Reply by SteviePete2

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Posted on Looking for Tips on Buying/Storing Green Wood

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1 post in 1567 days

#1 posted 02-05-2017 02:09 AM

Hi, My name is SP2, I’m a wood hoarder, unable to control my self, powerless against the voices of grain. This is the best I can offer:

Don’t waste your time with the processing of found wood if you are most interested in the finished projects. You will find enough stock consistent in size, quality, and good enough to build high quality projects without the delays and work you need to do to get perfect lumber to get perfect projects. Find sellers (beforehand, not on the day you need the wood) tell them about what you want, let them tell you what they have, what they think is the best wood they have. Buy only the best wood.

Woods processed on band mills are notorious for taper, inconsistent width and take lots more ripping and planning than expected. You will waste lots of time and end up with shitwood. (Every bandmill operator thinks they have a gold mine and overcharge you. Think. Black Walnut 8/4 is available, air dried or kiln dried for less than $10/ bd/ft. With no wane, splits, warp, or rot. Never pay more than one fifth, of the retail cost of lumber from a high quality dealer. Never more than $2/bf for wood from an amateur.

If you insist on buying green lumber do this. Take only perfect boards, don’t buy any waste, ever. 8/4 or more, wider is better and you will have enough time to dry it properly. 4/4 is not worth the time. effort and losses and most 4/4 is marginally dry already and then only proper stacking is needed.

8/4 or better. Wax the ends with anchor seal, 2 coats minimum, all end grain or any grain runout, knots, figure or features you want to keep. Anything to be turned should be waxed all around. On the day its cut, wax every new
cut. After a few days the wood is already cracked, trim and seal.

Never store fresh cut lumber in heated storage, never. Outdoors, or in unheated storage under cover, stickers 1×1 5 each 8’ layer, 4’ wide. Stack as many layers as you have. Place waterproof covering over but leave sides and bottom open to the air. No direct sun, small sections 2’ or less around sides and ends (house wrap/Tyvek, etc.) Cover it all again with metal siding, truck hoods, sheet goods. Protect the top. on top of all this place as many pounds of weight to hold the boards from cupping. (On short stacks I have used ratchet straps – 4 or more for a pile. Keep straps tight. Restack at least once during drying.)

Be patient. Like glacier patient. Years not months. That said- after green lumber has dried one full summer season you should be able to check moisture. Use the 0.00 gram scale you used to use to sell dope. Weigh before and after 72 hours of incubation at 37deg. C. Use the calculations from the wood book. If it is less than 15% you should have no trouble with small projects, 11% has always worked for me, glued and mitered stock included. Turned bowls take special attention.

If it is not all about the projects, if you like handling the chainsaw, love sawing, stacking, planing, and handling wood in all forms. If its OK that you might get some wood good enough for projects then you can really enjoy the whole process. Driven by the end result—projects you will be disappointed. Thrill of handling of the wood, doin’ stuff to it. Knock your self out.

Find species you really like. For me its carving woods -basswood and butternut. Figured and underutilized species—American hop hornbeam, red elm, wild cherry, black cherry, aspen, yellow birch, northern white cedar. QSWO, QSRO and figured soft and hard maple are especially fun. In northern WI they are available in single logs, or yard trees (wood with a story is fun to have) and we have enough saw rigs you can usually get a saw job done quick and cheap. I did buy a couple logs last week that I’ll saw at the guy’s farm in a few months (when there is less than a foot of snow in the woods). That’s fun, interesting and you’ll impress you family and friends (not). PM me if you’d like more of my obtuse views. S

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