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Author Topic: Best time to cut Douglas fir  (Read 14776 times)

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Offline tughill

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Re: Best time to cut Douglas fir
« Reply #40 on: December 18, 2009, 10:41:16 AM »
I was thinking that to avoid both heartwood and sapwood, he was going to glue a bunch of bark together to make beams. ;D

It is definitely better to fell and saw lumber in the winter.  Traditional logging and sawmilling was always done in winter, for good reasons:

Logs stay cleaner being skidded on snow, which cuts down on saw maintenance.
Less damage to soil, as it is frozen, less mud, erosion etc.
Lumber will not mold.
Softwoods will not bleed pitch all over the place, on tools equipment, on your hands and clothes.
And contrary to popular belief, lumber that is properly stacked and sticked will dry in winter no matter how cold, although probably a bit slower, which is a good thing for internal tension/warpage considerations.

I'm sure there are others, but if I had a choice, I would log and saw in the winter.
"Those who hammer their guns into plows, will plow for those who do not."- Thomas Jefferson
Local Farmer here won 10$ million in the lottery, when asked what he was going to do with his winnings, responded, "Keep on farming until that's all gone too."

Offline golden foot

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Re: Best time to cut Douglas fir
« Reply #41 on: December 18, 2009, 02:58:07 PM »
 All the science is interesting. There is a lot to learn. Just from a practical standpoint I prefer "bug killed" Douglas Fir for my mill. It just seems to make better lumber. The moisture content of the logs averages around 20%. The lumber doesn't warp or shrink as much. The flitches weigh less and burn easier. The lumber air dries faster and has a beautiful color. Another way to do it is deck the logs for one to two seasons depending on your climate, then mill the logs. I am lucky where I live because it is low humidity in the summer and frozen in the winter so not much deterioration or stain in the logs. You could even "cross stack" the logs to get them to dry out and not get slimy.
SOLO 103CC SAW PRENTICE 410 LOADER CHRISTY YARDER,EAGLET Motorized CARRIAGE TIMBERJACK AND NEW HOLLAND SKIDDERS JOHN DEERE 550 DOZER LUCAS 830 MILL BIGGEST TREE FELL: 80,000 BOARD FEET WM LT40 Manual

Offline MWnBC

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Re:Sap
« Reply #42 on: December 28, 2009, 08:17:52 PM »
    Hi.
    One quick question.
    Why are sugar maples tapped in the winter ,when they are dormant ?

    Mark

Online beenthere

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Re: Best time to cut Douglas fir
« Reply #43 on: December 28, 2009, 08:48:08 PM »
How about in the spring, when the sap begins to flow.   :) :)
south central Wisconsin
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Offline stonebroke

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Re: Best time to cut Douglas fir
« Reply #44 on: December 29, 2009, 08:56:55 AM »
You have to get every thing inplace before the sap flows or you will miss out on the early runs.

Stonebroke

Offline oscar not the grouch

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Re: Best time to cut Douglas fir
« Reply #45 on: January 04, 2010, 08:19:39 PM »
Quote from Beenthere on Dec 15th, 2009
"When the wood dries it will shrink. If the grain is twisted, then the piece of wood will twist when it dries. "

Hi there,
Very interesting subject. I have just recently cut 80 Tamarack trees (eastern larch) this past November 2009 which I intend to log out this coming Spring and have it milled as framing lumber for my future camp. I may have some milled to use as flooring boards as well, I've seen some and they are very nice looking...nice grain.

Speaking of grain, I have read in John Laird Farrar's book "Trees in Canada" including northern US, that tamarack has a "spiral grain". Now does this mean that I will end up with a whole bunch of twisted 2x after it has air dried?? Would it be better if I had it kiln dried??

Offline WDH

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Re: Best time to cut Douglas fir
« Reply #46 on: January 04, 2010, 10:47:07 PM »
I am not familiar with tamarack, but in air drying the spiral grain hardwoods like sweetgum, blackgum, hackberry, elm, and sycamore, you can expect some twist and warp, but by no means will all the boards be that way.  Enough will to get your attention, though  :)

I think that kiln drying would help as the drying conditions are more controlled than with air drying, and there should be less degrade.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Best time to cut Douglas fir
« Reply #47 on: January 04, 2010, 11:37:55 PM »
Sawn boards warp as they dry because for some reason they shrink unevenly. Maybe because they have reaction wood (from a leaning tree), large knots, internal stress etc. If the tree has grown in a spiral then it's going to have grain going in different ways along the length of the board, so that is likely to be unstable too.

Kilning or air drying doesn't change it in any big way. Best way to keep it straight is to hold the whole drying stack down so it cant move. If you can hold it straight until it dries it will generally stay that way when you unstack it.

Lots of weight on the stack, or some big cargo straps that you can tighten up each week to keep the pressure on it.

Some boards are allways going to misbehave, but you can squash most of them into submission.

Some tree species are more prone to spiral grain than others, Thats probably what you read about. Not all trees will exhibit it, and it will be to different degrees. You can generally pick it by looking at the bark.

Ian
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Offline golden foot

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Re: Best time to cut Douglas fir
« Reply #48 on: January 06, 2010, 10:51:06 AM »
It seems like there is still some unansered questions about this post: one is still why do log home builders using Doug Fir demand that the trees be cut in the winter? I am thinking that there must be a lower moisture content in the sap wood even though it has been established that all of the moisture doesn't go back down to the roots and hibernate like a bear. If you think about it, in the fall months when the days get shorter, the temps. get lower, the photosynthesis process slows along with the growth rate. If you think about rubbing the bark off a tree when you are skidding logs in the spring versus tighter bark in the fall. It just makes sense that there is less available moisture in the tree during the fall and winter months. When the tree is frozen there is obviously no "growth" going on. Any other thoughts on this? Also to consider where Sawbuckacres lives gets a ton of snow. So there is a tradeoff in the practicality of harvesting in the winter.
SOLO 103CC SAW PRENTICE 410 LOADER CHRISTY YARDER,EAGLET Motorized CARRIAGE TIMBERJACK AND NEW HOLLAND SKIDDERS JOHN DEERE 550 DOZER LUCAS 830 MILL BIGGEST TREE FELL: 80,000 BOARD FEET WM LT40 Manual

Offline logwalker

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Re: Best time to cut Douglas fir
« Reply #49 on: January 06, 2010, 05:07:53 PM »
Doug Fir is most definitely lighter when cut in the dead of winter. The tree has gone dormant and pulled a lot of the moisture back to the roots. And the humidity in winter is less also and that has a direct effect. Joe
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