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Thread: river wood

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    river wood

    I caught a bit of a TV show about loggers in Louisiana. These guys used boats on a river and jumped in (with the alligators and cottonmouths ) to find old logs. They then chained them and dragged to shore for shipping and sale. The show said these had been logged about 100 years ago but never made it down river for retrieval. The show did not say what kind of wood they were but did state they were in perfect condition because of lack of oxygen in the mud. The logger bragged that some of the eight foot logs were worth as much as $900.00 each. Now, I have thought that part of the country only had cypress, pine, a few tulip and not much more. What kind of wood do y'all think it might have been to be so valuable???
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Frank its all old growth stuff. We have a company up here in Canada that trawls the bottom of the great lakes doing the same thing. They had a Discovery show dedicated to it on Dirty Jobs series.

    Most of the logs get cut into veneer very high priced veneer too.
    http://www.aquatimber.com/
    http://www.biotimber.com/
    http://www.aquatimber.com/heritagetimber/

    Some links for you to pass the time.
    cheers

  3. #3
    I have watched that logger show once or twice but they are a bit mellowdramatic for me. They also have a very expensive wood oak that they dig from the Bogs in England & Ireland a Black Oak that are over a couple hundred years old.

    The sunken logs absorb the minerals in the water and develop loverly characteristics that are prized by some WWers.

    As for the type trees in the south, They have a large variety of woods from Pecan to Cypris, Oaks, Live Oak, Magnolia, Pines, Poplars and so forth. But I think the value is not so much the species as it is the effect of being submerged in the mire and the changes in texture and color that is so valuable.

  4. #4
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    Oliver Springs, TN
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    I've watched it a few times and they said it was cypress and pine.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2007
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    North West Indiana
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    I can't remember the type of wood, once they showed the butt and it was axe marks so they date them from that also.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
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    955
    I worked for a couple of years clearing log jams from some local streams. I about cried a few times when I had to cut up some really nice logs we found. One maple had awesome color. I plotted for a week or 2 trying to figure out how to get that log to a sawmill. In the end it got sawed into blocks and washed down stream. Those blocks were so heavy I couldn't even pick one up. Would have made some dandy bowls.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Kemah, Tx. - Houston Suburb
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    ........ The logger bragged that some of the eight foot logs were worth as much as $900.00 each. Now, I have thought that part of the country only had cypress, pine, a few tulip and not much more. What kind of wood do y'all think it might have been to be so valuable???
    The only thing I can think of is 'sinker' cypress. It is the cypress logs that sank. They are dark in color, but I dont find cypress particularly attractive. Sinker Cypress sometimes goes for as much as $6.00/Bd Ft. I suppose if a log was large enough in diameter, it could be worth $900.00.
    Generally cypress is fairly inexpensive in La. but not very desirable outside of La.
    It is very light weight, holds screws very well, holds up to weather very well when bent it holds the new shape fairly well and that is why it was desirable for the old wooden shrimp boats. I still make furniture out of it from time to time - almost exclusively for Ex-Louisiana people.

  8. #8
    Some people believe that no more than 60% of all the logs that were commercially harvested in the 19th Century and "floated out" actually made it to the mills. The balance sank in rivers. I also read that more than a million "harvestable" logs are lying on the bottom of the harbor outside Duluth, MN/Superior, WI. I know that some of the rivers in Michigan's upper peninsula have many logs on the bottom, as they can be seen in the summer/fall when the water is low. I've thought about trying to bring one up and have it sawn into lumber. However, I understand that a vacuum kiln is necessary to properly dry the wood, and I don't know where one is located.

    I'm sure any area that was once covered with timber has old logs at the bottom of the rivers.

  9. #9
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    Have to wonder how long wood will last in an oxygen deprived water environment.
    When I belonged to the JCs many (make that many-many) years ago, we had a member who scuba dived in the Great Lakes for a hobby. One year he and some friends discovered an old ship wreck somewhere off Wisconsin. It was loaded with white oak timbers, some as long as 40'. They had been submerged for a century or more. He quit his job as a successful engineer and salvaged the timbers for resale to be used in expensive furniture.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  10. #10
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    Feb 2008
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    East Freeetown, Massachusetts
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    I love watchin those shows, and I would love to have some of that wood - BUT.

    Man, that is too rich for my blood.

    I am still at a stage whereas I am amased by the woods that are within my wallet. I just don't need the fanfare of some 500 year old English Bog wood with tight growth rings that nobody will notice anyway.

    Whew, my American Walnut, really turns me on.

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