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Author Topic: Cleats for end splits  (Read 1984 times)

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Offline Seaman

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Cleats for end splits
« on: April 05, 2013, 07:35:01 AM »
I really do appreciate all the help and advice here.

I know I have seen a couple different cleats to keep boards from end splitting further. I have seen an S like you see in RR Ties, and a staple on steroids.. I just cannot find them for sale.
Lots of the Logs I slab have been down a long time and have some pretty good checks already. I am thinking the cleats would help a lot while drying the slabs.
Thanks, Frank
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Cleats for end splits
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2013, 07:39:26 AM »
Also have plastic one. I think I've seen them in the Timberline magazine. I don't have one at this time.
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Offline Jay C. White Cloud

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Re: Cleats for end splits
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2013, 08:25:41 AM »
Hi Frank,

If you are unsuccessful, I will track a source down for you, but we stopped buying them a decade ago.  Now we just end seal and if it is slab stock use a good wire nail and cleat with a length of board.  You can even tack on some of the stickers to aid in this process, especially near the pith slabs.

Regards,

jay
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Re: Cleats for end splits
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2013, 11:08:05 PM »

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Cleats for end splits
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 12:20:32 AM »
End splits caused by the ends drying faster than the rest of the lumber can be best controlled by using an end coating.

Splits caused by stress in the tree (growth stress) can be somewhat controlled by mechanical restraints, but not coatings.  Mechanical restraints loosen as the wood dries.  uC Coatings does sell plastic restraints that work well, but the stress is still in the wood, so after drying, warp can be expected if pieces are sawn, planed, etc.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline Jay C. White Cloud

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Re: Cleats for end splits
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2013, 12:31:51 AM »
Hi Frank,

Gene's advice is a great breakdown of how to think about it.  If I am working with big slabs I want the following.

Slow down dry as much as possible to release stress evenly and slowly.

What stresses can't (won't) be release must be controlled (arrested.)

The cleating method I described earlier has done the best for me over the years, unless I want the checking for an esthetic effect.  Often it is better to let certain woods, (I have some very big and naughty elm slabs at the moment) do what they want to do, and then butter fly the boards and make the checks part of the design.  They can be left open or filled with epoxies, and/or wood, stone, bone, or other infill methods.  Did one that was filled with turquoise and abalone chips for a client in new mexico that came out rather nice.

Regards,

jay
"To posses an open mind, is to hold a key to many doors, and the ability to created doors where there were none before."

"When it is all said and done, they will have said they did it themselves."-teams response under a good leader.

Offline Seaman

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Re: Cleats for end splits
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 07:33:42 AM »
Thank you Jay and Gene, I always learn a lot from your post.
Yes , most of the checks I have are from stress, as in when the center slab just trys to seperate on you, some can't be helped.
 I have had a couple pop in two as soon as they are ripped, kinda cool to listen to a big piece of locust pull itself apart!
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Offline Jay C. White Cloud

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Re: Cleats for end splits
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2013, 09:40:30 AM »
Quote
I have had a couple pop in two as soon as they are ripped, kinda cool to listen to a big piece of locust pull itself apart!
Keep them together, they can still be made into one slab.  In some cases, you can't even tell they came apart. Just remember to put some kind of identifying marks on them so you don't loose track of their orientation.
"To posses an open mind, is to hold a key to many doors, and the ability to created doors where there were none before."

"When it is all said and done, they will have said they did it themselves."-teams response under a good leader.

Offline Seaman

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Re: Cleats for end splits
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2013, 06:56:59 AM »
Rodger that!
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Cleats for end splits
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2013, 10:53:51 AM »
Here is a bit more--probably more than you need or want to know, but...

Growth stress is common in most tress, but at a low level.  Plantation Southern pine and red pine has a lot along with yellow-poplar at times and sweet gum in the U.S.

Years ago, before many of the readers here were born, many hardwood sawmills would have a "busting saw."  This saw would rip wide lumber down the center, thereby relieving some of the stress.  However, the growth stress in a tree, log of resulting lumber is distributed throughout the stem of hardwoods,  So, a piece of lumber with stress in the green, even if ripped, will still have quite a bit of stress when dry and remanufactured into a smaller product.  Such stress can causing manufacturing issues, like warp or open glue joints.

There is some research literature about steaming stressed lumber PRIOR to drying to relieve the stresses, but the results were not very effective.

The tie plates used on the end of RR ties (looks like a big gang nail plate) are quite effective for controlling end splits, especially splits that might develop after treating.  There is a patent for putting a piece of plywood on the end of tie to control growth stress splits too.  As ties are not remanufactured, the residual stress does not cause an issue if the pith is centered (also called heart centered).  This centering keeps the stresses balanced and minimizes warp.

When you see large end splits in a log, you know you have growth stresses and so if you do not keep the rings centered within the lumber, side bend is likely.

Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline Seaman

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Re: Cleats for end splits
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2013, 07:55:06 AM »
Slabbed a nice Ambrosia (sp?) maple this week, the two center slab (3in) split as soon as the saw came out.
 I'm thinking of tacking  a strip onto the end grain of the slab before cutting thru, and leaving it on thru the drying process, put in butter-flys, then plane, then take off strip.
Sound logical? or is there a reason this won't work.? 

Thanks, Frank
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Offline giant splinter

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Re: Cleats for end splits
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2013, 10:45:05 AM »
Frank,
The staple on steroids you spoke of is called a 'gang nail" you can buy them at Home Depot or Lowes in the framing hardware section. Gang nails are common on truss fabrication and a slightly heavier version is found on railroad ties as well.
Although these fasteners work very well, the advice by The Wood Doc and JC is sound and will work going in, the heavy gang nails used on R/R ties are added after the milling and treating of the ties and do help a great deal with controlling the stability.
roll with it

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Cleats for end splits
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2013, 12:40:26 AM »
For hardwood RR ties, the green tie comes into the treating yard with extra length on it.  The tie is then cut to length, giving fresh ends, and the gang nail plate, called a tie end plate and probably other names too, is put onto the end of the tie before treating.  The typical tie end plate will have 250 "nails" and covers the tie end nearly 100%.  I have seen at least 50% of the ties with such plates.  The wood then air dries and some small cracks develop as the wood shrinks.  It is hoped that when the tie is then treated, that the treatment chemical will get into the splits and a bit further.  Also, it is hoped that the tie end will not split anymore...if it did split further, then untreated wood could be exposed (although the treatment does go pretty deep into the tie).

Such a treatment process works well, as most ties are replaced due to mechanical wear or damage, and not because of decay.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more


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