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Well the title about states it all. Anyone out there been cutting and drying and processing their own?? Besides me? I'm still trying to learn how. But so far I've given it a try on Redgum (also called sweet gum) and some holly. Harold Hahn wrote in his book about getting branch cut offs from his neighbor's apple tree to use. Yes it's a lot of work and time and effort but..

 

Well anyone else? Lets post about it. If no interest then the thread dies, I understand.

 

Later Tim

Edited by Tim C
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I like milling my own wood, but I'm not up to harvesting it myself.  I understand that for some of the woods there are some special issues.  For instance if holly isn't harvested in the right season, and I think kiln dried, it ends up with grey spots.  I value my hands enough that I'm not going to use a chain saw, and haven't split logs since boy scout camp a LONG time ago.  It is a cool thing to do, and I wish you the best of luck.

 

Dave

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Dave
Thanks for the share about Holly Wood and your concern about it going bad in your builds. That's why I'm trying to get this going to I can learn and share with others.

Myself I cut down a couple of Sweet Gum trees and then cut everything up let sit for a copy of years then been slowly working on resizing them to something that I can use. Also cut some of that Holly that you were talking about. Going to have to double check the holly before I do anything major with it.

Still trying to learn. Thanks for your post.

 

Later Tim

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I tried harvesting some peach, pear and apple, but I didn't use it. Mainly, my ship model wood has either given to me or I find it in cabinet shop scrap piles. The only stuff I buy is boxwood and ebony

 

Anybody want some 1" x 6" by 6' planks of basswood?

 

Thanks,

 

Harvey

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One of the dangers of not cutting the wood fairly early is the potential for the log to check often badly. I have found that by cutting the wood into fairly decent sized billets or planks depending on how big the log is is to sticker it and stack it in the open air but sheltered from the weather. even if it is a small log say 2 to 3 inches in diameter, Cutting it up into 12 to 18 inch lengths and then re sawing it into some planks, then using some Popsicle sticks as stickers, and hold the lot together with some bicycle inner-tube rubber bands will help the wood to dry more evenly. It is also good to put paraffin wax on the ends of the boards to slow down the rapid evaporation from the ends.

 

I have dried Maple, Yew, Apple, cherry, Lilac(absolutely beautiful wood) Willow, Birch Poplar and Spruce. it is fun being able to harvest your own wood

 

Michael

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I have 3 logs each about 8ft long and 10 to 25 inch in dia of Black Walnut that I had cut down this winter. Need to finish cutting it up into board and stacking with strips between before it is to late. It will be awhile but will let you know how it turns out.

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Pete, sounds like you will have enough black walnut to build a full scale ship! Did you coat the log ends with a sealer? i heard that B.W. should be coated farily soon after cutting. i had some cut a while back and didnt coat the ends, i lost a few inches on each end due to checking but there was still a lot of usable material. You can't beat the color of air dried black walnut though, the big guys usually steam it to even out the color and to me kind of makes the color bland.

 

They say for every inch of thickness you need a year to air dry down to a stable moisture content. I actually have had good sucess drying small quantities of wood in my attic, i let it air dry outside under cover for a couple months, then move into the attic in the summer months, just dont overload your rafters ;)

 

Buck, i would think if the tree hasn't been "dead" very long it should be ok, and if its off the ground your chances improve that it hasnt started to rot yet, you may notice holes in the cherry as bugs often like the dead trees.

 

Brad

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From everything that I have heard coating the ends of your wood with either wax or paint is a must at the very start. I cut down a couple of sweetgum and split them and then cut them into planks to let dry. Still working on those. Have not found an easy way to do this yet, still learning.

 

Later Tim

Edited by Tim C
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I cut all my timber, some from logs and some from recycled timber. I have a stack of logs from fruit trees including apple, plum and pear that are nearly dried and ready to mill. Some of the logs in the shed are native timbers I have aquired and are aprox 700mm across and 500mm long. They have been there for about 5 years so far, and will need a few more before they are ready to use. I do a bit of woodturning and these larger pieces will go on the lathe once dry, the off cuts get cut down for the ship building.

The time left drying is normally about 1 year per inch of thickness, but this can vary on the density of the species. Sealing the end grain should be done to prevent splitting and checking as mentiond above. I normally use a bit of acrylic paint and this works well, have tried wax but always have paint on hand. 

The recycled timber came from house renovations, native timber beams that are aprox 50 years old so nice and dry.

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nothing much else to say you have all said it with the exception of making an drying cupboard you can build a frame with racks for the wood  and in the bottombuild a box with two light bulb fittings in the top have holes for the heat then cover the whole thing with polethene make sure you have the ends of the wood coated either with wax or paint if in planks use strips in between to let air ciculate around plug in and tape up, another alternative is an airing cupboard if there is room in there,

this is the equivalent of home kiln drying, I have stacks of holly been under my shed now for around 4 years ready to come inside for a while now, also best part of 1/4" ton of mahogany in my loft been there for about the same length of time will have to dig out a plank to cut up,

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Michael

Wish that you were in my area so we could talk and maybe swap some wood, but I'm in Fla and from the woods that you are talking about I don't believe your in Fla. Glad you enjoy doing it. Tell us some more on what you are doing some time.

Harvey

Did anyone take you up on your offer of 1" x 6" by 6' planks of basswood? I would if you were not on the other end of the country. 

Brad

Sounds like you have a plan going. I have heard the one year dry time per inch before.

Snowmans

You also sound like you have a long time source of wood and doing the recycle thing is great also.

iaincwill

A drying cabinet plan, that's great.

 

Thanks to everyone for the thoughts.. Now to find something besides palm trees and oaks. Where's the good wood??

 

Later Tim

Edited by Tim C
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Rocker, have a look at wooden venetian blinds, IKEA sell them and the wood is flat dry and thin, ideal for resawing on small tools.

 

I am about 4000miles north west of where you are. I was in your neck of the woods in 1969 I watched Apollo 11 lift off.

 

Michael

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I haven't tried this lately but some years back I turned a ton of bowls and vases along with table legs etc. The legs were from kiln dried wood bought from a hardwood supplier and had to be perfect and matching but for the bowls and such I used scrap leftover from jobs but also found a lot of my stock from wandering the woods.

A lot of dried dead wood litters the woods and sometimes gems can be found. Many a burl was found in this fashion. I would grab what looked solid, take it back to the shop and remove anything that looked spongy, cracked, etc., paint the ends, keep it cool with good air flow and let it dry for a time. No science involved, just eyeballing it. Not all worked out but when it did it was fun to take what would be soil in a matter of time and make a nice bowl out of it.

I don't see why this wouldn't work well for boats, like making planking material. It might require a bit more volume than making a vase from a single burl but it could be done. The downside would be a nice walk in the woods without any wood to show for it and the upside... wood.

 

I'm not new to wood but I am to this hobby. I never considered harvesting my own...until now... this thread was a nice find.

 

Randy

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Randy, nice post, i also like to hunt for bowl blanks. My favorite would be cherry burls and spalted beech or maple.  A few years back while deer hunting i came across a large cherry blow down which had a 150# burl attached, which i harvested and cut into smaller pieces and still have drying.
 

For me, harvesting your own wood is actually an addiction. Probably like those of us who buy many kits and store on a shelf, just waiting for the chance to open that box and start on a clean slate. Nothing beats cutting into a log and the anticipation of what might be inside and all the possibilites that it can be used for.

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The first real harvesting of wood for a model was in 1975 when I was at the Ice-fields Campground At the Athabasca Glacier with my parents who were visiting  from the UK.

The firewood at the campground was about 16 inches long and had been roughly split into quarters It was extremely fine grained spruce, probably from close to treeline or a low moisture location am guessing that the rings were no more than a 1/128th inch apart. anyway I saved some for a model aircraft I was building at the time. I striped it into a small square section to bend for the tailplane. perimeter.

 

Yes getting the wood from nature is a big plus, in my books.

 

Michael

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Michael

You were talking about wooden blinds in an earlier post. Last night I was reminded of another wood like that, free paint stirring sticks. Nice clean wood almost ready to go.

 

Later Tim

Edited by Tim C
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  • 2 weeks later...

Im with 42rocker on the free paint stirrers. Another great place for free wood is hit the election campaign tents and tables (state fairs are a great place to find these) and look for those little advertising rulers candidates love to pass out . Offer to hand a bunch out, then run with them. :dancetl6:

 

ARGH, tmc the wood pirate. :10_1_10:

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  • 6 months later...

Prior posts said it well, cut the logs into manageble lengths, and air dry at least one year for each inch in diameter.  I've used acrylic paint on the ends to slow the drying and thus the checking, but I prefer paraphin because it does the job better.  It does involve more time as one has to melt the paraphin and avoid a fire.

 

I'll have to keep a weather eye out for lilac-thanks for the tip Michael.

 

Duffer

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Hi all

 

I`ve cut my timber now for over 20 years, mainley fruit woods.

The logs are cut to about 3 foot in length and are then cut on my bandsaw 2in thick, and are stacked with 1/4in wood in between each stack so the air can flow in between the stacks and I do not touch that wood for at least 5 years. 

 

mij

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Last evening I was cutting and splitting some spruce firewood which seemed pretty dry and weathered so I decided to prep some for later use in modelwork.

 

first the log was split using a small hatchet and a little sledge, you can see the darker area that is the result of the wood splitting naturally and the fresh white area from the secondary splitting that I did. I split the wood radially in order to get the grain as close to quarter cut as possible

 

post-202-0-14082600-1393941978_thumb.jpg

 

the best pieces put to one side, the rest went into the stove.

 

post-202-0-97019800-1393941979_thumb.jpg

 

the selected pieces further trimmed.

 

post-202-0-97027800-1393941981_thumb.jpg

 

then transferred to the workbench

 

post-202-0-77648800-1393941983_thumb.jpg

 

beginning the planing with the jack plane

 

post-202-0-53208100-1393941985_thumb.jpg

 

squaring up

 

post-202-0-56585400-1393941987_thumb.jpg

 

post-202-0-44127600-1393941989_thumb.jpg

 

the final smoothing done with the small low angle block plane

 

post-202-0-81101000-1393941991_thumb.jpg

 

ready for storing for later use.

 

post-202-0-62474900-1393941976_thumb.jpg

 

A final comment this firewood was harvested by a friend from an area that had suffered from a Forrest Fire some years ago. this is exactly the same process that I used for preparing the wood I used yesterday for the boom rest here

post-202-0-89112500-1393942616_thumb.jpg

post-202-0-72124300-1393942615_thumb.jpg

 

Michael

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