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Forum topic by Mike posted 712 days ago 757 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mike

60 posts in 712 days


712 days ago

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

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Andy123

226 posts in 977 days


#1 posted 712 days ago

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

2234 posts in 854 days


#2 posted 712 days ago

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

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chrisstef

9371 posts in 1509 days


#3 posted 711 days ago

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

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Fred Hargis

1481 posts in 996 days


#4 posted 711 days ago

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.

-- I long for the days when Coke was a cola, and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard)

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chrisstef

9371 posts in 1509 days


#5 posted 711 days ago

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

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Earlextech

819 posts in 1193 days


#6 posted 711 days ago

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"!

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Mike

60 posts in 712 days


#7 posted 706 days ago

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!

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WDHLT15

983 posts in 979 days


#8 posted 705 days ago

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

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