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Forum topic by Jonwilliam posted 07-12-2011 03:24 AM 2076 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jonwilliam

23 posts in 1371 days


07-12-2011 03:24 AM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut milling question

I have just received the go-ahead to cut down about 20 at least 50 foot tall walnut trees from a farm near a jobsite…for free. There is so much information to sift through on the net and LJ.com about this and I have a few questions about milling since I’m new to it.

I have a sawmill lined up already. I’ve bucked some of the logs to 9’ lengths and a few to 20’. Typical diameter of the trunks is 24”. Here are my questions

How quickly should I have them milled(before bugs or rot set in)
Should I coat the ends of the logs with something
Should I coat the ends of the milled boards with something
What is the minimum size that should be reasonably milled…I don’t want to spend time milling a log that would only yield a couple boards
Is there anyway of telling from the shape or condition of the outside of the log to tell if a milled log will not yield good lumber.
How long does it take to air dry 4/4 and 8/4 in a climate such as mine: Southwest MN

Thanks everybody for any help

Semperfi

-- -Redwood Falls MN


8 replies so far

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fussy

980 posts in 1806 days


#1 posted 07-12-2011 06:23 AM

1. Soon
2.Yes, Anchorseal
3. yes. Anchorseal. Touch up the ends to make sure they’re sealed.
4,That depends on your needs and the size of the board. Walnut is worth something and even narrow boards can be used.
5. If it’s rotted out in the cut, you just move up the log. There’ll be some good if it was standing.
6. About 1 year per inch of thickness. I would go for 4/4, 6/4, 8/4, and some 12/4. If you have a bandsaw, you can always cut it down.
7. Now for the question you didn’t ask but meant to: I will need only 1/3 of the haul, and I would be haPPY to meet you half way.

Steve

PS You know what ARMY stands for? “Ain’t Ready to be a Marine Yet”

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View FordMike's profile

FordMike

155 posts in 2226 days


#2 posted 07-12-2011 07:07 AM

I agree with the above, Dig the rootballs with the trunk. I slab my wood a little different than most, here is my technique. Clean the rootball fastidiously, Take a thin slice off of the top starting at the narrowist end of the log, to see the quality of the individual log and if there is no Fiddleback (you will know for sure as soon as you cut the first slab thats at least an 1” into the sap wood, and wash the cut off with water) measure in 6” increments from the pith/heart of the log to the surface on both ends (2 1/2” each slab-kerf) the big yield is the two quarter-sawn slabs next to the pith are full with and for me the most valuable. The Rootballs can yield some spectacular burl or fiddleback. Good Luck you see my website www.Bolerjacksbowlsandburl@yahoo.com for my phone number I would be happy to give you more info if you need it, make sure you post a couple of pictures when done. FordMike

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superstretch

1511 posts in 1448 days


#3 posted 07-12-2011 03:47 PM

You sir, are a lucky man. If you find yourself in NY, bring a tree or two along >_>

I can’t guarantee that you’d return home with them.

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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bandman

79 posts in 2145 days


#4 posted 07-13-2011 06:21 AM

Sounds like a great haul of black walnut, good advice from all. Mill them as soon as possible after cutting,
anchorseal on the log and board ends works well. Sticker and air dry the material in a shaded area, typicaly
1 year per inch of thickness. Black walnut logs of this size are getting less common, put the material to good use.

-- Phil

View Scsmith42's profile

Scsmith42

125 posts in 1432 days


#5 posted 07-16-2011 04:48 AM

RE: How quickly should I have them milled(before bugs or rot set in)
Black Walnut is fairly forgiving. For most species, it is best to mill them as soon as possible after felling. However, with BW you can go one or two years or even more with minimal degrade. The sapwood will deterioriate, but the heartwood will be ok.

Should I coat the ends of the logs with something
Yes, either Anchorseal Classic (from US Coatings) or Bailey’s end seal. Spray, brush or roll 2- 3 coats onto the ends of the logs as soon as possible after felling and bucking. I prever the winter formula of Anchorseal.

Should I coat the ends of the milled boards with something
You should not need to recoat the individual boards if the logs were well coated. The exception to this is if you wait a few years to mill and the ends of the logs have started checking. In this instance, it is best to chainsaw off a few inches of the ends of the logs and recoat, versus trying to coat individual board ends.

What is the minimum size that should be reasonably milled…I don’t want to spend time milling a log that would only yield a couple boards
Depends upon the log and the extent of the sapwood. It also depends upon the age of the log. If it has curly BW in it, I’d go all of the way down to 10”. Usually bigger is better. The exception is an older, tight growth ringed log. Even if it is small diameter, it would be worth quartersawing for the tight grain.

Is there anyway of telling from the shape or condition of the outside of the log to tell if a milled log will not yield good lumber.
This is difficult to answer to a novice. An experienced miller can recognize some signs. The main thing to look for is defects in the log, such as branches, etc.

How long does it take to air dry 4/4 and 8/4 in a climate such as mine: Southwest MN
It depends upon the time of year. Properly stacked and stickered in a manner that will prevent the boards from getting wet and in an area where there will be regular air flow through the stacks, 4/4 BW in your area will air dry down to 16% in about 6 – 8 months. 8/4 will AD down to 16% in about 15 months.

-- Scott, North Carolina, www.quartersawnoak.com

View woodapprentice's profile

woodapprentice

9 posts in 1251 days


#6 posted 08-02-2011 02:28 AM

Totally off topic here but since the comment about the Army from Fussy, I have to respond in kind being a former Army grunt. Its been said that ARMY means aren’t really marines yet, but a MARINE is an acronym for Muscles Are Required, Intelligence Not Essential :) Anyway to the OP sounds like you have a good find and some serious wood to supply you for a number of projects in the years ahead.

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fussy

980 posts in 1806 days


#7 posted 08-02-2011 08:05 AM

Woodapprentice,

You’re probably right. I have heard it said that God gave Marines one IQ point mare than He gave to horses; so they could march in parades and not poop in the street. Whatever service, I thank you all for your service and pray that those still serving in harm’s way come home safe and well. No disrespect intended. Good Bless you all.

Steve

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View oblowme's profile

oblowme

91 posts in 1318 days


#8 posted 08-03-2011 02:26 PM

‘However, with BW you can go one or two years or even more with minimal degrade. The sapwood will deterioriate, but the heartwood will be ok.’

True but…if you kiln dry this stuff most people ‘steam’ it to even the color (I know he didn’t mention KD, just saying..)

Coating the ends of anything is never a bad idea

8” is about the limit, smaller that that will get you alot of cross grain that will warp pretty badly
As a side note- in the industry a piece must be 8” dia x 8’ long to be a log, anything under that is a ‘bolt’

Take a look at any open knots (and the ends of course) for decay. It’s hard to tell the extent of the damage, but the smaller the piece the more critical it is.

-- A TOOL JUNKIE- There, I just admited it to myself...

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