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Author Topic: How would you mill this?  (Read 1209 times)

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Offline Old Greenhorn

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How would you mill this?
« on: March 12, 2019, 09:11:56 PM »
I can't stand the cabin fever any more and have been getting started in the woods. Working in an area I have access to without too much heavy snow and cleaning up dead fall getting ready to start bucking next years firewood. Anyway, since I got the mill last fall every tree looks different now and gets a second and third look. I am finding some interesting stuff that I want to open up, but I don't want to ruin it because I am new at this. So I have this white oak that needs to come down anyway because it is not healthy. It's about 20" DBH and the 'growth' goes about 270 around the tree. When I get this down, do I slice it horizontal or vertical (along the grain)? It's like cutting open a geode, except that a geode is stable and will look pretty either way. If I pick the wrong direction on this I will wind up with firewood. I have no idea what I will do with it once it's cut, but first I have to get some nice slices out of it. How would you attack this?


 

Next up I just found, this morning a storm damaged hemlock with a broken top, normally a cut and throw on the pile for campfire wood or something, but I realized this is a two stem tree and the stems twist and they have each grown into each other. It could be junk when I slice it, but it could have something special. That will likely be the first up on the mill when I can get it fired up again. But this oak, I am thinking and thinking on and have no idea. I won't take the tree down for a while until I have a plan and the mill is ready for it.
 So what are the thoughts of the collective?
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Offline AZ_builder

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Re: How would you mill this?
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2019, 09:18:01 PM »
Is that a burl in the picture?

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: How would you mill this?
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2019, 09:25:34 PM »
That's what I would call it.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: How would you mill this?
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2019, 09:34:03 PM »
   Looks like it is hollow. Isn't that a squirrel den in the middle of the burl? If so I would not get my hopes too high for anything out of it. Good luck. Let us know what you find.
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: How would you mill this?
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2019, 09:39:34 PM »
Yeah, I think partly hollow. But I am asking, taking a poll if you will, which direction would you cut it?
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Offline Southside

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Re: How would you mill this?
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2019, 10:56:43 PM »
Most likely I would cut it in the wrong direction, so I would suggest you do the opposite. 
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: How would you mill this?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2019, 08:17:39 AM »
Most likely I would cut it in the wrong direction, so I would suggest you do the opposite.
OK, but the question remains, which way would you go? For such a wisdom filled group of folks nobody wants to take a stab at this? I still have a lot of ground to cleanup in this area, so it will likely be a month before I think about getting to it.
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Online Jeff

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Re: How would you mill this?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2019, 08:23:36 AM »
I'd leave that one for the squirrels.
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: How would you mill this?
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2019, 08:29:59 AM »
I cut a red oak burl recently.  Laid an 8 log on the mill such that the burl would extend down between bunks and the log was flat.  If the burls is too big, just put some blocks under it to prop it up.  No need to clamp it at this point.  Now start taking slices off the burl.  You will start with little circles and then they will get bigger.  Cut until you are gonna hit the log, then turn and cut again.  Do this until theres no burl left.  Then cut the log as usual.  You should get slabs still with some burl in them.  The grain in burl runs every which way, really no wrong direction to cut them.  You may be able to set it on the mill but on the side that has no burl, since it only goes 270.


 

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Offline btulloh

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Re: How would you mill this?
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2019, 08:30:10 AM »
If it's hollow I'd turn a couple bowls out of it.
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Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: How would you mill this?
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2019, 08:33:13 AM »
I sawed one burl once about 2 feet in diameter, it was centered around the log, or had the log going through the center of it to say it another way.  What I found in this case was that for the most part, the log going through the burl was not part of the burl as far as burl figure.  

As you can see in the photo below, the progression from left to right shows what it looked like as I sawed off slabs from higher in the burl, just outside the log (left slab) to across the center of the log and burl (rightmost slab).




The photo below shows boards taken from either side of that part of the burl which was outside the log.

Regarding your burl, these below are the cuts I would try to make the most of, and I would try to orient the burl in the way where these cuts would be expected to contain the soundest wood.  Hope this is helpful.


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Offline GAB

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Re: How would you mill this?
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2019, 10:04:02 AM »
I think I'd try and presell it prior to cutting the tree down.
Then cut it to the buyer's request.
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Offline WDH

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Re: How would you mill this?
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2019, 10:10:33 AM »
I would saw it like Dennis, terrifictimbers, did. 
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Offline Darrel

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Re: How would you mill this?
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2019, 10:50:19 AM »
If the tree isn't healthy it very well could be because most of it is above that burl that isn't too healthy.  Squirrel condo might be the best use for this one. Of course you never know until you slice it, in which case I'd just slab it like a non-burled log which would leave the poor squirrels homeless. If you don't mind dislocating rodents than go for it. 

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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: How would you mill this?
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2019, 10:55:58 AM »
 Since I found this I have seen no wildlife activity in or around it. I think the hole is too small and too shallow. I am not taking it down to get the burl, I am taking it to release the tree right next to it. This particular tree has the top snapped off and it leaning like it's 'sick' anyway. Needs to go as part of the TSI work. Pretty sure I will slab it with the hole side down. It is a questionable burl and may just blow up on the saw, but we will see what I can get out of it. I don't have a sale outlet because I haven't sold anything yet. I also can't make bowls, it's not my thing and I don't want to start another 'hobby'. I have too many already, so sayeth the wife.
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: How would you mill this?
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2019, 07:26:34 PM »
Gave up on burls a long time ago, mostly oak, always rotten. Sometimes one comes in on a locust log. I chainsaw them off and put them face down in a wet spot and give them to a good customer who does turning.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: How would you mill this?
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2019, 07:59:57 PM »
Cut about 6 feet on each side of each,stand it up in a shed and leave it there. Find someone with 14 foot ceilings and tell them I have just the thing for a support. ;)
Better yet,shot a squirrel,get it stuffed and have it looking out of that hole!!!
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: How would you mill this?
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2019, 08:42:38 PM »
It also helps to know what you're going to use it for.  That helps determine how thick to slice it.  Sometimes if you want to end up with thin panel for say cabinetry...You might actually want to consider cutting it thick, like 10/4 or 12/4, drying it, and then resawing it into thin pieces.  The point being to keep it relatively stable until it's dry.  If you cut it thin to start with, it may curl up like a potato chip.
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Re: How would you mill this?
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2019, 08:50:30 PM »
One of the coolest things I ever saw was a sugar maple burl with a small hollow, similar to the OP but with a shallower entrance.  A gentleman had removed a cube space inside and fitted an unhinged lid from the top side.  He could lift of the top and in the middle he had built a small racks to slide in bee comb fames.  The small entrance to the burl was just large enough for a honey bee.  It must have weighed a lot
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: How would you mill this?
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2019, 09:37:19 PM »
OK, now you guys are giving me stuff to think about, which is what I hoped for. I never thought of taxidermists as a value stream. I had a fish mounted by a good friend who charged me pennies, BUT he demanded that I find him a good piece of bent driftwood for the mount. (I nearly got arrested doing that, but it was worth it.) He said finding the wood was the hard part. (It was a 16" large mouth bass and my son's first 'real fish', he was 8, but that's another story). He was always looking for wood. One of the best mounts I have ever seen, he borrowed it for a show and didn't really want to give it back. Said it was his best job ever. (he only charged me $25 for the mount, he had a special flat rate deal for the "Kids first fish" expecting to do a lot of 6" perch, no doubt.)
 Yes, I should mill it thick to see what I have, can always do a re-saw. I just want to see if it's junk or something worth the effort to go further. 
 Love that bee hive idea too.
 I was thinking picture frames for the hole section, but was concerned about it splitting all to heck during drying or curling up into a roll.
 It also could make a neat column depending on how the grain goes. I do need to put a sister column up in the shop, so maybe as a 6x10 would be cool.  
 Yup, lots to think about, thanks folks! Keep 'em coming if you have more.
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