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Author Topic: Basswood  (Read 2030 times)

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Basswood
« on: February 01, 2019, 06:38:54 PM »
 

 This big basswood uprooted in mid November on the hillside above my shooting house. The broken buckeye landed on my shooting house and knocked a few boards free which is another project before next hunting season.

  Over the last couple of weeks I have cut up the tops and dragged the buckeye off the shooting house and bucked the two forks into logs up to 8' which is as big as i figured most folks would use and about the limit of what I can drag out with my 4 wheeler. Yesterday I took advantage of the frozen ground and dragged the logs off the big bench about 40 yards below the left side of the picture above. After a few hairy trips and use of a snatch block and long cable to get past one contrary dip in the path out I got the logs off the bench and into my pasture. The hard frozen ground let them slide easily - in fact several raced me to the bottom although they did not always stop at my planned finish line.


    Today I used the same frozen ground to pull them closer to the mill with my 4 wheeler and log arch. Before my winch battery died on the arch I got the 3-8' ers about 15-16 in, the 10-11 ft 12" w/sweep and the crotch on the left which is about 20" and 30' to the start of the split. These are right above my mill and I can load any time with just a cant hook.


 


 


 This is what is still left to move - 3-4 8'logs, one 5' and some tops 10-12 inches in diameter. I plan on cutting these as thick as I can up to 4" but mostly 2-3 inches with some 4/4 side lumber and I have contacted several carving clubs. One big one meets Monday night. I hope they want it all but we will see. We have warm weather coming so I guess this will be my next project.

  Oh yeah - there is still an 8' butt log a good 30" diameter below the fork still attached to that rootball I may try to salvage. I think I will have to split it to get it out as to heavy for my ATV. Plus that rootball on that steep slope scares me.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Online Bruno of NH

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2019, 06:53:24 PM »
WV
Also check with folks in the wood burning craft they like basswood. 
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Offline A-z farmer

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2019, 07:15:54 PM »
Wv sawmiller
My grandfather used to have dead bass word trees
Milled up to make vegetable crates like you made but they were all slats .
As a side note in a good flowering year the honey bees can make gallons of honey from one tree and it is very slow to crystallize 

Offline esteadle

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2019, 07:47:03 PM »
Mill them today. Tomorrow may be too late. Basswood goes back to dirt quickly. Stick it off the mill. Use dry stickers. Keep it outside away from your other wood until it stops molding. I found that it molds immediately, i.e., the day after you cut it. Get it into the kiln the next day. Don't let it sit. 


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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2019, 08:09:43 PM »
Bruno,

  Not as many wood burners around here as carvers. Several years back my daughter asked me for some wood for woodburning at a special children's cancer camp they have every summer (For kids with/survivors of cancer and their siblings) as they added WB as an activity. I looked it up on line and found BW was the preferred wood but since I did not have any I wanted to cut I tried some buckeye which is generally a trash wood for most of us. I cut it into 2/4 live edge boards and cut to 3' long, stacked and stickered and air dried quickly. I plane one side and the counselors draw figures/outlines on the board and the kids burn them. Buckeye is another soft, light, white wood and it works well. I have several years supply put up for them now.

A-Z,

   I knew it made good honey which is one reason I don't normally cut them. I think it was also a preferred wood for making bee hives and supers. This particular tree was also a real nice den tree for squirrels and coons and that section did not break in the fall and I may save about a 4' section with the main entrance hole.  

esteadle,

  Thanks for that info. I don't have a kiln but I have a shelf cleared for it in my storage barn so I will see about putting a fan on it the first few days or so especially since this will mostly be real thick pieces.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Online moodnacreek

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2019, 08:28:05 PM »
Cut those branches off at the bark before taking photo and you will look like a pro.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2019, 09:11:49 PM »
Moody,

   You win the prize. I always leave little nuggets like that in there to see who will catch them. :D Sometimes it is misaligned sticker for the sticker police - no names but he lives in Mississippi - sometimes it is long wedge where I forgot to lower the rear roller, etc.

   Actually, if you will look closer I think you will see every one of them broke off when the tree landed and are not the limbs I cut off with my chainsaw. You are right - all the stubs should be cut flush with the bark but these were on the bottom of the log on a steep slope and inaccessible when I bucked the logs. I had to go back with my Logrite to get the logs off the mountain after I bucked them. When I went back my 4 wheeler basket was full of cables and chains and no room for my chainsaw, gas and oil. And if the truth be told - I probably will leave most of them on there and take them off during sawing with the mill. ;)
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2019, 12:08:23 AM »
Basswood is the preferred wood for carving and we sell a good bit of it.  Decoy carvers love it. 

However, since its one of the few woods that easily dries when cut thick, such as 3 and 4 inch, and when finished with a poly it looks almost exactly like maple (which doesnt like to dry thick) it is our number one seller for table leg stock in 3x3 finished size.  
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2019, 11:07:56 AM »
YH,

  Thanks for the info. I finished dragging down the rest of the logs to the mill except for 4 small 3-4 ft long pieces before the battery in my logging arch died again. When I got them staged I went ahead and painted the ends good with anchorseal which I should i have done as soon as I bucked them to length. Some were already trying to check. I just could not carry enough stuff up the hill and work on the steep slope to do it all at the same time.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline hamish

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2019, 05:20:35 PM »
Find yourself a high end kitchen cabinetry shop.  Basswood and Poplar are the two high end mouldings for kitchens in my area.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2019, 06:25:32 PM »
Hamish,

   Is that Tulip poplar or cottonwood or such in your area? Around here we have tulip poplar and I have an abundance on my place. I had one furniture maker as a customer but he had more ambition than business acumen and went belly up and is dodging everyone he ever bought from. He was a nice guy but he did stiff me for a load of wood I'd traded for a baby changing table for mt daughter that we never got. 

   I got everything down today except 4 small pieces 3-4 ft long and 12-13 in diameter before my battery on my arch died. I can probably move them all in one trip in the morning but the ground is no longer frozen so it will be messy.


 9 logs on the right and a small one and crotch on the left. I sealed these and will start sawing them real soon while the weather looks good.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline offrink

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2019, 06:40:52 PM »
Looks nice! Today I started my first kiln load of wood, 48+ basswood 6 and 12 long and 3 thick. It sat for years prior to slabbing and sat outside for over a year and it had a moisture content of 68%. Hopefully it will dry quickly!

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2019, 07:32:54 PM »
Offrink,

   Is all your wood 3" thick or do you have an assortment of cuts? What will you do with it once dried? 

    I cut 5 logs, 653 bf today. Will finish stacking/stickering it tomorrow under my shed and put a box fan on it for air flow.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2019, 11:13:53 PM »
We stacked some basswood under fans today, also.  Basswood is kind of odd, it is one of the few woods that is very forgiving of face cracks when drying, but when thick, can end check really bad, not really splitting but honeycomb.  For example, I made the mistake of putting a 12/4 pack under roof some months ago, but it still received lots of SW sun, and its endcracked for several inches into the wood.  It dries very easy so that may be the problem, but on the other hand, it will sticker stain, so its best to keep fans on it. I definately end seal. 

  
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Offline offrink

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2019, 10:14:19 AM »
Offrink,

   Is all your wood 3" thick or do you have an assortment of cuts? What will you do with it once dried?

    I cut 5 logs, 653 bf today. Will finish stacking/stickering it tomorrow under my shed and put a box fan on it for air flow.
It is all 12/4. We will be making tables and desks out of them. A half dozen layers of epoxy after leveling and sanding and it will be smooth and durable.  The interesting worm and bug holes and live edge all add $ to the price!

Offline hamish

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2019, 04:48:18 PM »
Its mostly Balsam Poplar in this area.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2019, 08:28:09 PM »
Hamish,

   Yeah that is not a tree we have much of here. Only one I remember seeing was planted and not native. Only Balsam I saw was the very light wood in and around the Amazon. I guess it is really Balsa not Balsam. I remember homes in Iquitos Peru were built on big balsam logs and floated up and down the Amazon river. 

   I did get the Basswood I cut yesterday stacked today and have a box fan blowing between the 2 pallets. I still have about 150 bf off the first log on a shelf I will take down and add to these pallets so I will have better access to the wood. It was too dark to get a photo today when I finished. I will resume cutting the rest tomorrow.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2019, 10:49:37 AM »
Hamish,

   Yeah that is not a tree we have much of here. Only one I remember seeing was planted and not native. Only Balsam I saw was the very light wood in and around the Amazon. I guess it is really Balsa not Balsam. I remember homes in Iquitos Peru were built on big balsam logs and floated up and down the Amazon river.

   I did get the Basswood I cut yesterday stacked today and have a box fan blowing between the 2 pallets. I still have about 150 bf off the first log on a shelf I will take down and add to these pallets so I will have better access to the wood. It was too dark to get a photo today when I finished. I will resume cutting the rest tomorrow.
Any chance to get some photos?

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2019, 01:00:03 PM »
   I got out this morning and before the rain stopped me I cut 2 small upper 8' logs with some sweep. I have a couple more even smaller and 2-3 larger diameter but shorter 5-7 ft long, pieces to cut then I get into the 3-4 sections. I normally cut 2" widths but because these are destined for carving I cut to the nearest inch and even some 3X4 ft long pieces. I got them stacked and a box fan between them to keep the air flowing.

Offrink,

  You can see a little of the wood here. I will try to get a picture of the stacks the next time I cut.


 First of 2 logs. 2nd was even smaller and more sweep. 99 bf total yield from the 2.


 Results of today on the forks. The 16/4 piece at the bottom was already stacked from the last time I cut any.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2019, 10:10:27 AM »
Looks good! thumbs-up

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2019, 06:58:51 PM »
   I should finish sawing tomorrow. I sawed 2 small 8', then several 4', a 6' and a 5' log today. One more 5', a couple of 3' and a crotch about 30" or so. There is a market for these small pieces for carvers so I am saving it all.


 Several of these 4' "logs". Hardest part is loading as too short for my loader. I put one end on the loader, lift part way then lift other end my hand.


 Assorted 4' lumber pieces. Good thing about 4' lumber as they stack well end to end on my 8' loads.


 My lone 6' log


 One of my 5' pieces. Looked good but some rot inside I had to trim around. These will match up with some 3' for stacking.


 Flat stacked 5& 6' pieces to prevent double handling. Will finish 3' and stack all tomorrow.

   I notice the wood comes off white but turns a reddish tint pretty quickly.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline GAB

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2019, 07:32:26 PM »
When the loader arms are too far apart, for a short log, I place two boards on the loader arms and then load the log on top and proceed to load with the log lifter.  I do the same thing with large burls.
Gerald
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2019, 10:02:16 PM »
Gerald,

   I have done that and may have to do that with a big crotch tomorrow. These were small enough I could lift one end with the arms and the other up to the tire then lift or roll it on to rails and scoot it around till it would clamp. A couple times I had to grab a scrap sticker sized stick off the ever-growing scrap pile to level the log since both toeboards were inaccessible for these short "logs". 

   I guess if I did enough of the short logs I'd fabricate a solid plate of some kind to slip over the arms to close that gap. It would work just as well if it were solid. I guess I could even use wraps of cable or chain to close the gap. I may experiment and if it works I'll send the design to WM and surely they will send me some money. With my luck they would name it after me and that would be my compensation. :D
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2019, 06:30:11 PM »
   I got out and loaded a large 3' long crotch with John, sawed a few pieces of 8/4 from one side then rolled it off the mill when I tried to turn it over. Had to load it like GAB described earlier. Had to trim out a good bit due to a split in the wood. Then loaded a 5' top and encountered rot and lost more there. Finally sawed a 42" piece and had to trim off one end of that. Yield was only 93 bf and hardly worth the effort but I am done. I think total yield for the whole tree was around 1,085 bf. There is still the big 8' butt log up in the woods if I get in the mood and right conditions to try to salvage it.

   I have 2 stacks and decent air flow with a box fan running between them but I will likely build another stacking pallet or two and restack everything. Because of cutting over different days I have a hodge podge of widths. One row will be a single 16/4 plank 18" wide on top of a 22" row of 8/4 and under a 20" row of 4/4. I may just dismantle them, flat stack by different thicknesses and restack to standard full 24" widths on each level. That will make them prettier and possibly easier to access in the future.


 Contrary crotch - sawed a few cuts, moved the claw and it shifted, went to back out and band pulled off, finally got it out, then it rolled off the mill. Actually did yield some pretty pieces in the end once the splits were trimmed out.


 5' top. See knothole at end - rot under there. just sawed to 4/4 boards in the end.


 Sawed one other 42" piece then trimmed to 3' and 4/4 boards from it. Total yield with 1.2 hours on the mill for my efforts. My mama said there would be days like that.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2019, 07:41:34 PM »
   Okay, I will likely restack one of these days pretty soon but decided I was not really too embarrassed to post the current stacking and stickering job. My layers weave in and out a bit because at the time I stacked I did not always have enough to finish a 24" layer of a specific cut so you may see a single 18" plank underneath a 10" & a 12", etc. With more/all the wood available now I can make more full width shelves/rows. I have 2 more skids about ready to use as time and weather permit.


 
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2019, 11:49:14 AM »
I felled 3 large Basswood stems about 18 months ago. I contacted 2 sawmills to see if they were interested in them. I had no interest in milling them, so I've been bucking them and making evaporator fuel. Have not burned any yet. But even after cutting the end blocks off that had been anchor sealed I did not see mold forming. Again, I only made it into firewood just to use it up.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2019, 12:38:45 PM »
Maple,

   I can't swear this is going to work out real well for me either but have you contacted local woodcarvers? It is pretty easy to find them on line. I do know basswood is not great firewood. Some of the wide 3 and 4 inch thick pieces might also go as fireplace mantels too. Of course if I had planned to advertise them as mantels I would have left at least one side as live edge but some people want squared off mantels. One of these days I am going to replace my 3"X 12" X 8' walnut mantel with one that is live edge. Whoever gets the old one is going to get one well seasoned and heat dried piece of wood. 

    Good luck on your BW. I'd hate to see it go to waste.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline brianJ

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2019, 12:52:39 PM »
Im with you Maple Flats.   Just get them out the way.   Basswood has less firewood value than most of the pines even.   Pretty much just throwing it in the stove and right up the chimney.    

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2019, 01:14:25 PM »
Brian,

   Did you ever mill any basswood and try to market it in your area? Just wondering why you seem to have a low opinion of it. 
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2019, 02:15:07 PM »
Interesting.  Here, basswood logs bring better price than poplar and 4 CF logs are pretty rare.  Its a niche product but a mainstay for professional cabinet makers and carvers.   

I just passed a job on to a buddy of mine who is a lumber wholesaler a couple months ago.  A relatively famous customer in Ms, who sells hand carved decoys on TV shows, needed several thousand bdft per month, every month, forever, of thick 12/4 clear stock, kiln dried, for his decoy carving company.  I simply couldnt begin to fill his order from lack of high grade logs so referred him to a friend.  The decoy company owner said wooden decoys are getting popular again as plastic is falling out of favor, and he cant get enough basswood.  I told him I had a couple pallets of 12/4 and 8/4 and he said OK, Ill take those now, what about next month?     

The power of the internet, advertising reaches a lot of different customers in a large area.  
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2019, 02:32:20 PM »
I keep hoping to come across some good basswood here. There's quite a bit of it but most of it isn't very nice, or is somewhere I can't cut it, or is already rotten on the ground. I know of two big trees with broken tops I could probably have but I'm assuming the tops broke off due to rot and that it probably goes right down to the stump.

I'd use it as a lightweight wood for projects and cabinets but mostly I hope to get back into strip canoe building one of these days and it would be nice to mill my own logs rather than buying expensive western red cedar. Basswood isn't much heavier.

Alan
Timberking B-16

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2019, 04:33:02 PM »
I sawed some 3 years ago and had it on FB market place for sale.
Then some 20 something kid trolled my post and said good luck selling that junk we put that stuff trough the chipper .
I told him you leaving money in the woods then.
I had no problem selling it after I knew who to market it to.
Wood burning art folks and carvers.
I have one wood burner how says they will buy it any time I can get it.
thomas 8013 mill ,Mahindra 3540 cab tractor loader  Dump trailer  and lot of contracting tools

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2019, 05:01:56 PM »
Alan.

   This tree had a big cavity (Was a real nice den tree for squirrels and coons and such) mid way up but the bottom 30 feet or more were very sound and I got some good but smaller wood above the cavity.

Yellowhammer,

    A big old War Eagle happy Birthday to you there. 

Bruno,

    Feel free to tell that customer how nice it is in southern WV this time of year. Tell to drive his truck and pull a trailer. I'll fight the mud and go back up and get that big butt log still on the rootball.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2019, 05:35:28 PM »
Thanks the birthday wishes, Roll Tide.
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Offline Clark

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Re: Basswood
« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2019, 06:07:42 PM »
That is very interesting YH. We grow quality basswood up here but nobody looks at it that way because it is only basswood. As a forester, I dont really care what the species is when I find a tree that is growing arrow straight and no branches for 50 I am interested in growing more of them. The market may eventuallly come around but even if it doesnt Ill get more satisfaction out of growing them.

The tallest basswood Ive measured around here was 108 tall with many over 100. No other hardwood species around here will come close to doing that.

Clark
SAF Certified Forester


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