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Forum topic by NateX posted 07-20-2010 01:29 AM 1445 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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NateX

88 posts in 1719 days


07-20-2010 01:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: root log lumber burl diy oak milling shaker

While doing some plumbing work at a house near me I noticed the gardeners next door were felling a dead live oak. The tree was totally dried out, they cut off the crown and pulled the trunk and the roots out with a truck.This seemed like a great opportunity to get some free wood! The trunk was straight and without knots, it was in a track neighborhood in Irvine CA so I figured it had to have come from a nursery. It also had a thick, massive root burl.

Long story short: I have a 5 foot tree trunk and a huge root burl that I only have a vague idea of how to approach. I was thinking about chain sawing it into boards, or maybe finally use my father in laws lathe and learn how to turn bowls. The best option would be to use the trunk for making a shaker style table. I am really excited about figuring out what to to with the root, some bowls may be in order.

There was a bunch of white fungusy looking stuff in the ground around the tree. I am pretty sure they over watered the tree and it died from a fungal infection, probably anthracnose. It was with tropical plants that no doubt needed to be watered every day. I think I can see some spalting patterns in the root, should I do nothing or soak the wood with fungicide?

Pics:




I also have a liquid amber trunk that i need to do something with.

edit: grammar.


9 replies so far

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 1681 days


#1 posted 07-20-2010 11:13 PM

The problem with using chemicals is that they tend to make you sick (or dead) if you don’t protect yourself fron the dust when you go to use the wood, and if you do turn bowls then you need to ensure they never hold a food product. The best idea (in my humble opinion) is to dry it as completely as possible, which will kill the fungus/mold and then you can use it as you wish. Find a local sawyer to slice up the trunk for you, probably 1” slices would be best; it will likely warp and crack as it dries so a little extra thickness is good. Lastly, keep a good eye for bug holes, oak is a wonderful home for bugs. Good luck!

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View childress's profile

childress

841 posts in 2265 days


#2 posted 07-21-2010 01:42 AM

Contact Rob at tulepeak timber, he can get that stuff milled for you and get you going in the right direction. If your in Orange Co., not too far for you to take it to him.

-- Childress Woodworks

View vicrider's profile

vicrider

178 posts in 1621 days


#3 posted 07-21-2010 06:39 AM

Gotta go with ‘find a local sawyer and dry it after its milled’. I agree that drying is the best remedy for mold and fungus. If there are soft spongy parts of the tree, discard those areas. Only keep the good stuff. In your area you shouldn’t have any problems with mold if the lumber is stacked, stickered, and dried.

I actually dug up a walnut root ball once hunting for some nice burl. The root ball had rocks and grit locked in the root. Unfortunately it burned up in my buddy’s shop fire (not caused by him) before we could decide how to cut it up.

-- vicrider

View Catspaw's profile

Catspaw

236 posts in 2538 days


#4 posted 07-21-2010 02:19 PM

If you’re phobic about something like mold, drying a peice of wood will only give you a false sense of security. It’s my understanding that drying mold doesn’t kill it. It will kill the plant part, but, not the seed part….the spores. It only puts the spores into hybernation, just like any other seed. Breathe it into your bodies moist environment while milling it up and they’ll be very happy.

If there really was a significant amount of mold/fungus, you’ll just need to remember to wear a mask when you mill it.

The burl looks like the only thing worth spending any time on. That small of a trunk looks like it only has a few board feet in it. I would suspect that you’ll have a couple of hours in it, messing about with cutting and drying and storing. I think you’d get more value by turning peices of the trunk rather than trying to make lumber out of it. Boards are cheap, but, thick wood isn’t something you can just go out and buy at a box store.

-- arborial reconfiguration specialist

View swirt's profile

swirt

1949 posts in 1695 days


#5 posted 07-21-2010 04:26 PM

If you’ve got a bandsaw, a milling sled like this one could be used to to turn the shorter logs into lumber.
Click for details

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View NateX's profile

NateX

88 posts in 1719 days


#6 posted 07-21-2010 07:30 PM

I get the stacked at dried part, but what is stickered? That milling sled looks pretty slick, too bad my band saw is a bench top delta model… I think I will learn to turn with the trunk, sounds like the reasonable thing to do.

View swirt's profile

swirt

1949 posts in 1695 days


#7 posted 07-21-2010 10:57 PM

Stickered is the putting of wood strips (stickers) between each slice / slab of the log so the air can get to all sides of the board.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 1681 days


#8 posted 07-22-2010 05:52 PM

Stickers allow air flow between cut boards so they can dry evenly. They need to be at least an inch thick, I recommend 1 1/2” for maple, alder, and other easily spalted woods. Generally they are square cut, say 1×1 or 1 1/2×1 1/2; the amount of surface contact between a sticker and the board is a point of contention between all the smart people of the world as that is where “sticker stain (a whole ‘nuther conversation) is generated. They are usually placed about a foot from each other the length of the boards, and directly above the one below as stacked keeping the stack level and stable. That’s a nutshell answer to a topic that can go a long way; lots of people will give you lots of answers, if you are going to cut and stack wood to dry I recommend learning more.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View NateX's profile

NateX

88 posts in 1719 days


#9 posted 07-23-2010 06:28 AM

Ok, that makes sense, i thought it might have to do with checking or something. Okay, sounds like a good way to start.
@Nomad62, can you recommend any good references?

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