Hazlenut galore

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Forum topic by Treadfether posted 10-30-2015 04:26 AM 951 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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11 posts in 877 days

10-30-2015 04:26 AM

Topic tags/keywords: resource question tip hazelnut band mill drying milling

I’ve recently been re-bitten by the wood working bug, found a pile of amazing projects on Pintrest,and am forced now to try out versions of them all!! If I some how find a way to stop gawking at Pintrest and just focus on the projects I currently have I might be able to finish them all some time in the next 60 years…. -.-

At the same time, I’m an equipment operator and have been hired to rip out 37 acres of Hazelnut trees. I would estimate there is at least 200 tones in the pile so far and counting! ... and the fire starts tomorrow! I’m desperately trying to figure out what I can do to salvage some of this beautiful wood. I’ve already picked out half a pick-up full of choice cuts, and have stacked at least a dozen trees off to the side of the burn pile with more choice bits I want to cut out when I get some time with the chain saw.

Does any one have any experience milling and drying logs especially Hazelnut? I used to work in a flooring mill and we specialized in reclaimed timber mostly Fir, so I have some experience. However cutting beams that are usually well over a hundred years old, are mostly pretty dry, so I’m thinking there is going to be some differences.

Anyone done any projects with Hazelnut? What’s it like to work with, any problems, suggestions? I’ve heard it’s good for carving, wooden spoons, bowls, things like that. However there isn’t much point in filling my garage and trying to dry 50 tones of ruff slabs if all I’m going to make is a few spoons and end grain butcher blocks!

There is a blight in the valley killing probably thousands of acres of hazelnuts so if I can find a viable use for them there is huge potential available.

10 replies so far

View JADobson's profile


996 posts in 2047 days

#1 posted 10-30-2015 04:39 AM

I’ve done a pen and pencil in hazel. It was easy to work. Very white wood with little to no discernible grain though. Almost looks like a plastic.
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-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany

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5309 posts in 2201 days

#2 posted 10-30-2015 04:42 AM

Where are you located ?

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11 posts in 877 days

#3 posted 10-30-2015 05:43 AM

I grabbed A few pieces off his fire wood pile last night and tried cutting them up on the table saw, the problem is I only have a Dewalt 10” contractors portable table saw and it can only cut up to about 3 1/2” witch seriously limits what I can do at the moment. I’m looking to see if there is a band saw in the aria I can borrow to make some test cuts on. I’m very seriously considering buying a large upright band saw, and potentially a portable band mill.

What I did was take a couple branches about 3×4” 45” long. I took a piece of baseboard (the first thing lying on the floor of the garage thin, wide, long, and straight, that I came across). I screwed the baseboard to one edge of the branch with the branch sticking out over one edge and the baseboard sticking out the other. This gave me a flat stable base and a straight edge for the fence.

I made a few minimalist cuts to make a mostly flat edge, then rolled it 90* with the baseboard to the fence and repeated. I removed the baseboard and repeated the third edge, and left the forth as a live edge, and then split it lengthwise in half.

The plan was to make a live edge picture frame to take back with me to show the land owner something of what I was planing to do. I cut a grove into what was the inside facing edges where I split it leaving a recess for the eventual glass and picture, then cut the mitres to make the one piece into four that would wrap around.

This is where I ran into trouble, the first three mitres lined up nicely as the first and second pieces were cut from next to each other and started out close to the same width, inner and outer edges at the mitre lining up fairly close to the same size. same for second/third, third/forth. the problem was the mitre edges of the first and forth piece came from opposite ends of the stick, and didn’t line up at all! Anyone have a solution to a problem like this?

The best I have come up with so far is to cut a square out of different wood, maybe MDF, and router and sand the edges detailed, clean and soothe in contrast to the square and live pieces, paint it white or another clean distinct colour, paint a letter on it and make a series of photo frames with name of the family I give them to spelled out in the mismatched corners.

All in all I (nearly) wound up with 2 live edge picture frames from one uncut branch in about 25 min. by myself, first time, in the dead of night, rushing like hell ( apparently not everyone appreciates a table saw running after 7 at night, who could imagine?), and winding up with only about only an inch of wast even accounting for the differing live edge mitres. And all my figures! I think I might have a future playing about in this wood stuff… at least until I screw up the next project!!

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11 posts in 877 days

#4 posted 10-30-2015 05:45 AM

Canada, BC, Fraser Valley, Chilliwack.

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11 posts in 877 days

#5 posted 10-30-2015 05:52 AM

Yes, its very clean, white, tight grain, small distinct knots if at all. though I’m told the older wood gets darker, and from what I’ve seen from the trunks and larger pieces I’ve cut, thought its hard to see properly with a ruff chainsaw cut.

Even cleaner and lighter than the alder I’ve been working with.

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11 posts in 877 days

#6 posted 10-30-2015 06:25 AM

What I’m really hopping to salvage and will turn out nice, is the variety I’m working with, Filbert I think, some of it grows in a weird way. The branches, or trunk, when cross cut you see it doesn’t grow round like most trees. In cross section you see an irregular oblong or oval type shape, and in particular some of it twists and corkscrews as it grows. You get a kind of candy cane ripple effect. I’m hopping this comes out in the grain, such as it is so light. Buts definitely clear in the live edge.

The biggest problem is getting large enough pieces to bother with. The tree grows trunk about 2-4 ft up from the stump, then branches out irregularly usually 4 or 5 times. The branches grow out 1-5 ft then turn up words again, but usually curve slightly or vi. The shape looks similar to a traditional cartoon cactus without the centre part growing up past the arms, and more irregular. It’s very hard to find long, strait pieces over 6”. So far I’ve found a few 6-8” up to about 6 ft. It’s great if you want to make ten million pen and pencil blanks, not so much for crown mouldings or hand rails.

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154 posts in 3113 days

#7 posted 10-31-2015 02:45 PM

I hope it works for you. I live in Hazelnut Heaven – Willamette Valley, Oregon – 1000’s of acres of trees, and I’ve never seen it sold or used for woodworking. Maybe small projects…

Let us know how it goes.

I drive by huge burn piles of it on my way to work. Maybe I should stop and grab some.

-- Troy | | The more I see nature, the more I am amazed at the Creator. - Louis Pasteur

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1112 days

#8 posted 10-31-2015 03:03 PM

check with the web site. They list people who have bought their log mill. Maybe you can find one in your area that for a small fee would saw the logs into boards.

I have hear the following:
1. figure about a 20% shrinkage during drying
2. figure about 1 year of air drying per inch of thickness

In any case you will want to coat the ends of the lumber to prevent cracking and to sticker the wood so that all surfaces can dry at the same rate.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

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2581 posts in 2897 days

#9 posted 11-03-2015 02:15 PM

Free wood is the best wood. Never did any woodworking with hazelnut but it makes for a great flavored coffee.

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339 posts in 896 days

#10 posted 11-03-2015 02:33 PM

Wow, Good luck with that. I’d probably dirve my wife crazy if i had access to all that great wood. Don’t rush on cutting it, instead if you have the space paint the ends and stack them some where. it will take lots of time for it to dry anyway. the long you let it dry out the better (at least for the really green stuff) . Let us know how you end up making out.

-- You can tell a lot about your wife by her hands, for example if they are around your throat she's prolly pissed off at you...

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