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Forum topic by GMuddler posted 03-23-2013 07:41 PM 726 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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GMuddler

22 posts in 890 days


03-23-2013 07:41 PM

It is near the end of March 2013 here in Northern Maine.

My father is a logger, and I am a beginner woodworker. Apparently, he cut a very nice curly red maple the other day. First off… I wish I had a picture of it, for I haven’t seen it….YET. I plan to check it out in the next few days. The whole tree is curly and includes one 12’ log 16” at the top and 18” at the butt. The next section is 8’ long and there is a branch that is 8” diam. at the butt. He may have sold it for veneer, however, the scaler found a fine seam and didn’t want it. He did indicate, however, that it is one of the best curly red maples he has seen.

As of right now, I am planning on buying the log and using it myself, but we “wood” consider selling it for the right price. In the meantime, I’d like to know how to saw it, i.e. what dimensions and quantities. How to dry it? What to use it for, etc. Several website show how it is used for gun stocks. Any other ideas. Should it be quarters-sawn, as a flitch, thick or thin? We just want to make the most of this tree.

I’m considering air drying it by sticking it very densely and putting a lot of weight on top. Is it worth the money to transport these rather large logs to get it kiln dried?

If I can remember, I’ll try to take a picture and post it…likely Mon. or Tues.


12 replies so far

View Gary's profile

Gary

7216 posts in 2084 days


#1 posted 03-23-2013 10:24 PM

Like to see pictures. Whether you have it dried or air dry depends on how soon you want to use the wood. I’m always in a hurry so, I’d go for the kiln. But, depending on how far that is, that may not be the best option. Uses are as varied as your imagination. Size of cuts is just more guesswork. If you have ideas of projects, that can guide your cuts. If not, I have most wood cut to 5/4. Hope someone can come on and give you better info. Still would like to see pictures so I can drool

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

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sprucegum

323 posts in 649 days


#2 posted 03-23-2013 11:16 PM

You will find the bill from the kiln to be quite a bit less if you sticker it for a couple of months first. Quarter sawn makes the best gunstocks. I never have hardwood sawn less than 1 1/8 the extra thickness is often needed to take the warp out of the boards when they are dry. 2 1/2” is about rite for stock blanks. Having never had curley maple sawed I am not sure if it should be flat or quarter sawed but you will get more lumber and wider boards if you flat saw.

-- A tube of calk and a gallon of paint will make a carpenter what he ain't

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

709 posts in 1609 days


#3 posted 03-26-2013 04:18 PM

Most people like the looks of maple, and the best way to get the figure to stand out is to slice it flat. I cut it into a cant, or square, then choose the nicest opposing sides and slice away on each until I get down toward the center, 2-6” from the pith on either side depending on the size of the log; the I turn an uncut side up and slice top-to-bottom, making thinner boards to go with the larger ones previously cut. I cut thick 1-3” pieces, again according to the size of the log. Logs don’t sell for much, here anyway, but selling it as a log has its advantages as well. It’s kind of like selling an unopened treasure chest, gotta find a buyer willing to take a chance relative to the one you take. If it is indeed very unusual, I’d recommend slicing it up. Sprucegums recommendation of air-drying first is very good, but maple loves to sticker stain so use dryer stickers with light to moderate ventilation if possible; kiln drying would be necessary to get the best money for it, invaluable in my opinion.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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sprucegum

323 posts in 649 days


#4 posted 03-26-2013 10:29 PM

Good point about the sticker stain Nomad dry stickers for sure another trick to help with sticker stain is to sticker the boards with only two stickers one as close as possible to each end. leave the pile outside in a area with good air flow and be sure to cover it. after about a week of good drying weather break the pile down and sitcker it properly. The maple will develop a dry skin on the outside and be much less likely to stain. It is a little extra work but if you only have a few hundred feet it won’t take long.

-- A tube of calk and a gallon of paint will make a carpenter what he ain't

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11657 posts in 2339 days


#5 posted 03-26-2013 11:29 PM

It is near the end of March 2013 here in Western MA , as well ! What a small world , ay ? LOL
You can only cut it once , so while you’re pondering the situation , be sure to seal the ends of that log before the checking begins : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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GMuddler

22 posts in 890 days


#6 posted 03-27-2013 12:55 AM

Pictures. Attached are a couple of pictures of a chuck I broke off and brought home, one taken in the house with yellowish lighting, the other in the garage/shop with bright fluorescent lights. I ran it over the jointer as if looking at a 1/4 sawn board. I’m realizing that the best view of the curl results for quarter-sawn wood. If I’m mistaken, please do tell me. The other two pictures are taken looking into the center of the tree (flatted on the jointer as well).

The next is looking into the center of the tree without flattening it.

I just wonder if I’ll get real wide boards if 1/4 sawn because of the size of the heart, which you don’t really see. These pictures are taken from the small log, not the base log. It is also a chuck near where the tree forked, so the heart is larger.

Thank for the input everyone. Good info that I probably wouldn’t have thought about. Will try to seal in the next couple of days.

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1126 posts in 1127 days


#7 posted 03-27-2013 01:41 AM

I always thought that the best figure would be on the flatsawn face.

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

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Dusty56

11657 posts in 2339 days


#8 posted 03-27-2013 03:47 AM

Nice looking stuff : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

709 posts in 1609 days


#9 posted 03-27-2013 03:38 PM

I’ve sliced hundreds of bf of maple like that, all those wiggles turn to striping when sliced flat and not quarter-sawn.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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GMuddler

22 posts in 890 days


#10 posted 03-27-2013 04:27 PM

Nomad. Thanks for the info. I reread you previous quote and will do so once again. I spoke with a former forester/arborist for the state the other day. The first thing he said was to quarter saw it, then he said to use which looks best.

Now, I’m only debating what you said about using flat sawn because of what I’ve seen in the pictures. To reiterate, the last picture above is NOT planed. The first four are all planed. The first two are of the same surface and are obviously the best. They were planed from the quarter-sawn perspective. The 3rd and 4th photos are of the same surface, but a different surface the than first two photos; they were taken from the flat sawn perspective. Pictures don’t lie in this case. Granted these are only two samples, but I want to at least TRY to get the best out of the log. Thanks for your input.

I’m going, RIGHT NOW, to go plane one more flat face to see how it looks.

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GMuddler

22 posts in 890 days


#11 posted 03-27-2013 05:03 PM

It does look like there is more curl on the new sides (flat sides) I plained. However, not as tight as from quarter sawn. Will experiment with the smaller log first.

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

709 posts in 1609 days


#12 posted 03-27-2013 05:34 PM

No matter which way you go I’m certain you’ll be satisfied, it looks as if there’s a ton of wonderful pattern in that log. I only suggest things based on my likes and preferences, definitely try (sometimes unsuccessfully) to not preach or direct people into doing anything. Have fun with it, cutting wood like that is like opening a present with each piece.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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