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American chestnut

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Forum topic by GANGGREEN posted 10-17-2018 05:23 PM 453 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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GANGGREEN

33 posts in 651 days


10-17-2018 05:23 PM

OK, another “what should I do with it question”. I just brought home a piece of American chestnut, not reclaimed, not Chinese chestnut, but from a tree that died recently on my property and which I cut and had milled. This piece is over 7’ long, just over 6/4” and almost 10” wide (there is one short section with a bark inclusion, so I’d likely get 9” of clear lumber from it). I had initially hoped to have two pieces like this to make benches for an 84” dining room table that I recently had made out of the same wood, but I only have the one (plus a bunch of smaller scraps left over). This is the last piece of any size that I have and I’d like to make a kick-butt project out of it, given that I’m a beginner and my abilities and tools are somewhat limited. I’ll post a photo of the board here in a while (it’s raining out and I don’t feel like racing to the barn right now), but does anyone have any ideas?


16 replies so far

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LittleShaver

411 posts in 790 days


#1 posted 10-17-2018 05:29 PM

Hallway bench?

-- Sawdust Maker

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lumbering_on

559 posts in 661 days


#2 posted 10-17-2018 05:29 PM

I thought the American Chestnut was pretty much wiped out. I don’t know if I’d use it for a bench, probably find something that stands out as a center piece.

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GANGGREEN

33 posts in 651 days


#3 posted 10-17-2018 05:50 PM

The American chestnut WAS “pretty much wiped out”, but a few larger specimens and lots of smaller ones survive. I’ll go get a photo of the board and try to find a photo of the tree before it succumbed to the blight.

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GANGGREEN

33 posts in 651 days


#4 posted 10-17-2018 05:55 PM

Here’s the larger board on a pile with some smaller scraps.

View Fresch's profile

Fresch

340 posts in 2091 days


#5 posted 10-17-2018 05:56 PM

Serving trolley

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GANGGREEN

33 posts in 651 days


#6 posted 10-17-2018 06:02 PM

And here’s the tree (or at least the lower portion of it). Not me in the photo, this is a horseback logger that I hired to get a few trees out. I’ve been known to cut them myself, but I didn’t want to risk splitting or ruining this log.

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lumbering_on

559 posts in 661 days


#7 posted 10-17-2018 06:22 PM

Beautiful wood, you have there.

Since you have the main board and the smaller pieces, maybe a coat rack?

https://www.etsy.com/market/wooden_coat_rack

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GANGGREEN

33 posts in 651 days


#8 posted 10-17-2018 06:53 PM

Something like that might be nice, but I’m not sure it fits into my present home. We’re doing some renovations this winter though and I may be able to find a spot where it would be useful.

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Ripper70

1149 posts in 1079 days


#9 posted 10-17-2018 07:07 PM

That’s a beautiful hunk of wood. I’m guessing you’d like to make something that you can appreciate often. Is there enough there to fashion some sort of custom headboard? Might require some re-sawing to make the most out of the single piece, if you have the tools.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

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GANGGREEN

33 posts in 651 days


#10 posted 10-17-2018 09:28 PM

Yeah, I would think it would require re-sawing to do something like that. Ideally yes, I’d like it to be something that would be prominently featured in the house somewhere.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

2556 posts in 1558 days


#11 posted 10-17-2018 09:43 PM

How about a bench for the porch or mudroom or even the entryway? If I recall, chestnut is a pretty resilient wood for outdoors, especially a covered porch. If you have kids or grand kids, perhaps some steps stools for each of them? Might as well turn a special piece of wood into a family heirloom.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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GANGGREEN

33 posts in 651 days


#12 posted 10-17-2018 10:39 PM

I appreciate all of the comments and suggestions and hope you’ll all continue.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

2556 posts in 1558 days


#13 posted 10-18-2018 03:25 AM

One thing I noticed about your picture of the tree is that there are no obvious blight cankers visible on the stem. Maybe it didn’t die from blight?

EDIT: I just noticed you said it was before it got it. Were ther obvious signs of cankers on the stem when it died?

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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Aj2

1783 posts in 1969 days


#14 posted 10-18-2018 04:03 AM

Very plain looking board it needs something more. Not sure what?.... was the whole tree flat sawn.
Is there any quarter sawn ?

-- Aj

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GANGGREEN

33 posts in 651 days


#15 posted 10-18-2018 09:23 AM

The tree definitely died of blight. I have photos somewhere showing the cankers, sloughing off of bark, etc.. They’re typically self-pruning trees anyway, but most of the branches died back a year or two before death became imminent.

As for the milling, it’s mostly flat sawn and there are only small sections that are quarter sawn. It would have been nice to have several hundred board feet of it, although in fairness, I’m not sure what it’s quite as interesting as some species even when quarter-sawn.

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