick timber on small bandsaws. Don't look at
            anything smaller than a 14" saw as they are effectively toys & you can't
            get upgrade parts for them. You can probably find a good second hand
            bandsaw made by someone like Delta, Jet or Grizzly with the frame
            extension already fitted ( a 6" chunk of cast iron with a huge bolt and
            extended guides) in unabused condition for a fair bit less than you can
            buy a new one for. Then you make a 'resaw sled' from some ply wood,
            clamp or screw you log to it and make rough sawn planks slowly. Don't
            saw a round log freehand as you will soon be known as 'Old One Hand'
            because the log WILL twist & try to drag your fingers into the moving blade.

            If you are going to dry your own timber for later processing, as soon as
            you drop the tree, buck it (rough cross cut) into useful lengths then
            split the trunk down the centre and paint the end grain (you can buy
            special wax paint for this, or just buy a can of 'outdoor' grade paint
            from the 'oops' bargain bin at the local big box hardware store - who
            cares if the color is all wrong). This should stop the formation of
            longitudinal cracks (checking) which can quickly turn good furniture
            timber into firewood. Depending on the pests in your area you may need
            to remove the bark immediately or after a week or two, then place the
            wood in shelter for several months before further processing - there is
            plenty of information on line about how to stack timber for drying -
            look for 'stickering' for some ideas, basically you want plenty of air
            circulation all around the billets while keeping the wood well
            supported, straight and off the ground.

            If the trees are growning along a creek you will have to choose ones
            that have not been leaning while growing - this will cause the whole
            trunk to have 'reaction wood' like branches. You can use it for turning
            blanks or firewood & not much else as it will never stop twisting &
            bending. (Actually, archeological evidence suggests you can use it for
            making Neolithic bows, which use the compressed (down hill) side of the
            trunk). Even worse are trees which have grown 'corkscrew' fashion - you
            can usually spot this with the bark having a spiral pattern - its just
            firewood, not even good for turning blanks. In Australia we even have
            trees that grown twisted one way for a few years then reverse - very
            pretty wood, stays straight but an absolute nightmare to process ( I
            believe Elm is somewhat similar, a real PITA to work finely).

            In another post you mention Sycamore? You can use pretty much the whole
            tree - it was/is used for all sorts of domestic wood ware - spoons,
            scoops, chopping boards etc, variously carved, turned & sawn. It is as
            non-toxic as wood goes & has no noticable aroma/taste. You could make
            yourself very popular with carvers & turners, even with branch wood and
            small diameter trunk sections.

            regards
            Brusi of Orkney

            On 26-Feb-13 8:53 PM, Jerry Harder wrote:
            > I have about 2 years of posting I never got around to reading when I
            > first joined this list. On occasion I find myself playing a little
            > catch up and way back several posted stuff on using sugar maple. I
            > harvested a lot of my own wood for The Great Machine and am always
            > amazed at how big a log produces such a little piece of wood and have
            > just figured out why. If you Imagine (for the sake of argument) a 12 in
            > diameter log and lets just say 5 ft long. Now draw a 12 in circle. Now
            > draw a square inside it. That square is only 8.5 inches on a side! Now
            > lets suppose its 1 inch from being straight. (and that's a fairly
            > straight piece for what I have to work with.) You need to cut off 1
            > inch from the top AND 1 inch from the bottom in order to straighten it.
            > so now were down to 6.5 inches. My experience is that sapwood shrinks
            > more than heart wood and so it is best to mostly remove it. I usually
            > leave a little witness but it still means 3/4 inch a side or so which
            > brings us to a 5 foot piece 5 in square. I often do this sort of work
            > with a chain saw and a scrap straight old barn board as a guide. So
            > after some dry time in which some warping happens, and I have done very
            > careful chain saw work it may take a half inch per side to clean up.
            > Thus a 4X4 from a 12 inch log. Also wider thinner boards are possible
            > but the point is it takes a much bigger log for a board than you might
            > think!
            >
            > Does anyone else have any experience cutting and drying there own wood?
            >
            >
          • Don Bowen
            ... That is what I use for firewood, the leaners and the very crooked trees. http://www.braingarage.com/Dons/Travels/journal/images/firewood.jpg ... A friend
            Message 5 of 30 , Feb 26, 2013
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              On 2/26/2013 1:46 PM, bsrlee wrote:
              > If the trees are growning along a creek you will have to choose ones
              > that have not been leaning while growing - this will cause the whole
              > trunk to have 'reaction wood' like branches. You can use it for turning
              > blanks or firewood

              That is what I use for firewood, the leaners and the very crooked trees.

              http://www.braingarage.com/Dons/Travels/journal/images/firewood.jpg

              > small diameter trunk sections.

              A friend cut a Sycamore tree into 2' sections planning on making
              chopping blocks. They were scattered about the shop to dry. Two years
              later most have split.

              I plan to bring down a Sycamore and split it using a froe. It will be a
              fun project.

              --
              Don Bowen AD0BR
              "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom."
              -Michel De Montaigne 1588
              http://www.braingarage.com/Dons/Travels/journal/Journal.html
            • Jerry Harder
              Most of what I make is machinery. For example I can barely lift the ends of the base for the grinder / lathe / saw / barrel tumbler. The tread wheel fully
              Message 6 of 30 , Feb 26, 2013
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                Most of what I make is machinery.  For example I can barely lift the ends of the base for the grinder / lathe / saw / barrel tumbler.  The tread wheel fully assembled weighs about 500 lbs. So it all comes apart.  Shrinking and twisting wood doesn't make for joints that come apart and go back together.

                On 2/26/2013 12:56 PM, D. Young wrote:
                 

                Why dry it?   A lot of furniture was made green....






                Fine Armour and Historical Reproductions

                     Custom Commissions Welcome....!

                www.partsandtechnical.com
                (Well Formed Munitions Catalog Coming This Spring)
                 



                To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                From: geraldgoodwine@...
                Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2013 03:53:52 -0600
                Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Harvesting your own wood

                 
                I have about 2 years of posting I never got around to reading when I
                first joined this list. On occasion I find myself playing a little
                catch up and way back several posted stuff on using sugar maple. I
                harvested a lot of my own wood for The Great Machine and am always
                amazed at how big a log produces such a little piece of wood and have
                just figured out why. If you Imagine (for the sake of argument) a 12 in
                diameter log and lets just say 5 ft long. Now draw a 12 in circle. Now
                draw a square inside it. That square is only 8.5 inches on a side! Now
                lets suppose its 1 inch from being straight. (and that's a fairly
                straight piece for what I have to work with.) You need to cut off 1
                inch from the top AND 1 inch from the bottom in order to straighten it.
                so now were down to 6.5 inches. My experience is that sapwood shrinks
                more than heart wood and so it is best to mostly remove it. I usually
                leave a little witness but it still means 3/4 inch a side or so which
                brings us to a 5 foot piece 5 in square. I often do this sort of work
                with a chain saw and a scrap straight old barn board as a guide. So
                after some dry time in which some warping happens, and I have done very
                careful chain saw work it may take a half inch per side to clean up.
                Thus a 4X4 from a 12 inch log. Also wider thinner boards are possible
                but the point is it takes a much bigger log for a board than you might
                think!

                Does anyone else have any experience cutting and drying there own wood?


              • Jerry Harder
                I don t know it specificly
                Message 7 of 30 , Feb 26, 2013
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                  I don't know it specificly

                  On 2/26/2013 1:05 PM, Don Bowen wrote:
                  > I am thinking of using some Sycamore on a project. I have several trees
                  > along the creek that could be used. Is Sycamore easy enough to split
                  > and does it dry well or spin itself into knots?
                  >
                • Jerry Harder
                  ... AND MY THOUGHT WAS ONLY MOST?!
                  Message 8 of 30 , Feb 26, 2013
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                    On 2/26/2013 2:02 PM, Don Bowen wrote:
                     



                    A friend cut a Sycamore tree into 2' sections planning on making
                    chopping blocks. They were scattered about the shop to dry. Two years
                    later most have split.

                    AND MY THOUGHT WAS "ONLY MOST?!"
                  • D. Young
                    Depends....the only truely easy woods to split are poplars and oaks. And of course...sans knots! Makes sure to replant if you take down! Fine Armour and
                    Message 9 of 30 , Feb 27, 2013
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                      Depends....the only truely easy woods to split are poplars and oaks.

                      And of course...sans knots!  

                      Makes sure to replant if you take down!  



                      Fine Armour and Historical Reproductions

                           Custom Commissions Welcome....!

                      www.partsandtechnical.com
                      (Well Formed Munitions Catalog Coming This Spring)
                       


                      > To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                      > From: don.bowen@...
                      > Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2013 13:05:23 -0600
                      > Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Harvesting your own wood
                      >
                      >
                      > I am thinking of using some Sycamore on a project. I have several trees
                      > along the creek that could be used. Is Sycamore easy enough to split
                      > and does it dry well or spin itself into knots?
                      >
                      > --
                      > Don Bowen AD0BR
                      > "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom."
                      > -Michel De Montaigne 1588
                      > http://www.braingarage.com/Dons/Travels/journal/Journal.html
                      >
                      >
                      >
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                    • Don Bowen
                      ... I am clearing out the leaning or crooked trees to clear areas to allow other trees to grow better. The idea is to improve the forest while harvesting. --
                      Message 10 of 30 , Feb 27, 2013
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                        On 2/27/2013 12:29 PM, D. Young wrote:
                        >
                        > Makes sure to replant if you take down!

                        I am clearing out the leaning or crooked trees to clear areas to allow
                        other trees to grow better. The idea is to improve the forest while
                        harvesting.

                        --
                        Don Bowen AD0BR
                        "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom."
                        -Michel De Montaigne 1588
                        http://www.braingarage.com/Dons/Travels/journal/Journal.html
                      • D. Young
                        Good to hear Don. I work with live wood daily. Over the last 20 years Ive seen such heavy urban and suburban deforestation (and appalling ignorance about
                        Message 11 of 30 , Feb 27, 2013
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                          Good to hear Don.

                          I work with live wood daily.   Over the last 20 years Ive seen such heavy urban and suburban deforestation (and appalling ignorance about tree/forest care) that Im in the planning stages of launching a volunetter org to freely plant trees in local neighborhoods.

                          I knew I had to do something when a couple whose storm felled tree I was removing said to me... " how on earth do you create a tree?....sounds neat but how do you do it "

                          I LOVE the idea of knowing on my death bed that I have planted more than taken....for the next generation or two of folks like us..





                          Fine Armour and Historical Reproductions

                               Custom Commissions Welcome....!

                          www.partsandtechnical.com
                          (Well Formed Munitions Catalog Coming This Spring)
                           



                          To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                          From: don.bowen@...
                          Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2013 13:58:09 -0600
                          Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Harvesting your own wood

                           
                          On 2/27/2013 12:29 PM, D. Young wrote:
                          >
                          > Makes sure to replant if you take down!

                          I am clearing out the leaning or crooked trees to clear areas to allow
                          other trees to grow better. The idea is to improve the forest while
                          harvesting.

                          --
                          Don Bowen AD0BR
                          "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom."
                          -Michel De Montaigne 1588
                          http://www.braingarage.com/Dons/Travels/journal/Journal.html


                        • Lynda Fjellman
                          My goodness!! How do you create a tree.  From little acorns mighty oaks grow. I go around collecting in the fall in hopes that I can get that coppice I am
                          Message 12 of 30 , Feb 27, 2013
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                            My goodness!!
                            How do you create a tree.  From little acorns mighty oaks grow.
                            I go around collecting in the fall in hopes that I can get that coppice I am starting stocked with NW natives.  Yes, I know that these aren't "period" for Europe, but hey, they "are" ashe, oak, maples, hazel and alder.  Not that you have to try to make alder grow around here.  If you don't watch out your land will be covered with alder saplings in a couple years.
                            Of course if you don't want to wait that long you can go to any local nursery and they will be happy to help you find a nice tree.
                            Ilaria


                             
                            Good to hear Don.

                            I work with live wood daily.   Over the last 20 years Ive seen such heavy urban and suburban deforestation (and appalling ignorance about tree/forest care) that Im in the planning stages of launching a volunetter org to freely plant trees in local neighborhoods.

                            I knew I had to do something when a couple whose storm felled tree I was removing said to me... " how on earth do you create a tree?....sounds neat but how do you do it "

                            I LOVE the idea of knowing on my death bed that I have planted more than taken....for the next generation or two of folks like us..





                            Fine Armour and Historical Reproductions
                                 Custom Commissions Welcome....!
                            www.partsandtechnical.com
                            (Well Formed Munitions Catalog Coming This Spring)
                             



                            To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                            From: don.bowen@...
                            Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2013 13:58:09 -0600
                            Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Harvesting your own wood

                             
                            On 2/27/2013 12:29 PM, D. Young wrote:
                            >
                            > Makes sure to replant if you take down!

                            I am clearing out the leaning or crooked trees to clear areas to allow
                            other trees to grow better. The idea is to improve the forest while
                            harvesting.

                            --
                            Don Bowen AD0BR
                            "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom."
                            -Michel De Montaigne 1588
                            http://www.braingarage.com/Dons/Travels/journal/Journal.html




                          • D. Young
                            Ilaria North American white oaks are nearly indistinguishable from European white oaks. I own many pieces of furniture from 1450 onward. And I build it too.
                            Message 13 of 30 , Feb 27, 2013
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                              Ilaria

                              North American white oaks are nearly indistinguishable from European white oaks.    I own many pieces of furniture from 1450 onward.

                              And I build it too.

                              I can attest how close the two are that had you gone back in time and made a 14th century chest with North American white oak...I dare say few would realize it.





                              Fine Armour and Historical Reproductions

                                   Custom Commissions Welcome....!

                              www.partsandtechnical.com
                              (Well Formed Munitions Catalog Coming This Spring)
                               



                              To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                              From: lyndafjellman@...
                              Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2013 13:50:26 -0800
                              Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Harvesting your own wood

                               

                              My goodness!!
                              How do you create a tree.  From little acorns mighty oaks grow.
                              I go around collecting in the fall in hopes that I can get that coppice I am starting stocked with NW natives.  Yes, I know that these aren't "period" for Europe, but hey, they "are" ashe, oak, maples, hazel and alder.  Not that you have to try to make alder grow around here.  If you don't watch out your land will be covered with alder saplings in a couple years.
                              Of course if you don't want to wait that long you can go to any local nursery and they will be happy to help you find a nice tree.
                              Ilaria


                               
                              Good to hear Don.

                              I work with live wood daily.   Over the last 20 years Ive seen such heavy urban and suburban deforestation (and appalling ignorance about tree/forest care) that Im in the planning stages of launching a volunetter org to freely plant trees in local neighborhoods.

                              I knew I had to do something when a couple whose storm felled tree I was removing said to me... " how on earth do you create a tree?....sounds neat but how do you do it "

                              I LOVE the idea of knowing on my death bed that I have planted more than taken....for the next generation or two of folks like us..





                              Fine Armour and Historical Reproductions
                                   Custom Commissions Welcome....!
                              www.partsandtechnical.com
                              (Well Formed Munitions Catalog Coming This Spring)
                               



                              To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                              From: don.bowen@...
                              Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2013 13:58:09 -0600
                              Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Harvesting your own wood

                               
                              On 2/27/2013 12:29 PM, D. Young wrote:
                              >
                              > Makes sure to replant if you take down!

                              I am clearing out the leaning or crooked trees to clear areas to allow
                              other trees to grow better. The idea is to improve the forest while
                              harvesting.

                              --
                              Don Bowen AD0BR
                              "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom."
                              -Michel De Montaigne 1588
                              http://www.braingarage.com/Dons/Travels/journal/Journal.html





                            • Michael Scherrer
                              Check your conservation Department, see if they have a tree program. I had planted over 500 trees when I had the farm. The trees were small seedlings, but
                              Message 14 of 30 , Feb 27, 2013
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                                Check your conservation Department, see if they have a tree program.
                                I had planted over 500 trees when I had the farm.  The trees were small
                                seedlings, but were easy to plant, even had the right tool for it...
                                Missouri Department of Conservation has a program to reforest lands...
                                Thomas of Cologne  Calontir
                                 

                                To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                                From: lyndafjellman@...
                                Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2013 13:50:26 -0800
                                Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Harvesting your own wood

                                 
                                My goodness!!
                                How do you create a tree.  From little acorns mighty oaks grow.
                                I go around collecting in the fall in hopes that I can get that coppice I am starting stocked with NW natives.  Yes, I know that these aren't "period" for Europe, but hey, they "are" ashe, oak, maples, hazel and alder.  Not that you have to try to make alder grow around here.  If you don't watch out your land will be covered with alder saplings in a couple years.
                                Of course if you don't want to wait that long you can go to any local nursery and they will be happy to help you find a nice tree.
                                Ilaria


                                 
                                Good to hear Don.

                                I work with live wood daily.   Over the last 20 years Ive seen such heavy urban and suburban deforestation (and appalling ignorance about tree/forest care) that Im in the planning stages of launching a volunetter org to freely plant trees in local neighborhoods.

                                I knew I had to do something when a couple whose storm felled tree I was removing said to me... " how on earth do you create a tree?....sounds neat but how do you do it "

                                I LOVE the idea of knowing on my death bed that I have planted more than taken....for the next generation or two of folks like us..





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                                To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                                From: don.bowen@...
                                Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2013 13:58:09 -0600
                                Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Harvesting your own wood

                                 
                                On 2/27/2013 12:29 PM, D. Young wrote:
                                >
                                > Makes sure to replant if you take down!

                                I am clearing out the leaning or crooked trees to clear areas to allow
                                other trees to grow better. The idea is to improve the forest while
                                harvesting.

                                --
                                Don Bowen AD0BR
                                "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom."
                                -Michel De Montaigne 1588
                                http://www.braingarage.com/Dons/Travels/journal/Journal.html





                              • Don Bowen
                                ... One of the projects on my ever growing list is the Mastermyr chest. I have a stack of rough cut Oak and a couple are well more than thick enough for the
                                Message 15 of 30 , Feb 27, 2013
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                                  On 2/27/2013 3:54 PM, D. Young wrote:
                                  >
                                  > I can attest how close the two are that had you gone back in time and
                                  > made a 14th century chest with North American white oak...I dare say
                                  > few would realize it.

                                  One of the projects on my ever growing list is the Mastermyr chest. I
                                  have a stack of rough cut Oak and a couple are well more than thick
                                  enough for the lid.

                                  One disadvantage of sitting around healing is that I had time to look
                                  over my books and think about what I want to build. My grandson put in
                                  an order for anything from the Hobbit movie where I saw a triangle back
                                  stool in an early scene. The list never shrinks no matter what I build.

                                  --
                                  Don Bowen AD0BR
                                  "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom."
                                  -Michel De Montaigne 1588
                                  http://www.braingarage.com/Dons/Travels/journal/Journal.html
                                • Don Bowen
                                  ... I would like that also but this 40 acres of forest was logged about 15 years ago and is a mess. No one has done anything with it and I would like to look
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Feb 27, 2013
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    On 2/27/2013 3:50 PM, Lynda Fjellman wrote:
                                    >
                                    > I LOVE the idea of knowing on my death bed that I have planted more
                                    > than taken....for the next generation or two of folks like us.

                                    I would like that also but this 40 acres of forest was logged about 15
                                    years ago and is a mess. No one has done anything with it and I would
                                    like to look back and say it is in better shape than when I acquired
                                    it. It does not need planting as much as careful clearing.

                                    --
                                    Don Bowen AD0BR
                                    "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom."
                                    -Michel De Montaigne 1588
                                    http://www.braingarage.com/Dons/Travels/journal/Journal.html
                                  • Ralph
                                    Living in the Pacific North Wet (and here you thought that PNW stood for Pacific North West)... Growing wood is, well, easy. I have trees, I planted that are
                                    Message 17 of 30 , Mar 1, 2013
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                                      Living in the Pacific North Wet (and here you thought that PNW stood for Pacific North West)... Growing wood is, well, easy. I have trees, I planted that are already 60 ft tall.
                                      We get lots of wood.

                                      I once cut down a 50 year old Apple, milled it into boards, that I stacked and stickered. Stacked the wood wood on a pallet, put a pallet on top and used cargo strapping to supply pressure to keep the Apple from bending. I left one piece out. During the drying process it got 30 degrees of twist and about 20 degrees of bend. So I know the Apple that dried under pressure has a LOT of tension in it.

                                      This winter I again cut a bunch more Madrone Burl, this still mills (or turns) like butter, but splits if you look at it too fast. The cure for this (and some other easy-to-split woods) is boiling. Yup, boil the wood for about an hour per inch of thickness. The failure rate, after boiling, is, well, very low. No one (including Forest Product types) knows -exactly- why this works, but it does appear to relax/release/something a lot of the tension in wood, with greatly reduced splitting.

                                      I have also processed, well maybe tons of green/wet Maple, Red Alder, Walnut, Butternut, Filbert, Cherry (timber), etc. This wood has been mostly used for turning. Some of the bowls I turn green and let dry, some I rough turn green, dry, and re-turn, and some I have let dry then turn. Some of this splits, but as some great turners say "There is no turning that is so bad it can't be used as firewood"

                                      But one other thing I do is Microwave dry wood. Yup, get ahold of one of those old LARGE capacity microwaves that everyone used to own and dry wood that way. Depending on how much wood is actually in the oven the cycle might be as low as 30 seconds, or as high as two or three minutes. Let it sit for maybe an hour, and repeat. I weigh the wood just before I do a daily cycle. When the wood stops changing weight, I stop.

                                      One other thing on checking woods wetness. There is a pencil that many art supply houses sells called "ink in a pencil". On dry wood, it's just a pencil, but if the surface is wet, the pencil "lead" turns blue and stains the wood a bit. When the pencil mark doesn't turn blue, the wood is getting dry

                                      Ralg
                                      AnTir
                                    • bsrlee
                                      Microwaving rough, green wood turnings was a big discovery about 10-15 years ago with turners in Australia. Just turn the bowl about 20% over/under sized,
                                      Message 18 of 30 , Mar 1, 2013
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                                        Microwaving rough, green wood turnings was a 'big discovery' about 10-15
                                        years ago with turners in Australia. Just turn the bowl about 20%
                                        over/under sized, microwave until it steams, leave to cool then finish.
                                        Any warping occurs during the microwaving and can be eliminated in the
                                        subsequent cleanup. Even longer ago - mid 1970's, a friend showed me a
                                        technique he had been shown during his apprenticeship, which was to
                                        basically boil fairly thin green wood in linseed oil for carving pistol
                                        grips - the process stopped the wood from subsequently warping and gave
                                        it a semi-ebonised dark walnut color.

                                        In both cases I think that the heating stabilises or 'locks' the wood's
                                        structure so it doesn't subsequently change.

                                        There is also a process for making super-bendy wood that was a big buzz
                                        a few years ago - basically they pressure cook wood then compress it
                                        longitudinally (ie. with/along the grain) until it shortens a given
                                        percentage. This telescopes some of the cells making the wood go
                                        'floppy'. Chris Schwarz put a few articles on line about the stuff - he
                                        had one piece tied into a knot by hand and made some Windsor chair backs
                                        without having to steam bend it. It is shipped sealed in a plastic
                                        sleeve and when bent to shape and allowed to air dry it 'sets' into
                                        shape, no spring back. I haven't seen anything about it for a while, it
                                        may have been a casualty of the GFC.

                                        regards
                                        Brusi of Orkney
                                        Rowany/Lochac

                                        On 02-Mar-13 4:35 AM, Ralph wrote:
                                        > Living in the Pacific North Wet (and here you thought that PNW stood for Pacific North West)... Growing wood is, well, easy. I have trees, I planted that are already 60 ft tall.
                                        > We get lots of wood.
                                        >
                                        > I once cut down a 50 year old Apple, milled it into boards, that I stacked and stickered. Stacked the wood wood on a pallet, put a pallet on top and used cargo strapping to supply pressure to keep the Apple from bending. I left one piece out. During the drying process it got 30 degrees of twist and about 20 degrees of bend. So I know the Apple that dried under pressure has a LOT of tension in it.
                                        >
                                        > This winter I again cut a bunch more Madrone Burl, this still mills (or turns) like butter, but splits if you look at it too fast. The cure for this (and some other easy-to-split woods) is boiling. Yup, boil the wood for about an hour per inch of thickness. The failure rate, after boiling, is, well, very low. No one (including Forest Product types) knows -exactly- why this works, but it does appear to relax/release/something a lot of the tension in wood, with greatly reduced splitting.
                                        >
                                        > I have also processed, well maybe tons of green/wet Maple, Red Alder, Walnut, Butternut, Filbert, Cherry (timber), etc. This wood has been mostly used for turning. Some of the bowls I turn green and let dry, some I rough turn green, dry, and re-turn, and some I have let dry then turn. Some of this splits, but as some great turners say "There is no turning that is so bad it can't be used as firewood"
                                        >
                                        > But one other thing I do is Microwave dry wood. Yup, get ahold of one of those old LARGE capacity microwaves that everyone used to own and dry wood that way. Depending on how much wood is actually in the oven the cycle might be as low as 30 seconds, or as high as two or three minutes. Let it sit for maybe an hour, and repeat. I weigh the wood just before I do a daily cycle. When the wood stops changing weight, I stop.
                                        >
                                        > One other thing on checking woods wetness. There is a pencil that many art supply houses sells called "ink in a pencil". On dry wood, it's just a pencil, but if the surface is wet, the pencil "lead" turns blue and stains the wood a bit. When the pencil mark doesn't turn blue, the wood is getting dry
                                        >
                                        > Ralg
                                        > AnTir
                                        >
                                      • karincorbin
                                        If you have any micro scaled pieces of madrone burl give me a shout out. People who make miniature scaled furniture are wanting to buy it. Karin C
                                        Message 19 of 30 , Mar 4, 2013
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                                          If you have any micro scaled pieces of madrone burl give me a shout out. People who make miniature scaled furniture are wanting to buy it.

                                          Karin C

                                          --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "Ralph" <n7bsn@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Living in the Pacific North Wet (and here you thought that PNW stood for Pacific North West)... Growing wood is, well, easy. I have trees, I planted that are already 60 ft tall.
                                          > We get lots of wood.
                                          >
                                          > I once cut down a 50 year old Apple, milled it into boards, that I stacked and stickered. Stacked the wood wood on a pallet, put a pallet on top and used cargo strapping to supply pressure to keep the Apple from bending. I left one piece out. During the drying process it got 30 degrees of twist and about 20 degrees of bend. So I know the Apple that dried under pressure has a LOT of tension in it.
                                          >
                                          > This winter I again cut a bunch more Madrone Burl, this still mills (or turns) like butter, but splits if you look at it too fast. The cure for this (and some other easy-to-split woods) is boiling. Yup, boil the wood for about an hour per inch of thickness. The failure rate, after boiling, is, well, very low. No one (including Forest Product types) knows -exactly- why this works, but it does appear to relax/release/something a lot of the tension in wood, with greatly reduced splitting.
                                          >
                                          > I have also processed, well maybe tons of green/wet Maple, Red Alder, Walnut, Butternut, Filbert, Cherry (timber), etc. This wood has been mostly used for turning. Some of the bowls I turn green and let dry, some I rough turn green, dry, and re-turn, and some I have let dry then turn. Some of this splits, but as some great turners say "There is no turning that is so bad it can't be used as firewood"
                                          >
                                          > But one other thing I do is Microwave dry wood. Yup, get ahold of one of those old LARGE capacity microwaves that everyone used to own and dry wood that way. Depending on how much wood is actually in the oven the cycle might be as low as 30 seconds, or as high as two or three minutes. Let it sit for maybe an hour, and repeat. I weigh the wood just before I do a daily cycle. When the wood stops changing weight, I stop.
                                          >
                                          > One other thing on checking woods wetness. There is a pencil that many art supply houses sells called "ink in a pencil". On dry wood, it's just a pencil, but if the surface is wet, the pencil "lead" turns blue and stains the wood a bit. When the pencil mark doesn't turn blue, the wood is getting dry
                                          >
                                          > Ralg
                                          > AnTir
                                          >
                                        • K
                                          ok, I was writing and the website blinked and my reply is gone. I was trying to say; for a better understanding of wood I advise reading /perusing
                                          Message 20 of 30 , Mar 5, 2013
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                                            ok, I was writing and the website blinked and my reply is gone.

                                            I was trying to say; for a better understanding of wood I advise reading /perusing "Understanding Wood" By Bruce Hoadley.

                                            I have over the years cut my own oak, ash, musclewood, soft maple, hard maple, willow, elm, ok, lots of stuff. my favorite is still osage orange.

                                            2 rules,
                                            split it ASAP! quarters (a least) or slabs, oak and ash sometimes slab up nicely.

                                            as soon as the ends are dry enough to stick to, paint or tar or wax the ends.

                                            Stack flat! leave it to dry.
                                            have fun!
                                          • karincorbin
                                            I am currently drying out some pear wood tree sections I bought from orchards in Eastern Washington state. (If you watch the Seattle craigslist they show up
                                            Message 21 of 30 , Mar 6, 2013
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                                              I am currently drying out some pear wood tree sections I bought from orchards in Eastern Washington state. (If you watch the Seattle craigslist they show up now and again as firewood for bar-b-ques and smokers) I am letting them dry in an unheated garage for 2 or 3 years before I cut them into boards. They have been in there for 1 year now. Slow drying round logs reduces the issues one gets from splitting them up into small slabs right away. Pear wood does not split very well anyway, much better to saw it up after it is dried.

                                              This last year I was able to purchase large planks of the wild European steamed Pear from the Seattle Rockler store. But when I was in there the other day they were out of stock.

                                              Look up the steaming process for woods, it does help to explain why boiling works as there are cellular level changes induced by the moisture and heat. Also you can recover from cell collapse in earlier stages where the wood was not dried properly by steaming or in your case boiling.

                                              Karin

                                              --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "Ralph" <n7bsn@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > Living in the Pacific North Wet (and here you thought that PNW stood for Pacific North West)... Growing wood is, well, easy. I have trees, I planted that are already 60 ft tall.
                                              > We get lots of wood.
                                              >
                                              > I once cut down a 50 year old Apple, milled it into boards, that I stacked and stickered. Stacked the wood wood on a pallet, put a pallet on top and used cargo strapping to supply pressure to keep the Apple from bending. I left one piece out. During the drying process it got 30 degrees of twist and about 20 degrees of bend. So I know the Apple that dried under pressure has a LOT of tension in it.
                                              >
                                              > This winter I again cut a bunch more Madrone Burl, this still mills (or turns) like butter, but splits if you look at it too fast. The cure for this (and some other easy-to-split woods) is boiling. Yup, boil the wood for about an hour per inch of thickness. The failure rate, after boiling, is, well, very low. No one (including Forest Product types) knows -exactly- why this works, but it does appear to relax/release/something a lot of the tension in wood, with greatly reduced splitting.
                                              >
                                              > I have also processed, well maybe tons of green/wet Maple, Red Alder, Walnut, Butternut, Filbert, Cherry (timber), etc. This wood has been mostly used for turning. Some of the bowls I turn green and let dry, some I rough turn green, dry, and re-turn, and some I have let dry then turn. Some of this splits, but as some great turners say "There is no turning that is so bad it can't be used as firewood"
                                              >
                                              > But one other thing I do is Microwave dry wood. Yup, get ahold of one of those old LARGE capacity microwaves that everyone used to own and dry wood that way. Depending on how much wood is actually in the oven the cycle might be as low as 30 seconds, or as high as two or three minutes. Let it sit for maybe an hour, and repeat. I weigh the wood just before I do a daily cycle. When the wood stops changing weight, I stop.
                                              >
                                              > One other thing on checking woods wetness. There is a pencil that many art supply houses sells called "ink in a pencil". On dry wood, it's just a pencil, but if the surface is wet, the pencil "lead" turns blue and stains the wood a bit. When the pencil mark doesn't turn blue, the wood is getting dry
                                              >
                                              > Ralg
                                              > AnTir
                                              >
                                            • Ralph
                                              I wish you good luck with drying pear in the log. I ve dried pear before. The problem you probably will have is that the core (pith) dries at a different rate
                                              Message 22 of 30 , Mar 9, 2013
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                                                I wish you good luck with drying pear in the log.

                                                I've dried pear before. The problem you probably will have is that the core (pith) dries at a different rate then the sap wood. This generates radial cracking. Which is why, when processing logs for turning bowls the first thing we do is cut the pith out of the log, and then work with a half-log.

                                                Orchard wood generates additional issues, due to the pruning Orchard's receive the wood get's unequal tension in the grain, compared to wood that grows "naturally". Which is part of why the Apple I processed into boards had that piece I didn't restrain twisted so much.

                                                I actually had almost zero failures in the Apple wood I stacked, stickered and clamped.

                                                As for steam, the problem with steaming wood is it is real easy to go into a "super heat" situation. That is where the temperature gets so high the wood gets tempered (or hardened), while boiling in the free air this doesn't happen.
                                                Large commercial establishments use steam, but they control the process to a degree the hobby or small operations would find difficult.

                                                I tend not to buy dimensional wood at Rockler or Woodcraft. I have been buying from from NW Wood near Tacoma, but Pierce Co is forcing them to move and they plan to be gone by fall. Of course there is also CrossCut and EdenSaw.

                                                But I usually get wood in log form, but mostly anymore I turn what I am making,

                                                Ralg

                                                --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "karincorbin" <karincorbin@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > I am currently drying out some pear wood tree sections I bought from orchards in Eastern Washington state. (If you watch the Seattle craigslist they show up now and again as firewood for bar-b-ques and smokers) I am letting them dry in an unheated garage for 2 or 3 years before I cut them into boards. They have been in there for 1 year now. Slow drying round logs reduces the issues one gets from splitting them up into small slabs right away. Pear wood does not split very well anyway, much better to saw it up after it is dried.
                                                >
                                                > This last year I was able to purchase large planks of the wild European steamed Pear from the Seattle Rockler store. But when I was in there the other day they were out of stock.
                                                >
                                                > Look up the steaming process for woods, it does help to explain why boiling works as there are cellular level changes induced by the moisture and heat. Also you can recover from cell collapse in earlier stages where the wood was not dried properly by steaming or in your case boiling.
                                                >
                                                > Karin
                                                >
                                              • K
                                                listen up please!! no one has ever in all of the history of wood has successfully dried whole logs without severe splitting! if you are going to saw them
                                                Message 23 of 30 , Mar 11, 2013
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                                                  listen up please!! no one has ever in all of the history of wood has successfully dried whole logs without severe splitting!

                                                  if you are going to saw them anyhow saw them up NOW!

                                                  if you wand large stock for legs etc, quarter your stock now before it splits somewhere you do not want it to.

                                                  if you are looking to make wheel hubs drill out the cores at finished size and trim the out side large, wax the ends and store for a year. you will then need to ream the bore back out to finished size due to shrinkage.

                                                  woodworking tends to be wasteful. splitting or sawing while the wood is green/wet helps minimize the waste. By minimizing the random splitting.

                                                  stories about leaving logs for years before sawing are misleading and maybe even mythic, leaving green logs to air dry causes rotting, spalting and uncontrolled end checking. air drying sawn boards is effective and useful to the small shop or hobbyist. especially for materials that are not readily available from lumberyards.

                                                  be well , and have fun
                                                  K
                                                • Lynda Fjellman
                                                  woodworking tends to be wasteful. splitting or sawing while the wood is green/wet helps minimize the waste. By minimizing the random splitting.  Wasteful is
                                                  Message 24 of 30 , Mar 11, 2013
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                                                    woodworking tends to be wasteful. splitting or sawing while the wood is green/wet helps minimize the waste. By minimizing the random splitting. 


                                                    Wasteful is in the eye of the beholder.  I would be willing to bet that every bit of the "wasted" wood from woodworking is useful on a farm.
                                                    I use sawdust and chips either on my garden/compost pile or in my animals stalls, and small pieces go in the fire.  When you heat/cook with wood you need a lot of "waste wood".
                                                    Ilaria
                                                  • Broom
                                                    ... every bit of the wasted wood from woodworking is useful on a farm. ... stalls, and small pieces go in the fire. When you heat/cook with wood you need a
                                                    Message 25 of 30 , Mar 12, 2013
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                                                      Ilaria wrote:
                                                      > Wasteful is in the eye of the beholder.  I would be willing to bet that
                                                      every bit of the "wasted" wood from woodworking is useful on a farm.
                                                      > I use sawdust and chips either on my garden/compost pile or in my
                                                      animals stalls, and small pieces go in the fire.  When you heat/cook with wood you need a lot of "waste wood".

                                                      Maybe so, but in the context of *medieval* sawdust (literally), it would have been left right where it fell in the middle of the forest beside the stump of the tree it grew upon (according to everything I've read).

                                                      No idea if the scrap green pieces and boughs were valuable enough as firewood to merit the carpenters cutting, bundling, and carting back, to be stored a season until dry enough to use. I suppose that depends on the availability of dry wood in the forest, since protecting a pile of valuable firewood, when everyone knows the owners (the carpenters) will be out in the forest all day every day, seems kinda difficult.

                                                      ' |   Broom        IAmBroom @ gmail . com
                                                      ' |   cellphone:             412-389-1997
                                                      ' |   923 Haslage Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
                                                      ' |   "Discere et docere", which means:
                                                      '\|/  "Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a refund from the IRS, which
                                                      '/|\  lasts until you realize it was your money to start with."
                                                      //|\\ - from a Washington Post "Style Invitational" contestant
                                                    • Lynda Fjellman
                                                        ... every bit of the wasted wood from woodworking is useful on a farm. ... animals stalls, and small pieces go in the fire.  When you heat/cook with wood
                                                      Message 26 of 30 , Mar 12, 2013
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                                                        Ilaria wrote:
                                                        > Wasteful is in the eye of the beholder.  I would be willing to bet that
                                                        every bit of the "wasted" wood from woodworking is useful on a farm.
                                                        > I use sawdust and chips either on my garden/compost pile or in my
                                                        animals stalls, and small pieces go in the fire.  When you heat/cook with wood you need a lot of "waste wood".

                                                        Maybe so, but in the context of *medieval* sawdust (literally), it would have been left right where it fell in the middle of the forest beside the stump of the tree it grew upon (according to everything I've read).

                                                        No idea if the scrap green pieces and boughs were valuable enough as firewood to merit the carpenters cutting, bundling, and carting back, to be stored a season until dry enough to use. I suppose that depends on the availability of dry wood in the forest, since protecting a pile of valuable firewood, when everyone knows the owners (the carpenters) will be out in the forest all day every day, seems kinda difficult.

                                                        ' |   Broom      


                                                        Sort of depends on where you are in the medieval context.  The sawdust in the woods is great for the woods.  It helps the soil.
                                                        And yes, that scrap wood was valuable.  Firewood is always at premium when just anyone couldn't go into the forest to cut wood.  Bundles of faggots were the typical firewood.
                                                        I've mostly researched English forest managements. There weren't really any old forests in many areas, and those that did exist were tiny by my standards. Many were the exclusive preserve of the King or local noble.  You might be able to glean wood, but you couldn't cut it without a license.
                                                        I heat with wood, and I am *very* conservative in how much wood I use.  I go through a between a cord and two cords a year.  If using sustainable forest practices you can get almost a cord from 5 acres of trees a year.  I'll bet that every tiny burnable branch was picked up and carried to someone's fire.

                                                        It was in America that ordinary people got to cut big trees for their fires.
                                                        Ilaria
                                                      • karincorbin
                                                        I am not drying large diameter logs from big trees. I will just continue with my pearwood drying project without resawing first. I am taking the advice of a
                                                        Message 27 of 30 , Mar 13, 2013
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                                                          I am not drying large diameter logs from big trees. I will just continue with my pearwood drying project without resawing first.

                                                          I am taking the advice of a well seasoned wood working veteran who has done the exact same kind of drying with the exact same species and the same approximate diameter of logs many times before.

                                                          Karin

                                                          --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "K" <kaisaerpren@...> wrote:
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          > listen up please!! no one has ever in all of the history of wood has successfully dried whole logs without severe splitting!
                                                          >
                                                          > if you are going to saw them anyhow saw them up NOW!
                                                          >
                                                          > if you wand large stock for legs etc, quarter your stock now before it splits somewhere you do not want it to.
                                                          >
                                                          > if you are looking to make wheel hubs drill out the cores at finished size and trim the out side large, wax the ends and store for a year. you will then need to ream the bore back out to finished size due to shrinkage.
                                                          >
                                                          > woodworking tends to be wasteful. splitting or sawing while the wood is green/wet helps minimize the waste. By minimizing the random splitting.
                                                          >
                                                          > stories about leaving logs for years before sawing are misleading and maybe even mythic, leaving green logs to air dry causes rotting, spalting and uncontrolled end checking. air drying sawn boards is effective and useful to the small shop or hobbyist. especially for materials that are not readily available from lumberyards.
                                                          >
                                                          > be well , and have fun
                                                          > K
                                                          >
                                                        • Jerry Harder
                                                          Taking it even further 2/3 part of glass was made up of ashes. Conversely better glass was made from lye crystals which were leached from ashes, the liquid
                                                          Message 28 of 30 , Mar 13, 2013
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                                                            Taking it even further 2/3 part of glass was made up of ashes.  Conversely better glass was made from lye crystals which were leached from ashes, the liquid then being dried to make the crystals called glass salt.  Lye from ashes was also used to make soap.  Since ash content varied glass salt (used 1 part salt to 2 parts sand) was a better method.  The wash ashes (ash with lye removed was mixed with hide glue as a cheaper substitute for plaster.  Both wash ashes and ashes were mixed with clay for lute (a type of putty to seal vessels in various alchemy and industrial chemical processes) and for molds for casting metals.  Wash ashes and ash was sometimes used as an amendment for clay products.  About a  quarter to a third of the material used to make saltpeter was ashes which in turn constitutes about 70 % of gunpowder.  And saltpeter had many other uses.  Ashes were bought and sold as a commodity.  Ashes make up if I remember correctly about 5% of the wood by weight.  I have my friends who burn wood save there ashes for me. I still cant get enough.  In many medieval paintings we see woven fences with post clearly the result of copped trees and the material woven in them was probably intentionally copped for that purpose.  De forestation of Europe is often blamed on the metal industry which used large quantities of charcoal (it takes 100 lbs wood to make 15 lbs charcoal) but some studies have suggested that the real problem was simply the increase of human populations and there demand for timber products and fuel.  I used the use of ashes above to show 3 things.  First of all, many of what we would consider a total wast products were the partly refined and important raw ingredients for something else important in the medieval community/echo/economical system.  Secondly how intertwined the medieval system was.   And thirdly, how many things depend on the simplest of wood products such as ash.  I don't think much wood was wasted.

                                                            On 3/12/2013 12:20 PM, Lynda Fjellman wrote:  

                                                             
                                                            Ilaria wrote:
                                                            > Wasteful is in the eye of the beholder.  I would be willing to bet that every bit of the "wasted" wood from woodworking is useful on a farm.
                                                            > I use sawdust and chips either on my garden/compost pile or in my animals stalls, and small pieces go in the fire.  When you heat/cook with wood you need a lot of "waste wood".

                                                            Maybe so, but in the context of *medieval* sawdust (literally), it would have been left right where it fell in the middle of the forest beside the stump of the tree it grew upon (according to everything I've read).

                                                            No idea if the scrap green pieces and boughs were valuable enough as firewood to merit the carpenters cutting, bundling, and carting back, to be stored a season until dry enough to use. I suppose that depends on the availability of dry wood in the forest, since protecting a pile of valuable firewood, when everyone knows the owners (the carpenters) will be out in the forest all day every day, seems kinda difficult.

                                                            ' |   Broom      


                                                            Sort of depends on where you are in the medieval context.  The sawdust in the woods is great for the woods.  It helps the soil.
                                                            And yes, that scrap wood was valuable.  Firewood is always at premium when just anyone couldn't go into the forest to cut wood.  Bundles of faggots were the typical firewood.
                                                            I've mostly researched English forest managements. There weren't really any old forests in many areas, and those that did exist were tiny by my standards. Many were the exclusive preserve of the King or local noble.  You might be able to glean wood, but you couldn't cut it without a license.
                                                            I heat with wood, and I am *very* conservative in how much wood I use.  I go through a between a cord and two cords a year.  If using sustainable forest practices you can get almost a cord from 5 acres of trees a year.  I'll bet that every tiny burnable branch was picked up and carried to someone's fire.

                                                            It was in America that ordinary people got to cut big trees for their fires.
                                                            Ilaria


                                                          • Ralph
                                                            By happenstance, my wife and I have been cleaning the shop and storage area. So I took some photos of the wood, these do not include the dimensional lumber,
                                                            Message 29 of 30 , Mar 14, 2013
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                                                            • Hall, Hayward
                                                              One mans trash... I ve been on a hunt for large curved trees for years for a cruck frame. I can never find any over 6 long with sufficient width. I have
                                                              Message 30 of 30 , Mar 18, 2013
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                                                                One mans trash...

                                                                I've been on a hunt for large curved trees for years for a cruck frame. I can never find any over 6" long with sufficient width. I have all the straight trees I need.

                                                                Guillaume

                                                                -----Original Message-----
                                                                From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Don Bowen
                                                                Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 2:02 PM
                                                                To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                                                                Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Harvesting your own wood

                                                                On 2/26/2013 1:46 PM, bsrlee wrote:
                                                                > If the trees are growning along a creek you will have to choose ones
                                                                > that have not been leaning while growing - this will cause the whole
                                                                > trunk to have 'reaction wood' like branches. You can use it for
                                                                > turning blanks or firewood

                                                                That is what I use for firewood, the leaners and the very crooked trees.

                                                                http://www.braingarage.com/Dons/Travels/journal/images/firewood.jpg

                                                                > small diameter trunk sections.

                                                                A friend cut a Sycamore tree into 2' sections planning on making chopping blocks. They were scattered about the shop to dry. Two years later most have split.

                                                                I plan to bring down a Sycamore and split it using a froe. It will be a fun project.

                                                                --
                                                                Don Bowen AD0BR
                                                                "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom."
                                                                -Michel De Montaigne 1588
                                                                http://www.braingarage.com/Dons/Travels/journal/Journal.html



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