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Author Topic: was sawing some walnut and oak today - is walnut made of concrete???  (Read 1618 times)

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Offline Andy B.

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I had a chance to play around a little with my Alaskan chainsaw mill today.  I have a few old logs laying around and figured they would be good to practice on.  The walnut log has been laying alongside my garage for at least 5 years, and the oak ones were on a pile for probably almost as long.  I wasn't expecting to really get much usable wood, just to see how the saw cut.  The logs were all around 6-7 feet long.

The first log I cut was a white oak.  It wasn't too bad.  The second log was the walnut.  Holy smokes!  It probably took three times as long to make a cut as the oak log, and the oak I cut into an 18" wide square cant.  The walnut was still round and about 14".  I thought maybe it was just the white oak, so the second log I cut was red oak, about the same size as the white oak log.  Same as the white oak, I went through the red oak a lot faster than the walnut.

Being new to sawing up logs, I just figured oak would be difficult to cut and walnut would be easy.  I was sadly mistaken.

One other neat thing was the oak had lots of shake and some checking, but the walnut had zero shake, almost no checking, and no rot.  I was very surprised by that considering the walnut log was laying in a somewhat damp area for so many years.  All of the bark was gone from it.

Anyway, just some random observations from a newbie.

Andy B.

Offline beenthere

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Re: was sawing some walnut and oak today - is walnut made of concrete???
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2013, 07:45:24 PM »
Black walnut heartwood will last a long time on the ground. I've retrieved good walnut heartwood from logs laying 10+ years.
No explanation for your experience having a hard time cutting the walnut, compared to the oaks.

But the walnut shouldn't be harder to saw, I'd think.
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline George Walnut

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Re: was sawing some walnut and oak today - is walnut made of concrete???
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2013, 09:22:58 PM »
Was there much stress in the log? Could be excess stress that was giving you a hard time cutting?

Offline WDH

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Re: was sawing some walnut and oak today - is walnut made of concrete???
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2013, 09:28:46 PM »
I bet that the oak had more decay and was not as sound as the walnut, given that walnut heartwood will not decay very fast at all.  The lumber from many old walnut logs, once sawn, looks like it came from a green log. 
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Offline George Walnut

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Re: was sawing some walnut and oak today - is walnut made of concrete???
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2013, 09:30:38 PM »
Gotta love the Walnut!  :)

Offline drobertson

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Re: was sawing some walnut and oak today - is walnut made of concrete???
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2013, 10:01:53 PM »
On old logs, switch bands after the slab cuts, pretty much a given,  if you cut the white oak and kept the same blade for the walnut this would explain allot,  david
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline Andy B.

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Re: was sawing some walnut and oak today - is walnut made of concrete???
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2013, 10:18:10 PM »
Thanks for the info guys.

The oaks didn't have much rot, it was mainly a lot of shake, but I guess that could have had something to do with it.

I really couldn't tell you about stress in a log.  I'm totally new at this, so unless the log started bending like a potato chip, it all just looks like flat boards to me.  :D  The walnut did have some branches on it and the oak was all relatively smooth-grained logs with no branches.  Maybe that was the difference.  I always think of oak as being something tough, but I am learning from reading here that there are many more woods more difficult to mill than oak.

I wish I had a bandsaw mill with bands to change, but sadly it's just me, the Alaskan chainsaw mill, and a Stihl MS660.   :(  Someday it might be nice to have a bandsaw mill.

Andy B.

Offline Gasawyer

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Re: was sawing some walnut and oak today - is walnut made of concrete???
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2013, 07:16:40 AM »
the only thing I think is your chain might have been dulled a little by the rot on the walnut? Just a thought. Keep sawing you learn what to expect, but the there will be surprises. It keeps it interesting!
Woodmizer LT-40hdd super hyd.,Lucas 618,Lucas 823dsm,Alaskian chainsaw mill 6',many chainsaws large and small,NH L555 skidsteer, Int. TD-9,JD500 backhoe, and International grapple truck.

Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: was sawing some walnut and oak today - is walnut made of concrete???
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2013, 07:31:40 AM »
Sounds like dull chain.  Walnut is easy to cut if it is moist. 
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Offline drobertson

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Re: was sawing some walnut and oak today - is walnut made of concrete???
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2013, 08:10:26 AM »
Andy, my bad on the saw type, not sure what you could have going on,  maybe give the chain a little fuzz with a file,    david
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline outerbanxer

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Re: was sawing some walnut and oak today - is walnut made of concrete???
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2013, 02:01:56 PM »
You really need a ripping chain, makes all the difference in the world, And you do have to sharpen it every pass on a big log like that.

Offline Gasawyer

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Re: was sawing some walnut and oak today - is walnut made of concrete???
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2013, 09:58:31 PM »
Outerbanxer if you need to sharpen after every pass on that small of log you need better chain or something. Because I have run one chain 12 passes to slab up a 3 to 4' diameter10' long red oak log and didn't need to sharpen to complete the job. Most of the time you find metal and need to change the chain at least once a log. Just my experience.
Woodmizer LT-40hdd super hyd.,Lucas 618,Lucas 823dsm,Alaskian chainsaw mill 6',many chainsaws large and small,NH L555 skidsteer, Int. TD-9,JD500 backhoe, and International grapple truck.


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