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very large white oak

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Ron Lloyd, Mar 17, 2009.

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  1. Ron Lloyd

    Ron Lloyd New Member

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    I was telling a friend that I was given two nice size red oak trees that had blown down and that I intended to have them sawn into timbers for a cabin I have planned. He said he knew someone that had just had a large oak cut down and wanted to get rid of it. He gave me the guy’s number and I called him. I asked this guy how far up the first limb was. He said it was only about 8 feet to the first limb so I’m thinking that this tree is not going to be worth my time. Then I ask what diameter the tree is. He says 4 or 5 feet. I say no, not how far all the way around the tree, how far is it if you measure straight across? He says 4 or 5 feet. I decide I better have a look. Turns out the stump, oval in shape, is 4 feet the small way and 6 feet the large way. The tree measures 13 feet in circumference at breast height. His son in law wants all the small limbs (16” and less) for fire wood but no one wants the remainder. I haven’t decided yet if I want any of it, but it’s tempting. There are two limbs that would be worthwhile to have sawn. One is about 18” in diameter and the other is about 24”. Neither of them are more than about 9 feet in length to avoid all smaller limbs. The butt log could potentially be quartered with a chain saw. Has anyone ever done this? I have no interest in the remainder. I’m guessing that he will have to get a dozer or some other large piece of equipment to push it into the nearby woods. It’s currently lying in his corn field. Even after quartering the butt log I think I could have it quarter sawn and end up with a few boards in exess of 20" wide. Anyone have words of encouragement or am I crazy for even thinking about it?

    Ron

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  2. DaveBP

    DaveBP Minister of Fire

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    You have to be out of your ever-loving mind to try it. I would have started already.

    If you're talking about chainsaw ripping the butt log into quarters, you are indeed in for an experience. If your saw is powerful enough to use a bar long enough to go halfway you might try getting a skip-tooth ripping chain just for this project. Chainsaw sawmill suppliers might have them. Drive wedges into the cut as you go in case it tries to close up on your bar.

    Look around at the other trees in that hedgerow. Any sign of fence wire and I'd get skeptical.

    Of course, if someone around you has one of these, it could be split into whatever you want.

    http://www.timberwolfcorp.com/log_splitters/default.asp?id=15

    Any log trucks in your area that have a boom that could load that butt log and take it somewhere to quarter and saw it?
  3. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Well, all those limbs sprouting off would make the grain fun to use with handtools.

    Limbs are compression wood so they are likely to move on you.

    Have at it.

    Matt
  4. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    That thing has black powder, cannon fuse and 12 pack written all over it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :bug: :eek:hh: :zip:
  5. iskiatomic

    iskiatomic Minister of Fire

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    Damn!!!!!!! I just took 4 advil and two beers just from looking at that monster!

    That sure will be a handful.


    KC
  6. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

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    How much powder would you use, and how fast to run.
  7. johnn

    johnn New Member

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    How often do you have the chance at a 20" wide piece of Quarter Sawn? How long would they be?
  8. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    Wood Fox,
    To answer your questions in order. #1. More than what would seem reasonable. #2. 300' of cannon wick and you don't have to be able to run fast just make sure it's in the right direction or it won't probably matter.
  9. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Lots of powder=deep ditch
    Little powder=shallow ditch
    Short fuse = run fast
    Long fuse = run slow
    Always drink lots of beer
  10. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    LOL! That's a hold my beer and watch this moment!



    Matt
  11. Constrictor

    Constrictor Member

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    Cut that sucker up! Ive been working on a big red oak the last 2 weeks. Its 13' around at my shoulder height, and 50" dia. A good bit more at the stump. I cut most of it with a stihl 044 with a 20" bar, but some of it i put on a 32" bar. Quarter, sixth just make em look like pie slices. I think its fun tacking something that big. The guy that lived in this house just had to come watch and see how a regular chainsaw could cut up that 10 ton monster tree. Its all cut up and gone now.

    http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w220/cornstrictor/0_IMAG0029.jpg
  12. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    That's a real tough take locust loco.

    I'm doing something similar but not quite as large with a 20 bar...it's one of 2 large willows the power company took down. If you can get a saw with a longer bar and a good square cutting chain you can do something like this.
    [​IMG]

    Truthfully if had other trees to cut I'd pass on something that big...that's about 40 more noodle cuts than I want to do.

    Just say'en it may not look it but all those cuts are square ...I'm using one of my less desirable but still serviceable chains cause of all the tree house nails. Haven't hit one yet...

    ...knock knock.
  13. Risser09

    Risser09 New Member

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    I would seriously find a wood artisan who would want an enormous chunk of wood. They could make an entire piece of furniture just by carving it out of one huge section. It would be spectacular to see all of the seemless grain on one piece of furniture. Even if you could get a bunch of cross sections to utilize as table tops it would look awesome. This all depends on the condition of the wood.
  14. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

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    Here's the way I look at it. If this is what you have for wood then you go for it. Take your time and rip it long ways and take out pie shaped logs until you can't do it anymore. However, if this is just extra then I would surely pass. It all depends on what you've got on hand. The more you've got the pickier you can get. By the time you get that monster cut up you'll have a ton of wood chips leftover. Back when I had no wood I would have taken it on, but now it just looks like a big headache.
  15. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    Boy I'd love to have than sitting in my back yard, it would be fun to dig into at my leisure with the 3120 or 880.
  16. DaveBP

    DaveBP Minister of Fire

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    I have to admit some of the old monster butt logs I've sawn into lumber produced some pretty unstable wood. You could cut boards out at 5/4 or 6/4 so they could warp and twist a bit and still be used with a bit of jointer and planer work.

    Do you have any large portable bandsaw mills down there? They might want to try it just for the challenge.

    Is that 29 FACE cords of black locust?
  17. Ron Lloyd

    Ron Lloyd New Member

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    I would have never guessed that such a thing even existed. Even if there was one in my area I would have no way to get the log on the splitter.

    Lots of good ideas presented. Thanks to all. I think I’ll save the black powder option as a last resort. :ahhh: Someone mentioned the possibility of fence wire and that was a concern I had also. There is no sign that there had been any fence in the area but since the tree is easily over 100 years old there is no way to be sure.

    The most encouraging information came from Constrictor. I didn’t realize any of the red oaks got that big. He also mentioned an 044 which is similar to my 460. The manual says my 460 can handle a 32” bar. I think it would be best to do as much of the cutting as possible with my 20” bar and just get those last few inches with the long bar. Way more control I would think. I priced a 32” bar and chain. It’s about $100. Not a big deal if all goes well. That’s a big “if” at this point but I think I’m going to tell the guy that I’m going to give it a go. At the very least I’ll get those two nice size limbs.

    A couple of folks seem to be under the impression that I would be using this for firewood. That is definitely not the case as I have plenty of black locust on my own farm that is much easier to get. I am thinking more along the lines of using this quarter sawn lumber for the floor of my cabin. I plan to timber frame the cabin and wide quarter sawn lumber would look outrageous on the floor.

    Thanks for all the replies.

    I'll report on how it works out.

    Ron
  18. Ron Lloyd

    Ron Lloyd New Member

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    Dave,

    That’s bad news about the possibility of this wood being unstable. I was reading up on quarter sawn lumber and it is supposed to be more stable than any other way of sawing but I didn’t consider that the size of this tree could have some bearing on that. The farmer next to me has a wood mizer band saw mill and I was planning on him sawing all the timbers for the cabin but I don’t know if his machine is large enough for this butt log.

    No, not face cord and I’m close to 30 now. Below is my current inventory list. I’ll have to take a picture of stack 14 at the west end of my property. At nearly 100 feet long it’s an impressive site.

    Ron

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  19. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

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    A firewood inventory spreadsheet? Now I've seen it all! I like the way you've got them all measured out and everything. Me, I'm lucky to even get the darned stuff stacked, much less catalogued and geocached. If you could get it into lumber it would look amazing. I bet its all gnurly too. You could cut off slabs and make them into coffee tables too! Lots and lots o' work in there though.
  20. johnn

    johnn New Member

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    Whats the procedure to produce Quarter Sawn technique boards?
  21. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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  22. johnn

    johnn New Member

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    [quote author="EatenByLimestone"

    The pics show Quarter, radial and flat sawn lumber. Quartersawn has the growth rings perpendicular to the width of the board. It tends not to shrink, bow or cup like flatsawn lumber can. The grain can also look nice due to the way the growth rings run straight down the board without cathedrals.

    Wow, lots of info there! That would keep me busy for a while. I have acquired a few antiques which I grew up with, that the grandfolks ruined putting that antique type paint job on when it was the fad. After stripping I have found on several pieces, a similiar grain pattern which have blotches of a solid color with no grain pattern (usually a lighter color) than the running grain. A friend said he thought it was Quarter Sawn. I`ll have to take time to learn how to post pictures someday!
    John
  23. DaveBP

    DaveBP Minister of Fire

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    From the price of that splitter I had assumed it comes with a crane.

    Quarter-sawing would produce the most stable wood. And some pretty outrageous rays, too!
    As soon as you get it bucked to sawing length painting the ends with 1 or 2 coats of exterior paint or any kind of sealer you have kicking around will help keep it from drying so fast out the ends and so helps to reduce the amount of end checking (cracking).

    White oak doesn't get to much size up here in Maine. Red oak is king here.

    I hope you didn't split up good locust saw logs for firewood. It too makes beautiful lumber (if the borers haven't riddled it). Called "American Teak" by some of the boatbuilders up on the coast here.

    I hate to see those old trees go down but when they do I like to see someone make the effort to put them to their best use. And sometimes you find some rare, figured wood.

    Keep us posted.
  24. Ron Lloyd

    Ron Lloyd New Member

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    Dave,

    Thanks for the advice on painting the ends. I knew about that trick and have already painted all the red oak logs that I got out of the first two free trees. I may give them a second coat though.

    All of the locust trees that I’ve cut up for firewood so far are trees that have been down (some for years) or dead standing trees. I do have my eye on a couple of large live ones that I’m thinking would make very durable board and batten siding for my future cabin. I have heard of folks using it for flooring too. In fact, before this white oak surfaced, I had intended to use locust for the floor of the cabin too. So if the white oak doesn’t respond well to the saw mill I can always fall back on the locust. You are correct that some of it can be very beautiful. Some of the dead stuff that I’ve cut would have made some nice furniture. It’s amazing how much variation there is in terms of grain. The rounds from one tree may split like a dream with perfectly straight grain throughout the entire tree. The next one may be as stringy and hard to split as they come. I haven’t figured out any kind of pattern yet in terms of soil types or terrain. It seems to be pretty random. Genetics maybe?

    BTW where did you see the price for that monster splitter? I couldn’t find it. Not that I would buy one anyway. Just curious.

    Ron
  25. DaveBP

    DaveBP Minister of Fire

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    One of the guys I work with just bought one of their "smaller" splitters to use in a part-time business. His was over $5K. He said, talking to the sales rep," that big one must be more than double his price" and the guy just laughed "oh yeah".I just don't know what the market is for that big a splitter; unless for a tree service that has a lot of big trees to remove. Perhaps it's easier to split up a monster log and then buck it than deal with great long bars and getting them jammed up when you cut through. Maybe if you have a boom around anyway to handle them.

    I used an antique McCulloch with a 48" bar over 30 years ago out on the west coast bucking big black oak for a firewood operation. That was before anti-vibration technology progressed beyond the "heavy gloves" phase. I lasted about 15 minutes and gave it over to a more macho member of the crew. I could not feel my fingers for half an hour. I know modern saws are much better. My bigger saw is a 59cc Husqvarna and all I feel from that is the weight. But I'm leery of saws that can reach my feet without me bending over.

    Opening up a big saw log is like opening up an old trunk in an attic. Might be treasure, maybe just firewood. Just be careful and let us know what you find.
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