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Thread: David and Goliath

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    WNY
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    David and Goliath

    I recently got two logs from a black walnut taken down for a new house. At 30" diameter and 8 ft they are around 2500 lbs each and at the limit of my trailer. But I got them home without incident; thankfully I only had to go 2.5 miles to get them, on flat roads.



    They are about the largest diameter my mill can handle and when you approach the limit everything gets harder, especially rotating it between slabbing cuts to create a cant.





    But perseverance pays off and in a couple of hours I had 250 BF of almost all clear heart wood lumber.




    This was the upper log. The butt log is on the mill now but at 36" some chainsaw trimming of the sides is needed for the saw carriage to clear it. That's a job for tomorrow.

    John

  2. #2
    Man, that's gonna make some GREAT projects!
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    WNY
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    Goliath had a 36" big brother, so big that I had to cut off the sides for the saw head carriage to straddle it, as well as a notch for the guides to clear.



    We cut some 5/4 live edge/semi live edge pieces off as we worked it down to an 18" cant.





    We got eight 8/4 boards out of that cant. Most were perfectly clear wood. 8/4 x 18" x 9' long at $10/bf; you do the math, these boards were gold. The two logs yielded about 550 bf of lumber.



    I need to come up with some projects worthy of such beautiful wood.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    That was quite a hustle, and Well worth it!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Aiken, SC & Cartersville, GA
    Posts
    58
    Very nice. Love walnut.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Millstone, NJ
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    680
    About how long will they take to dry? And what percent ends up getting lost(overridden with bugs/rot/etc) I always think I wanna try this but scare myself off with thinking it will take too long and will get attacked by something.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    WNY
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    Where I live 4/4 lumber will be AD in 4 months if it's cut in the Spring, and by June if it's cut in the Fall. 8/4 will be AD in a year to 18 months. After it's AD I put it in one of my two kilns to bring it down to 7%. That takes 2 - 4 weeks in my electric kiln, and 2 weeks to 2 months in my solar kiln. I've had very little trouble with bugs, and never anything like I read some folks talking about with PPB. Mold can be a problem if I cut in the Summer during a prolonged rainy stretch, but I've never lost lumber because of it.

    I looked at the price list for the commercial hardwood supplier I buy from when I need to buy wood. 8/8 walnut is now $16.xx/bf. So those 8/4 x 18" x 9' long planks we cut would cost $432 each if I had to buy them. If you have a source of free logs or can buy them at low cost, milling your own wood, or paying someone to mill them for you, can be a great way to lower the price of your wood. I have more than recouped the cost of the mill, driers, etc. It's hard work if you do it yourself but it's a lot of fun, too. If you have limited time for woodworking, however, don't start milling lumber because you'll have even less. Milling is addictive and it's sometimes hard to remember I started milling wood to feed my woodworking.

    John

  8. #8
    Do you need to seal the ends of the boards?

    I am not into sawing lumber and air-drying it but the cost savings are clearly an incentive to start.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Wilson View Post
    Do you need to seal the ends of the boards?

    I am not into sawing lumber and air-drying it but the cost savings are clearly an incentive to start.
    Yes, it definitely helps reduce end checking. I used Rockler's green wood sealer on the ends of the logs as soon as I got the logs, one day after the tree was cut down. It's a wax emulsion and dries clear so it's not obvious looking at the photos. There's not much benefit to seal the ends of the log or boards if it's not done within 3 days of felling the tree, unless you cut back to we wood first.

    John

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