Raw Wood

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Forum topic by hiswillus posted 07-11-2013 03:29 PM 1230 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View hiswillus's profile


70 posts in 2185 days

07-11-2013 03:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Found some fire wood out back and really interested in figuring out how to craft from the raw state. I’ve learned that it is beneficial to split logs so that they break in there natural weak spots. This wood was cut (chain saw) for firewood and really not dried properly as they were just planned to be used as fuel, so I may not be able to use them. I’ve also read that logs should be painted on the end not to dry on the ends to quick and I’m guessing why mine have a crack like pattern sort of like a clock face. Also wondering (after slicing one open that didn’t look like it had any knots or branches coming out of it, why I found two knots in the middle.

Any info would be awesome.



7 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5148 posts in 4197 days

#1 posted 07-11-2013 04:31 PM

Go ahead and split the log into usable slabs. Then seal the end cuts, let it dry ( 1 year/inch thickness ).
If you rush the drying process, you’ll just have more firewood.
Even cheap latex paint used as an end sealer will work.


View firefighterontheside's profile


19603 posts in 2093 days

#2 posted 07-11-2013 04:44 PM

Some species of trees are what they call self pruning. Lower limbs will die off. Once the limb falls off, the tree continues to grow around it. You will then find the remains of an old branch inside the tree.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2724 days

#3 posted 07-11-2013 04:45 PM

Depending on how long ago it was cut, it could be usable now.

By your recent questions on a couple of posts I surmise you are new to working with wood.

Wood has been around to work with longer than metal has. Wood also moves…. a lot!
DOn’t expect it to conform to what you think it should do, it will have it’s own ideas.

When I find a piece like that, I try to cut it into 2”-2 1/2” slabs and let it lay around in the shop until dry enough to use.
That way if it warps, twists or bows I can still resaw it and make something from it.

I guess the bottom line here is that you need to work with the wood to find out what wood is going to do and what you can do with it. Asking questions is good, but if you are always second guessing yourself you’ll never create anything.

Good Luck!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View bondogaposis's profile


5150 posts in 2588 days

#4 posted 07-11-2013 04:49 PM

I would crack it into quarters and seal the ends.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View hiswillus's profile


70 posts in 2185 days

#5 posted 07-11-2013 07:13 PM

So this piece of wood is 14 inches long, so it will not be ready for use for 14 years? I think I started this hobby to late in life ;)

View MisterBill's profile


411 posts in 2488 days

#6 posted 07-11-2013 07:41 PM

let it dry ( 1 year/inch thickness ). Not 1 year per inch of length! In other words if you cut your 14” long log into 2” thick slabs they would take two years to dry.

View Wildwood's profile


2526 posts in 2371 days

#7 posted 07-11-2013 07:55 PM

End checking in picture does not tell how far into the log those cracks go until split open. If do not end seal with paint, wax, or commercial end sealers soon after downing a tree or process logs can some expect end checking and splitting. End sealing will slow down moisture loss from end of logs but not completely stop it over time.

You can find knots in wood in both heart & sap wood. As tree grows over broken limbs, they leave knots in wood. Sap wood in some species just full of knots due to many branches below cambium & bark.

-- Bill

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