|Forum topic by Greg In Maryland||posted 06-02-2014 11:23 PM||2167 views||1 time favorited||15 replies|
06-02-2014 11:23 PM
So, I live in a heavily suburbanized area outside of Washington, DC. Rare are the opportunities for me to score some decent “free wood” of any substantial size. Lots of firewood, but nothing really beyond that.
Last Friday the homeowners association contractors cut down several large trees in the neighborhood and left numerous large logs. I certainly had my eye on them, but not much of an opportunity to get them myself. Fortunately the crew was out today with a bobcat getting ready to move the logs to the truck for transit to the dump. It took me about a nano second to make my move and convince them to put the logs in my driveway.
Here’s what I now have instead of a car in my driveway:
The log on the right is ~8 feet long, the diameter at the base is 31 inches tapering to ~24 inches in diameter at the top. (the base in the rear). The diameter of the log on the left is ~24 inches at the base tapering to ~15 inches in diameter at the top. (the base in the rear) and is ~9.5 feet long.
I am nearly certain that these are white oak. There is a closeup of the bark and what I think is a leaf from the felling.
Unfortunately, I coated the log ends with anchor seal before I took pictures, so no end grain pictures for your viewing pleasure. Any thoughts?
Using the woodweb calculator (doyle log scale), I come up with 352 board feet. Using retail prices and assuming that the logs do yield 352 board feet, I am calculating that the retail price is just a bit north of $2k. Ok, ok, I am not likely to get anywhere near this from the logs and it is going to cost me a few dollars to get the logs cut, but it is a fun exercise never the less.
Ok, so now what? What I am most interested in is getting a 4 1/2 inch slab for another work bench that I want to make, along with stretchers and legs, etc. I have my eye on the Moravian Workbench:
Here is a link for a better look: link I almost have a sawyer lined up (I know who I want to go with and he can retrieve the logs and cut to my specifications, I just have to connect with him) A few questions I have:
1) I plan stickering and elevating the lumber on concrete blocks outside. How may concrete blocks should I plan on under the stack for slabs 8.5 to 9.5 feet long? Does six sets of blocks sound like enough?
2) What type of wood should I use for stickering? Would home depot red oak work or pine? Keep in mind that the wood will need to be sitting outside for years. Does stickers that are 1 inch x 1 inch sound ok?
3) My thought is to get some quatersawn 5/4ths lumber as well as the slabs. I will put the 5/4ths lumber down first and then the slabs, then some cheap plywood and then top the entire stack with some stones/bags of gravel for weight. Does this sound like a reasonable approach?
4) Where I am going to store the wood is slightly slopped. My plan is to create a level concrete block arrangement. I suspect that if the concrete blocks are not level, the wood will dry warped. Is right?
5) Again, where I am going to store the wood is about 4 feet wide by ~20 feet long. I think that I can safely get a 3 to 3 1/2 foot wide stack, which will leave about a 6 to 12 inches clearance. The space is between two houses, has a flagstone base and is well sheltered from glaring sun. The area acts like a wind tunnel so there is plenty of air circulation. Does this sound like a reasonable spot?
6) I was thinking of keeping the stack exposed to the weather for the rest of spring, summer, and fall, and then cover it with a tarp for the winter. Should I be concerned about snow accumulation?
7) The trees were taken down because of their size and approximation to townhouses, so I do not think that they were diseased. I did not see any overt signs of bugs or other critters. Is there anything I can do to ensure that I don’t get any visitors?
Lastly, anyone have any advise on convincing the wife that this was a good idea and that two massive logs in her driveway isn’t a ludicrous idea? She comes home in 40 minutes, so I need to think quickly.