Live edge or boards? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 06-07-2017, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Live edge or boards?

So, I am going to end up with 6 or 8 maple logs that are anywhere from 14" to 20" in diameter that I am going to have someone come in and mill for me. I've never had this done and not sure how much lumber to expect from it. My guess is that it won't produce many boards and I was thinking that it would be nice to have some live edge stuff to work with. Thought the live edge would make some nice coffee tables.

Anyone have any suggestions? All live edge...all boards...half and half?
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-07-2017, 02:16 PM
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I'm a little confused by the dichotomy between "live edge" and "boards." Won't you be getting boards that are live-edged, and therefore boards that can then have the live edge cut off at a later date?

That's what I did when I had the opportunity to get some wood milled. We elected to keep the live edge on all the boards we got milled: That way, when they're ready to be used, we'll have the option of keeping the live edge or cutting it to a straight edge on a table saw.

Does this help, or am I completely misunderstanding?
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post #3 of 12 Old 06-07-2017, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Yes it helps, and you understand perfectly. And I have thought about doing exactly what you described, but was a little unsure how well I would be able to cut the live edge off using a table saw...not having a straight edge to put against the fence.
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post #4 of 12 Old 06-07-2017, 03:47 PM
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Looks like this page has a couple ways to do it. And of course, you can also do it with a circular saw and a long board that you know is straight to act as the guide (although that would be a little more time-intensive).

In my strictly amateurish opinion, I would recommend keeping them all live-edge until you know what you want to do with them. It's a huge amount of opportunity vs a small amount of convenience (and for that matter, I think it's quite likely that even with a straight edge to start with, they'll warp at least a little during the drying process).
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post #5 of 12 Old 06-08-2017, 02:08 PM
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Hi Ron,

This is a tough one to really get into without knowing more about your skill sets and tools in my view.

I think you could say I'm a professional in this "woodworking stuff" (ha,ha) and also a logger and sawyer when I need to be. So I would ask my client what they can do and what tools they do it with...Then ask if I am going to "Swingblade" (almost all quarter sawn material produced) these bolts (aka log sections) into stackable material...or...should I "fletch cut" (live edge through and through milling typically done with a bandmill) all the bolts into something that can be reworked later depending on the client's needs...???

Then we have to discuss what thickness you want depending on those skill sets you have and your tooling approach...???

In today's market, if you treat the slabs well and take good care in stacking and stickering them, end sealing and cleating checks...I would go with 8/4 in the center of the bolts with one slab catching the entire pith...and work my way out to the bark. This is a "fletch cut bolt" and should be kept together as the slabs come off the mill in the order they grew. This will give you good project work...or...something to sell.

That's my current take on what you have described.

Good luck,
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post #6 of 12 Old 06-27-2017, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Jay...very helpful.

On a side note...it looks like it may be a while before I can get someone in to mill the bolts. How long can they lay on the ground before I have to do something with them? 6 months? year? I have 3 more trees to take down, but I probably won't get to the one till next spring, and I'd just as soon mill them all at once.
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post #7 of 12 Old 06-27-2017, 07:42 PM
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Time frame from bolt to lumber can vary with species, and what you wish to have from it for a project...

Maple decays quickly...However, this can be a "controlled decay" whereby the wood can be induced (or allowed) to Spalt, which for this species can be a very desirable natural effect.

In general, of logs after being section into bolts...and not milled immediately...need to be double end sealed, debarked immediately, and raise off the ground a full 300mm (~12") minimum.

Storing underwater (when possible) is better and an excellent conditioning method for fine wood material later harvested from a bolt.

背割 Sewari (aka "spine splitting) treatment of a bolt with a chainsaw will cause some minor loss yet also vastly control interstitial tensions within the bolt and later the wood it yields as well tends to be much more stable no matter how you mill it unless the tree was full of "cross tension" to begin with...Which Acer (Maples) can have...Either way, it is, or can be a helpful addition to the treatment of bolts that will not be milled immediately.
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-26-2018, 10:26 PM
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One thing I like to do is take a Live Edge Board, you smile DeWalt track saw and cut it straight down the middle. Flip those pieces to where the live-edge are facing each other, take my router and cut channels connecting the two pieces with key stock and Bondo on the underside. Cover with HVAC tape, then apply a casting resin with a metallic color pigment and create a river. I do this with the smaller boards. Sometimes they're so small in comparison to the others, this is the only way you can get a decent board out of them and it creates something unique.
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-26-2018, 10:28 PM
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I'm doing in this on my phone and talk to to text put something about you smile before DeWalt. I meant to say I take my, something got Lost in Translation there
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-26-2018, 10:38 PM
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You buy a "fake" straight edge and clamp that to a live edge board. You buzz that through the table saw.
PRESTO! You have one straight edge.
Lee Valley sells them as pairs of clamps, they work far better than I ever expected.
Sure, a $5,000 track saw might do the same.

I get clean edges then a little quiet time with a tuned up Stanley plane to sing in the wood.

>>Go for it. Get your wood all buzzed up while you make the stickers.
Stacked and stickered, undercover in the shade, ought to give you an
Equilibrium Moisture Content of 12 - 14% in a year per inch thickness.
So 6/4 and 8/4 ought to be good in less than 2 years.
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post #11 of 12 Old 02-27-2018, 03:24 AM
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[QUOTE=Jay C. White Cloud;1697185
In general, of logs after being section into bolts...and not milled immediately...need to be double end sealed, debarked immediately, and raise off the ground a full 300mm (~12") minimum.
.[/QUOTE]

Jay, would debarking be for the purpose of getting rid of the bugs that like to live in the bark and cambium layers? Or another purpose?
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post #12 of 12 Old 03-24-2018, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmwood_1 View Post
Jay, would debarking be for the purpose of getting rid of the bugs that like to live in the bark and cambium layers? Or another purpose?
Sorry I missed this...Yes it would, but there are other solutions as well...

j
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