The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:

iDRY Vacuum Kilns


Forestry Forum
Sponsored by:


TimberKing Sawmills



Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Norwood Industries Inc.




Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades

Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

Michigan Firewood, your BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

FARMA


Baker Products

ECHO-Bearcat

iDRY Wood Lumber Vacuum Drying for everyon

Nyle Kiln Dry Systems

Chainsawr, The Worlds Largest Inventory of Chainsaw Parts





Author Topic: Cottonwood - is it worth milling?  (Read 4556 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline warren46

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 323
  • Age: 73
  • Location: Weddington (Charlotte), NC
  • Gender: Male
  • Been involved in sawing most of my life.
    • Share Post
Cottonwood - is it worth milling?
« on: October 11, 2013, 09:11:54 PM »
Got an offer of some free cottonwood logs.  Is it worth milling?  Is it good for anything except sticker material?

Warren
Warren E. Johnson
Timber Harvester 36HTE25, John Deere 300b backhoe/loader.

Offline Larry

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 5970
  • Age: 71
  • Location: NW Arkansas
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Cottonwood - is it worth milling?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2013, 10:01:43 PM »
Cottonwood is a great utility wood.  Ive used it for unseen cabinet parts, wood shelving (much preferred over pine), and all kinds of utility projects.  Ive sawed some that was used for paneling and it looked nice.  When OSB/plywood prices went through the roof after the gulf war I sawed quite a bit as a replacement for OSB and also for sub-flooring.  Ive read that a lot of casket makers use cottonwoodthey must know how to finish it.

It has three annoying problems.  Some wood will fuzz when planing, you will loose a few boards due to warp while drying, and it stinks while machining.

I've never met a wood that I couldn't some use for.

Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline dgdrls

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 2854
  • Age: 56
  • Location: Central NY
  • Gender: Male
  • Learning the Art of Milling Logs
    • Share Post
Re: Cottonwood - is it worth milling?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2013, 10:44:25 PM »
I understand it makes good wood for barn stalls,

DGDrls

Offline haywire woodlot

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 165
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Southern Vancouver Island
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Cottonwood - is it worth milling?
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2013, 11:28:09 PM »
I understand it makes good wood for barn stalls,

DGDrls

I've been told that as well, any idea why?
Dave

Offline rmack

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 433
  • Age: 61
  • Location: South end of the Cariboo Plateau
  • Gender: Male
  • Woodmizer owner
    • Share Post
Re: Cottonwood - is it worth milling?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2013, 11:32:31 PM »
it's generally a highly stressed wood, at least around here. Easy to mill, will warp when drying if allowed to, does not stand up well to moisture... rots fairly quickly, but it can be very strong when dry. good price for dunnage.
the foundation for a successful life is being able to recognize what to least expect the most... (anonymous)

Welder Bob
2012 LT40HDSD35 Yanmar Diesel Triple
1972 Patrick AR-5
Massey Ferguson GC2410TLB Diesel Triple
Belsaw Boat Anchor

Offline Left Coast Chris

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1305
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Redding, California
  • Gender: Male
  • A day sawing is always a special day
    • Share Post
Re: Cottonwood - is it worth milling?
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2013, 11:53:25 PM »
If any of them have figure, it makes great scroll saw art or bowls.  It finishes pretty well and is attractive.
Home built cantilever head, 24 HP honda mill, Case 580D, MF 135 and one Squirel Dog Jack Russel Mix -- Crickett

Offline delvis

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 224
  • Age: 49
  • Location: Maine
  • Gender: Male
  • "I jus' 'bout 'magine"
    • Share Post
Re: Cottonwood - is it worth milling?
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2013, 12:01:17 AM »
Reading this, I was thinking cottonwood sounds like poplar.  Turns out it is closely related to poplar.  Learn something new every day.
If I never saw another board I will at least die happy having spent the last few years working with my dad!

Offline ST Ranch

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 232
  • Age: 62
  • Location: Southeastern BC
  • Gender: Male
  • Outside of a horse is good for the inside of man
    • Share Post
Re: Cottonwood - is it worth milling?
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2013, 12:02:47 AM »
Re-Cottonwood good for horse stalls

I understand cottonwood is good for both horse stall floors and for lowbed decking. Has to do with the fiber length and the tendancy not to split and splinter like the usual softwoods we are accustomed to in BC. 

Apparently when it is dry it is very durable.

I have an old barn with 8 old dairy stalls and I removed the floor in one section to build a feed room. When trying to saw thru the floor, it was like iron - [chain saw felt like I had hit a bunch of sand]. An old timer told me it was probably cottonwood that had become preserved with the manure and urine from the cows - it had stained a dark purple and looked like juniper. but was still solid and well preserved.

I have cut a bit for B & B siding and agree it has a fuzzy nature to it - a bit like cutting WR Cedar.
Tom
 
LT40G28 with mods,  Komatsu D37E crawler,
873 Bobcat with CWS log grapple,

Offline 5quarter

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1678
  • Location: Springfield NE
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
    • Blue Harbor Refinishing
Re: Cottonwood - is it worth milling?
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2013, 12:09:38 AM »
Pallets, pulp, blocking etc... Personally, I wouldn't saw it. Oh, and barns. Most of the barns around here are framed with cottonwood.
What is this leisure time of which you speak?
Blue Harbor Refinishing

Offline dgdrls

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 2854
  • Age: 56
  • Location: Central NY
  • Gender: Male
  • Learning the Art of Milling Logs
    • Share Post
Re: Cottonwood - is it worth milling?
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2013, 08:25:42 AM »
I understand it makes good wood for barn stalls,

DGDrls

I've been told that as well, any idea why?

What ST said.  I also understand horses will not chew on it,

DGDrls

Offline Banjo picker

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 2899
  • Location: Iuka Ms
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Cottonwood - is it worth milling?
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2013, 08:48:44 AM »
As Larry said, It stinks...probably taste bad too. ;D  Banjo
Never explain, your friends don't need it, and your enemies won't believe you any way.

Offline giant splinter

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 903
  • Location: Newport,Washington
  • Gender: Male
  • Pacific Northwest
    • Share Post
Re: Cottonwood - is it worth milling?
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2013, 12:04:55 PM »
Cottonwood is a good material, I agree with all of the above posts and would not recommend trying to eat it  :D  I use it all the time as long as it is not near or placed in the ground it stands up well and is very strong, works ok for firewood although it takes a couple years to dry enough to burn well in my area and once the water is out of cottonwood it is very light weight and easy to work with.
roll with it

Offline Bigbo1234

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 61
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Frankfort, MI
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Cottonwood - is it worth milling?
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2013, 01:26:54 PM »
I have lots and lots of cottonwood. One of the best things about cottonwood, it's big, free, an plentiful. One of the drawbacks is that it has so much stress, and when you cut these stressed logs the stress transfers over to the sawyer. After cutting the boards from the cant I've seen some lay perfectly flat, some get up and look at you, some walk off the mill, and some dance away. I framed my hole second story with it as 2x4. It is strong and light but does not hold a nail well. And screws spin out easily. Also if grown in a low laying areas( as it often does) It has a tendency o pull silica out of the ground and will dull your blades faster than normal. Be sure to peel the bark as it is one of the hardest barks there is, and hold dirt. That's just my experience.
Bowen

Offline Brucer

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 4267
  • Location: Rossland, BC
  • Gender: Male
  • The Kootenay Sawyer - retired (for now)
    • Share Post
Re: Cottonwood - is it worth milling?
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2013, 04:14:14 AM »
In my corner of the continent, what everyone calls "cottonwood" is actually Trembling Aspen (Populus Treuloides), which is related to poplar.

The trees can get pretty large and branches don't appear until 10 to 20 feet up. This gives a lot of clear wood in the trunk.

It tends to move a lot when you saw it. It moves a whole lot more if you dry it without restraining it (i.e., stack and sticker, with weight on top). The grain is kind of interwoven which makes it tough, but a little difficult to work precisely with hand tools. Horses won't chew on it. The smell is distinctive, but it doesn't bother me.

I just sawed some for a customer -- she's going to use it for flooring in a guest room. A fungus had got into the tree so the entire heart was dark grey, but it hadn't started to decay yet. The grain was quite striking.

A guy I do business with had a bunch sawn, dried, and processed to make tongue and groove boards for a ceiling. The wood is white and it gave the room a light, open feeling.

Two of the 8x8 posts supporting my tractor shed are Aspen. They're doing just fine after 30 years :).

Dry, the wood is quite light. Green it's a backbreaker :(.
Bruce    LT40HDG28 bandsaw with two 6' extensions.
"Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers."

Offline Ianab

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 13556
  • Age: 57
  • Location: Stratford , New Zealand
  • Gender: Male
  • Marmite on toast is a real breakfast
    • Share Post
Re: Cottonwood - is it worth milling?
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2013, 05:03:57 AM »
I understand it makes good wood for barn stalls,

DGDrls

I've been told that as well, any idea why?

Horses don't like the taste, so they don't gnaw on it when they get bored, which they may do with more tasty wood.
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)


Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via pinterest Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via tumblr Share via twitter

xx
what is cottonwood worth....

Started by The-Burl-Hunter on General Board

6 Replies
2308 Views
Last post May 30, 2009, 11:51:26 AM
by rebocardo
xx
Milling cottonwood

Started by Bigbo1234 on Sawmills and Milling

13 Replies
1850 Views
Last post August 14, 2013, 08:20:14 PM
by 5quarter
xx
New to Milling, is it worth it?

Started by strunk57 on Sawmills and Milling

26 Replies
2191 Views
Last post March 17, 2013, 02:04:07 PM
by clww
xx
Worth milling these pines?

Started by Richard Karwowski on Urban and Community Forestry

6 Replies
3921 Views
Last post February 18, 2012, 10:51:03 AM
by Left Coast Chris
 


Powered by EzPortal