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Author Topic: Sawing Tammarack  (Read 1190 times)

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Offline tiogajoe

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Sawing Tammarack
« on: June 12, 2019, 07:40:51 AM »
I've been sawing some Tamarack logs for building my saw shed.  I'm amazed at the amount of sap that comes out of the log?  It gums up the blade pretty fast and they seem to dull fairly quick.  Is this normal? I'm using a Kasco 4 degree blades on an Ez Jr. I've been cleaning the blade with mineral spirits between cuts.  I cut several 14" wide boards last evening along with some battens. Seems I should get more than one log out of a blade? I did read that Tamarack has a lot of silica in it?

Offline Stephen1

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Re: Sawing Tammarack
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2019, 08:19:20 AM »
It is the only wood, besides some old southern yellow pine reclaimed beams that I had use diesel while I was sawing to keep the blades clean. 14" is wide board to have a dirty blade, keep it clean while your sawing, not just between cuts. The pitch build up will give you wavey cuts, making you think the blade is dull. You 'might' get a few more cuts with the blade clean.  
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Offline millwright

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Re: Sawing Tammarack
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2019, 09:14:22 AM »
Tough cutting stuff, because of all the sap. I use a diesel fuel dropper when sawing.  Hint: it cuts way better in the winter when it is frozen

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Sawing Tammarack
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2019, 03:14:13 PM »
I have cut quite a lot of Tamarack, I've only ever used WM 10Double-Hard blades and plenty of lube/cleaner.

My lube/cleaner is 5 gal water, 1 cup of dish soap, 1/2 cup of Pinesol!
~Chuck~
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: Sawing Tammarack
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2019, 03:28:41 PM »
I have a couple tamarack logs sitting in front of the mill right now. The last ones I milled were fresh off the stump and had sap oozing out. These 2 logs have been down for a few months and Im hoping they wont be so bad. 
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Offline randy d

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Re: Sawing Tammarack
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2019, 03:40:33 PM »
I have cut a lot of Tamarack  and like Chuck White has said 10 degree WoodMizer blade  a good dose of dish soap and pine sol does the job for me

Offline Satamax

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Re: Sawing Tammarack
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2019, 04:30:01 PM »
Well, i cut larch, pretty much the same stuff.

What works well, diesel as lube. Or diesel/washing up liquid/water. And every three or four logs, cutting a few ash planks does the job too.

I forgot, you have nowhere near enough of an angle. 


12 to 18 is recommended for larch over here. 
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Offline tiogajoe

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Re: Sawing Tammarack
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2019, 04:40:39 PM »
Here's a picture of the saw shed I've been working on.

 

Offline John Bartley

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Re: Sawing Tammarack
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2019, 05:21:39 PM »
I have cut a bit of Tamarack up here as we have lots of it and it makes great woodworking material.  When dry it's heavy, hard like Ash and even has a grain similar to Ash.

I prefer to cut the trees in winter when they're frozen hard, then let them sit until summer to mill.  That way they have much, much less sap in them. I've had zero troubles by doing that.  Any that I've cut the tree in spring or summer have been a lot messier to mill.
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Offline barbender

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Re: Sawing Tammarack
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2019, 11:15:00 PM »
I like tamarack, it's a very underutilized wood. It has some quirks- you have to weed out logs that have stress. One easy one is large flares on butt logs. Those tend to warp about the same amount as the sweep of the flare when you saw through them. The lumber also shouldn't be dried as other softwoods can be, it tends to crack if you do. Also, it can give some wicked slivers!
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Sawing Tammarack
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2019, 05:36:11 PM »
Should it be dried slow?
Or build with it green like we do with eastern hemlock in New England. 
Our hemlock will give you a good sliver.
It gets me and they get infected. 
The reason I ask this is 
I'm going to log some and try to mill it.
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Offline barbender

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Re: Sawing Tammarack
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2019, 10:18:26 PM »
Bruno, you could certainly build green with it. Some say it gets hard to drive a nail into after it dries.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Sawing Tammarack
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2019, 04:39:00 AM »
It's all too twisty around here. I cut some fresh for firewood and the Collins just bounced off. :D Once I made headway with some saw cuts on the ends it was still fighting me. Then the classic spiral of the grain along the splits showed up. :D I planted this stuff for firewood, better than willows and alders. ;)
Move'n on.

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Sawing Tammarack
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2019, 06:25:36 AM »
Going back somewhere around 15 years, I redecked my 6x12 utility trailer with Tamarack, it's still "good", but showing signs of deterioration!  I brushed it down a couple of times with used motor oil!

Need to redeck it within the next 2 years!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer

Offline barbender

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Re: Sawing Tammarack
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2019, 08:12:12 AM »
Like SD says, it can have some severely twisted grain. Those ones work good in the outdoor boiler😊
Too many irons in the fire

Offline John Bartley

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Re: Sawing Tammarack
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2019, 03:56:27 PM »
I don't think I've ever seen a tamarack with twisted grain .... Elm? yup, tamarack .. nope.  Doesn't mean it doesn't happen elsewhere.

Hard?  Oh yeah.  If you're going to build with it .... do it green....as in - right off the mill.

Dried?  Machines like ash, looks like Ash, will ebonise with rusty water like Oak.

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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Sawing Tammarack
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2019, 04:34:26 PM »
Come on down to NB and I'll show ya all kinds of spiral grained tamarack. :D
Move'n on.

Offline curved-wood

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Re: Sawing Tammarack
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2019, 06:55:10 PM »
Come on down to NB and I'll show ya all kinds of spiral grained tamarack. :D
Well well I think I am going to your place and check !!! I expect to travel in NB in July in my camping van. I am a very serious with wood,  so I might stay a couple of day  :D :D

Offline barbender

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Re: Sawing Tammarack
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2019, 12:21:34 AM »
I have had tamarack on the mill where the grain was twisted so badly you  couldn't saw a 2x4 because the log would lift off of the bed as you were sawing through it😳 That stuff came from a stand that grew very slowly. Logs that came from better sites where the trees grew faster and had wide growth rings seem to provide better lumber, in my experience.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Satamax

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Re: Sawing Tammarack
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2019, 12:41:36 AM »
Like SD says, it can have some severely twisted grain. Those ones work good in the outdoor boiler😊
So far, i'm lucky, i only had one twisty log. In two years. Tho, i've seen a fair bit of twisted ones. 
Over here, they say, if it's twisting to the right, you can cut it. If it's to the left, just good for firewood. 
After, it's remote in the alps. Not hard science. 
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