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Forum topic by markplusone posted 08-04-2010 04:23 AM 1341 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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81 posts in 2984 days

08-04-2010 04:23 AM

Topic tags/keywords: curly maple

Hey all I have a question that is literally keeping me up at night. Yesterday, I was out in the woods collecting pics from my trailcams and I cam across a tree I never really paid attention to till now. (Followed a deer trail right by it.) Now its some kind of maple judging by the leaves and there are three trunks coming from a common point. Now here is the rub. One of the trunks is dead and the bark has fallen off. The woodworker in me took over and I began examing the tree. The trunk has tell tale ripples ALL THE WAY UP TO JUST PAST THE FIRST MAJOR BRANCH…20-25FT UP!! At the base the trunk is about 16-18” diameter. Now It looks and sounds solid but im not totally sure but the owner of the farm said I could have it on two conditions; no power tools and no vehicles. So I have to chop it down with an axe and carry it 900 yards through alphalfa and corn fields to my truck. So the question is, do you think the wood is still there and worth milling or just leave it alone. Im not afraid of humping it out but milling is the big question.

-- Dont carry that which you dont hold with.

15 replies so far

View markplusone's profile


81 posts in 2984 days

#1 posted 08-04-2010 04:26 AM

One thing is for sure though, if I do get it milled, there will be no squaring off. Im going to get it straight flitch cut. No turning of the log at all just 4/4 to the heart and one slab at 8/4 to swallow the heart and 4/4 for the rest.

-- Dont carry that which you dont hold with.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4247 days

#2 posted 08-04-2010 04:39 AM

I would think you’d have a pretty good idea after chopping it down if the wood is still solid. But how the heck are you going to move that log a half mile without a vehicle?

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3741 days

#3 posted 08-04-2010 04:54 AM

Don’t use an axe! Get ahold of a cross cut saw and drop that puppy.

You may want to drill a hole near the base to see how solid it is, if it is actually worth any effort.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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237 posts in 3639 days

#4 posted 08-04-2010 05:00 AM

I agree with Mark , get a long drill bit and see how solid it is .

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1310 posts in 3015 days

#5 posted 08-04-2010 05:13 AM

Love the idea of drilling a hole in the base! That’s clever.

I would be inclined to try to do it… because this sounds really exciting to me. :)

-- Lis - Michigan - -

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18293 posts in 3704 days

#6 posted 08-04-2010 07:11 AM

I’m cutting up some cherry that I thought was rotten. Very nice spalted wood all around that punky spot in the middle. If its not solid, it may be better yet!! :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View markplusone's profile


81 posts in 2984 days

#7 posted 08-04-2010 01:26 PM

Id be getting is out by throwing it up on my shoulder, pulling it and rolling. Im sure I can carry a 6-8’ log far enough to get to the top of the hill and roll it down. If I can talk a buddy into coming with me we can probably walk a 10’-12’ to the edge. Just blood and sweat is all Im gonna have to get it outta there. Good Idea drilling a hole in the base though. This weekend when I go back to show the owners son which tree it is, Ill take a drill for sure. And a crosscut saw! LOL

-- Dont carry that which you dont hold with.

View JimF's profile


144 posts in 3322 days

#8 posted 08-04-2010 02:19 PM

Does “no vehicles” mean no wheels or just no motors? Some sort of self-built cart with inexpensive HF pneumatic wheels comes to mind. Actually we have farmers/ranchers that won’t allow our trucks in the field, but permit ranger/gator type vehicles as they are so much lighter and don’t rut up the place. Good luck moving the logs out. By the way, listen to Mark, crosscut saw beats an axe any day.

-- Insert clever tag line here

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4541 posts in 3103 days

#9 posted 08-04-2010 03:27 PM

In my youth (many years ago) my father and I cut down a few trees with a 2 man cross cut saw. If the saw is sharp it is not very hard to do. Of course, being young also helped.

I doubt you will find a 2 man cross cut saw at your local hardware. I bought one for $10 at an estate auction that I use for decorating purposes. If you can find an old antique 2 man saw at a reasonable price I am certain it will still work if you sharpen it well and clean/lubricate the sides.

I’d gladly let you borrow mine, but it looks like you are quite a ways away.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3114 days

#10 posted 08-04-2010 03:56 PM

A good swede saw is not too expensive, and you could just tie one end up on your mountain bike and drag
it out that way. A buddy just cuts the gutted deer by the spine and fits it over his seat post after removing
the seat, ties the front and back legs ( cut off at the knees) to this seat stays and front forks and wheels
and rides the deer out of the woods to his pickup. He uses an old steel frame bike for this, the newer full
suspension bikes do not work as well for hard and heavy work.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View tnwood's profile


259 posts in 3115 days

#11 posted 08-04-2010 05:39 PM

If you can lift 6-8’ of log onto your shoulder, you are not going to get much usable wood out of it. What is the diameter of the trunk? It probably is curly but small diameter logs tend not to have much curl in them. The only way to find out is cut it down and mill it.

View markplusone's profile


81 posts in 2984 days

#12 posted 08-04-2010 10:45 PM

The trunk is about 14-16” in diameter and the full heigth of the tree is about 30-40’ Of which I can see ripples up to just past the first large branch. Thats about 20-25’ up. I know Its not a whole lot but if its solid, its wood I wouldnt be able to buy. The mill I go to charges .30-.35cents a B.F. to cut So Im still getting ahead of the game so long as the wood is still good. When I do have it milled like I said before, I specifically request it being milled my way. Just straight, “deli style” cut. That means no rotation of the log at all just cut flat through the whole log.

-- Dont carry that which you dont hold with.

View markplusone's profile


81 posts in 2984 days

#13 posted 08-04-2010 10:50 PM

Hopefully it has some nice figure in there. I am going to bring my plane too just to see.

-- Dont carry that which you dont hold with.

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2987 days

#14 posted 08-07-2010 12:21 AM

Nice find, I hope it works out for you. If you can lift a 16” log on your shoulder and tote it you are 10 times the man I am. Take a really close look for bug holes; there is a reason that piece died, bugs are the first option.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View markplusone's profile


81 posts in 2984 days

#15 posted 08-08-2010 08:05 PM

Ok just an update on this topic. I went back out a second time to check out this tree armed with a drill and a hand plane. Turns out the wood is still solid and moist inside but when I planed a spot, it did not show the curly maple pattern. So I was wrong in the diagnosis but thank you all for your advice. It was an enormous help.

-- Dont carry that which you dont hold with.

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