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Author Topic: Beech  (Read 507 times)

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Offline xlogger

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Beech
« on: September 13, 2019, 06:10:02 AM »
I pick up a Beech log yesterday and going to slab it up in live edge. Should it be dried slow or under fans? Also wonder how well it stays flat?
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Offline DWyatt

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Re: Beech
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2019, 06:58:50 AM »
Following this as Beech is abundant around here and I have 3 logs ready to be sawed up.

Offline Don P

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Re: Beech
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2019, 07:57:25 AM »
Beech moves a lot during drying. I've made some timbers from it that moved quite a bit but have never tried live edge which is going to move more. Pretty healthy checking and twist, it's also quite heavy. For boards I've milled it thick and relatively narrow to leave room for surfacing. The wider ones I've often ripped down to remove cupping before surfacing. Lots of weight might help but it is powerful wood. I've used it in cabinets and flooring in the past and the offcuts often go into jigs around the shop. Being white I've assumed cooler weather works better so haven't tried it in the heat. I think you'll be playing with a tighter sweet spot between drying and staining. I've got some boards drying we milled up last winter and have some panels I glued up a number of years ago that have remained flat so once it is dry it seems to behave. There is a lot of dimensional firewood after drying which I think is pretty normal. It is a good wood but a tougher one. Curious to know how this works out.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Beech
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2019, 08:30:42 AM »
What you might do is use one fan placed back about 6 or 7 feet blowing toward the stack just to assure that the air is moving but not moving through the layers with too much velocity.  Another thing that I have done with some thick pecan is to position a fan blowing parallel to the stack about 3 or 4 feet from the stack, not blowing directly at the layers, but parallel to them, to assure that the air is not stagnant but not pushing directly into the stack. 
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Beech
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2019, 11:01:35 AM »
Beech, pecan hickory and true hickory all dry the same.  Red oak is also very close, although red oak does better or requires slightly cooler temperatures...to the three can tolerate higher temperatures better than red oak.  All require very high humidity at high moisture contents...that is, slow drying.  The higher temperatures do create a slight browning or pinking which is usually desired.
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Offline Don P

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Re: Beech
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2019, 12:37:06 PM »
Interesting, in the NDS strength tables Beech-Birch-Hickory are also lumped together into one group near the top of the strength charts. The birches in that case are sweet and yellow and then all the hickorys. Most of the cookie molds that came down through my wife's mother from the old country are beech. They took fine detail and held up fine, glad I didn't have to carve them.

4"+ free of heart turning squares for mallets, tool handle stock, plane bodies, etc are good uses for odd chunks.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Beech
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2019, 06:10:10 PM »
As people have said, beech is a lively and restless and lively wood when drying.  Itís also pretty and hard as a rock.  
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Offline olcowhand

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Re: Beech
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2019, 06:40:05 PM »
I too have a bunch of Beech Slabs air drying. I will be following this post closely.
I think I'm going to set up a Router Sled to flatten them.....
They say the mind is the first to go; I'm glad it's something I don't use!

Ezekiel 36:26-27

Offline A-z farmer

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Re: Beech
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2019, 07:29:52 PM »
On our farm forests we have many old beech trees .
We have never cut one for lumber or firewood but a few years ago they just started dying off.
We had a forester come to survey our farm forests and he said it was a disease affecting the beech trees.We have cut many beech trees now for firewood and I have milled a few .what we have noticed is that once cut down they do not last very long before rotting which is hard to believe since they are such a hard wood .
Zeke

Offline GAB

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Re: Beech
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2019, 07:34:41 PM »
I too have a bunch of Beech Slabs air drying. I will be following this post closely.
I think I'm going to set up a Router Sled to flatten them.....
If the slabs are narrower than the cut width of my mill I would take the first pass on both sides with the sawmill.
That should shorten the time needed to flatten, and you might be able to finish with a wide belt sander or planer.
To each his or her own.
GAB
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Beech
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2019, 09:06:37 PM »
As A-z farmer said,it does not last long on the ground. I burned alot of that for firewood. Hard stuff to split with a splitting maul and wedges. We had some that went an easy 2 feet across and rotted hearted.Normal to be able to shove my arm up into the first 4 feet of the tree.
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Offline olcowhand

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Re: Beech
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2019, 05:08:13 AM »
As A-z farmer said,it does not last long on the ground. I burned alot of that for firewood. Hard stuff to split with a splitting maul and wedges. We had some that went an easy 2 feet across and rotted hearted.Normal to be able to shove my arm up into the first 4 feet of the tree.
I burn a lot of Beech, and found it to be very tough splitting, especially when the grain is wavy.
Be careful about sticking your hand up the hollow part, Ray. I have many hollow Beech trees on my property, and they all have a mound of porcupine scat under them......
They say the mind is the first to go; I'm glad it's something I don't use!

Ezekiel 36:26-27

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Beech
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2019, 05:33:02 AM »
Never found that in them. But was cutting one and water came out of it. I thought my chainsaw had sprung a leak. :D  ::)  Yes,I shut the saw off and wondered what was happening. Never have seen that before. 
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Offline WDH

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Re: Beech
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2019, 07:21:21 AM »
Big beech down here are almost all hollow, most without visible external signs.  A hardwood cruiser once showed me how to slap the trunk with your cruising stick and listen to the sound to determine if the beech was hollow. 
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Offline Don P

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Re: Beech
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2019, 08:06:54 AM »
I've been soaked by a gusher of that stump water, that'll ruin a guys morning :D 
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Beech
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2019, 05:02:14 PM »
I pick up a Beech log yesterday and going to slab it up in live edge. Should it be dried slow or under fans? Also wonder how well it stays flat?
Ricky, Iíve only quartersawn beech into thick blanks for planers, and dried ok with some slight twist.
If I were you, Iíd wait about 90 days before milling, so that the weather will be cooler.  That will slow down your initial air drying rate due to the cold temps.
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