Saving money by urban logging #2: The latest score

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Blog entry by Julian posted 03-27-2009 11:21 PM 2992 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Felled black walnut trees for the taking Part 2 of Saving money by urban logging series Part 3: 3300 boardfeet of reclaimed douglas fir! »

About three weeks ago I scored a full truck load of mulberry from a tree that had been cut down last November. The tree was over 100 years old, and around 36” diameter and over 100’ tall. Unfortunately the tree had been cut into chunks 24” and under. I got about 60 board feet of mostly quartersawn wood out of it that will most likely get used for bookmatched panels, boxes and picture frames for gifts for the family. It is really beautiful wood with a fleck pattern that reminds me of sycamore and maple. I resawed a piece of it and bookmatched it to see what it would look like. I’m really curious to see what time will do to it, since it will turn a dark brown/orange color like osage orange.

Last weekend I was at a relatives house cutting some trees down and scored some decent apple, and spalted birch logs. The smell of the freshly cut apple tree made my van smell like 50 pounds of over ripe apples. It was pretty wild how strong the smell was.

The tree wasn’t too large, but I did get enough wood out of it for plenty of small projects like boxes and picture frames, not to mention plenty of wood for grilling with! There was also a dead standing birch tree has some wild colors in it. Unfortunately, there was barely any salveagable lumber in it, but what I got out of it is really nice looking.


I recently decided to try adding a dehumidier to the kiln and seal up the vents in an attempt to get the kiln to work faster. Well it works, but unfortunately, my dh is on its last limb. It sat in my shop for the last few years and got completely caked with sawdust, and is in bad shape. It worked for 3 days nonstop, then all of a sudden it decided on its own to run very intermitently.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

5 comments so far

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3723 days

#1 posted 03-27-2009 11:47 PM

i’ve read that throwing some painted black cinder blocks on top of the pile can keep warping to a minimum. You may already do that, but I thought I’d throw it out there as an idea in case you were interested. Looks like you already know way more about this than me though. Very nice finds an a cool setup you’ve got.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3817 days

#2 posted 03-27-2009 11:49 PM

Julian, that is some nice lumber that you managed to “save” from being firewood. Bummer about the dehumidifier but they just don’t seem to last very long even under the best of conditions. I have a Maytag brand has gone out three times in the last 4 years.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View hairy's profile


2701 posts in 3527 days

#3 posted 03-28-2009 01:24 AM

Nice setup, Julian! I just got 2 truckloads of mulberry. I like it. I’ve been cutting some into blanks for the lathe. I would like to saw some into boards, but I have too many projects going on. They are anchorsealed and have to wait. I’m kicking around the idea of doing something like the old refrigerator, light bulb powered kiln.

-- My reality check bounced...

View Will Mego's profile

Will Mego

307 posts in 3707 days

#4 posted 03-28-2009 01:36 AM

I love red mulberry, and if you wikipedia it you’ll learn some interesting facts about it. It grows very well in our area (NE IL), is/can be very hard, yet flexible. I’m looking forward to making some chisel handles out of some felled last year from storms.

-- "That which has in itself the greatest use, possesses the greatest beauty." -

View PG_Zac's profile


368 posts in 3383 days

#5 posted 03-28-2009 01:50 PM

Congrats on the hauls Julian.

For a while now I’ve been wanting apple wood, but apples don’t grow in my home climate. <jealous>

Hopefully in the next couple of months I’ll be finishing my small test case solar kiln(similar size to yours). The design is quite different from yours, and I’m really interested to find out how well it works.

-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

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