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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, on another thread I asked about drying green pine for some bar stools:

https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f26/drying-green-pine-216777/

Now, I’m thinking of making a large “wagon wheel” style light fixture for my in-laws house, to hang in their living room. I’d begin with a 8-, 12- or 16-sided ring. The sides will be about 3” thick, by 4” wide. So if you lay the wheel down on it’s face, it’s about 3” off the ground. The O.D. of the ring is 48”, the I.D. is about 40”.

The sides will be joined with a through mortise & tenon, pinned. There will be turned dowels for spokes, and a hub in the center, probably about 8” x 8”. Here’s a very rough sketch:



The whole thing will be suspended from large structural beams by several lengths of 3/8” chain.

As you can see, it’s a beast.

So here’s the question: We still have a substantial supply of the green Eastern White Pine from their property. The family likes the idea of using that wood, but I’m wary of making something that big, with that much joinery, out of green wood. They want the fixture by the end of this year, so waiting three years for it to air dry is out of the question. I suppose we could pay to have it kiln dried, but let’s assume that budget is the primary reason for using the wood we have readily available.

Any thoughts? Any reason I shouldn’t use green wood for this project?
 

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Dylan, You could cut each segment out in advance, making the drying go a little faster. You should use the center portion of the log with sapwood removed for the most stable wood. When you cut the segments immediately paint the ends to help prevent checking. If you cut them today and removed the sapwood I would let them sit with stickers and a fan circulating air, and let them sit inside until November before beginning making the wheel... or consider buying kiln dried wood (it kills bugs that may be present in the logs).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think we’ve decided rather than to peg the tenons with a wooden pin, we’ll use large carriage bolts that look like black wrought iron. That way warping and checking will be less critical.

The beams I got are 4.5” thick, and range from 11” to 16” wide. Any suggestions on how to rip them?

I have:
—A compound miter saw with a 12” blade.
—A circular saw with a 7 1/4” blade
—various hand saws.
—a planer
—router & table

I’m thinking just rip with the circular saw as deep as possible, and finish with a hand saw. Then run it through the planer to level it out.
 

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The difficulty in using green wood comes when the wood shrinks. The wood shrinks in width/thickness, not length. It looks like all the joints you have laid out use long grain, as are the spokes. I don’t see how any shrinkage of green wood would affect the overall strength or design as you have proposed.
 

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If you use a circular saw... use a ripping blade, it will clear the saw kerf with less heat. When ripping you will release tension in the wood... so beware of kickback when the saw binds.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you use a circular saw... use a ripping blade, it will clear the saw kerf with less heat. When ripping you will release tension in the wood... so beware of kickback when the saw binds.
Good reminders, thanks. Given the mass to these beams and the pathetic wimpiness of my circular saw, I’m more at risk of bogging the saw down and burning out the motor. But I’ll be mindful of the risk.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Follow up: the beams are plain sawn, and have both heart wood and sap wood. See picture:



(1) You can see I ripped 1/3 off of one side. Can I use the part that has the center of the log? Or is that going to warp and cup too much?

(2) How do I protect/clean my tools after working all that sticky, green sapwood? I’m going to have to run these through my planer to get the dimensions I want. A little mineral spirits and a rag sufficient to clean the blades?
 

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You can buying special blade cleaners. Some people say using Formula 409 instead for cheaper cleaner, but not tried myself. Afterwards oil or wax for rust protecting after cleaning. I am using top from Home Depot orange bucket to hold table saw blades while spraying cleaner. And using finger in arbor hole to remove blade after.
 
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