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Campfire Kahuna
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I have no direct experience with tanalised wood as it is not common here. Our pressure-treated woods use quite different chemicals and some can be problematic as stickers, so I had to do a little research... It looks like tanalised pine would be a great choice.

You are correct on the grain flow issues at the buttress level. That marbling however may go farther up the tree, may be along the side of a buttress, or just may be incredible enough to just cut it and forget about the perfect grain flow and cut a two-piece blank for use with a stock bolt model. There are lots of options in a tree like that.

And, yes you figured out what I was trying to say about FSP despite my best efforts at confusing the hell out of you! The weather description is ideal for drying quality stuff through the most difficult stages.

The trick to deciding when to tarp is fairly easy... Cover it and watch for codensation... Remove it if there is water running. This will also show you how important it is to control water loss. The surface will have been dry enough for you to think it was pretty dry on surface, yet the wet interior rewetted the outside, obviously.

The bottom course of stickers should be exactly level and should be shimmed as required to make them so. I prefer to use much thicker stickers on bottom with a strip of plastic sheet or tar paper between the wood and the concrete. It will not make a difference until later in the drying, but it is easier to put it down first.
art

Last edited by Sitka deer; 08/04/10. Reason: typo

Mark Begich, Joaquin Jackson, and Heller resistance... Three huge reasons to worry about the NRA.
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Here is a video I made of me helping push on a chain saw saw mill cutting a slab off a Walnut tree.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn3RtNFHXwA

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Well, we've milled most of the main trunk. Hopefully we'll finish off the rest of the logs this weekend.

As before, I'll let the pictures tell the story and then answer any questions afterwards.

Good news 1234567 - no snakes of any kind showed up grin One of the advantages of living in NZ.

Here's the main log, with the sawmiller taking the first few cuts to square up the top. The roots have been cut back to solid wood. The cuts you can see on top were to excavate metal - we found quite a few nails and pieces of wire throughout the log. Luckily we found them all with the metal detector and not the mill blade, but it took a lot of time. The mill is a Peterson.
[Linked Image]

Another shot of the same:
[Linked Image]

Some of the first pieces to come off. These aren't stock blanks, but we had to sacrifice some wood to get into the tree. These pieces won't be wasted, regardless.
[Linked Image]

Once the top was square, we shifted to a chainsaw slabber. The log was too wide to fit into his bandsaw mill, so we used the slabber to break it down. First cut:
[Linked Image]

And the resultant surface of the log:
[Linked Image]

Second cut:
[Linked Image]

More photo's to come.

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The first chainsaw-cut slab is about 3.5" thick - perhaps generous for a stock blank but it gives us a bit of room to correct grain alignment mistakes. The second (and third) slabs are much thicker, and will be broken down separately on the bandsaw mill. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Back to the chainsaw slabber, this is the log surface after the heavy slab shown in the previous photo was removed. We waterblasted the surface to expose the grain - hence the shine. Note that we have particularly dark mineral streaking on the extreme outside of the heart, on one side of the tree only. This band is only approx 2.5" wide - we tried to capture this is some flat sawn blanks but the width of the band didn't make it easy:
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Next slab coming off:
[Linked Image]

And the remnants of the log. It might make a pretty counter-top, but unfortunately it's full of metal. We haven't done anything with this bit yet:
[Linked Image]

With the slabs removed, another scan with the metal detector revealed more nails and wire. Here's the miller excavating one of them.
[Linked Image]

I've skipped a few photos out of the sequence. The next one shows half of one of the chainsawn slabs on the bandsaw mill. This is a quartersawn cut:
[img]http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i235/pjb20/P8210097.jpg[/img]



Last edited by PaulNZ; 08/23/10.
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Photos of a couple more pieces off the bandsaw mill, both quartersawn approx 3.5" thick:
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

This slab we're cutting flatsawn, trying to catch the particularly dark mineral streaks:
[Linked Image]

With some success. We just caught the edge of the sapwood, it doesn't extend far into the slab:
[Linked Image]

And after a day of stacking, re-sealing (we sealed most of it as it came off the mill), and spraying with pesticide, this is what it looks like:
[Linked Image]

The drying shed. I put the plywood in front because there was quite a breeze blowing through, and I didn't want it to blow through the wood directly. The photo doesn't show it, but the shed is open under both eaves.
[Linked Image]

So that's it so far. This is about 80% of the main trunk, with the rest of the wood to come. Almost all cut to about 3.5" thick, and left in big slabs. I figure that gives more flexibility to lay out actual stock blanks when it's dry. The majority is quartersawn (just the way it worked out as we decided where best to cut), but there's a few flat sawn pieces as well.

Paul

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Campfire Kahuna
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I see potential between those stickers!


Mark Begich, Joaquin Jackson, and Heller resistance... Three huge reasons to worry about the NRA.
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great photos. thanks for taking us along. so did you get any usable blanks out of the crotches yet?

Just as an aside, even if some won't make gun stocks, there is another major market in traditional bow makers that would LOVE to get a hold of some of your smaller pieces. Custom knife makers too.


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Dang Paul, that tree is those cows only shade tree! I am sure that PETA is going to be all over you on this one!

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PaulNZ,

Very interesting thread!

Thank you very much for starting it, and for posting the followup pictures.

I am glad that our resident wood expert Sitka Deer thinks your wood has promise too!

Please post more on this same thread later!

John (in northern Sweden, a LONG way north from where walnuts can grow!)

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Glad everyone's enjoying it - I am. There's something very satisfying about scraping off the sawdust after the cut to reveal the grain. And wondering what the next cut will reveal.

We haven't cut into the upper crotches yet, I'm hoping to do that this weekend. It's going to be an interesting log to try and position on the sawmill - there's more than one potentially good fork and I don't think we can easily cut for both of them.

I'll post more photos once we finish the milling. Hopefully there'll be some more nice pieces to show off.

I'll take my chances with PETA grin. For the record though, we've planted a lot more shade trees than we've cut down!

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"there's more than one potentially good fork and I don't think we can easily cut for both of them."

Cut for size first, narrowest angle next... That gives you the greatest chance for lonnnngggg feathers...



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We managed to fit in the second days milling this weekend, so I've got another batch of photos to post. I'll try to put them up in the next day or so.

Art, to go back to one of your earlier comments, you stated that "Plywood strips are not good stickers." This question came up yesterday, and I was wondering why this was. Bearing in mind that our plywood is likely to be Radiata Pine, which may be different from US plywood?


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Campfire Kahuna
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Even with radiata pine, which we see a surprising amount of these days, plywood makes a bad sticker. But it is because of the glue, not the veneers. The glue makes a waterproof layer in the sticker and slows water migration right close to the sticker.

The result is too often "sticker stain", a fungal growth that stains the wood quite deeply in regular intervals across the stack.


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Paul, this a thoroughly enjoyable thread.....keep it up please.

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The next instalment:

On Saturday we milled the smaller logs/branches, and also the headlog. Smaller logs first:

[Linked Image]

This one was obviously quite bent, and was cut to produce what the sawmiller called "oyster figure". We weren't cutting for gunstocks out of any of these branches - instead getting a variety of 'general purpose' timber.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

More of the small logs:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

We also had one of the lower-log sections from the last week still to mill. This is one of the resultant slabs:

[Linked Image]

And a section of the upper main trunk, also left over from last week:

[img]http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i235/pjb20/P8290150.jpg[/img]

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Excellent photos -- I can just smell the walnut! smile

A very interesting thread too...

John

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Onto the headlog. I know this is what some of you have been waiting to see.

[Linked Image]

After a bit of trimming, we slabbed this with a large electric chainsaw mill. We sacrificed the fork visible in the front of the above photo in favour of the larger fork lower down the trunk. The forks were almost at 90 degrees to one another, so we couldn't cut for both.

Just a note about the pictures - the chainsaw mill didn't leave as good a surface finish as the bandsaw mill, and I didn't wet the slabs before taking these photos. So I think these understate the figure to a degree:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

But I think we hit the feather pretty well. Here are some more photos, taken after the slabs were sprayed against borer. The colour appears patchy only because the surface dried unevenly during the trip home.

We ended up with 2 slabs with really good feather on both sides. I think when planed, the feather will be visible as a wider band than it appears in these photos.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

The wood shed is filling up now...

[img]http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i235/pjb20/P8290165.jpg[/img]

Just a couple of timber odds and ends to come. Smaller pieces, but they'll still be worth the effort.

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Interesting pictures. It will be interesting to see them as individual blanks. I have a hard time envisioning stocks that will come from these where the grain is flowing correctly, and there are no piths, knots or bark inclusions. I think that is from the lack of scale when viewing these.

Looks like a lot of work, but pretty interesting work.

Brent


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Campfire Kahuna
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Paul
You need to slap some of that drippy white sealer on the feather faces ASAP! They will not be as fun to look at and monitor, but the checks are hard to control on feather because so much is end grain.

There are lots of outstanding blanks! The photo of the upper main section has a spot I particularly like... On the left side under the branch. There will be perfect grain running down into the grip and a bunch of blister figure if cut right. There is also a bit of color. It looks very good!
art


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Funny that you should say that Brent. My father and I, while stacking, spent a lot of time saying "that'll be my stock there". And then when we put down the next slab "no, that one is going be my stock, right there". It's a lot easier to picture them when you have an idea of scale, as you say.

I may be able to post some photo's with some kind of reference, such as a stock template from cardboard. But we don't plan to dismantle the stacks for a few months yet - until we get closer to FSP and re-sticker the stacks more thoroughly. The sticker spacing is very generous at the moment.

Art - noting your earlier post in this thread the feather faces were in fact sealed at the time of stacking. Admittedly, I put on a lighter coat than I was using on the slab ends, but I hope it will be sufficient. Obviously the photos were taken before this was applied.

I'm glad you approve of the wood, I think we got quite lucky with what turned out to be in the tree. The blister figure you mention, could you elaborate on that a little? I don't think it's a term I've heard before.

Paul


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