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Ok, so Sweetgum is a pain in the ass to dry flat and it doesn't last like cedar, but its really cool looking and I have a bunch of spalted Sweetgum logs in the woods from the previous landowner that need to be milled before they rot. I have read several posts about people using sweetgum (air dried) for barn wood and they just say "make sure you use ring shanked nails" to keep it in place. I'm assuming the pervious land owner had intentions to split these logs into firewood and soon discovered that splitting sweetgum is like trying to split an engine block - so they were just abandoned for what appears to be several years. The logs have all been cut to (aprox) 18-19" and would make good sizes for siding shingles. I know that I can mill turning blanks out of the logs for bowls and such, but I do not turn wood and I could really use the building material for a chicken coop, and outdoor shower/compost toilet area and (perhaps if it turns out well) on a cabin my wife wants me to build. My concern is using the sweet gum because of its tendency to warp, and its not typically used for external applications. BUT.... 1) The spalting seems to have tamed the warping as I have cut several pieces (5/8' thick) and dried them to about 9% with little to no bend at all. 2) The interlocking grain will hold ring shanked nails well and as previously mentioned, Sweetgum doesn't split very easily. 3) Its hard as a rock! (No Punk or rot wood) 4) Did I mention how cool this stuff looks? and 5) its just a chicken coop and outdoor bathroom for some cabins, not like i'm putting it on my house. I guess what i'm asking here is Do you think its worth trying? Do you know how I can properly treat the wood to stand up to the elements better while still keeping the sweetgum grain patterns and colors somewhat in tact? Am I asking for trouble down the road? Are insects going to look at it like a buffet? As of right now, i'm thinking its a go, but I would like to hear from others with much more experience than I have. There are probably 5 or 6 piles of these logs so there more than enough to several small projects- I've only cut a couple of logs to inspect the wood and see it its still viable. Let me know if you have any ideas, suggestions, predictions, etc..
 

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Sawing against the Wind
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WELCOME!!! Tennessee...let's see, isn't that below Canada???? LOL!!! Which part??? I'm in middle TN right off I-40 a little east of Nashville. I didn't realize Hud-son made a little aluminum saw....looks Okay for shingles!!!

That Spalted sweetgum MMMMMmmmmmMMMMMmmmm......some kinda PURDY!!!
 

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Near Dover and Clarskville

WELCOME!!! Tennessee...let's see, isn't that below Canada???? LOL!!! Which part??? I'm in middle TN right off I-40 a little east of Nashville. I didn't realize Hud-son made a little aluminum saw....looks Okay for shingles!!!

That Spalted sweetgum MMMMMmmmmmMMMMMmmmm......some kinda PURDY!!!

Just moved to Tn from Michigan. Yeah, the hunter "freedom line" mill from Hudson will cut up to 21" logs - perfect for what I need it for. I'm located on the southern end of the land between the lakes. Yeah I will be eventually dropping more sweetgum to make room for a permaculture food forest, so i'm thinking I will deliberately spalt a few longer logs down the road.
 
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