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Author Topic: quaking and bigtooth aspen  (Read 8338 times)

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Offline GAV64

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quaking and bigtooth aspen
« on: September 27, 2004, 04:36:07 AM »
I have a large quanity of big toothed and quaking aspens and I do not know what to do with them. I also have a small sawmill. Could they be used for  i.e. 6x6 and 8x8 for a small timber frame structure. Living in the snow belt I am concerned about their strength. comments woul be appreciated. glenn

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: quaking and bigtooth aspen
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2004, 01:49:24 PM »
Glen;
I'm not personally familiar with these types of wood and therefore cannot give you a good answer.
I know there are charts and values assigned each type of wood in regard to strengths and I'm not sure if these are available on line or not.
Maybe if someone knows of a website where these can be easily looked up that they could post that site location and you could look these up yourself, and find you're own answers.
Good luck with your research.
Jim Rogers
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Offline Timber_Framer

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Re: quaking and bigtooth aspen
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2004, 11:33:44 AM »
The only sites I could find are in pfd format and for some reason I can’t open those any longer so I took these numbers from my “Pocket Ref” by Thomas J. Glover.

The numbers reflect pounds per square inch. For my experience (and I am by no means an expert) I like working with aspen. It cuts like butter and dries up nice and hard.


Bigtooth and Quaking Aspen have identical numbers
Horizontal shear is 1006 wet and dry
compression perpendicular to the grain is177 wet 265 dry
and parallel to the grain is 725psi wet & dry

For comparison White Pine 1006psi wet& dry perpendicular compression wet223…dry335 and parallel wet840…dry1050

Red Oak      wet1369…dry1610  w590…d885   w920…d1150

From what I see Aspen has nearly the same properties as white pine.
I hope this helps
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Offline GAV64

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Re: quaking and bigtooth aspen
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2004, 04:24:13 AM »
Jim and Timber Framer,
Thanks for your replies, it took so long for someone to reply I was beginning to think you all thought i was nuts. I found a chart on woodweb that also has it close to pine. thanks glenn.

Offline Timber_Framer

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Re: quaking and bigtooth aspen
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2004, 12:02:07 PM »
One thing I aught to mention about working with Aspen is that on occasion it tends to stain irregularly sort blotchy. I’ve used ‘Boat soup' without the beeswax and it works very well on Aspen.
One part resin varnish, two parts linseed oil, and three parts real turpentine (not paint thinner). Mix and apply with clean cloth. Tung oil works also but it’s a bit more pricey than the soup.
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Offline hookhill

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Re: quaking and bigtooth aspen
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2005, 02:22:29 PM »
We just put up a sugarhouse using bigtooth aspen (popple) for some of the posts and beams. It is rugged stuff. It is hard to drill, holds a nail well, and needs to dry before you put any weight on it. Some of it grows fairly big and straight around Vt. We sawed our own with a small mill and besides a few cants warping it worked out fine. Our neighbor used it in his cabin some 30 years ago for 2nd floor beams spanning 18ft and they are holding up fine. Go for it!!

Offline hardwood

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Re: quaking and bigtooth aspen
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2005, 02:38:33 PM »
I'm really intrigued by the info in this thread. I don't saw my own wood, so I have no experience using big tooth. All my logs go the mill. They will take virtually anything I take them, EXCEPT big tooth aspen. They won't touch it. One site I found said, "The wood is used chiefly for making paper."

So now I am really curious. The specs look good and people that use it have no problems with it, but the mills don't want it. Anyone have any ideas or more insight?

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: quaking and bigtooth aspen
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2005, 04:18:43 PM »
It's used up here for paper making, strawberry boxes, core plywood veneers and some people have used it in the form of 2x4 for strapping over raftors they will be applying sheet metal.


Also used for log homes, pallets, match splints, chopsticks, hockey stick components, and ladders.

Bark is pelletized for fuel and supplemental cattle feed.
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Online Ron Scott

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Re: quaking and bigtooth aspen
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2005, 04:54:09 PM »
Hardwood,

Where are you located that there is no interest in utilizing aspen? Jeff, can tell you a lot about aspen uses also, since it was his full time job sawing it. :P
~Ron

Offline hardwood

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Re: quaking and bigtooth aspen
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2005, 05:27:02 PM »
Hardwood,

Where are you located that there is no interest in utilizing aspen? Jeff, can tell you a lot about aspen uses also, since it was his full time job sawing it. :P

I'm in PA. And I should mention that this is not only the attitude at the mill, but also of my local state forester. When he visited a few months ago, I asked him about some big tooth aspen sawlogs I had on the landing. He said it was junk wood, and the best thing was just let it lay on the forest floor. But since I already had the logs out, I checked with my mill, and sure enough, he didn't want anything to do with it.

I'm just going by what those folks told me. That's why I am so surprised by this thread.

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Re: quaking and bigtooth aspen
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2005, 06:37:05 PM »
Sometimes the box stores carry aspen 2x4 for studs, just need to take a close look.

Offline Minnesota_boy

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Re: quaking and bigtooth aspen
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2005, 07:56:58 PM »
I'm having a real hard time believing the charts that put aspen's strength on par with white pine.  I'll put balsam poplar on par with white pine for strength, but quaking aspen has far mor strength than white pine and big tooth aspen does too.  Don't believe it?  Buy two boards, one aspen, the other white pine.  Support each at 4 ft but not too far off the ground and then walk up them.  Bet the white pine puts you on the ground first!  :o
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Offline Don P

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Re: quaking and bigtooth aspen
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2005, 08:06:53 PM »
I did just look it up in one chart I have... from the NDS manual that the inspectors use.
Quaking& Bigtooth Aspen#2 Fb (strength in bending) 600 psi, shear-120 psi, MOE (stiffness) 1,000,000 psi

SPF #2 (the usual white wood in the box store) Fb 875psi, shear-135, MOE-1,400,000psi

Eastern White Pine #2 Fb-575, Fv-135, E-1.1M  you've got to watch grade closely in white pine.
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Offline Minnesota_boy

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Re: quaking and bigtooth aspen
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2005, 08:21:29 PM »
Maybe the manual is wrong?  The aspen I have is a hardwood, almost as hard as white birch.   Used as a floor joist it is much stronger and stiffer than any of the pines we have here.  I've use it, stood on it, tried to nail it.  Balsaw poplan and white pine will let you sink a nail head with a hand held hammer.  Aspen will likely make you bend the nail first.
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Offline Don P

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Re: quaking and bigtooth aspen
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2005, 10:08:49 PM »
Try this calculator on the AFPA website, it's easier to use than those base design values I posted earlier.
http://www.awc.org/calculators/span/calc/timbercalcstyle.asp

The Aspen it lists is Bigtooth and Quaking. I used #2 and 2x8's and left the rest alone, then ran Aspen and EWP, it did give aspen a 2" longer allowable span. It is easier to get higher grade aspen than white pine just because of the way the trees branch differently.

Notice the calculator did kick the Fb up to 828psi in aspen, and 793 in ewp. I can't read the formulas in their calculator but I do know they have taken the repetative member increase allowed because it's calculating for floor joists and they assume there are 3 or more sharing the loads, that lets you up the allowable strength values by 15%. A 2x8 also is allowed a 20% increase over the base design values, called a "size factor".  That's all here nor there I know, just letting you know why those values are different than the base design values I posted earlier. The bearing strength of aspen is shown as lower, that was news to me (see the bigger bearing length required).

I can't claim much experience with popple, I've used a little in my travels to the north, but it doesn't grow down here, white pine does. I won't disagree with your observations, my gut reaction would have been the same, but the table and the calculator both get their basic info from testing done at the Forest Products Labs. They come from testing many samples. The results of those tests are in the tables in the Wood Handbook, table 4.2, chapter 4. I was hoping to find side hardness numbers there for all those woods, that sounded to me like the closest comparison they might have done similar to your nail driving...but they didn't test the aspens that way  ???. But... hardness is different than bending strength or stiffness  ;).
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Offline Jeff

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Re: quaking and bigtooth aspen
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2005, 10:52:16 PM »
Quote
Bet the white pine puts you on the ground first!  :o

Bet it dont. At least not what we grow. I'd much rather walk out on the aspen.  Been sawing it for 25 years.  THe pine will break and drop you where the aspen will flex and hold you up without breaking. Again, I dont know what kind of quality aspen grows out there, but here, its a money tree used for everything.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: quaking and bigtooth aspen
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2005, 06:43:29 AM »
property                    white pine                              aspen
bending strength         <6000 psi                             <6000 psi
stiffness                     800,000-1,000,000 psi           1,000,000 - 1,300,000 psi


from Text of Wood Technology
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Offline hawby

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Re: quaking and bigtooth aspen
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2005, 11:56:05 PM »
I need 4000 bdft of that "junk wood" tomorrow, morning.  ;D I love cutting it, cept when the blade gets a little dull and it starts fuzzin'.
Hawby

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Offline Jeff

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Re: quaking and bigtooth aspen
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2005, 12:14:40 AM »
I misread your post minnisota, I should have been agreeing with you. Well, actually I was. :D  Sorry about dat.
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Offline floyd

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Re: quaking and bigtooth aspen
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2005, 10:20:52 AM »
check out match making companies, no not the 1 for your new sweetie. Ohio Blue Tip , Diamond. etc

Saw a match manufacturing mill in New Mecico yrs ago.


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