Sitka spruce: some history + splitting question

mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
408
California redwood coast
First, a little interesting history ( https://www.google.com/amp/s/thecasemateblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/the-tree-that-shaped-early-aviation/amp/
)

On that note, Sitka Spruce can have some fairly low density and lots pitch. For that type of wood, would you create larger splits to slow down its burn rate? The last time I had ample amounts of a new wood species (alder) I split them too large for my mild climate which doesn't produce strong stove draft & hard to tightly pack large splits into the stove well. Not to mentiot I hadn't had a winter yet with the new stove.

Guess work like this makes you wait a year or so to test things out.
 
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ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Small splits are good for kindling and fire starting, medium splits are normally what I make and then mix it with pine or birch. I don't make large spruce splits very often, I find they leave a foam like charcoal behind that would rather go out than burn down. But I don't really make very large splits of any species.

I find Spruce needs a little more primary air than other species to burn properly, I think this to it's low density, but I'm really not 100% sure this explains it.

The Sitka Spruce is an amazing tree, never seen such an old or tall tree before. We seen the large one in Kitimat BC, which at one point was the largest living Sitka in BC, something like 37feet in circumference at its base, and 160ft tall.
 

Riteway

Member
Jul 27, 2020
102
Kitsap County, WA
Sitka spruce is an interesting wood...it has a very high strength-to-weight ratio, so it was used quite a bit in aircraft construction (back in the day). It's also a popular tone wood (think acoustic guitar tops). Specimens in windy areas (like near the ocean) get these gnarly looking burls

 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,325
Fairbanks, Alaska
Keep an eye on grain patterns as you are working it. Tonewood quality Sitka Spruce is worth big dollars. Big big dollars.
 

mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
408
California redwood coast
Keep an eye on grain patterns as you are working it. Tonewood quality Sitka Spruce is worth big dollars. Big big dollars.
I have a neighbor who has a guitar making company, so I'll ask him if I see anything of interest. I think my wood is too new growth to be worth much.