LumberJocks

Milling Dry Cherry

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by Matt posted 12-03-2013 02:59 AM 1071 views 1 time favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Matt's profile

Matt

30 posts in 547 days


12-03-2013 02:59 AM

I felled a cherry on my property in March of last year and bucked it this past February. Much of it became firewood for my uncle, but I left 3 3’ long, 16” thick logs for myself. I wasn’t able to get them out until last week (the steep mountain road to the property is not driveable when muddy or snowy, and I live 400 miles away).

I’m getting them milled this Friday. The logs show some visible checking on the ends, which are also weathered and gray, but I hope they yield some decent lumber. I want to do some simple slab benches and tables, just some strong, good furniture. I am aware, though, that I may have gone through all this trouble for some firewood.

Does anyone have any experience milling wood that has sat out that long after felling? And, what do I do after done at the mill? I have no experience seasoning and storing lumber like this.

Thanks!


33 replies so far

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1140 posts in 1141 days


#1 posted 12-03-2013 03:05 AM

You will be surprised how wet the wood will be inside the log. Sticker it well with good air flow, just like you would green lumber. Realize that cherry is bad to split at the pith.

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

View Matt's profile

Matt

30 posts in 547 days


#2 posted 12-03-2013 03:12 AM

Thanks Danny. I’ve never milled and stored lumber before. From what I’ve read on here, I understand that I need to stack the slabs on same-sized stickers. I have a ton of pine or fir 1x that I can use for this.

Now, what about sealing the ends? I’m especially curious about this because of the checking.

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1140 posts in 1141 days


#3 posted 12-03-2013 12:49 PM

I always seal the ends with anchorseal, but it has to be done quickly after the log has been felled to do the most good. At this point, since it has been over 8 months, they have probably checked as much as they will.

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

View Matt's profile

Matt

30 posts in 547 days


#4 posted 12-04-2013 03:20 AM

Thanks again; I will post some pictures this Friday.

View bannerpond1's profile

bannerpond1

233 posts in 563 days


#5 posted 12-04-2013 04:45 PM

Matt, I’ve had to take down three large cherry trees on my property. The board above was from the largest, 28 inches in diameter and about 20 feet tall at the first branch. Use stickers made from the same species. I would NOT use the pine to sticker it. If you discolor the cherry, you’re not going to be happy. You should have plenty of waste from milling your logs to use for stickers. On your three-foot boards, three stickers, one inch or so in thickness, will suffice. Make sure your base is level and that you can get airflow under the bottom board. Place the stickers so that they line up perpendicular from one board to another. Use something rigid as the last layer and put some cinder blocks or something on it, in line with the stickers, to preclude any twisting as the boards dry. I have had great luck in drying the cherry, which I QS in a nearby mill. I gladly suffer the increased waste in order to get the QS boards.

-- --Dale Page

View Matt's profile

Matt

30 posts in 547 days


#6 posted 12-05-2013 02:58 AM

Dale, that board is impressive. Thanks also for the advice; I haven’t yet thought about quarter sawing my logs because I would like to get some wider boards. But now I see that QS will give me more quality lumber.

I wonder if I could get a decent 2” slab from the center of each log, giving me a 3 wide pieces that will hopefully not warp too bad, and QS the rest?

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

925 posts in 1020 days


#7 posted 12-05-2013 03:06 AM

Drying times depend a lot on your location, if they’ve been in a really wet envirionment, the lumber may still be green, fairly dry, it may be seasoned. As for checking, well you should have put some kind of paint on the ends when you fell them to ensure that the moisture content is consistent, as logs tend to lose moisture at the ends more rapidly than along the bark. Go ahead and put something on those ends just the same, and hopefully you do not already have case hardening, which is where the boards dry out on the outside faster than on the inside.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1140 posts in 1141 days


#8 posted 12-05-2013 03:41 AM

It is best to use dry stickers to avoid sticker stain. If you cut a 2” slab from the center of each log in cherry, the slab will crack at the pith. Cherry is notorious for cracking at the pith.

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

View bannerpond1's profile

bannerpond1

233 posts in 563 days


#9 posted 12-06-2013 12:45 AM

Matt, I have the sawyer cut two or three thick boards in the widest part of the log. The wood in those will be QS in the middle, but you have to rip out the pith. No problem with a big log. That’s what you see in the photo. The boards on either side of the pith will be either QS or rift sawn, depending on the diameter of the log and the thickness of your cuts. The photo shows what I do and is oriented for the first cuts.

1, Cut two or three boards through the pith. Put them aside; they’re done.
2. You now have two “half moons.” Put them face to face and stand them up on the saw’s table. Cut three boards from this, the middle of which would line up with the pith.
3. You now have four quarter rounds. Two at a time, put them face to face like bookends and cut timbers from them. These will make perfect table legs because it will be perfectly rift sawn. The grain will be the same on all four sides compared to a flat-sawn timber.
4. Once you have the four timbers cut, get as much as you can from the remainder. I figure it makes good face frames or picture frames.

I hope this helps.

-- --Dale Page

View RobertT's profile

RobertT

67 posts in 1446 days


#10 posted 12-06-2013 12:54 AM

I have used osb for stickers with no side affects you can get nearly a hundred from a signal sheet.

View Matt's profile

Matt

30 posts in 547 days


#11 posted 12-06-2013 01:22 AM

Thanks everyone for the advice. I talked to the sawyer already about what ideas I have for this wood, but he will give me some options too once he sees the logs. I will be heading to the mill tomorrow after work and will post pictures after.

View summerfi's profile

summerfi

1066 posts in 352 days


#12 posted 12-06-2013 08:30 PM

Matt – Dale’s post above had some excellent advice. I would still go ahead and seal the ends of the boards, as now that they’re sawn, they likely will split more. When you have splitting on both ends of a 3’ board, there’s not much left. Anchorseal is a good product, but is expensive and may not be available locally to you. Don’t waste your time painting the ends, they will still crack. I would heat up some paraffin and either dip the ends or paint it on. You only need to cover the end grain. It’s relatively inexpensive and will do a good job. Also, when stickering, keep your stickers as close to the ends of the boards as possible. This will also help prevent splitting. If stored outside, be sure to cover with something that will shed water, like a piece of old roofing tin or something similar. And adding weight, like a bunch of cinder blocks, will help prevent twisting and warping. It’s surprising how much weight it takes.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- "Of all the tools I own, my favorite is a good sharp pocket knife." - My Dad

View quvia's profile

quvia

94 posts in 332 days


#13 posted 12-07-2013 01:13 AM

I air dry alot of sawn wood and even after a few years drying time I would advise putting your wood in the enviormet it will live in. It will do what it wants for a while and then cut to width plane etc. you will end up with a nice board at the end. It takes time though.

-- Ted ,Conesus,N.Y.

View Matt's profile

Matt

30 posts in 547 days


#14 posted 12-07-2013 06:55 PM

The milling went fine yesterday. I got it all plain sawn; I know quarter sawn would have yielded better boards but I’m willing to take the risk of plain sawing to get more lumber. I hastily stacked it yesterday on OSB stickers but will cut stickers from the waste and restack today. I looked for some paraffin wax for the ends yesterday but Lowes and the local hardware store did not carry it, nor did they have Anchorseal.

What else can I use to paint the ends? Is any latex-based paint ok?

View Matt's profile

Matt

30 posts in 547 days


#15 posted 12-07-2013 07:11 PM

I may have to post pictures one at a time.

showing 1 through 15 of 33 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase