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Author Topic: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling  (Read 2509 times)

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Offline madosta

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Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« on: January 06, 2021, 08:06:03 AM »
Hi, I think this is my first post here! Awesome site. I've been around chainsaws since I was kid helping my dad with firewood and clearing headlands around the farm and always been interested in trees. Plant quite a few of them every year.

Unfortunately this yard red oak wasn't maintained and I lost the top out of it and the limb that was left lurking over the power line was removed by the power company as it was a risk.

It's one of the largest oaks on the property and I'm tired of cutting up these nice trees for firewood, so I've ordered a chainsaw mill and want to ultimately make a 3" live edge table for the kitchen (no bark). Currently we have an old reclaimed farm oak table but it's not quite big enough.

Tree is about 44DBH. I'm betting there will be some metal, not sure how much as it sat in an area of yard that was isolated until I cleared it out and other trees haven't had any metal in the firewood.

Questions:
- I'm itching to fell it and have some Anchorseal - should I wait as close to milling as possible - my mill hasn't arrived yet. I also see other mentions of letting it 'cure' for a while whole, should I do that and how long?

- Thinking about bucking it 10-11'

- Any other recommendations?








Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2021, 08:14:02 AM »
Saw logs as fresh as possible.  That being said red oak esp. in winter several months doesnt matter. 
Anchorseal freshly cut ends ASAP within the day. 
No such thing as "curing".  Logs either dry out or rot. You don't want either. 
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Offline madosta

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2021, 08:35:41 AM »
Alright.

I've been reading about pest prevention and might be overthinking it. Any recommendations after I cut the slabs? I plan on stickering them and putting them in an outbuilding with a few fans on them.

Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2021, 08:39:26 AM »
Suggest putting your location in your profile.  Helps with questions like that one. 
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Offline offrink

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2021, 11:41:47 AM »
I would expect to lose the top 4-6’ of log. I also would expect to lose 6-12” on each end due to some cracking. I also would have my cuts turn with the log because if you turn it 90° and cut you could have some internal stresses and warp the slabs. 

Not sure what saw and mill you have/will have but you need more power than if you were cross cutting and you lose 6” or so from the bar length due to the mill. Also use a skip tooth milling chain. The teeth are cut at a different angle. Make sure you wedge the slabs so they don’t pinch the saw. 

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2021, 12:35:24 PM »
   Be sure to buy a good back brace as that is going to be one heavy slab! You can calculate the bf based on the expected thickness, width at the cut and length then look at the toolbox here on this FF to estimate the weight of green red oak. 
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Offline armechanic

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2021, 08:55:57 PM »
That thing looks hollow in the picture,  If it is it won't make much lumber.
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Offline Don P

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2021, 09:12:09 PM »
Go easy with the fans, oak likes to surface check, much more so in thicker pieces. If the surface is drying rapidly and shrinking and the core is still green and swollen it's gonna pop its buttons. It would not be a bad idea to borate the slabs to help keep the bugs at bay while it is slowly drying, there are probably several hundred posts on here by now on how to.
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Offline madosta

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2021, 08:59:07 AM »
Great advice. Thanks! This is exciting.

- Borate solutions - ok I've been reading about those and white vinegar for prevention
- Slab thickness - alright I'm thinking finished between 2-3" for the main table top and will account for the length trimming - I'm thinking of closest to the pith for the thickest/widest slab and away from the slab at 5/4 or 6/4
- Top of the stem will be firewood and we'll see how far down the rot goes - I'm hoping not to the base but we'll see. My neighbor has some large oaks to fell soon so I will have a use for the mill to have some fun as well haha! I am kinda sick of making firewood. The limb that was over the powerline was mostly solid but did have some carpenter ant damage in about 2'
- Weight - should be able to move them with the backhoe
- Mill can handle 56" - largest i think will be about 48-50"
- Plan on using either two 660s or an 880 and 660 or just the 880 - haven't sized it up yet.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2021, 09:26:30 AM »
First you need to verify what you have.  I would lay that stem on the ground before I bought anything because slabs can't be sawn from hollow logs.  
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Offline Rhodemont

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2021, 11:44:26 AM »
Drop it, cut top back to sound wood, cut bottom to sound wood, leave at full length till saw comes, then buck to milling length just before you mill your slabs.  Since it is longer than you plan to mill a little splitting on the ends is not going to matter.
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Offline madosta

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2021, 09:07:58 AM »
Great forum, thanks everyone.

Well I felled the old girl yesterday with the 462 and fat nose 28".

Is it worth milling anything out of it? I could see two 2-3" slabs with existing splits and damage or I might take to a friend with a band saw and see whatever he can get out of it. His mill can only handle 32" so I might need to rip it in half. I haven't cut very far from the top yet to see how far back and bad it is. Max diameter is about 56"

Might be a lost cause at this point, but I am sick of cutting firewood that I don't burn - have about 5 full cord split and seasoned already.


Offline madosta

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2021, 09:10:19 AM »
Also, surprisingly doesn't look like any metal staining being about 100' from my house!

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2021, 09:27:14 AM »
I guess I would buck it to the length I wanted and see what the damage is at the other end.  You should get a better idea how hollow it is in the center.  If it is similar to what's going on at the butt end, you may still have some good slabs in there.  You don't want the pith in your slabs anyway.  Slab it parallel to that damage.  
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Offline madosta

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2021, 09:01:08 PM »
Well I think there might be some "ok" wood in there. I'll see what happens when I cut into it. Got it moved today and up on some 4x4s. 14'x48"x36" - Surprised the backhoe moved it.

The center is gone and there's quite a bit of punky wood surrounding it. How does punky wood turn into a table top if I were to get a slab that has most solid wood and a little bit of punk. Might have to epoxy coat or seal it. Might be interesting. Who knows. I keep telling my buddies that I might end up with square firewood... lol

Also thinking the center being hollow has helped dry it down a little already.

If I can get one decent slab out of it that would fine. I've laid out 3" slab lines just to get an idea. I think I'll try for 3".


Offline Larry

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2021, 10:02:58 PM »
If you saw it the way you have shown you will end up with a bunch of ho-hum boring slabs.

The tree is giving you the opportunity to make slabs that would be perfect for really interesting river tables, if you saw them right.  I would put the crack vertical so every slab has a crack and some punky wood.  You would need to air dry and kiln dry to finish.  Than the resin to fill is going to be costly.  And of course it always a gamble.

You could also break it down so your friend with the bandsaw could handle it.  If you see some thick juicy rays it will make some nice quarter sawn boards.



 
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Offline madosta

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2021, 08:30:04 AM »
Ha, I was wondering if someone would suggest that! Nice.

Two concerns with sawing through the crack. 1. it might fall apart since that hollow goes through the entire log and twists - (might end up in a few of the top slabs anyway) - and 2. lots of sharpening through all that dirt.

I'll have to take a closer look at the grain. Thanks!

Offline Woodpecker52

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2021, 06:31:08 PM »
Five cords of seasoned firewood around here worth about $500 and up.
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Offline madosta

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2021, 08:29:13 PM »

Well I give y'all credit that do this chainsaw milling it's quite a bit of work, but it's quite a bit of fun too.

Finally been chewing off a slab or two here and there when I get an hour to mess around.





Starting to get interesting now. I am not looking forward to the next cut though. Will probably have to pull the saw out and sharpen a few times as I'm probably going to be slabbing right through all the rot. Ugh.



Offline metalspinner

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2021, 09:08:16 PM »
You can expect that center pithy slab to warp/check,etc.
I would turn that piece into two narrower slabs by removing the center.

The wider the slabs, the thicker I like to have them. Cup, warp, twist, etc needs to be removed over wide surfaces. You need lots of meat on the bone.

And I cannot tell in the pictures, but make to center the pith with the plane of the board. Now would be the best time to make that correction if you need too. 
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Offline esteadle

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2021, 07:13:05 PM »
That discoloration at the bottom of the butt confirms what looks like a long aged hole at the top, letting water into the center for years / possibly decades. If you get usable lumber from this log, it'll be a small amount. I'd burn this log. It's not worth the time spent on sawing.

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2021, 09:21:40 AM »
Just realized I didn't post the final slabbing pics. Well I did get some nice slabs out of the log.



Stacked and been drying for the summer like this, the large pith slab has cupped a little bit but I think it's around 3 1/2"



Offline madosta

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2021, 10:23:06 AM »
Well I checked on the slabs this weekend and noticed some insect either boring into the bark or emerging from the slab? I am thinking it's a powder post beetle?

Frass/sawdust is sort of like cornstarch. The hole/tunnel is around 1/8"-3/16"


I followed one of the tunnels and it did penetrate the slab roughly 1.5"



This is a little lame and discouraging. I treated with BoraCare, but only once and maybe less effective after the months of summer and rain.

Ok. Need advice for next steps.

I am thinking of letting it air dry longer still and just fill the tunnels if/when I get to use the slabs.

I have some other red oak logs that I am wanting to have sawn, but now I am not sure about storing them.

Should I look into building a "clean room" or sort of kiln like room indoors and dry and store the new boards inside.

I would want to heat treat these slabs now before using them.





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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2021, 07:46:27 PM »
Those PP beetles could have been there long before you milled the slabs. The logs you have yet to mill could show signs of them if you look close enough. Did you mention this tree was dead standing or dying?

If the bugs were already in the log, then the treatment would not have been effective for them. 

Your wood needs lots of air flow to dry. So a closed room inside is not a fit place for green lumber.  Outside in the breeze to air dry or into a kiln. 
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline esarratt

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Re: Standing Red Oak Stem Advice for Milling
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2021, 11:56:43 AM »
- I'm itching to fell it and have some Anchorseal - should I wait as close to milling as possible.
I bought Anchorseal.  Now I just use latex paint.

I don't know about red oak, but I learned this lesson with white oak.  It checked within hours of cutting.  Now I paint freshly cut wood as quickly as I can after felling.

I would paint the ends and paint an inch or two up the log.  Then repaint as above after milling into boards or slabs.

There is some checking you can not stop.

Those are pretty slabs you cut.


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