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Thread: Black Cherry Seasoning?

  1. #1
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    Black Cherry Seasoning?

    Something that has just come to mind, now that I'm getting obsessed with a new Grizzly G0555LX bandsaw that is being delivered tomorrow, is that there is a nice tall, and straight black cherry tree at the rear of my lawn that I hear calling me. All it does is drop cherries on my lawn & attract raccoons, so I'm thinking of taking it down & using it for something besides firewood. It should have a beautiful grain.

    I've never used a tree before for woodworking projects. Once down what is a good way to "season" it to minimize splitting? I'm thinking I should probably take it down soon to let it start drying over the winter & get a head start on the process. This could be interesting! Looks like there's a whole new world out there! LOL
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  2. #2
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    Sounds good, but I would think it will take more than a 14" band saw to turn a tree into useable lumber. I have never tried it though, I'm sure someone on here like Larry or one of the other lumber guys can get you on the right road though.

  3. #3
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    Al first off welcome to our forum as for your tree, what is the diameter of it? and how tall before you get to a limb? this all enters in to what your yeild may be and a 14" bandsaw isnt the way to make lumber resaw some small boards yes but not mill logs.. you need to first off, get acquainted with a local sawyer, they are out with portable band mills made for this but in your case sounds like your only after this one tree and it can be costly for just one tree.. sometimes its best to let the tree live and by lumber all ready to go for making projects from your local yard,, contact chuck thoits on here or bob gibson they both have good contacts on getting good lumber for a fair price.. that lonely tree looks inviting till you take it down and then the work begins look at the thread i posted on to much wood.. you can see i have done this before WOOD
    Last edited by larry merlau; 12-10-2012 at 07:45 PM. Reason: link
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  4. #4
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    Depends on how big it is.. If you can fit it under the blade .. its possible but a lot of work even for small stuff .

    What I did was I made a sled with a UHMW runner that sat on the bottom and some knock down "holders" to keep the log from rolling. When I put the slide on I also added washers set into the bottom that matched the width of the grooves in the miter slot to keep it from jumping out of the slot.

    Pictures here:
    https://plus.google.com/photos/10915...34323661530097

    As far as splitting and what not:
    • Seal the ends. You can find dozens of recommendations. I've had mediocre luck with two coats of kilnz primer (better than nothing if its what you have), but a wax seal like anchorseal is better.
    • cut out all of the pith
    • Stack it with stickers so the air can get to all sides.
    • Put lots of weight on top so it doesn't warp


    That's all I got

  5. #5
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    Great feedback!
    The tree is about 12" dia. as I recall (can't see it from the window - hidden behind other trees) & the branchesstart ~ 15' up.
    You're absolute right in that the work really does start after the tree is down. I was thinking of cutting the trunk into short, but "appropriate" useable "project" lengths for use & to have a local mill cut the sections into the thicknesses I wanted. The branches I could probaly do the same if thick/straight enough and if not, then dream up some projects that could use the good branches with the bark left on???
    This whole thought is only about the challenge & joy of making something from a hopefully nice tree with nice grain & from my property. If it turns out to be a disaster, then I will have had fun trying.

    Larry, good suggestion on the saw mill, just what I was hoping for. Are those pieces shown on your profile work you have actually done yourself? If so: simply gorgeous - great talent! Looks like you've work with wood for a while. Well done indeed!

    Ryan, thanks for the suggestion for drying & keeping the splitting to a minimu. I'll follow your suggestions.
    Thoughts entering one's mind need not exit one's mouth!
    As I age my memory fades .... and that's a load off my mind!

    "We Live In The Land Of The Free, Only Because Of The Brave"
    “The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living."
    "
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." Winston Churchill

  6. #6
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    Al, in my opinion thew tree is to small to cut for lumber, should be at least 16", when they are small they have to much sap wood and the folks looking for cherry lumber are wanting it for the red color not the sap.. as for the pics you saw i found this really neat store and they had them in there ,, it was called IKEA
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    ...it was called IKEA
    Yeah, right.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    Al, in my opinion thew tree is to small to cut for lumber, should be at least 16", when they are small they have to much sap wood and the folks looking for cherry lumber are wanting it for the red color not the sap.. as for the pics you saw i found this really neat store and they had them in there ,, it was called IKEA
    Don't let him fool you Larry is the master of disguise.

    I'm going to tentatively disagree with Larry here though. I say tentatively because he's definitely correct.. but I've never let someone being correct stand in the way of doing something irrational. While it is almost certainly true that the tree would not be commercially viable... in some more artistically oriented projects the sapwood - if used judiciously - can add an interesting character to a piece. It is definitely not what you would want for a piece of cabinetry.

    Having said that if you get 1/8-1/4" per year and its 12".. you only have around 16-32 years to go before its a really nice piece of wood.....
    Last edited by Ryan Mooney; 12-10-2012 at 10:50 PM. Reason: edit 12 years to 16 years, typo.

  9. #9
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    Just fyi...I moved this thread to the general woodworking as it really wasn't design/plan related.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  10. #10
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    ryan does have a point to some extent,, in the turning world the sap wood makes a nice contrast and natural edge turnings are sharp, and in some cases i have seen some real good use of sapwood in case work.. so yes he is correct sorta but i think that in most areas that a tree will grow alittle faster than a 1/4" in diameter a year what you need to look at is take that 12" diameter and than draw the biggest square you can get out of it and then look at what you end up with.. that is where your lumber comes from and that is going on what your stump diameter was not the top of the log that will be smaller.. so for lumber i say leave it alone for awhile and for turning well if it bothers you to dodge berries and raccoons deposits grab the saw and lets go
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

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