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  • question about on site milling of oak tree

    hurricane gustav knocked down my oak tree. i now have a log that is 40 inches diameter by 40 feet long in my back yard. there are no significant knots or branches in that length. as far as i can tell, the tree is solid all the way through.

    is this viable for having someone come on site to mill it? a friend told me that it is not worth it because oak will warp and is too hard to work with.
    if it is worhwhile-what size lumber should be made out of it?

    i am totally ignorant about any of this and am not handy with tools so i would have to get someone to do it. do u have any idea what their fee may be?

    your suggestions and expertise will be very welcomed.

    charles

  • #2
    Re: question about on site milling of oak tree

    I don't know anything about milling wood, either, but I know I prefer using oak in my projects because it *doesn't* warp as much as other woods. I had always assumed this quality would be persistent across the milling process but, as I say, that's just an assumption.

    Why did he/she say it's too hard to work with? Oak's a great wood to work with, in my opinion. It's tough, yes, but that's what makes it nice, as well, and stable.

    I'd question how you're going to dry it, though. Cutting it to rough sizes is only the beginning.

    --Jeff

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    • #3
      Re: question about on site milling of oak tree

      see if there is any one with a portable band saw mill in your area, call wood mizer and see if there is some one in your area, or I believe you can go to this site, http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php there is a area in the upper right hand for finding sawers

      get it cut as soon as possible, IN my opinion, green wood is better for quality logs, when it drys out the cracks are in the lumber,

      after cut, stack flat and level and sticker it well, cover if out side but in such of a way air can flow through it, and weight it down with some (cement blocks) it helps keep the top board flat in drying.

      there are a number of USDA papers on lumber drying on the web, they have been posted in other threads on lumber drying and a google search should bring them up fairly easily,

      on the stickers use like 1x2 no wider, IMO as the width can some times retard drying in that area and mold discoloration can occure,

      I have never done oak, but have done some other hard woods, and have had very much enjoyed using them, and it is extra special to be able to say that china cabinet was once our front yard tree, or I helped mill the wood and made this unit from the tree,

      I built my self a band saw mill years ago, and have enjoyed it much,
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
      attributed to Samuel Johnson
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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      • #4
        Re: question about on site milling of oak tree

        My Dad dries lumber on his property all the time. Like BHD describes, he stacks and stickers it with 1x2's (sticks, whatever he can find). Then he'll cover it with a tarp and weigh it down with bricks and blocks. Keep the tarp loose enough to allow air movement, but enough to keep rain from directly hitting it.

        Mill it now, then sticker it. Mill it green, and paint the ends of the boards with something to ensure there's not too much moisture loss from the ends. The end grain will allow a lot more moisture loss, and that will cause the ends of the boards to warp and crack. While you're looking for a sawyer, check out some of the US Forestry documents and you'll find some links to what to use to paint the ends of the boards.

        Since it's your tree, and your sawyer, you could get him to quarter-saw the log. This will yield some really nice boards with some terrific graining and "ray fleck" figuring. Oak is great for quarter-saw. You've got a great windfall there (hardy har...get it?), and with some work now you'll have a tremendous resource for some beautiful furniture in a few years. Good luck!! Post pictures!!
        I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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        • #5
          Re: question about on site milling of oak tree

          also if you need to cut the log down cut it longer than the board you may want, say you want a 8 foot long lumber, cut the log 8 foot (4 to 6) inches long, usaly things are out of square and there are some imperfections, and if you do snipe the end planing it it will not be be critical,
          Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
          attributed to Samuel Johnson
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: question about on site milling of oak tree

            thank you for so much info. what is quarter sawing? how many years should this have to dry. what size should it be cut?

            I would love to have a 36" x 6' x2" piece for a table. would that work?

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            • #7
              Re: question about on site milling of oak tree

              If you are going to try for a wide thick piece like that for a table top if you can get out of the center of the log,

              quartersawn is so the annual rings of the wood is up and down on the end of the board in comparison to it width, it is more stable than flat sawn lumber, which has the annual rings across the width of the board,
              show the different types of sawing,
              http://www.colgate.com/app/MurphyOil...Types/Cut.cwsp
              nice picture of how lumber shrinks when it drys, and where it comes from a log,
              http://www.auf.asn.au/scratchbuilder/why_not_wood.html


              I would cut the lumber about 1 inch thick for the most part, and then when dry plane it down to the standard 3/4 inch thickenss,

              you may cut some for 5/4 lumber as well and even some 2 inch stuff,

              but the majority if I was doing for my wood shop I would do most for "1 inch" thickness,
              as that is what I mostly use to build cabinets and most items for the house with,

              but if your thinking some tops it is nice to have some thicker edges, even it it is only the edge, but legs on some furniture 2" or even 3" is nice to have, and not glue it back up,

              but if you do not have any ideas currently I would still do mostly the 1" and then jsut a few of the thicker, you should end up with some very nice lumber and a lot of it,

              if there are some that are poorer quality one can many times cut out the bad and still use much of the board, and most times one is cutting it down in to smaller pieces,

              I ended up with a lot of small short pieces about 18 inches long and made a beautiful cover for some heating ducting that was in our dinning room, (when the house was built with high ceilings and no heating furnace when it was added there was not their place to run them).
              Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
              attributed to Samuel Johnson
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

              Comment

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