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Author Topic: Milling ash?  (Read 973 times)

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Offline Broncman

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Milling ash?
« on: September 06, 2023, 06:28:00 AM »
I have several ash logs from 12" to 24" diameter.  About 6 trees. I want to cut some into mantle sized pieces. 

How does ash behave when cut and dried? I know that sealing the ends helps with splitting  as the few I have done split when not sealed.

For beams and mantles, does the heart need to be boxed like other species or can a the heart be split on large pieces without much issues? 

Was thinking of splitting the heart on some of the 18" diameter stuff and ending up with 2 pieces that have a live edge?

Thoughts or pointers?

Thanks in advance!

Offline Nebraska

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Re: Milling ash?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2023, 07:00:40 AM »
Hardwood rules apply....For me it saws about the same as White Oak.  

Online doc henderson

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Re: Milling ash?
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2023, 08:54:36 AM »
either box the pith or exclude it.  remember the 2/3 rds rule.  you could get a 12-inch square cant from an 18-inch log, assuming it is fairly strait and that you wanted straight boards.  you can get 3 big live edge slabs and take the center one and cut out the pith, getting two 4-inch-thick live edge on one side mantles, total 4 mantles 4 inches thick.  some will twist and split anyway and can be trued up after dry.  
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Milling ash?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2023, 09:00:50 AM »
What Doc says. I have done a bunch of ash slabs, it is/was everywhere here. Splitting the pith will give you nothing but headaches. Good milling rules apply. It will crack and split, that's what it does. It dries much faster than any of the oaks. If you wan 'flat and straight' think about the machining after drying.
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
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Offline jpassardi

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Re: Milling ash?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2023, 09:21:01 AM »
I agree, cut out the pith whenever possible.
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Milling ash?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2023, 09:34:27 AM »
This is a bar I finished in April from a 3" Ash slab. I started with this:




...And ended up with this. 3+ years air drying in the shop. The pocket defect in the center caused some drying warpage. The tree was LTD (long time dead) before I felled it.



 

 Best of luck.
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 350, 450, 562, & 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I'm the woodcutter now.
I work with wood, There is a rumor I might be a woodworker.

Offline Broncman

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Re: Milling ash?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2023, 10:14:56 AM »
OG, that is very nice! I need to build me a giant drying shed...

Offline kelLOGg

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Re: Milling ash?
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2023, 03:33:42 PM »
And I have had good luck with live edge staying on even after kiln drying -on 1 thick slabs.
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Online ladylake

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Re: Milling ash?
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2023, 05:22:12 PM »

  From ugly to pretty.  Steve
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Offline cutterboy

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Re: Milling ash?
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2023, 07:38:28 AM »
Tom, very very nice work on that bar. I think the rumor is true.
To underestimate old men and old machines is the folly of youth. Frank C.

Offline DanMc

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Re: Milling ash?
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2023, 11:59:26 AM »
I love to see people making something beautiful from what others would throw out.  Kind of like what the Lord does with people.
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Offline Bostonstrong

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Re: Milling ash?
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2023, 08:14:52 AM »
Great information, here!  This is helpful, as I have about 12 ash trees coming down in the next months, so I will be milling a ton of it!  Thank you!
Men invent new ideals because they dare not attempt old ideals. They look forward with enthusiasm, because they are afraid to look back.
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Online WV Sawmiller

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Re: Milling ash?
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2023, 01:43:57 PM »
Bos,

   Warning! If those ash trees coming down are standing dead trees be very careful. Dead ash trees have a tendency to snap in the middle and the top will fall back on you if you are not watching closely. If you are just watching the lower trunk as the tree falls everything looks wonderful and normal but if you look up you'll find the top headed your way. Also big dead limbs like to fall down to see what you are doing when sawing.
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Offline Resonator

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Re: Milling ash?
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2023, 02:44:22 PM »
To add to what others have said, having cut a bunch of black ash and some white ash, watch for areas of rot in the logs. I spray water on the cant as I'm cutting, to help spot discolored grain where it has gone bad on cut faces. Those areas are very prone to be brittle, and snap in half. Also ash grain cut running an angle can have long and jagged splinters, I wear gloves anytime I handle it.
Under bark there's boards and beams, somewhere in between.
Cuttin' while its green, through a steady sawdust stream.
I'm chasing the sawdust dream.

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