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Thread: New Wood Source

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    New Wood Source

    Went to Rockler today to pick up some green wood sealer (they were out, doggone it). On the way home, I got a wild hair and stopped at a firewood lot that I've driven by dozens of times. I wanted to see if they'd be willing to sell a few big chunks for turning wood.

    Turns out the guy running the place was more than happy to sell me a few pieces. I came home with one chunk of sycamore, one chunk of "Liquid Amber" (supposedly some type of soft maple), and a couple pieces of camphor, all green and wet. The smallest log was about 18" in diameter, and one of the camphor chunks (not the full log) had to be trimmed up before my 24" chain saw bar could reach across it. The guy charged me $20 for the lot. Not as inexpensive as free wood, but a heck of a lot cheaper than eBay wood. He also said he's like to see some of my work, and that perhaps next time we could trade a bowl or two for a load of wood. I'll definitely be visiting him again.

    I got the camphor cut up before it got too dark...I'll cut the rest up tomorrow. I also rough turned a bowl out of the camphor, and I'll tell you, I've got the clearest sinuses this side of the Mississippi. My wife could smell it from the driveway when she came home this evening. The whole neighborhood smells like a liniment factory.

    In my hurry to start getting things cut up before dark, I didn't take any pics, but I'll get some tomorrow when I finish cutting up the rest of it.

    BTW, the new chain saw was a pleasure to use. I picked up a 20" bar and a semi-chisel chain to go with it on my way to Rockler this afternoon. Tried both the 24" and the 20" bars, and I'm a happy camper.
    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

  2. #2
    What's firewood going for there or did you ask? Just curious...its going down here as the price of oil and propane is dropping too, but I cannot seem to cut enough of it. I can sell every tree I cut right now. Still a nifty way to get wood.

    A few thoughts I had regarding your new wood purchasing place:

    Firewood piles...because of their short pieces often produce spectacular spalted wood. If you can get some pieces that are green, you can make your own spalted wood if you are willing to wait a year or so. Some good species are White Birch, Beech, Apple and Popular. (just a thought)

    I know you love your new saw, but how do you use it? Mostly cross-cutting or some ripping too? If you find yourself doing a lot of ripping you can buy a special chain that rips or you can refile an existing cross-cutting chain to do the same thing. (again just a thought)

    Now a question for you. Is there any commercial value in Black Cherry Burl? Lately I have been cutting a lot of Black Cherry for my firewood adventure this year, and there is burls all over the place. I never thought about separating the burl from the rest of the tree until I read this firewood-supplier post.

    Here is a link to my website regarding spalted wood if you or anyone is interested:

    http://www.railroadmachinist.com/Log_Spalted_Wood.html
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Johnson View Post
    What's firewood going for there or did you ask?
    I didn't really get a number, but after he said he'd charge me $20, the guy did say something like "it's funny, I could get about $30 for this as firewood." I told him to charge me what he figured was fair...I didn't want to jack him around. He said "Actually, the wood's free. We just charge to cut it." I told him it was the same for me back in the old rock band days. We played for free, but we charged to move and set up our equipment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Johnson View Post
    I know you love your new saw, but how do you use it? Mostly cross-cutting or some ripping too? If you find yourself doing a lot of ripping you can buy a special chain that rips or you can refile an existing cross-cutting chain to do the same thing. (again just a thought)
    I'd say it's about 50/50 ripping and cross-cutting. (By ripping, I mean cutting with the long grain, not against the end grain.) I'm trying a few different chains (full chisel, rounded chisel...forget the right name, but for dirtier woods...and a semi-skip. Some of the arborist site guys claim the skip or semi-skip is the way to go for ripping longer chunks with a 24" or larger bar. I figured I'd try a few kinds and see what feels best. I doubt I'll get to the point of filing special grinds on my chains. More than likely, a good general purpose tooth will have me well covered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Johnson View Post
    Now a question for you. Is there any commercial value in Black Cherry Burl? Lately I have been cutting a lot of Black Cherry for my firewood adventure this year, and there is burls all over the place. I never thought about separating the burl from the rest of the tree until I read this firewood-supplier post.

    Here is a link to my website regarding spalted wood if you or anyone is interested:

    http://www.railroadmachinist.com/Log_Spalted_Wood.html
    Black cherry burl? To turners, yes, there would be commercial value. There are a number of guys who seem to be successful selling turning blanks on eBay. They cut the blanks and seal them. Many of the blanks are sized to fit in a USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate box, so shipping is always the same price. It's harder to find (and more expensive to ship) the bigger pieces I'm looking for now that I have a big lathe. I don't know if the extra labor would be worth it compared to selling firewood, but I'd think you could make some decent pocket change selling cherry burl turning blanks (or simply whole or partial burls, with the natural edge still on it). Black cherry crotch wood is also great stuff.

    Of course if you need some of it tested, I'll pay for shipping on a few hunks of it. Seriously, PM me if you'd like to unload some burls.

    And thanks for the spalting advice. I've got a few kinds of wood in various stages of spalting (or in some cases, rotting). The best I have though, happened on its own while the tree was still upright.
    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

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Johnson View Post
    Now a question for you. Is there any commercial value in Black Cherry Burl?
    Surely you jest

    Yes turners would love burl of any kind.

  5. #5
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    Travis said, in part, "Is there any commercial value in Black Cherry Burl? Lately I have been cutting a lot of Black Cherry for my firewood adventure this year,..."
    Yikes! You sell black cherry wood to BURN? Heresy!
    Seriously, I know local practices vary but it seems like a sinful waste. Some folks around me burn walnut. That borderlines on crime, IMHO.
    To answer yer question, yes, burl anything has value. Makes for interesting turnings. Pen turners love burl because it gives a lot of interest to a small object.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    I don't know if the extra labor would be worth it compared to selling firewood, but I'd think you could make some decent pocket change selling cherry burl turning blanks (or simply whole or partial burls, with the natural edge still on it). Black cherry crotch wood is also great stuff.

    Of course if you need some of it tested, I'll pay for shipping on a few hunks of it. Seriously, PM me if you'd like to unload some burls.
    Holy molly...crotch wood? I leave that out in the woods to rot. Its too hard to split, and by the time I get that high up the tree, the few sticks of wood I can get out of it isn't worth the hassle. You see people don't want lots of small wood in their firewood piles, and the truckers that haul this stuff pretty much want stems and trunks too. Limbs and brush don't "pack" into the truck that well...so...well...its left in the woods to rot.

    As for the burl...how big is your lathe? I got a burl in a living piece of cherry that is about 3 feet in diameter and about 4 feet long by the time I cut it out of the tree. I'm not sure of the exact size, but its a big Black Cherry tree that has been growing for years. I'll see if I can snap a picture of it later on today. It's pretty big.

    I'll PM you soon regarding that Black Cherry Burl...I'll be harvesting more shortly. The last crop of burl just was trucked to some firewood customer somewhere in Maine. There was only a dozen pieces in it anyway and they were not much bigger then 8-10 inches in diameter, so no loss there. I'll keep more of an eye on it...and crotch wood too...as I harvest.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    Yikes! You sell black cherry wood to BURN? Heresy!
    Seriously, I know local practices vary but it seems like a sinful waste.
    Not at all. Black Cherry is worthless here as sawlogs. I can make maybe 160 dollars a thousand for good Black Cherry logs. That is squat. Hemlock logs...which is considered industrial wood fetches more at 180 a thousand. Spruce fetches 300 bucks a thousand, and Pine can go as much as 400 a thousand depending on how it grades out as Pine is indeed graded (Spruce is not).

    That makes Black Cherry valuable as firewood. It has huge BTU amounts per cord. When I cut my last load of firewood (10 cord per truckload approximately) I deliberately cut as much Black Cherry firewood as I could. This was because I mixed in quite a bit of Ash firewood which has less BTUs per cord. Together it makes the firewood average in BTU counts...and that is only fair to the people that buy the firewood and use it to heat their homes.

    I would say in that last load of wood, perhaps 4 cords of it (full cords or the equivalent of 2000 board feet) was black cheery. A good 5 cords was Ash and the rest was Rock Maple. I did have a White Birch that was in my way, so that went into the pile as well...though no one here sells White Birch for firewood...no btu's at all in that species.

    The majority of Black Cherry here in Maine goes into making paper...and even then its not great because the reddish wood forces the papermills to use more chlorine to take out the color in the wood.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  8. #8
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    I've been known to turn more wood from the firewood stack than I burned. Sort of a toss-up as to whether I want more Bar B Q or fun on the lathe.
    Jerry

    http://www.sawdustersplace.com

    "If politics wasn't built on careful deception it wouldn't need its own word and techniques. It would just be called honesty, education, and leadership."
    Bob "Phydeaux" Stewart one day on Woodnet

  9. #9

    Burl: Still Growing Pics

    Alright, I headed out in the woods today with camera and snowmobile, and its a good thing I brought the snow-machine...the snow was up to my waist!!

    Anyway here are some pictures of that burl I was talking about. It's hard to see because of the snow, but that burl goes all the way around this tree,and its about 2 feet in diameter. The surprise was, it has a small limb coming out of that area too, so its not only a big burl, its a big burl with crotch wood!!

    While I was there a took a longer shot so you could see most of the tree. You could get a decent sized log out of it, but that's just about it.

    The third photo shows a group of smaller trees I have that is just loaded with burl. I think in the picture there is four areas of burl alone. This stuff is located pretty close to the road, but luckily the powerlines are on the other side of the road!!





    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Vaughn, From what I understand liquid amber is AKA Redgum and American Sweetgum. It just sounds better calling liquid amber. I have heard that the root system is very invasive so there are a lot of fairly mature trees coming down in residential areas after they started wrecking foundations and walls.
    >>Enter witty saying here<<

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