Wood Stock

  1. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Member

    Messages:
    6,408
    UK London
    So recently I have lost a few trees around the garden. A very old Cherry Plum looked like it was falling over. Right at the base there's a 30 degree bend...

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    ...which meant the tree was hanging precariously over my old van.

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    Then one windy day while out there putting up a fence in a storm (!) I heard a massive crack and the tree shifted until it was resting on a ladder trestle. It had to go.


    There it is, gone.

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    Look at how far the base is leaning over. Way to dangerous for me to attempt, so I got a man in.

    Kept far too much of the lumber to be honest but it was free so...

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    Anyhow, I bucked it up the other day which revealed some incredible patterns in this exotic hardwood.

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    Left it a little bit late and it's already starting to develop shakes. Time to seal the ends.

    Found these cakes of <unknown> wax in a dead mans shed so I thought I'd give it a try. Stinks with a sweet sickly smell and I'm guessing its some sort of paraffin wax. :dontknow:

    Some bits got dipped.

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    Note, a fair bit of this pile is Laburnum from the front garden as seen in this thread.

    The bigger chunks I brushed it on.

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    So just need to a wait a few years and I should have some nice looking exotic hardwoods to play with.
     
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  2. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Member

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    6,408
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    How long do I have to leave these rounds before I can start thinking about planking a few of them up?

    I need to make up a sled for the bandsaw then I can slice them up quite easily I should think.

    Presumably I want these to dry out as slowly as possible so any practical information gratefully received.
     
  3. cheb Member

    Messages:
    981
    Location:
    Outer Hebrides
    A year per inch is what I was taught. Cut to size whenever and stored with sticks between each slice for ventilation. The sticks should be directly above each other through the stack, not staggered.
     
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  4. Tangledfeet

    Tangledfeet #1 Fan of 3M's VHB tape

    Messages:
    1,414
    Location:
    St Andrews, Fife, Scotland
    Laburnum is a lovely wood to turn... never had much luck with cherry due the ease with which it cracks as it dries - as you're finding!
     
  5. mtt.tr

    mtt.tr Member

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    3,144
    Essex England
    Plank them straight away then stack them.
     
  6. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Member

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    6,408
    UK London
    Interesting. I have heard virtually every possible combination of drying, stacking, sealing and planking. Difficult to know which is fake news and which are alt facts. :dontknow:

    I have enough sticks to do some tests though I suspect it does depend on the type of tree.

    Laburnum is earmarked for turning handles, perhaps the odd bowl, cherry plum is so colourful it should make some nice planks for general use, knife scales, craft boxes etc.

    The really big lump at the top of one of the above piles is the bend bottom section of the cherry plum. I would like to keep that as a large single lump but it would also make some very colourfully marked or figured planks. I only get one shot with this lot and it will be some time before I get any more twenty year old stock from my own garden.
     
  7. mtt.tr

    mtt.tr Member

    Messages:
    3,144
    Essex England
    If let it dry and cut it, you will find its full off tension and will end up all sorts of shapes.
     
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  8. mtt.tr

    mtt.tr Member

    Messages:
    3,144
    Essex England
    Additionally it will be hard and the saw will bounce and blunt quicker.
    And it will likely rot and stain.

    I used to mill timber, and some of my good friends still do.
     
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  9. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Member

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    6,408
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    Right you are then, guess sealing it up was a bit of a waste of time!

    It’ll have a crack at ripping some planks tomorrow, after I have made a sled for the bandsaw. I will keep some full rounds for turning, I suppose the most interesting piece is the big base section, do you recommend I slice that up now too? It will have the best figure of the lot and has some amazing colour too.

    I don’t know what I am doing of course and I don’t want to waste this irreplaceable lumber.

    <edit> @mtt.tr by the way my “fake news” comment wasn’t aimed at you! It just so happened to come after your reply. I had been surfing Google for days before posting this and that’s full of conflicting advice.
     
  10. gaz1

    gaz1 Forum Supporter

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  11. Ali

    Ali Member

    Messages:
    801
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Is it worth stripping the bark too, to avoid insect attack?
     
  12. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Member

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    UK London
    I tried one but it dried out and split right along the length. My YouTube search doesn’t find any tips for how to lumber small logs. “Small” in America means the size of a telegraph pole...
     
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  13. Ali

    Ali Member

    Messages:
    801
    Location:
    Cheshire
    I tried to save some bits of cherry a while back, mostly ended up as small pieces like bowls and egg cups and a couple of chopping blocks I’m still using as I didn’t think ahead enough to do what you’re doing. The bark clings to it when it’s still fresh but it’s not long before it loosens off (due to shrinkage I suppose). Perhaps that’s the best time to strip it off. A book I have here says get a moisture meter and keep monitoring it, you can get them cheap on eBay but I don’t know if they’re any good.

    I read a book called ‘Norwegian Wood’, about different ways to dry firewood (obviously a bit different to what you’re doing, but interesting). The author claims that with certain timbers, when they are dry you can dip one end of a stove length in fairy liquid, blow through the other end and bubbles will appear. Keep meaning to try this when the neighbours aren’t looking.
     
  14. gaz1

    gaz1 Forum Supporter

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  15. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Member

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    UK London
    Perhaps unsurprisingly I have seen most of those. Not the second one though which is the most interesting, cheers.

    s.
     
  16. 8ob

    8ob Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    5,904
    Location:
    moscow on thames
    There is a market for bent bits of wood, furniture boys use it. The bigger bent timbers get used on buttresses.

    Bob
     
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  17. RichardM Member

    what about wrapping in clingfilm to control moisture loss?
     
  18. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Member

    Messages:
    6,408
    UK London
    I think it needs to breathe a bit or it will rot and go mouldy. Might get the chance to knock up a few planks today, feels a bit silly to chop it up after sealing it but I'm going with @mtt.tr and I'd want to seal the edges after planking so as long as the wax doesn't fall off, I'm golden.
     
  19. mtt.tr

    mtt.tr Member

    Messages:
    3,144
    Essex England
    Sealing end apparently stops splitting, never really been proven. Slow drying is significantly more important and effective at reducing defects.
     
  20. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Member

    Messages:
    6,408
    UK London
    I knew I had this somewhere. When I had the cherry plum removed, I kept the chaps topped up with tea/coffee, I am genuinely interested in the work process but chatting them up always yields better results. Anyhow, later that day:

    [​IMG]

    I was quite shocked at how quickly a virtual garden of mould could develop. Must be the sugar. :dontknow:
     
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