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Spalted Cherry? And how should I mill this?

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Forum topic by Rizz posted 734 days ago 1652 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rizz

5 posts in 813 days


734 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question spalted cherry mill

Hi, long time lurker, first time poster. I am in need of a little help. A buddy told me I was welcome to any felled tree’s on his land. I found several I am thinking about milling up with my Alaskan chainsaw mill, however I would like some help identifying the one in the photo’s (sorry for the quality).

It’s spalted, but most is still in pretty solid shape. It has beautiful figure/colors etc. So my question is—can you tell from the pics if this is in fact a black cherry tree? I also would like to know the best way to mill this up. Should I use my small chainsaw mill to cut 1” slabs? Crosscut chunks? Any insight is appreciated.

Thanks!

-- If you want to know what someone truly thinks, don't listen to a word they say, just watch their actions.


19 replies so far

View tnwood's profile

tnwood

196 posts in 1718 days


#1 posted 734 days ago

I don’t think that is spalted cherry based on the bark shown in the first picture. Are you sure it isn’t a maple?

If you have an alaskan mill, I would make lumber from it; probably cut to 1 1/2 thickness so that you can make veneer from it or use it as 3/4” table tops if you want. You can always cut some turning blocks as well if you are into that aspect. You don’t give the log length or diameter so it is hard to know how to best mill it.

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 896 days


#2 posted 734 days ago

Yep. You’re going to need to provide a size to get a good answer.

That seems to be pretty far into the process. Is the wood still solid?

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View okwoodshop's profile

okwoodshop

442 posts in 1806 days


#3 posted 734 days ago

Looks like Maple to me, Like Doss said it is getting pretty punky so cut it thicker cause you may get alot of waste. I wouldn’t wait much longer cause it needs to start drying to stop the rot process.

View RogerM's profile

RogerM

445 posts in 1031 days


#4 posted 734 days ago

Appears to be maple to me and pretty far gone at that. Are you sure the interior is sound enough for lumber?

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1098 posts in 1108 days


#5 posted 734 days ago

Definitely not cherry. Probably red maple. It spalts nicely.

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

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

1976 posts in 1193 days


#6 posted 734 days ago

That looks like you should make alot of turning pieces out of that instead of lumber. :>)

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View Rizz's profile

Rizz

5 posts in 813 days


#7 posted 733 days ago

Thanks for the replies thus far. To address a couple of points.

-It’s a long straight trunk that fell across a little ravine. The areas of the log that are off the ground are pretty much solid thru and thru, with just the occasional soft spot. The pieces in contact with the ground are further along, but still seems to be a good amount of solid wood a couple of inches in.

-The log is probably 30-40 feet long (there are actually 3 logs like this, but the other 2 are a bit smaller diameter wise). On average I would say its diameter is equal to me being able to hug it and my hands barely not touch on the other side. (if that helps at all).

Thanks again
ps: The pic that shows the spalting is from the end that was dug into the ground, so its further along than the rest of the log, but also a bit more beautiful in the solid parts)

-- If you want to know what someone truly thinks, don't listen to a word they say, just watch their actions.

View tyskkvinna's profile

tyskkvinna

1308 posts in 1617 days


#8 posted 733 days ago

I agree that I would cut them thicker than 1”.. you could even plan on resawing them later into thinner boards. I’ve worked with a few spalted trees and found it warped really inconsistently and I lost a few boards because the wobble just made it too awkward.

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 896 days


#9 posted 733 days ago

Well if it’s that large and you’re sure about its integrity, I’d say mill it. Use (get) a chainsaw mill or have a sawyer come out with a bandsaw mill (a lot less waste and probably about the same cost).

I’d cut the boards at 6/4 or 8/4 and hope for the best. Sticker-stack them and get some airflow and heat on them (really I’d send them to the kiln to stop the spalting). If you’re not getting airflow and heat on the wood (not direct sunlight), you can expect them to keep going and eventually rot completely if you’re in a warm, humid environment.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1325 days


#10 posted 733 days ago

I’m with Doss, I’d go no thinner than 6/4 myself. It’s really attractive but I’m not sure how it would do on the lathe. It might come apart.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View tnwood's profile

tnwood

196 posts in 1718 days


#11 posted 733 days ago

If they are about 2 ft in diameter and they are not too far gone then milling them to 6/4 to 8/4 makes sense as spalted wood tends to dry pretty quickly and you can resaw it after it dries. Nice find if much of it is solid.

View Rizz's profile

Rizz

5 posts in 813 days


#12 posted 728 days ago

Thanks everyone. Ive started milling it up. It’s not been “fun” lol I’m doing it solo for the most part. I have to hike a trail about a mile, then down a pretty steep ravine. So I’ve only been able to mill it into slabs that I then can hike out, which is not the most fun you can have in the woods. I’m pretty sure it’s not even in the top 10. It’s beautiful wood tho, and I did get help carrying out a few larger slabs, one of which I milled at 12/4. It’s about 30” X 7’, and I think it will make a beautiful table once it’s dried (if I can get it to not check or warp too badly).

Thanks for all the help and suggestions. It’s much appreciated.

-- If you want to know what someone truly thinks, don't listen to a word they say, just watch their actions.

View SteviePete's profile

SteviePete

224 posts in 1935 days


#13 posted 728 days ago

If the big slab doesn’t work out, I’d try sawn veneers. Use CA to stabilize if necessary – either before or after milling. Its a fair amount of work—I did spalted soft maple yard tree. Turned out great. Used a UV inhibited varnish. It seemed to keep the from falling apart. Good luck. s

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

View Rizz's profile

Rizz

5 posts in 813 days


#14 posted 728 days ago

Thanks…Here is a quick pic I took of of a couple of the smaller slabs that I had carried to a clearing.

-- If you want to know what someone truly thinks, don't listen to a word they say, just watch their actions.

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 896 days


#15 posted 728 days ago

Yep, as someone who moves really big slabs, I can guarantee that it is not “fun”.

Just remember to saw the slabs properly. I’m guessing you’re flatsawing. How are the pieces looking so far?

EDIT You posted while I was typing this up.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

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