Birch haul - project ideas?

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Forum topic by Elizabeth posted 05-01-2014 05:55 PM 1860 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Elizabeth's profile


823 posts in 4426 days

05-01-2014 05:55 PM

We had to take two white birch trees down as the roots were causing damage to the utilities and sidewalks. They weren’t huge, but I’ve got a few sections that can be resawn and a LOT of thick branches, maybe 3 to 6 inches in diameter. Here’s a shot of part of the load:

The larger pieces in the back will be resawn and air dried – haven’t made my mini solar kiln yet.

With the medium ones, I’m planning on trying to make some little birch bandsaw boxes, with the bark showing. But even given the fact that I’ll destroy a bunch of them in the learning process, that’s a lot of boxes. What other things would you do with these? I’ve thought about turning but they’d include the center of the branch and I heard that’s a very likely place for splitting.

If I turn any, should they be turned green, or wait until they dry?

The smaller branches, 2” and under, I’m planning to see if I can make a mess of birch buttons. Just to see if I can. Again, ideas welcome.

6 replies so far

View hjt's profile


906 posts in 4421 days

#1 posted 05-02-2014 02:18 AM

hmm, have you done this before. Wonder how the sap and warp will be?

If it doesn’t work out – you’ve got fire wood. I find most of my project simply produce saw dust and firewood.

-- Harold

View neverenougftackle's profile


195 posts in 3129 days

#2 posted 05-02-2014 03:59 AM

Hi Elizabeth, Several years ago we were going threw one of the better higher classed craft stores located in the north part of Michigan. One of the items that impressed us was when we came across this kind of 1- 3 piece array of short cut bound together birch center pieces. Since they were rather pricey. So when I came home I went into the shop to make our own. If you would Google Birch center piece under Images sthere now seems to be quite a few that have done this also. I heavly epoxied the top of my Birch with this two part made for bars/wooden clock faces for safty sake for the drop in the glass candles. The epoxy (I had left over from making several Christmas pressents of slanted log cut wall clocks.
Oh ,wife changes the lower flowers aragement with the seasons,—like pine cones, nuts, some frosted, ever green twigs wound around the base for winter.—-fake one’s bought at Michaels. This is one of her spring creations.

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1541 posts in 2917 days

#3 posted 05-02-2014 04:07 AM

Kind of small. So branches don’t make much… they twist, and do weird things.
But if you have a lathe, you can make some mallets.
You can even rough them while they are green and come back and finish them later.
Make some carving mallets.
Make some vases.
There’s not much diameter there, so you are limited except for turning.

-- Jeff NJ

View Elizabeth's profile


823 posts in 4426 days

#4 posted 05-02-2014 02:59 PM

Thanks for the candleholder idea, Tackle. I think my SIL would like something like that.

Harold, yes I have – a couple of years ago I obtained several large pieces of sweetgum, which has been milled on my bandsaw and is currently stickered and drying. It’ll probably be ready to use in another 3-9 months. Some I cut early, and it’s clear; the rest I left to spalt for a while and it is gorgeous but needs much more drying time. Some pieces have checked a bit, but there hasn’t been too much twist in most pieces.

Jeff – Mallets, good idea. I have a kid who is obsessed with hammering and drumming, I could keep him supplied for years…

View Furnitude's profile


380 posts in 4790 days

#5 posted 05-02-2014 03:02 PM

You could make tons of spoons. Those pieces are perfect. The twistier, the better.

-- Mitch, Also blog at

View koraile's profile


96 posts in 2944 days

#6 posted 05-02-2014 03:22 PM

Those biggest loggs, id use for turning. just mix a white waterbased woodglue wery thin. take the barch off. And put layers of glue on the cutt ends, a few layers, let them dry between. This will prevent any cracking and splitting in the end grain, it will dry a bit slower, but you can dry them in a higher temperature With that tecnic. When they are dry enaugh, depending on How hard you dried them, splitt them afther the middle, and cutt it up in Nice pieces for turning, the barch side is going to be the outside of the bowl, its far easyer to turn With the fibers that way then turning in end grain. The branches id use for spoons or miniature carvings.

-- Bard son of iver

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