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Thread: Did I just pickup some firewood?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Lebanon, TN
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    208

    Did I just pickup some firewood?

    I've never dealt with fresh cut lumber that I may use for woodworking

    I got a call from a new friend, who I met at a party two nights ago, and he told me he just had an Ash and Walnut tree cut down and had tree guys in who were going to cut it up and haul it away to dump.

    I arrived and took about 6 pieces of Walnut, 18" in diameter and about 3' long and 6 pieces of ash about 22" in diameter and about 18"-20" long.

    I have no real plans for it and am not really sure how to store it, covered etc., it will be outside.

    My thoughts are to use it on my lathe, but not in the near future, or did I just get myself some firewood?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    7,520
    While better off this time of the year, even in TN, it will still be firewood before too long.

    If possible, immediately seal the ends to help delay end checks and cracks. If the checking has already started, best to slice off the ends to reach unchecked wood. I use Anchorseal or other green wood sealer. (if you don't have some it's available from Woodcraft, turning clubs, etc)

    Then at least cut or split the rounds down the pith. This will help prevent big cracks from the outside, unlikely with walnut but maybe ash.

    If you have a pond or creek you can submerge them as is in water for long term storage until you are ready to use them. Look up "ponding."

    If you can, cut up the rounds into turning blanks, seal, and let dry. This works better for smaller blanks than for big bowl blanks but can work for large blanks depending on the tree. I use a combination of chain saw, woodmizer sawmill, and shop sawmill. I process a LOT of wood this way! I've had good success with a lot of different species, processing into turning squares from 1x1" to 12x12", bowl blanks up to say 14" round and 6" thick, etc.

    sawmill_blanks.jpg processing_B01.jpg drying_IMG_5757.jpg ambrosia_maple_IMG_20171202_175922_594.jpg

    If you lived closer, I'd say bring them over here and we can saw boards, slabs, blanks, etc. My fee is some good company and a story or two (and maybe some wood if my arm is twisted.) But you are a bit of a drive away - there probably is a small sawmill much closer to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA Edwards View Post
    I've never dealt with fresh cut lumber that I may use for woodworking

    I got a call from a new friend, who I met at a party two nights ago, and he told me he just had an Ash and Walnut tree cut down and had tree guys in who were going to cut it up and haul it away to dump.
    I arrived and took about 6 pieces of Walnut, 18" in diameter and about 3' long and 6 pieces of ash about 22" in diameter and about 18"-20" long.
    I have no real plans for it and am not really sure how to store it, covered etc., it will be outside.
    My thoughts are to use it on my lathe, but not in the near future, or did I just get myself some firewood?

  3. #3
    I did the same thing with an acacia tree that blew down in one of the common areas in my neighborhood.

    I saw the crew cutting it up and I stopped and load my SUV with what would fit.

    I sealed both end of all the logs and placed them on pallets in my backyard. I then threw a tarp over it all. It's been that way for well over 6 months.

    I happen to be wood hoarder with the "I'll use it for some in someday" mentality. I'd rather have it nd not use it that need it and not have it. Quality wood is expensive!

    That said, where are you located? I would love to take some of that walnut off your hands.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Griswold Connecticut
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    6,178
    Some of the nicest domestic hardwood I've seen, has been delivered to me cut and split in 22" lengths. I'm serious. I've had some incredible maple, hickory, ash, oak, and birch delivered to me as fire wood. I got a bunch of large sections of choke cherry one year. Separated that out and gave it to my turner friends. I still have two basketball size burls from that load.

    I can't tell you how to store it, or prep it, but it's only firewood if you want it to be.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Lebanon, TN
    Posts
    208
    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    If possible, immediately seal the ends to help delay end checks and cracks. If the checking has already started, best to slice off the ends to reach unchecked wood. I use Anchorseal or other green wood sealer. (if you don't have some it's available from Woodcraft, turning clubs, etc)
    I can get Anchorseal from Amazon by next Friday, is this too long to wait. If so, I may check Woodcraft that is about 40 miles from me and go down there tomorrow. These trees are cut down and split into these pieces this morning.

    .

    I do have a stream behind where the logs are currently stored, but I'm not sure I have the ability to sit them in it and then later get them out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    7,520
    Other ways to prevent the ends from drying too fast:

    - Keep the pieces out of the sun.

    - Melt paraffin and dip or paint on the ends. Don't melt over an open flame since the vapors are very flammable. A crock pot or double boiler is good. Melt outside.

    - Paint with something, anything that will slow the moisture loss:
    Several coats of oil-based paint. Latex paint is reported to let moisture escape too fast.
    Aluminum paint.
    Roofing tar. (Sounds messy to me)

    - Cover the ends with plastic wrap. This can lead to fungal growth when the weather is warm but probably not much of a problem in the winter. You can even wrap the entire log section in plastic wrap and it will probably keep ok till March. Keep out of the sun.

    - Put one end directly on the ground/grass/sand/concrete/plywood/tarp or something to keep it from drying out. I've done this quite a bit to keep one end damp for a few days until I could seal. If the ends are reasonably flat you can make a stack of short rounds and each one will help protect the one underneath. (Putting one end on the dirt is a common method to induce spalting in light-colored woods when the weather is warm.) You can hose them down when the sun is out. You can even stand one on something as mentioned, then soak and cover the other end perhaps with a wet towel and a tarp - anything to keep the ends wet. Again, if the weather is warm this can cause rapid fungal growth and decay.

    - Fill 55-gal drums with water and store the pieces there. If the weather is warm the water will need to be replaced with fresh occasionally.

    Any woodturners near that turn green wood? They may be able to spot you some Anchorseal until you get some. Some woodturning clubs buy it in bulk and sell it to members for cheaper than Woodcraft and a lot cheaper than Amazon. About 10 years ago I bought a 55-gal drum and sold a bunch to club members for $6 a gallon. I still have some but when I run out I might get another drum, although I think it's more expensive now.

    BTW, I don't like the "new" Anchorseal 2 formula but the original is still available. You may not have much choice if buying locally. Also, I like thicker Anchorseal than what comes in the jug so I prefer to let it dry out some. This makes a thicker coat of wax. You can coat it twice but the second coat doesn't stick well to the first after it dries since you are basically painting a water emulsion over wax. The best way I've found to handle Anchorseal is to put some in the bottom of a plastic Folgers coffee can and put a cheap 3" disposable chip brush in the can. The brush never needs cleaning. I leave the lid off until it dries a bit to thicken.

    JKJ

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Lebanon, TN
    Posts
    208
    Much appreciated.

  8. #8
    Store it off the ground, ontop a skid or pallet (or two) and out of the sun. If you cover it, make sure the thing you use does not keep in moisture, such as a plastic tarp covering it too completely. I put mine on pallets in the pole barn in winter. stacked with a lot of sir space so air can circulate through the pile. When it gets hot in summer, it is partially dried. The hot metal pole barn gets to about 120, but acts more like a kiln, than if in the sun, heating just the surface and causing cracking. Walnut can develop some bad cracks is left in the sun. When I get green wood from a saw mill, it is usually in 4 x 4 or 4 x 5 pieces. I stack them in alternating direction layers leaving 3/4 of an inch between the sides of pieces. Sort of like the stack in this video at 1:04 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDXzd1msvwg

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