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Re: Harvesting your own wood

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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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