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Thread: Pecan

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Woodstock, VA
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    740

    Pecan

    From destruction comes opportunity: a neighbor had a beautiful pecan tree in her yard that grew with two main trunks. Base of the tree was probably 60"-70" across! Unfortunately a windstorm caused a split just below the two trunks so she had the tree dropped.

    I would like to give this tree a second chapter and have the two main trunks milled. There's four logs that are each about 15'-20' long.

    Can anyone comment on pecan? Drying it, sawing, etc? These aren't huge logs, largest is maybe 20" diameter, but I'd love to play around with a new-to-me timber!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    N. Texas
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    1,298
    Most Pecan is sold as Hickory (same family IIRC). Beautiful grain. It works easily with no surprises per Bad Dad, who built a dresser of it. He bought the stock dried, so can't comment on green sawing/drying.
    Molann an obair an saor.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    East Virginia
    Posts
    699
    Never worked pecan, except for with a chainsaw after a big one came down in the yard.

    I will say this: It rots fast. So you'll want to get it off the ground and out of the weather tout suite.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    8,058
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Bartley View Post
    From destruction comes opportunity: a neighbor had a beautiful pecan tree in her yard that grew with two main trunks. Base of the tree was probably 60"-70" across! Unfortunately a windstorm caused a split just below the two trunks so she had the tree dropped.

    I would like to give this tree a second chapter and have the two main trunks milled. There's four logs that are each about 15'-20' long.

    Can anyone comment on pecan? Drying it, sawing, etc? These aren't huge logs, largest is maybe 20" diameter, but I'd love to play around with a new-to-me timber!
    I've sawn it before (hickory, basically the same) and don't remember any problems. I air dry same as oak and other species. I don't remember any significant problems but I do anchorseal the ends of the logs, air dry with a cover, and use concrete blocks for weight.

    JKJ

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Bartley View Post
    From destruction comes opportunity: a neighbor had a beautiful pecan tree in her yard that grew with two main trunks. Base of the tree was probably 60"-70" across! Unfortunately a windstorm caused a split just below the two trunks so she had the tree dropped.

    I would like to give this tree a second chapter and have the two main trunks milled. There's four logs that are each about 15'-20' long.

    Can anyone comment on pecan? Drying it, sawing, etc? These aren't huge logs, largest is maybe 20" diameter, but I'd love to play around with a new-to-me timber!
    From how you describe it, depending on the angle at which the two main trunks were growing away from each other, it sounds like you've probably got a lot of reaction wood there.

    Plus, it's a yard tree. So get or borrow a really good metal detector for it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    466
    My own experience with pecan was intense insect infestation. As a result, it became firewood. If the wood has been on the ground a while, you may want to look for little piles of dust which is not a good thing.
    Rustic? Well, no. That was not my intention!

  7. #7
    Hickory, so I guess this would apply to pecan as well, needs to be stickered almost immediately after milling or it will develope a stain

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Woodstock, VA
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    740
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    From how you describe it, depending on the angle at which the two main trunks were growing away from each other, it sounds like you've probably got a lot of reaction wood there.

    Plus, it's a yard tree. So get or borrow a really good metal detector for it.
    I thought about the possibility of reaction wood. If the trunk is leaning at all will it always create reaction wood or just sometimes?

    If this endeavor happens it will be this week so no danger of bugs. We're gonna try and meet this evening to discuss the plan.

    Thanks for the input everyone! I'll report back.

  9. #9
    Pecan can be a very attractive wood. Be aware it one of the harder species, at least or maybe even harder than hickory.

    As David mentioned, you definitely need to take measures to prevent borers. This may depend on your area, but in the SE US, the borers will move in quite rapidly. I recommend treating the boards as soon as possible after sawn.

    Be aware some sawyers (especially circular saws) will not process lumber from yard due imbedded metal. I am always up front with the sawyer and offer to pay for a blade if necessary.

    Spalted pecan is very impressive but the issue again, will be borers.
    IMG_1403.jpg

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    688
    Had a Hickory log from upstate New York sawn, dried it in my garage with some Maple. All went well with no bugs and no end checking (a few coats of house paint on the ends). But the Hickory is really bad for tearout. It's hard on chisels too.

  11. #11
    I've used pecan - but have not processed a pecan log. It works well and is strong. The pecan I used didn't have a strong figure but it made nice furniture.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  12. #12
    I've built several pieces of furniture from Shagbark Hickory. The wood is hard, will take a slight amount of stain and finishes very smooth. When gluing up boards make sure you pay attention to the grain directions. Try to get all the grain ends on the flat surfaces facing the same way. f you aren't sure, rub the surface with some old panty hose. One direction will snag like crazy the other direction will slide without snagging. This will make planing and hand scraping a lot easier and you will get far less tear out when planing or jointing. Keep air flow eaqual on both sides of glue ups and make sure your unused stock is stickered as well. A weight on top of the stack will help keep boards flat.

    My experience is it takes hickory longer to dry internally than maple or red oak. I can't compare it to white oak as I haven't used it.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

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