Author Topic: Large sugar maple log -- what to do  (Read 985 times)

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Offline mike1967

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Large sugar maple log -- what to do
« on: October 05, 2017, 09:08 PM »
Here is a picture of a sugar maple log that was left in my driveway today.  One end is 33" in diameter, and the "V" end is 44" wide.  The log is 12' long.  I am going to paint the ends tomorrow.

This log is much larger than I can handle with my small chain saw mill.  I know a local sawyer who can handle 34" diameter logs, but the "V" end would be an issue (I would have to get the log to him).

I would rather not use this log for firewood, but its size is an issue.  I could cut it to 8' or 9', and the sawyer could probably handle that.  Measuring from the 33" end, the "V' starts at around 9' or so.  Given the branches growing off this trunk, I suspect the grain pattern will be interesting.  The heart is solid and does not seem rotten on either end.

This log is one of a few in the pile, but it is the largest.  A neighbor of mine cut down a number of trees....  There are some other sugar maple logs in the pile, one birch log, and one log of unknown type. 

Any thoughts would be highly appreciated.

Mike



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Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: Large sugar maple log -- what to do
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2017, 09:49 PM »
Where are you located?

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline pixelated

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Re: Large sugar maple log -- what to do
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2017, 09:54 PM »
You could cut some bowl blanks at the branch ends and perhaps get it small enough for your sawyer, assuming you have a lathe to turn them on. I'll wager you have some nice figure in there. if you don't have a lathe, go buy one  [smile]

Offline mike1967

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Re: Large sugar maple log -- what to do
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2017, 10:03 PM »
New Hampshire.

I do not have a lathe.  :-)

Would a slab that goes through the heart be worthwhile?

Offline luke duke

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Re: Large sugar maple log -- what to do
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2017, 11:44 PM »
I do not have a lathe.  :-)
Bummer. You could have made a nice pen with that.

Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: Large sugar maple log -- what to do
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2017, 10:01 AM »
Around Philly there are a couple guys who specialize in milling reclaimed urban logs, it's worth a google.

You might also look into having someone bring a portable mill to the logs and saw them onsite. Try Wood-Mizer. You'd nead some means of drying it.

Only an uneducated guess but I suspect the lumber yield will be well worth the cost/hassle.

RMW

New Hampshire.

I do not have a lathe.  :-)

Would a slab that goes through the heart be worthwhile?
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline Cheese

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Re: Large sugar maple log -- what to do
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2017, 10:23 AM »
FWIW...I took down a large sugar maple in the back yard a number of years ago. I called up a local log guy and we winched it onto his flatbed trailer. When I got the 8/4 boards back, most of them already had a nasty twist to them. I think the biggest challenge in this project will be the drying stage.

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Large sugar maple log -- what to do
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2017, 06:44 PM »
When sawyers go out into the woods and evaluate trees to cut the value is determined up to the first branch.  Beyond that is worthless to them as lumber.  Perhaps it has value as firewood or some other alternative usage.

I look at that log and sadly I see so much possible internal stress in the highly branched area and I would suspect that it would have to be milled into 4 " thick slabs and then dried over 4 or more years and then once you worked tirelessly to flatten and create a parallel side you would maybe have a 5/4 board and find many stress cracks and checks.

In the industry that makes money in lumber that log wasn't worth hauling away except for possibly pulpwood.

If you had your own bandsaw mill it might be worth trying to slab it and see what happens.  Worse case would be that you created some firewood with your sawmill.

Hate to say this.

Peter
Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the development of some TSO Products.  I have offered thoughts and ideas freely.  I am not paid but I may receive products during the development process or afterwards.

Offline mike1967

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Re: Large sugar maple log -- what to do
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2017, 09:51 PM »
Thanks to everyone who has replied to my post.

If a wide slab would be problematic, another option is milling a series of 8/4 boards that are 8" or 10" wide.  This would not be as interesting as a slab, but it would be much better than firewood.  Do people think that even these boards would be endlessly twisty and hard to work with?

Mike

Offline Cheese

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Re: Large sugar maple log -- what to do
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2017, 10:21 PM »

I look at that log and sadly I see so much possible internal stress in the highly branched area and I would suspect that it would have to be milled into 4 " thick slabs and then dried over 4 or more years and then once you worked tirelessly to flatten and create a parallel side you would maybe have a 5/4 board and find many stress cracks and checks.

.

I think that’s what happened to me Peter. I saw all the crotches and figured what a beautiful piece of timber this would be without thinking about how much they influence the overall straightness of the board. Perhaps it was on my part ... wild 😜 enthusiasm.

Offline Naildrivingman

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Re: Large sugar maple log -- what to do
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2017, 08:24 AM »
To dovetail off Peter Halle's comments,

I don't know squat about milling, but I did call a mill rep out to a site about 10 years where I was harvesting firewood, because I thought maybe there were some that would be more appropriate for BF than BTU.  The rep spent about 10 seconds on each tree and declined all as potential.

I would take your pics to a mill if you are serious about it.  A portable sawyer may have the knowledge, but a mill would be a better bet.
Dance with who brung ya...