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anyone burn chinese elm before?

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Forum topic by bent posted 1675 days ago 3263 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bent

311 posts in 2273 days


1675 days ago

my dad cut down a chinese elm tree that was in his yard for firewood. when he burns it, it does something really wierd. instead of turning to ash, it forms rock hard grity clumps. it looks like a clump of wet sand, and they’re too hard to break apart by hand. i told him that our cat makes them too, because it looks just like “buried treasure” from the litter box.

has anyone else seen this before, or know what causes it? i’m guessing there’s something about the cellulose that’s waxy and causes it to melt rather than completely burn to ash, but i really don’t know.

would this trait affect the wood’s workability? i was going to turn some of it just to see how it looks finished, but now i’m not sure that’s a good idea.


5 replies so far

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 2510 days


#1 posted 1675 days ago

Turn it is better than burn it…

-- http://nelsonwoodworks.biz/

View saw4fun's profile

saw4fun

140 posts in 1944 days


#2 posted 1675 days ago

Definitely turn it. Its great stuff!!

-- There is no such thing as scrap wood! Rastus NE www.nativelumber.net

View Bobin29's profile

Bobin29

10 posts in 1390 days


#3 posted 316 days ago

I was going by a park today and a crew was trimming a bunch of Chinese elm. Some of the sections were about 18 inches in diameter and two feet long. I asked if I could have some and they said sure. So I grabbed five HEAVY pieces and took them home and painted the ends with parafin to cut down on splitting. What is next? Should I strip the bark? Should I split the pieces lengthwise? I don’t have a chainsaw or a band saw big enough to cut them length wise so I was thinking about using wedges to split them. All recommendations graciously accepted. Thanks Bob Oh, my plan is to turn bowls.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

440 posts in 318 days


#4 posted 316 days ago

I have one of these in my garden that needs trimming so would love to hear your experience turning the elm!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

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Bobin29

10 posts in 1390 days


#5 posted 316 days ago

Hi Yoda, so far since I’ve heard from no one else, I’m going to try what Wyoming woodturner suggests. One difference is I’m going to split the sections with wedges instead of a chain saw. See the link it’s full of some real good information and techniques. Bob
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcnzKwRRMZo

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