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post #1 of 13 Old 03-24-2008, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Question new member needs help

I live in the woods and have access to oak and maple logs free.There is a sawmill just up the road that will cut them cheap.What is or are the most useful way to cut them?What is quarter sawn?Are there ways to cut that prevent cupping,warping and splitting? Thanks guys!!!
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-24-2008, 12:04 PM
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Hi Rick
Welcome to the forum.
Most wood will tend to warp, twist, and cup as it dries. About the best way to control these problems is to stack the wood in layers with sticker boards between them. [slats of wood maybe one or two inches wide and an inch or so thick] Line the stickers up vertically, so the load is straight up and down, and place your stickers every two to three feet along the length of the boards. The weight of the wood will help hold it down, and the stickers will allow air to circulate between the layers of boards so that drying is more even. If you have a dry area, such as a shed or shop where you can stack them that's better than outside, and if you can use a fan to circulate air through and around the stack that is even better. If you have to stack them outside, cover the wood with a tarp, but leave room all around the wood for air to circulate.

Quarter sawn wood means that the log is quartered lengthwise before the boards are sawn off. I am not a sawyer, but from reading posts of the sawyers it appears that there is a higher amount of waste if sawing this way.
In any event, if you can get free logs and cheap sawing you are one lucky dude.

Have fun

Gerry
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post #3 of 13 Old 03-24-2008, 01:04 PM
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throw a boatload of weight(i.e. cinderblocks,crappy cants,solidcore doors)on top of the pile.Good word from Gerry on this too. and you'll get I'm sure, quite abit more info on this.I dry my piles outside and after I throw the weight on I top the pile with a roof(plywood,tin or any corragated cheap roof)overhang the edges by about 4" so rain runs off and onto the ground.Don't forget to stack your stickered pile in an area that gets a prevailing breeze.This will carry the moisture off and out of the pile.
As far as Quartersawing,I like quartersawn Oak.It shows a beautiful "ray of fleck",if you will.It is also abit more stable when cut this way,meaning less prone to cup and warp.You can bank on having some degree of movement in the pile,and some degree of defect too.This depends on too many variables to list especially if your not familiar with what to look out for.Not important now....1.Stack your pile just like Gerry advised above.2.Make sure you weight it down,this will help to decrease the amount of cup and warp.3.Cut it anyway you want,if it's nice wood and worth it....Quartersaw!Especially if the sawyer is affordable. 4.Seal the ends with a wax emulsion type sealer(do this right after cutting,it's easier after stacking too.)this will minimize endchecks and splits.5.Prevailing breeze!!! If you have a summer like the one we had last year,you will airdry that wood quickly.6.Remember,heat from the sun draws the water out and the wind carries the moisture off and outta the pile.and check out this publication,it's alot of information crammed into a few pages! http://owic.oregonstate.edu/pubs/for55.pdf Good luck!

Last edited by Marko; 03-24-2008 at 01:11 PM.
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post #4 of 13 Old 03-24-2008, 02:02 PM
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One detail the others left out

is, get your stack up off the ground. I do not let my wood any closer than 18" to the ground. It gives the rabbits a place to hide and it keeps the lumber high enough that it doesn't absorb moisture from the ground. Make sure that the framework you begin your stack on is, 1: Able to support the weight (approx 8 lbs per board foot in dried oak) and 2: Very level and stable. Attention to the details in the beginning will yield better lumber in the end.

Ed
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post #5 of 13 Old 03-24-2008, 02:04 PM
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Don't forget, when you stack that first board to have it elevated off the ground. What I do is use a concrete block and then lay a sticker on it then the board. You don't want the wood in contact with the ground. Stack your biggest/longest lumber on the bottom and shorter stuff on the top..$.02

........................www.Jeremydillardwoodworking.com.........................

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post #6 of 13 Old 03-24-2008, 02:05 PM
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HA, you beat me by 2 minutes Ed

........................www.Jeremydillardwoodworking.com.........................

"Only those who risk going too far, can possibly know how far they can go"
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-25-2008, 11:41 AM
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Great article Marko.

That one really sums it up well.

I neglected to mention to Rick to elevate the stack off the ground, and I always forget about sealing the board ends.

Gerry
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-25-2008, 07:04 PM
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Gerry,guy's have written books on "How to Properly Stack and Dry Wood".Who,can remember all? If we were to list all we know and remember,we would be writing a "book" too ....whenever I'm asking questions online or doing research ,I love when guys forward links or post them in my direction.It's good reading,allows me to go back and read it again and it's usually correct and unbiased....usually!

/quote/ and check out this publication,it's alot of information crammed into a few pages! http://owic.oregonstate.edu/pubs/for55.pdf Good luck![/quote]


there is a detailed "illustration" in the link that I posted above that shows you how to build a stack. It's a very short publication but some great info on the basics..... do not be misled by the sticker placement or lack thereof in the illustration,but follow there lead.I stick my piles 12"-18" on center,from the ground up.

Last edited by Marko; 03-25-2008 at 07:26 PM.
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post #9 of 13 Old 03-25-2008, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Man you guys are on the ball. Thanks for the quick replies and other sites. Being new to this,it's good to talk with those who know their .Again,Thank you!
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post #10 of 13 Old 03-26-2008, 12:26 PM
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You are more than welcome Rick
Half the fun of being on this forum is helping other aspiring woodworkers get off on the right foot.
The other half is learning from other peoples experience so you don't have to make all of the potential mistakes yourself.

One of the big surprises to me has been all the neat sites out there just crammed with good information.

Gerry
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post #11 of 13 Old 03-26-2008, 01:06 PM
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Rick,

Alot of good advice - I want to touch on quartersawing a little more.
Before you take your logs to the mill, read up a little more on quartersawing. Some woods "look better" i.e display a prettier grain pattern, and some species "need" to be quartersawn to minimize waste due to movement.

Sycamore for example looks rather boring flat sawn but is a KNOCK-OUT when quartersawn. It is also a wood that "needs" to be quartersawn because it moves like the dickens when flat sawn.

Sweetgum is notorious for movement EVEN when quartersawn but moves much less that way.

I always tell everyone who is interested in learning even the basics of wood to get the book Understanding Wood by Bruce Hoadley. It's a sawyers and woodworkers Bible IMO and an absolute necessity in understanding the hows and whys of wood movement and everything else. I mean right down to the cell structure, and he makes it not only understandable but interesting too.

You are interested in Oak and Maple right now but you are probably gonna get hooked on this, and so I have a suggestion no one else is going to give you. Get your wife involved in this! Women get hooked on wood easily but they need to be nudged first. Once they get hooked, it's not just fun to have a wiiling accomplice it's muchg easier to buy all the toys you are fixing to start daydreaming about all day long!
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post #12 of 13 Old 03-26-2008, 04:13 PM
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I heard that!....one night not too long ago I heard a voice in the middle of the night.It was my wife! She said "go to the Olympics,and race a bobsled!!!!"No,I'm kidding.....but she did say,I really think you should go and buy that mill you been wanting.She sat idly by and watched me fall flat into this business and watched me make a few bucks too.I'm not one that "needs" her support on all decisions but man,it's been alot easier to focus on what I;m doing because I included her.She also realizes it's not just a toy for me,but a fundamental tool that fits into the short and longterm biz plan.I'm very lucky to have her support,I mean some guys get divorced over alot less/more .I can't do anything without thinking outloud,she knows what I'm going through long before I do sometimes.Good advice TT Mark

Last edited by Marko; 03-26-2008 at 04:16 PM.
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post #13 of 13 Old 03-27-2008, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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Getting wife involved

Marko and TT got it right My wife also does some ww.She's a much better artist than I and a good imagination .Because money's tight I include her on tool buying decisions.I'm a carpenter/millwright and since work's been slow for way too long we are getting serious about starting a biz. in ww. Jump in kick hard
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