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post #21 of 23 Old 03-08-2009, 11:35 AM
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Numerous issues with warped lumber and most have been mentioned here. When it comes to softwood, two big issues come to mind. First, as Daren mentioned, its new fast growth trees which have less strenght, but more importantly, location of the board in its relation to the log.

Making 2x4's out of 20" trees are bound to have a boat load of warped boards because the growth rings are not centered, or balanced on each side of the board. The same can be said for hardwoods.

Nothing worse than having a customer come in with a nice 20" log and tell me he wants it all cut into 2x4's. I wont do it anymore becuase even though I warn them of the warp issues from many of the boards they come back later and complain that 2/3's of the boards warped like bananas.

Take the same log and cut the lumber into wider boards, assuming its not fast growth stuff, and you will have far more stable lumber.

All these factors are assuming its stacked and dried properly which is a whole nother book :)
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post #22 of 23 Old 03-08-2009, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Daren View Post
Mainly with the hybrids on fast rotation in tree farms...but as an extreme example since I mill "yard trees" I have seen trees standing alone with no competition with 1/2 or less the growth rings of the same species from the timber.
I happen to have a picture in my old gallery here of a freak walnut. It was in a guys yard that backed up to a farm field. He had lots of fertilizer run off for many acres where this tree grew. This tree came up volunteer after he bought the place and he just mowed around it. He had only lived in that house for 15 years...the tree was 20" diameter and nearly 50' tall. I have milled the same size trees that are a minimum of 50 years old.
Illinois walnut for slow growth has maybe an inch of white sapwood on a log this size, this tree is was 3"-4". It was shooting up like a weed.
The point of this story is I was sort of excited to get this tree when the guy said he felled it to make room for a new garage...I just wasted gas milling it. I was hoping for something unique since I like the contrast of walnut sapwood in my projects some times. What I got was a pile of lumber that cupped beyond belief, what did not cup simple busted right down the middle. It was very unstable due to it's fast growth rate.
I thought the original post was about softwood framing material, so that is why I jumped in with the plantation explanation. Most softwoods naturally grow faster than most hardwoods. I cannot speak on hardwood forestation/harvest because I am not familiar with any timber industry companies doing that. Sure cut out old growth and replant fast growth/one species (usually softwood), but not plant a managed long term hardwood crop.
I have to add thinning hardwoods like you mentioned is healthy for the forest overall and to weed out the lesser trees makes the stronger ones thrive. Not grow at an unhealthy fast rate, just grow well.


Don't mean to hi-jack but some time ago I posted about a walnut tree I was taking down, http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f26/c...nut-tree-7194/ Long story short, I ended up with a with a tree with an enormous amount of sap wood as you posted. I'm very dissapointed to say the least.

I've got the tree down but haven't started cutting it up. I now don't want to spend the money or time to have a sawyer saw it up. I may just salvage some crotches with a chain saw cutting it about 2'' thick. You said you had a lot of cupping with that tree ... what did you do with the wood?
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post #23 of 23 Old 03-08-2009, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Leatherneck View Post
. what did you do with the wood?
I just had to rip it in to narrow boards (6" +/-) and plane them down. I still got lumber from the tree...just not I originally milled it for. I was wanting live edge full flitches for certain projects, wide sapwood on each side.
Like I said I like the white sapwood on some things so it is not all bad. Most times though I admit I mill the sap off and put in the firewood pile.
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