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Author Topic: Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?  (Read 8192 times)

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Offline glaze

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Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?
« on: December 29, 2005, 03:07:48 PM »
I'm wanting to buy Hard Rock Maple(Acer Saccharum) quartersawn turning squares of the highest grade.  I want to buy turning squares that have not been kiln dried in a 3"x3" size with 4 foot long lengths(or boards I can cut down to size).  Wood with no sugar marks in it, straight grained, 20 to 30 growth rings per inch, quartersawn in plain and figured lumber.

I would actually prefer to deal with a small business or single person instead of a large company.  Please contact me if you cut up this type of material every once in awhile.  I will be buying this material for the next several years.  I'm in Utah, so I can't cut down my own material due to that type of tree does not grow around here. 

Thanks

Mike 

Offline glaze

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Re: Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2005, 02:17:19 PM »
What sizes of quartersawn hard rock maple can you guy's deliver?  I imagine most people are cutting the logs into slabs and only one or two cuts would give the quartersawn material I'm looking for.

I can buy kiln dried quartersawn hard rock maple from several sources, but I actually want to buy this material that has not been kiln dried.

Thanks

Mike 

Kirk_Allen

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Re: Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2005, 04:56:34 PM »
I am just a small timer and have cut a fair share of Sugar Maple but have never heard of Hard Rock Maple.  Can you describe "Sugar Marks"

I have a boat load of spalted sugar maple logs I have to cut this week.  Hadn't given much thought into cutting them into turning blanks.

I would have to count some rings on the whoppers I have on hand but I would guess its in that range your looking for. 

Offline glaze

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Re: Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2005, 04:33:09 PM »
I am just a small timer and have cut a fair share of Sugar Maple but have never heard of Hard Rock Maple.  Can you describe "Sugar Marks"

I have a boat load of spalted sugar maple logs I have to cut this week.  Hadn't given much thought into cutting them into turning blanks.

I would have to count some rings on the whoppers I have on hand but I would guess its in that range your looking for. 

Hard Rock Maple is a term the guitar makers give Sugar Maple.  It's the same wood.  Sugar marks are the small brown streaks you see here and there in Sugar Maple.  Not all of the Sugar Maple has the sugar marks in it.

Let me tell you what I'm going to use the wood for:  I'm going to turn pool cues out of this wood.  The pool cue market wants white sugar maple/hard maple, with the grain running straight down the board, without sugar marks in it and as high of a growth ring count as can be found per inch(20 to 30 growth rings and up is high).

It's getting pretty picky I know, but this is the market I'm dealing with.  I want to buy 3" thick quartersawn boards that are 4 foot long.  I can plane it down and cut it to the dimensions I need later for turning squares once the wood has air dried for a few years.

I would actually prefer to buy from a small lumber mill operator and establish a good relationship with that person.  Someone who does not mind shipping this wood out to me and picking out the nice stuff once you find a log that meets all of these requirements.   I plan on buying this wood over the next several years.

I can find this quartersawn material kiln dried from few good sources, but I want the non kiln dried material.     

Thanks

Mike



Kirk_Allen

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Re: Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2005, 04:45:42 PM »
Glaze I will keep you in mind the next time I am cutting up some Sugar Maple.

I amy have some for you rather soon depending on what my brother wants to do with quite a few shorts he has at his place. Since you only looking for 4 foot sections he may have just what your looking for. 



Offline glaze

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Re: Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2005, 05:01:14 PM »
Glaze I will keep you in mind the next time I am cutting up some Sugar Maple.

I amy have some for you rather soon depending on what my brother wants to do with quite a few shorts he has at his place. Since you only looking for 4 foot sections he may have just what your looking for. 




Kirk Allen

I'm finding a few guy's that are willing to do this.  It's a picky project and I know many people would not want to mess around with it.  I probably will send a few guy's some money for one board of this material I'm looking for and keep buying from the guy who can deliver the nicer stuff and wants to deal with it.  I will have to narrow it down to one source and keep that person happy with my money for this wood.   

Thanks

Mike


 

Offline GHRoberts

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Re: Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2005, 08:45:56 PM »
As I understand it quartersawn/flat sawn is meaningless for turned parts.

What quantities do you want?

Offline beenthere

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Re: Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2005, 09:14:08 PM »
Seems 3" is a bit heavy for pool cues, unless the thick pieces are being split to get the straight grain.

Splitting 4' flitches/slabs while green into 2" 'squares' to get the straight grain and then rough turning followed by drying seems would have the highest yield. Drying sawn flitches/slabs in 3" thickness, only to later have them rejected because the grain wasn't straight might lead to poor yield and little return.   
south central Wisconsin
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Offline Furby

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Re: Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2005, 10:00:45 PM »
3x3 is a common size for cue stock.
They most times quartered to produce 1 1/4 - 1 1/2" blanks.

Offline beenthere

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Re: Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2005, 11:44:10 PM »
Re-sawing 3x3 squares into 4 quarters after some or all drying is finished seems would make for a tough-looking warped square to put through a pool-cue lathe. Drying stresses are likely not equal inside to out of a 3x3 maple square, least the way I'd figure it. But it must work, or it wouldn't be done that way. Now, vac drying may work.

Now, I can find a few of my pool cues that have that 'wayward' look to them and are good for those fancy bank shots (as I call 'em).  :)  Others have the nerve to call 'em mis-cues.  ::)
south central Wisconsin
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Offline pasbuild

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Re: Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2006, 05:29:48 PM »
Try this guy, one of his products is cue blanks, Eric is who you want to talk to

http://www.bellforestproducts.com/
If it can't be nailed or glued then screw it

Offline glaze

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Re: Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2006, 06:27:55 AM »
3x3 is a common size for cue stock.
They most times quartered to produce 1 1/4 - 1 1/2" blanks.

You know why I want it atleast 3" x 3".  It sounds big for a pool cue turning blank, but it's not considering I'm buying non kiln dried wet wood that is rough sawn.  I will air dry it here for a few years and it will shrink in size and it may warp a little.  Then I will cut it down to get the grain perfectly straight in turning block form and dimensioned down to the exact size I really need.  I need that 3" x 3" to give me room to do this with wet wood.  Actually I've been telling people I just need 3" thick material in widths over 3" and lengths of four feet.  I can buy boards that are 3" thick x 5" wide x  4 feet long.  That will work.   

Mike

Offline glaze

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Re: Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2006, 06:46:45 AM »
As I understand it quartersawn/flat sawn is meaningless for turned parts.

What quantities do you want?

GHRoberts

A pool cue needs to be very strong and stay straight without warping.  Quartersawn wood warps less, is stronger and more stable.  That's why I need quartersawn wood for pool cues.

I'm probably going to buy 50 to 100 board feet of this wood at a time.  Basically I have $500.00 for this wood today and $5,000.00 in March or so once my tax return comes back.  I'm not going to put all $5,000.00 into wood, but I might spend another $1,000.00 on wood after March of 2006.  I'm going to buy this specific wood for the next several years.  I'm not in a big hurry to just buy anything.  I'm going to take a little time to find the right supplier who wants to deliver small ammounts of high quality material. 

Mike 

Offline glaze

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Re: Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2006, 07:14:43 AM »
Try this guy, one of his products is cue blanks, Eric is who you want to talk to

http://www.bellforestproducts.com/

I've bought from Bell Forest before.  They offer kiln dried material which is ready to go.  I have not asked them if they can deliver non kiln dried material and they might do it if I ask them.

I'm really wanting to buy direct from the guy who is cutting up alot of sugar maple logs and once he cuts into a log that can deliver the material I'm looking for then I want him to cut a 3" thick dead on quartersawn slab off that log and cut it down to the dimensions I need and ship it to me.  I would want slabs cut from several different logs over time and not just one log all quartered up and sent to me.

I think I can get better material from an experienced saw mill operator who cuts up logs and logs of sugar maple.  The pool cue market/buyers want dead on quartersawn hard maple that is perfectly straight grained, is very white, no brown sugar marks in the wood and has growth rings of 20 on up to 30+ growth rings per inch.  That's the material I want to buy that has not been kiln dried directly from the guy cutting the wood.

Mike

Offline glaze

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Re: Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2006, 07:36:39 AM »
Re-sawing 3x3 squares into 4 quarters after some or all drying is finished seems would make for a tough-looking warped square to put through a pool-cue lathe. Drying stresses are likely not equal inside to out of a 3x3 maple square, least the way I'd figure it. But it must work, or it wouldn't be done that way. Now, vac drying may work.

Now, I can find a few of my pool cues that have that 'wayward' look to them and are good for those fancy bank shots (as I call 'em).  :)  Others have the nerve to call 'em mis-cues.  ::)

I want the large quartersawn material to get perfect straight grained pool cue turning blanks once I cut them down to size after the wood shrinks and warps a little after air drying for a few years.  If I had a dead on quartersawn almost perfectly straight grained 3" thick by 5" wide by four foot long pieces of hard maple then I can plane it flat and cut the turning blanks out of it and get the blanks to have perfect straight grain running down the blank.  Once you get to that point then you can turn a good pool cue and hope no brown sugar marks show up in the wood when it's turned down to size.     

There will be wood wasted in this process, but it's always better to have more than you need than not enough. 

Mike

Offline beenthere

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Re: Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2006, 10:51:06 AM »
glaze
What do you think your monthly demand for green maple blanks would be?
south central Wisconsin
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Offline Furby

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Re: Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2006, 12:47:59 PM »
I will air dry it here for a few years and it will shrink in size and it may warp a little. Then I will cut it down to get the grain perfectly straight in turning block form and dimensioned down to the exact size I really need. I need that 3" x 3" to give me room to do this with wet wood.

Mike, that don't exactly work. Once the wood warps, there is no way to get straight pieces of straight grain wood out of the blank without steam presses and such. You could saw free hand and follow the grain, but the end results would still be a warped blank.
You really need to dry the wood with lots of weight on it to keep it straight.

My Dad had a pile of turned shafts as his friend was trying to start a business making cues, didn't happen.
Several of his friends make their own and a couple extra here and there, though.
A company that made cues out Farmerdoug's way closed down a few months ago.
Not trying to burst your bubble, just want you to make sure you know what you are getting into.

Offline glaze

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Re: Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2006, 03:11:34 PM »
Mike, that don't exactly work. Once the wood warps, there is no way to get straight pieces of straight grain wood out of the blank without steam presses and such. You could saw free hand and follow the grain, but the end results would still be a warped blank.
You really need to dry the wood with lots of weight on it to keep it straight.

My Dad had a pile of turned shafts as his friend was trying to start a business making cues, didn't happen.
Several of his friends make their own and a couple extra here and there, though.
A company that made cues out Farmerdoug's way closed down a few months ago.
Not trying to burst your bubble, just want you to make sure you know what you are getting into.

Furby

You are not bursting my bubble.  I know you are trying to give me some good advice.  I do not have experience air drying sugar maple because I've dealt with kiln dried material only.  I've heard it does have quite a bit of shrinkage. 

If you were going to air dry quartersawn sugar maple for my application exactly how would you do it?  Order wider boards all the same size and once it is stacked up weigh it down with alot of weight?  Something like 3" thick by 6" wide material by four foot long and just put 500 lbs on top of a 100 board foot stack.  If I received wood boards that had perfectly straight grain when wet then would I end up with blanks that have perfectly straight grain in say four years after air drying it with heavy weight on it?

Thanks

Mike 

Offline Furby

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Re: Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2006, 04:13:44 PM »
Don't have a lot of experiance with drying, so I'm not sure I can offer the best advice.
Shrinkage is shrinkage, it will happen faster in a kiln but I don't belive the amount of shrinkage per each piece of wood varies based on the type of drying. You may want to read the "Drying and Proccessing" section of the forum and ask some questions there.

From what I've read about cue manufacturing though, they use kiln dried blanks and I have a hard time beliving they air dry them very much first.
Saying that, I'm talking about larger maunfactures, not the guys making a couple custom cues here and there.
Custom cues bring good $ and the extra time air drying could possibly be reflected in the quility of the cue in that case.
If you are thinking about doing this on a larger scale other then just a few here and there, I'm not sure on the best route for you to take, but it seems like there would be a lot of waste using 3x3 stock for each cue.


Are you planning to make custom cues, or suppying rough turned cues to someone?

Offline glaze

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Re: Anyone milling/selling hard rock maple in Michigan?
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2006, 05:19:02 PM »
Don't have a lot of experiance with drying, so I'm not sure I can offer the best advice.
Shrinkage is shrinkage, it will happen faster in a kiln but I don't belive the amount of shrinkage per each piece of wood varies based on the type of drying. You may want to read the "Drying and Proccessing" section of the forum and ask some questions there.

From what I've read about cue manufacturing though, they use kiln dried blanks and I have a hard time beliving they air dry them very much first.
Saying that, I'm talking about larger maunfactures, not the guys making a couple custom cues here and there.
Custom cues bring good $ and the extra time air drying could possibly be reflected in the quility of the cue in that case.
If you are thinking about doing this on a larger scale other then just a few here and there, I'm not sure on the best route for you to take, but it seems like there would be a lot of waste using 3x3 stock for each cue.


Are you planning to make custom cues, or suppying rough turned cues to someone?

Furby

I know how hard the cue making business is.  It is an extremely tough market to make money in.  Most of these guy's are buying the $6.00 kiln dried turning dowels and turning them down.  If a sugar mark shows up in one once it is turned down then they throw it away.  If the grain is not straight down the dowel then they throw it away.  Some of these guy's are rejecting four to five dowels to find the one that is what they need.  Does a sugar mark hurt the playability of a cue? No, but the buyers won't accept it today.  It has to be white straight grained and pretty.  That's just what the market expects and they won't buy anything else. 

I will have short cutoff blanks from the material I buy and that will become different turned items, so I will be trying to use every inch of wood I buy.  I'm not going to be just making pool cues only like most of the guy's are trying to do.  Basically I will be making two cues a month along with several other wood items I make.  I will probably buy 100 board feet of hard maple a year just to make two cues a month, but like I said I'm building a stockpile of this wood and I will use the small cutoffs I end up with on other things also. 

You are right 3"x3" probably is not the best size.  I'm probably going to buy 3" thick by 6" wide by  4 foot long material.  Then I can stack that size up, put some heavy weight on it and it will be a good size to cut into turning blanks down the road.   

Mike


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