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Forum topic by Mike posted 05-09-2012 12:15 PM 823 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mike

60 posts in 900 days


05-09-2012 12:15 PM

Hi everyone, here’s something that I’ve had in the back of my mind ever since I bought my land 10 years ago. I think it would be really neat to have some trees from my property milled into lumber so I can make small furniture pieces..tables and such. Call me corny, but maybe someday my son would think it’s cool that his dresser, or end tables were made from trees that grew on his property. I know I’ll appreciate the finished product. So, here’s what I have for trees. I’m in NH, so I have the usual hemlock and some pine. I have quite a bit of American Beech, Red Maple, Silver Maple, White Birch, and some Black Birch. There’s a good amount of Red Oak, and some White Oak both of which I’d rather leave to produce mast crops for deer. What really has my attention is a few Sassafras Trees, and Black Gum trees. Has anyone ever worked with Sassafras or Black Gum? I’ve heard Sassafras is very similar to Ash, and Black Gum is supposed to be a very hard wood. The plan is to check Craigslist for someone to mill a few logs so I can see what I may end up with. What does everyone think?


8 replies so far

View Andy123's profile

Andy123

226 posts in 1164 days


#1 posted 05-09-2012 12:22 PM

Not corny at all.

-- The mistakes I make in woodworking are not mistakes they just give my projects character- Me

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bondogaposis

2601 posts in 1042 days


#2 posted 05-09-2012 12:41 PM

It is a great idea, just be prepared to allow the wood to dry for a year or two. You’ll need a dry place to stack and sticker it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11142 posts in 1697 days


#3 posted 05-09-2012 01:02 PM

Milling wood from your own property is like talkin dirty to us around here. No experience with sassafrrass or gum woods from me but keep pokin around im sure youll find everything you’re lookin for. Welcome to the gang.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1891 posts in 1184 days


#4 posted 05-09-2012 01:19 PM

I had a diseased oak cute down on my property some years back. The sawyer was smart enough to realize the lower 18 feet or so of the trunk was in very good shape for milling (about 3’ across). I had it sawn by a guy with a Woodmizer, then kiln dried at a local sawmill. Made some neat stuff with the wood, including some of the house trim when we remodeled it. The folks who eventually bought the place thought it was really cool. Also worked with sassafras (once). I thought it was more like working poplar, somewhat on the softer side of hardwoods….but what really grabbed my attention was the absolutely wonderful aroma from milling it. Hard to describe, maybe a root beer like smell…but really great.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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chrisstef

11142 posts in 1697 days


#5 posted 05-09-2012 02:06 PM

Milling wood from your own property is like talkin dirty to us around here. No experience with sassafrrass or gum woods from me but keep pokin around im sure youll find everything you’re lookin for. Welcome to the gang.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

996 posts in 1381 days


#6 posted 05-09-2012 02:38 PM

A perfectly healty Fla cherry tree fell over on my 10 acres years ago. I had a local sawyer cut it up for me, without leaving the property. Stickered it for two years and have used it for several small projects over the years with great pleasure.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "finished"!

View Mike's profile

Mike

60 posts in 900 days


#7 posted 05-15-2012 10:50 AM

Thanky ou everyone for your replies. After a lot of research, I see that Black Gum tree seems to be a real pain to mill and dry properly…I guess the twisted grain causes cupping and twisting in it’s lumber. There just doesn’t seem to be anyone doing anything with it except for a few bowl makers. The Sassafras is an option although I think I’m better off focusing on some of the Beech trees. If I can get a few logs to the mill this summer, I should be able to start a pair of end tables in a few years time. Thanks again!

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1176 posts in 1166 days


#8 posted 05-16-2012 02:09 AM

You are right about black gum. Very difficult to dry straight without twist and warp. Plane it nice and flat, and the next day it has a twist. This comes from the spiral grain in the wood that is also seen in the elms, sweetgum, and sycamore.

Sassafras looks like ash, just browner, and not as hard. Really beautiful stuff.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

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