Underwater log salvage - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-12-2013, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Underwater log salvage

I used to live on Blackwater bay near Milton, FL. There was a sawmill nearby that stopped operating about 100 years ago, I'm not sure of the exact date. Anyway, near the old pier (only a few rotted pilings left) theres a lot old logs that sunk. I've heard that logs salvaged from underwater can be pretty spectacular with all the mineral inclusions and was just wondering if anybody here has any info or thoughts on salvaging these. They are in brackish water, Blackwater bay connects to the gulf.
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-12-2013, 05:35 PM
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big money in those kinda logs
would love to see something done with it if you get it out
good luck
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-12-2013, 05:50 PM
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When those logs were floating in the mill pond, they had to be at least a couple hundred years old, agreed?

They grew up in a much cooler climate. In the NE, it is referred to as the "Little Ice Age" and it lasted a few centuries. Under those growth conditions, the wood is much more uniform and slightly denser than anything which grows now. That adds substantial comparative value.
That wood anatomy is of great interest to luthiers now.
The fact that they are sunk now, the water has very little to do with the value, except for potential mineralization and I'd love to see examples of that.
The fact that they sank meant that they were lost to the mill. Held over if you like.

It's a fact that trees are soaked with water all of their living lives anyway. When they were growing and how that affected the anatomy of the wood is the big deal.

Here endeth the lecture.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-12-2013, 06:00 PM
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There might be big money in those logs, but there might be nothing but expense in them because of that brackish water. There's really no way to tell without lots of very expensive equipment. You're in luck though because I just happen to have all of the required equipment. If you pull one of the logs out (the bigger the better) and ship it to me, I'll test it and find out if it's worth your trouble to get the rest out or not.


No, really, you can trust me. I'm a good guy. I would never lie!

Honestly, yes logs like that are very likely to be worth the expense of getting them out of the water and milled. How do you get the logs out? Hmm, scuba gear and a winch with a long cable? I don't really know the answer to that question, but I'm sure there's a fairly simple way to do it.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-12-2013, 10:47 PM
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Heck there's a TV show about that very thing--NatGeo, Discover???
Swamp loggers??? They use boats, cables, muscle, and I think luck.
Maybe your logs could make an episode for'em??
Dave H
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-12-2013, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert421960 View Post
would love to see something done with it if you get it out
Some examples...
http://timelesstimber.com/gallery.php




.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-12-2013, 11:41 PM
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In BC lakes, the divers just fill little parachute-looking things with exhaust from their scuba gear. Presto! up they go.
BUT. . . . BC was not a part of the "Little Ice Age."

The hardwood logs in eastern North America, which lived through the LIA, cut, floated and sank back then. . . . that's the wood quality. Very simply presereved by inaccessibility. Too many people will try to tell you that it's the water-logging, the sinking that makes the wood so wonderful. Bunk. Hocus-pocus. Rubbish. Horse-puckey. Rot. No, it's because they couldn't chop it up back then. Really big, old barn timbers from the late 1700's are the same stuff.
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-12-2013, 11:47 PM
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That's a great place. I know exactly where that's at. I've been there before and it's beautiful. The material is grossly expensive. It's been awhile since I've been up that way, but I thought they closed the doors. I guess not.

When it's rustic......it's rustic
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-13-2013, 02:28 AM
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That's a great place. I know exactly where that's at. I've been there before and it's beautiful. The material is grossly expensive. It's been awhile since I've been up that way, but I thought they closed the doors. I guess not.
Firemedic dives for sinker cypress he probably could answer your questions as good as anyone could site unseen. Of course he started a long weekend so not sure if we will see him or not.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-13-2013, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone, lots of great info here! The place this woods at is probably not over 6 feet deep. Its all in the bay and its a really shallow bay, avarage depth over the whole thing is around 6 feet. As far as getting it out, there are tons of dock builders in the area with small barges outfitted with cranes. I'll run out there in my boat as soon as the water temp gets warm enough to get in and take a look. I'll keep you posted!
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post #11 of 11 Old 01-14-2013, 12:22 AM
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You better check the local codes first - in most states the government "owns" the watercourses, including the logs sunk in them. You have to have permits before proceeding, or you can incur some major fines (including the impoundment of all of your recovery equipment).
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