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Forum topic by CRAIGCLICK posted 04-20-2018 02:36 PM 664 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CRAIGCLICK

117 posts in 155 days


04-20-2018 02:36 PM

One of my (many) hobbies is making good barbecue. I love firing up the pit and smoking some ribs and butts (and on rare occasions, a whole hog). Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity recently because I’ve had time constraints that are not conducive to spending 12 hours feeding a barbecue pit.

As you all may know…I am relatively new to finer woodworking, so the beauty of different woods has never been a big priority until now.

Yesterday afternoon, I was alone at my plant working late and I saw an 18 wheeler pull in for a pickup…one and a half hours after we closed and the guy started ringing the bell at the loading docks. I was annoyed, but I like to remain on good terms with the truck drivers because there are times when I need a favor.

In any case, he pulls in and tells me that he had a pickup at a place that supplies wood for smoking to people all over the country. He had six pallets weighing 1000 pounds each of chunks of cherry, maple, and apple on the truck. The guy had given the driver several bags of the wood chunks for himself and he gave me half of them. When I looked in the bag, I almost cried.

There were chunks of beautiful cherry wood that look like they were taken from a very large tree (based on the curve of the bark on one of them). All I could think was “this wood could have made a beautiful piece of furniture that could have lasted forever…now it’s gonna go up in smoke.”

But then, my next though was “This is gonna make some incredible ribs!” and I started salivating.

Talk about mixed feelings.

-- Somewhere between raising hell and amazing grace.


12 replies so far

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therealSteveN

909 posts in 656 days


#1 posted 04-22-2018 06:54 AM

As long as it doesn’t sit on the forest floor and rot I am pretty good with any use of a downed tree. At it’s lowest it becomes skids, and pallets, heck maybe even wood pulp. As you have found sometimes chunks are used to burn. I would like to think this wood wasn’t good for lumber, but I may be being naive there. Often it is used as lumber, and when we get it in our hands we should treat it with the dignity it deserves. It took years getting to where it is now, and making something from it that may last a lifetime is noble work. In the few cases I had something to do with a downed tree, there is a lot of limb wood that makes poor lumber, but slabbed off to dry you can turn it, or make some tasty BBQ.

Think about that, meanwhile enjoy your ribs, that wood is making you happy another way :-)

-- Think safe, be safe

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ArtMann

1008 posts in 898 days


#2 posted 04-22-2018 03:18 PM

I smoke with cutoffs from cherry lumber all the time. They are of no use for making furniture, or anything else for that matter. Actually, I burn for more than I use for smoking just to get rid of them. When I am busy, they accumulate at an alarming rate. The same is true of hickory and white oak.

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MrRon

4917 posts in 3325 days


#3 posted 04-22-2018 04:27 PM


Often it is used as lumber, and when we get it in our hands we should treat it with the dignity it deserves. It took years getting to where it is now, and making something from it that may last a lifetime is noble work.
- therealSteveN

I commend you for your reverence of wood. Not many today feel that way. They would treat a fine piece of wood the same as a crushed soda can.

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mudflap4869

1807 posts in 1541 days


#4 posted 04-22-2018 07:30 PM

Send the next load to my house. A wood turners dream.

-- Still trying to master kindling making

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msinc

480 posts in 585 days


#5 posted 04-23-2018 11:47 AM

For every piece of wood that gets used in a smoker or pit there is some that gets used for “other” things…personally, I am happy that this cherry didn’t end up on the forest floor!!!!

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bbasiaga

1239 posts in 2077 days


#6 posted 04-23-2018 12:14 PM

I bought a pellet smoker to avoid this conundrum. I can at least convince myself they can use the sawdust leftover from milling beautiful boards to make the pellets. :)

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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Steve

549 posts in 664 days


#7 posted 04-23-2018 12:48 PM

This is the same issue for me now when I do the firepit. I hate thinking about what I could possibly make with some of the pieces I’ll burn.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

909 posts in 656 days


#8 posted 04-23-2018 04:43 PM

Often it is used as lumber, and when we get it in our hands we should treat it with the dignity it deserves. It took years getting to where it is now, and making something from it that may last a lifetime is noble work.
- therealSteveN

I commend you for your reverence of wood. Not many today feel that way. They would treat a fine piece of wood the same as a crushed soda can.

- MrRon

Thank you. My Dad and Uncle both got me to where I am today, and I thank them every day for the lessons they taught.

-- Think safe, be safe

View jerkylips's profile

jerkylips

429 posts in 2652 days


#9 posted 04-23-2018 06:41 PM

just strictly because of the monetary value of something like cherry, I doubt that any of the chunks you got were of a size/quality to be used for anything else. They probably were cutoffs, etc. Most likely, the bigger/better pieces went to a higher usage, and this is the way of being able to use the whole tree and not waste it.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

909 posts in 656 days


#10 posted 04-24-2018 11:21 AM

This debate has spurred me to look at the internet in an attempt to see how a company might process wood, whole tree, limbs and such from an orchard operation, or what.

Hard to find specifics about this, possibly they might fear feedback for just cutting up a tree to make smoker chunks? I saw similar on a few websites I think the bigger operations are just chopping up the entire tree.

-- Think safe, be safe

View CRAIGCLICK's profile

CRAIGCLICK

117 posts in 155 days


#11 posted 04-24-2018 02:17 PM


This debate has spurred me to look at the internet in an attempt to see how a company might process wood, whole tree, limbs and such from an orchard operation, or what.

Hard to find specifics about this, possibly they might fear feedback for just cutting up a tree to make smoker chunks? I saw similar on a few websites I think the bigger operations are just chopping up the entire tree.

- therealSteveN

I did a little searching online, just for a price comparison and what I saw kinda bothers me.

A board foot of cherry through many online sources costs about 4.75 and weighs approximately 3 pounds, which would equate to a cost per cubic foot of 57 Dollars for 36 pounds.

Cherry wood for smoking online costs 30-35 dollars for 15 pounds of wood, which would equate to approximately 6-7 dollars for a board-foot’s worth of wood (by weight).

This means that, for smoking purposes, cherry smoker chunk appears to be more expensive than cherry lumber…and cherry is a pretty popular wood for smoking.

Given the GREATLY reduced cost of production (no milling or drying required), it seems to me that there is really not much of an incentive to actually mill this stuff for lumber.

BTW…hickory, pecan, and maple fetch even higher prices.

-- Somewhere between raising hell and amazing grace.

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therealSteveN

909 posts in 656 days


#12 posted 04-25-2018 02:33 AM

Age old thing, money talks, and all the rest walks. If you are the person getting the big cash, whatcha gonna do?

-- Think safe, be safe

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