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Author Topic: Anybody ever sawed sumac?  (Read 2457 times)

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Anybody ever sawed sumac?
« on: March 14, 2016, 01:30:02 PM »
   Yes, I know it is the same genus (Rhus) as poison ivy/oak but I am talking about sawing smooth sumac. I have a couple of small logs (fairly large for sumac) about 10"-12" diameter. The logs are off dead trees I girdled a year or so back but are still solid. (One fell across my backyard fence and when I tried to cut the one beside it I hit the power lines and knocked out power up and down the creek for several miles so decided I'd just kill them and let them fall in stages. One fell a week or so back and the top is out of another I can now cut without upsetting the neighbors.) I know it is soft wood and has a dark yellowish tint.

   It is called stinkwood around here as it does have a foul odor and the wife chastised me most severe the last time I cut one up for firewood.

   Is the wood good for anything? If any of you know of any specialty uses or have ever cut it I'd appreciate your input and recommendations as to how to saw it.
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Offline loggah

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Re: Anybody ever sawed sumac?
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2016, 03:08:59 PM »
The sumac we get up here hardly ever gets over 3" in diameter. The smaller limbs used to be whittled down and used for sap spiles,they basically are hollow once the pith is rodded,drilled out. Don
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Offline Cedarman

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Re: Anybody ever sawed sumac?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2016, 03:30:43 PM »
Never seen a sumac get tall enough to hit the power lines.  Never seen one over 4 or 5".  Stinkwood is what we call Tree of Heaven or Ailanthus.  Bark is grey and smooth like sumac.  Might it not be sumac?
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.

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Re: Anybody ever sawed sumac?
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2016, 03:51:31 PM »
We use it for Turkey call strikers. Milled on a table saw. :)
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Offline GAB

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Re: Anybody ever sawed sumac?
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2016, 04:42:52 PM »
I have a box of wood samples that I use for educational purposes on occasion.
I intentionally sawed a short section of sumac to have a piece to add to my sample box.
As to your question on recommendations as to how to saw it?  It is like a lot of other sawing challenges it requires fixturing.  If you do not do it right it could cost you a blade.  Please do not ask me how I know.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Anybody ever sawed sumac?
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2016, 05:00:14 PM »
Are you sure it's not Ailanthus?  We called it sumac.  I've sawn Ailanthus and it saws easily.  If it is sumac, it will glow under UV light. 
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Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Anybody ever sawed sumac?
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2016, 06:20:49 PM »
I saw it at right angles to the length of the log, with a chainsaw.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Anybody ever sawed sumac?
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2016, 10:41:29 PM »
Are you sure it's not Ailanthus?  We called it sumac.  I've sawn Ailanthus and it saws easily.  If it is sumac, it will glow under UV light. 

Doc,

   I looked it up on line and I believe you are right. My trees look like the pictures there and the characteristics are the same.

   Is there anything it is particularly good for? Any specialty market for it? Any particular gottchas or must-dos when sawing and stacking/storing it?

   Thanks for the help.
Howard Green
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Anybody ever sawed sumac?
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2016, 06:02:52 AM »
The only market I sold it to was for pallet stock.  That doesn't mean you won't find a market with local woodworkers.  It's a ring porous wood that works well and maybe someone would like to try it.  But, don't expect to get big bucks for it. 
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: Anybody ever sawed sumac?
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2016, 06:35:41 AM »
The only Sumac in this area that I know of is Staghorn Sumac, and it rarely gets over 3" in diameter.
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Offline Ox

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Re: Anybody ever sawed sumac?
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2016, 07:46:30 AM »
I was under the impression black locust was the only wood that glowed under a black light?  Is a black light the same as a UV light?  Are there more species that will glow?

Down behind my father's place there's a sumac that's grown to around 10" DBH last I saw.  Might be more now.  Never knew it was possible because all my life I've only seen them to 3 or 4 inches max.  I've heard in the old days they would use the trunks of these smaller trees as wooden water pipes after punching out the pith.  There's no real heartwood if I remember right from my childhood.  It's all pulpy inside, at least the smaller saplings.
I think I'm thinking of the right trees...
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Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: Anybody ever sawed sumac?
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2016, 12:15:16 PM »
Here we have African sumac,Rhus lancea. It gets to be a large tree up to maybe 40-50 feet tall by about 75 feet wide, perhaps occasionally reaching 4 ft dbh. The wood is reddish, fluoresces under blacklight when fresh cut, and is strong, nicely figured, but the logs run short like mesquite. I've never seen it for sale. Most is firewood. You would need to hook up with tree service guys to get it when they do a removal, grows pretty much as a yard tree or weed in urban areas of the SW. ;D 8) 8) 8) :snowball:
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Offline Engineer

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Re: Anybody ever sawed sumac?
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2016, 12:33:18 PM »
Never sawed it but I use it for firewood occasionally.  Around here it's staghorn sumac.  I have seen a few get up around 6-8" diameter, but then they fall over.

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Anybody ever sawed sumac?
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2016, 03:10:32 PM »
There are several species that fluoresce under UV light. I think mulberry and maybe also Osage are in that group.
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