LumberJocks

Need Help Processing Chestnut

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by OsirisProtocol posted 01-15-2021 05:26 PM 446 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View OsirisProtocol's profile

OsirisProtocol

8 posts in 207 days


01-15-2021 05:26 PM

So I scored most of an English Chestnut tree. It was cut down a few months ago but not properly milled. After two hours of chiseling bark I now need help safely processing it into rough boards. Any thoughts on how to cut down the round pieces into rough board shapes? They measure roughly 8-12” at their thickest point. I currently have circular, recip and ryoba saws along with an electric planer and a no. 5 if that helps.Thoughts on grain orientation for the cuts? This is a first for me and I’d like to get the most out of this Chestnut.

I am not entirely sure how long ago the tree was harvested but I’ve had it in my attict since mid November. With it being winter in the north east I can’t imagine it has dried out much. Once I get it cut down I need to to figure out a passive drying system.

I am thinking about using the live edge pieces to make a coffee table or entryway bench. I figure they shouldn’t crack or twist dramatically given the thickness of the boards. For the non live edge pieces I want to make a saw horse with built in vices and a tabletop workbench. The rest I will let dry and use for shop stuff as I think. Anywho, I’m excited to finally have some wood to work with even if it is just cutting it up to dry. Thanks for any help gang.

Edit: There are two more round pieces not pictured.

-- -Squirrel without a nut.


8 replies so far

View Ruscal's profile

Ruscal

73 posts in 185 days


#1 posted 01-15-2021 11:59 PM

They were milled with a chainsaw mill. Nothing wrong with that maybe just not the widths you now want. Seal the end grain with a product called Anchor Seal. It’s a little late but it will help to prevent cracking on the ends because the end grain dries faster than the rest. Do not further mill them at this point. Get several 1”x1” pieces of scrap wood as wide as the boards (sticker). In your attic is fine, put down a sticker about every 2 feet under one board. Then put another layer of stickers on top of it and lay another board. This leaves an air gap between boards so they can dry. Put all the boards in one stack and if you can put some weight like a cider block on the very top here and there it helps. And no they are not too thick to twist and contort! I won’t be surprised if they don’t crack badly drying, but maybe not you will see.

Leave in your attic one year for each inch of thickness. Then test with a moisture meter.

You may have to visit a lumber yard between now and then to keep you occupied.

Come back when dry and someone will advise you on how to mill it.

-- Have a hobby? You should have a business.

View xedos's profile

xedos

208 posts in 307 days


#2 posted 01-16-2021 01:18 PM

Best way to process these further is to resaw them with a bandsaw. You’ll need a fairly sizable one though.

I don’t think you have enough material there for all the projects you mention, I could be wrong though. Did you really mean they are 12” thick , or is that the width ? 12” thick is gonna take forever to dry. Best find a kiln to have them dried in then.

View BobAnderton's profile

BobAnderton

312 posts in 3797 days


#3 posted 01-16-2021 03:24 PM

Your attic is above freezing and much lower humidity than perhaps one would think. Since it’s warmer than the outside air the humidity is lower than the outside air. There is no breeze up there but I find wood dries quickly in an attic. I have to air dry outside for 6 months or so before moving to the attic because the attic is too fast and will give surface checking if I don’t start out air drying in the yard. All to say, what you’ve got there will be quite dry in 6-12 months. I’d put 1×2 stickers (spacers) between the layers at least where you’ve got them in face to face contact and where the face is in contact with the floor.

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

View OsirisProtocol's profile

OsirisProtocol

8 posts in 207 days


#4 posted 01-16-2021 10:18 PM



They were milled with a chainsaw mill. Nothing wrong with that maybe just not the widths you now want. Seal the end grain with a product called Anchor Seal. It s a little late but it will help to prevent cracking on the ends because the end grain dries faster than the rest. Do not further mill them at this point. Get several 1”x1” pieces of scrap wood as wide as the boards (sticker). In your attic is fine, put down a sticker about every 2 feet under one board. Then put another layer of stickers on top of it and lay another board. This leaves an air gap between boards so they can dry. Put all the boards in one stack and if you can put some weight like a cider block on the very top here and there it helps. And no they are not too thick to twist and contort! I won t be surprised if they don t crack badly drying, but maybe not you will see.

Leave in your attic one year for each inch of thickness. Then test with a moisture meter.

You may have to visit a lumber yard between now and then to keep you occupied.

Come back when dry and someone will advise you on how to mill it.

- Russell Hayes

I’ll run out to get some sealant and coat the endgrain just in case. Do you think it would be ok for me cut the round pieces by length and stack them with stickers to help speed up the drying process? A buddy of mine has some cinder blocks I can use for weight while drying.


Best way to process these further is to resaw them with a bandsaw. You’ll need a fairly sizable one though.

I don’t think you have enough material there for all the projects you mention, I could be wrong though. Did you really mean they are 12” thick , or is that the width ? 12” thick is gonna take forever to dry. Best find a kiln to have them dried in then.

- xedos

I’ve thought about reaching out to a few of the local lumberyards to see what their rates are for resawing and possibly kiln drying but my gut has been telling me it’ll cost more than if I just bought lumber from them.

The saw horse and tabletop bench I am planning aren’t particularly large designs because they are for my move next year to a smaller apartment.

The thickest one is just under 12” and the thinnest is about 8”. I was thinking about cutting them into thirds lengthwise to help dry them out better.


Your attic is above freezing and much lower humidity than perhaps one would think. Since it s warmer than the outside air the humidity is lower than the outside air. There is no breeze up there but I find wood dries quickly in an attic. I have to air dry outside for 6 months or so before moving to the attic because the attic is too fast and will give surface checking if I don t start out air drying in the yard. All to say, what you ve got there will be quite dry in 6-12 months. I d put 1×2 stickers (spacers) between the layers at least where you ve got them in face to face contact and where the face is in contact with the floor.

- BobAnderton

The weather was much warmer at the time I got them. I periodically check on them and I haven’t noticed any splitting thankfully. I’m definitely going to get some stickers to space everything out since you guys recommended it. Hopefully if my attict works anything like yours this batch should be dry by April or so for birthday projects.

Thanks a bunch for the help everyone!

-- -Squirrel without a nut.

View Ruscal's profile

Ruscal

73 posts in 185 days


#5 posted 01-17-2021 03:16 AM

Do you think it would be ok for me cut the round pieces by length and stack them with stickers to help speed up the drying process?

If you mean you want to cross cut or make shorter lengths then no. You don’t want to expose anymore end grain. There is really nothing significant you can do to speed the air drying process. What you can do is prepare the lumber so when it dries out in a few years it has the best chance of being usable.

-- Have a hobby? You should have a business.

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

939 posts in 2469 days


#6 posted 01-17-2021 06:39 AM



They were milled with a chainsaw mill. Nothing wrong with that maybe just not the widths you now want. Seal the end grain with a product called Anchor Seal. It s a little late but it will help to prevent cracking on the ends because the end grain dries faster than the rest. Do not further mill them at this point. Get several 1”x1” pieces of scrap wood as wide as the boards (sticker). In your attic is fine, put down a sticker about every 2 feet under one board. Then put another layer of stickers on top of it and lay another board. This leaves an air gap between boards so they can dry. Put all the boards in one stack and if you can put some weight like a cider block on the very top here and there it helps. And no they are not too thick to twist and contort! I won t be surprised if they don t crack badly drying, but maybe not you will see.

Leave in your attic one year for each inch of thickness. Then test with a moisture meter.

You may have to visit a lumber yard between now and then to keep you occupied.

Come back when dry and someone will advise you on how to mill it.

- Russell Hayes

+1 on what Russell says here. Seal the ends, and sticker the boards and forget about it for a year or two. Then come back and mill to the desired thickness.
The boards are going to move as they dry, and any milling you do now will be wasted wood.

-- John

View Robert's profile

Robert

4435 posts in 2487 days


#7 posted 01-17-2021 11:14 AM

It would be tempting to see if it would rive.

Best bet is find someone local with a big bandsaw. Offer to buy them a new blade.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View OsirisProtocol's profile

OsirisProtocol

8 posts in 207 days


#8 posted 01-24-2021 01:27 PM

Thanks a million for the help gang. I’m going to grab some stickers at HD and cinder blocks from a mate and wait it out. By the time it dries I might be able to find someone with a bandsaw that could help me mill it.

-- -Squirrel without a nut.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com