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PaulNZ Offline OP
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Well, I met the sawmiller and it all looks fairly encouraging so far. He's got a really interesting place, logs and stacked timber all over the place. There's a couple of black walnut logs there which I think will be beautiful once opened, from just looking at the grain where the logs were cut below the buttress.

Anyway, he's happy to mill the tree even with the visible iron. The tree will be milled at his yard rather than on site, and he runs over all trees with the metal detector as a matter of course. We'll still be proceeding with caution though.

The plan is for us to excavate the main roots with the digger prior to him coming over. We could progress with cutting off some of the roots, but I'm inclined to let him use his own chainsaw for that. Anyway, limb as much of the tree as is necessary to prevent damage as it falls, and then work to cut off the roots and fell/push the tree over. Once it's on the ground, section it into manageable lengths and take it back to the yard. Current plan is to take a length of first main limb as well as the trunk - I did note what you said earlier Art, but I wouldn't mind having some extra timber for my own woodworking. Doesn't have to be high grade.

The trunk buttress is likely going to be too large for the mill as is, so will probably use the chainsaw mill to take a large slab off top and bottom, full length up the trunk. This can then be quartersawn separately. The main trunk should then be manageable on the mill, so we'll see how it goes from there. Crotch forks to be split as advised. Hopefully we'll end up with a both a few nice stocks and a pile of timber for other uses.

He's estimated about NZ$700 - $800 for the whole job, on the basis that I end up with all the timber. If he wanted to purchase some of timber after it was sawn, I'd be willing to negotiate then.

So that's the plan at the moment, just have to organise the timing to go in there and take the tree out.

BP-B2

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PaulNZ Offline OP
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A few more questions for you Art (or anyone else), before I sign off for the night:

> Is it a good idea to remove all bark, and/or sapwood, from the sawn timber before drying, or doesn't it matter?

> If sealing figured grain with thinned PVA, I presume the PVA doesn't penetrate far enough to cause problems when it comes to working the wood?

> I note the suggestion that the wood be dried under a cover to start with. I've heard of using a permeable cover - eg hessian, but I would have thought that a tarp was a bit extreme? Can you potentially slow the drying down too much?

Thanks guys, you continue to be a great help smile

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Sounds like you have a good plan. That Art is a veritable encyclopedia of wood knowledge. Should he ever decide to sit down long enough to write a book I would buy one!

I have cut up several trees like yours with a chainsaw mill. The iron is a problem but not like what happens with a band or circle saw mill. You sharpen the chain and go on. A pressure washer works great for cleaning the root ball.

You might be surprised at what you find inside that old tree. I sawed thru a minnie ball in the 1st one I cut up.

Good luck with the tree. I would love to see some pics of the sawing operation/blanks

Here are some pics of the mill as I was sawing up a walnut crotch a couple years ago.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]
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I have some plans for a solar kiln from the PA Extention service I think.

You wrap the wood in heavy black plastic and make rain proof vents. Really speeds up the drying.

I'll go look for them now.............

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PaulNZ Offline OP
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Thats some good looking walnut you have there Rick. I will certainly post pictures of the process and results.

It's looking like we won't get in there until late July, so watch this space.

A solar kiln sounds interesting. I wouldn't be game to try it on something like this walnut tree, but I'd be willing to try it on something smaller. I've experimented with a few different drying techniques for small projects - I've recently had some success with boiling green-turned bowls before hanging them to dry in paper bags. Seems like it really speeds up the drying process. But I don't think I'd try it on a stock blank...


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Still waiting. btt

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There is steel in the trunk. I see it in a couple pictures.

Any luck finding a saw mill that will cut it?


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Originally Posted by PaulNZ
A few more questions for you Art (or anyone else), before I sign off for the night:

> Is it a good idea to remove all bark, and/or sapwood, from the sawn timber before drying, or doesn't it matter?

> If sealing figured grain with thinned PVA, I presume the PVA doesn't penetrate far enough to cause problems when it comes to working the wood?

> I note the suggestion that the wood be dried under a cover to start with. I've heard of using a permeable cover - eg hessian, but I would have thought that a tarp was a bit extreme? Can you potentially slow the drying down too much?

Thanks guys, you continue to be a great help smile


Sorry I missed this back then, but I see it was just as we were leaving for SE to bring a small boat across the Gulf of AK for friends. Then we hit windy weather and hid in Yakutat for two weeks... Then I had the 5th Annual Once in a Lifetime Fishing Trip with Doug from cameralnad... Final home this morning after waiting three days for the fog to clear on Kodiak.

Getting the bark off is a good idea because it will slow drying... Sapwood is not too important unless you have some bad bugs that really like walnut sapwood.

Thinned PVA will plug some/most endgrain holes allowing the wood to dry mostly through the lateral water migration... It will almost certainly be far short of soaking into the wood that will be used.

Yes, slowing the drying too much allows molds and fungi to stain the wood (sticker stain) so there is a need for a happy medium. The greatest danger for that is in the earliest going. As the wood gets drier a tight sealing allows the water to equalize through the wood. In kilns they dry harshly, then steam to rewet the surface, and repeat, repeatedly. they want the wood as dry as possible, as fast as possible with the "minimum acceptable degrade". For blanks kiln-drying is of no use, IMO&E.

A tarp over the top of the stack will allow some air movement which will gradually allow the wood to dry as uniformlly as possible. The tarp will trap the wetter, lighter (not a typo) air up in the top and diffusion and circulation will maintain a reasonable relative humidity. If drying conditions are severe the tarp can be closed up for a couple days at a time every once in a while. If the wood feels dry it is never a bad idea.

Weighing a sample board or two in the stack and monitoring them should tell how fast you are dumping the water.
art


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I hadn't forgotten guys - the tree hit the ground 2 days ago. Stand by for pictures (and undoubtedly more questions grin).

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sitka deer,
Just left Anchorage after 10 days. Had a great time. Visited with several friends from 30yrs ago. I sure miss it up there, but you know if your friends and family are in the Texas area, we won't move back. That placed has changed so much that it is scarey.
Butch

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Wish you had called, I would have bought you a beer or coffee or something. I only got home yesterday morning myself though.

There have been some huge changes in the last thirty years, for certain! Have quite a bit more years than that here and lots of my favorite places now have houses...


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PaulNZ Offline OP
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Well, the tree has been felled and the logs are sitting in the sawmillers yard. All in all, the felling process went fairly well - I'll let the photos tell it.

Tree prior to felling (scroll back to first page of this thread for more pics):
[Linked Image]

Limbing the trunk. The facing branch stub shows substantial doze, which made me nervous:
[Linked Image]

The first sign of colour. A fair chunk of heartwood for such a small branch:
[Linked Image]

Looking hopeful:
[Linked Image]

Digging around the root ball. Glad we have a sizeable digger - it was a solid mass of roots right around the tree:
[Linked Image]

A little bit of a push, and down she goes:
[Linked Image]
Note the lack of taproot.

More pics to follow.

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PaulNZ Offline OP
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Plunge cutting the roots, to get rid of some weight:
[Linked Image]

Then use the digger to break off the cut sections:
[Linked Image]

The main log, lifted out of the hole and cut in half:
[Linked Image]

Loading up the butt log:
[Linked Image]

And ready to go:
[Linked Image]

Other logs waiting for pickup. The one in the foreground should contain a few gunstocks, the others are relatively minor logs (branchwood) for other uses:
[Linked Image]

And the post-felling cleanup:
[img]http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i235/pjb20/P7310079.jpg[/img]

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After the main log left for the yard, I took some pictures of wood figure. These are all relatively small sections - branches and the like. We haven't yet opened up the main logs, wonder how they'll look?

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

And the main log again, after 3hrs with a water blaster, spade and pick-axe. There were substantial areas of rot in the roots, so perhaps we got to it just in time.

[Linked Image]

The solid wood doesn't extend down nearly as far as I thought - in hindsight we would have lost very little by simply cutting at ground level. But we weren't to know that.

That's enough for now, I'll try and post some further details later tonight.

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Very nice! The black lines just may signal a magnificent bit of marbling hiding somewhere in that tree. I am anxious to see what you find.


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Originally Posted by Sitka deer
Very nice! The black lines just may signal a magnificent bit of marbling hiding somewhere in that tree. I am anxious to see what you find.


Me too! grin We're scheduled to mill in about two weeks time. I'll be trying to keep your advice in mind during the milling.

I think we'll use Mobilcer M wax as an end-grain sealer - it seems be locally available and relatively cheap. We've been advised that spraying with "Ripcord" is the way to go to prevent borer attack. We're also clearing out a shed to stack the timber in during drying. It's concrete floored, open at the front and with gaps under the eaves at both sides. I'm hoping that it will give a suitable, limited amount of air movement.

I was wondering about using a light cotton sheet over the stack in order to keep the humidity even. I'm a little worried that the stacks would dry unevenly otherwise, in a shed with one open end. Maybe a tarp would work just as well though.

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Thanks for posting pics. It looks like you have some beautiful wood in that tree.

Keep the pics coming. We're enjoying it on this end.

Roger

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This is a bit off subject, but it is kind of funny, and also kid of scary.

A high wind blew down a large oak, larger than this walnut. It had huge limbs on it, and some of them, unknown to me, were hollow.

I cut one of the large limbs off, perhaps 2 feet from the trunk.

When I looked at the end still attached to the tree, there was a huge snake coiled up in the hollow. The chain saw bar and chain missed it by about 1/2 inch.

It was a non-venomous snake, but still, seeing it that close and unexpectatly was exciting, to say the least.

I shudder to think what it would have been like if the snake was unable to move out of the way of the chain.

As mentioned, this is off topic, and the moderator is free to delete it if it is out of place. Seeing those large limbs on the walnut tree reminded me of it.

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Paul
The covering, especially in the semi-early bit of drying should be waterproof, or nearly so.

The idea is that wood does not start to shrink until reaching "fiber saturation point" which is roughly 25% moisture content. (weight of oven dry wood compared to lost weight during oven drying ie. 125grams wet and 100grams after oven drying = 25% moisture content) Walnuts here run about 90% when fresh and green. Of course it will not dry uniformly during the earliest going, but shortly thereafter it needs to be encouraged to start... So there is significant time after the lumber is cut where it will be too wet to start moving. Unless it is hot, dry, or windy... or any combination of the above.

In commercial yards of size the wood is stickered and stacked in an area with reduced wind, no direct sun, and high relative humidity because of the volume of wood stacked there.

Your shed will work great at keeping down air movement and sun... But how dry will the air be and how hot is it? This is the part you have to monitor and judge most carefully. After the wood gets down to FSP it will start moving, and the surface will be too dry for sticker stain fungi to be a problem...

As long as we keep bringing that up, let me add a couple nots directly about it... The fungus acts like any other, just spreads enzymes that break down various mostly starchy components in the wood. The sugars created "burn" readily for the fungi which uses them to grow more and longer thin hairs which are the "body" of a fungus. But with sticker stain the wood has been opened and dries before the fungus can cover the entire piece of wood. That leaves colored bars across the faces of the wood which may be a bit wider than the stickers.

Keep your stickers narrow and uniform. You will need a lot of them and they are worth what it takes to do it right... Make them dry to start and use woods like pine, poplar, aspen, or other easy-to-dry species. Plywood strips are not good stickers... Neither are offcut strips from the wood you are cutting.

Don't forget that marbling looks best in flat (board) sawn mode...
art




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Art,
if I understand correctly, you're saying that during the earliest stages of drying (until FSP is reached) the covering should be absent or minimal. That during this stage, it is more important to dry the wood surface (to prevent sticker stain fungus) than to dry evenly - because the wood is still to wet to move.

Once FSP is reached, then it is more important to promote even drying than fast drying - hence the use of a tarpaulin cover.

Do I have this right? If so, the trick would seem to be judging the point at which you apply the waterproof cover.

As background info, we're just coming out of winter and into spring over here. So it'll be relatively humid and not too hot for the next few months - max of perhaps 20 degrees C.

Yes, if the marbling really is present boardsawn might be the way to go. However, this would seem to contradict having the buttress grain sweeping through the pistol grip - something that I imagine is only possible in a quartersawn blank? In a flatsawn blank from the butt log, the sweeping grain would exit in the vicinity of the cheekpiece instead, wouldn't it?

So many factors to consider.... crazy. I can see why this takes experience.

As far as stickers go, I was intending to use tanalised pine of approx 1" x 1".

I'll probably be away from the forum for the next week. But I will certainly be checking this thread again prior to milling.

Thanks everyone, for all your help so far.

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