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Author Topic: Drying Sycamore Beams  (Read 1377 times)

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Offline Qweaver

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Drying Sycamore Beams
« on: March 22, 2015, 12:17:07 PM »
I'm planning to make 10 8"x8"x10' sycamore posts.  What measures can I take to minimize cracking?  I've never made this size timber out of sycamore so I don't know what to expect.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Drying Sycamore Beams
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2015, 12:22:11 PM »
I suggest standing them on end where you plan on placing them. This way, they might twist right into the ground for you as they dry.  ;)
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Offline Qweaver

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Re: Drying Sycamore Beams
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2015, 01:15:41 PM »
I'm going to use these as posts to add mid span support to the cabin roof. No ground contact and not much load on them and all in compression.  They may not be suitable but I thought it was worth a try.
I've had good luck with the sycamore that I've sawed so far.
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Re: Drying Sycamore Beams
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2015, 03:20:38 PM »
Sycamore from around here is like Beech. It likes to dance. :)
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Offline Southside

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Re: Drying Sycamore Beams
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2015, 05:48:03 PM »
Is there any rime or reason to why?  I had a piece of sycamore in my firewood pile that I sawed into stickers just to practice with my mill and they have not moved a bit.  The log had been lying on the pile for probably a year, maybe more.  Obviously never sealed the ends, not sure if that made a difference or not.  I would like to saw some for flooring in the house, just trying to figure out how to do it successfully. 
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Offline WDH

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Re: Drying Sycamore Beams
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2015, 08:24:31 PM »
I think that with the spiral grain, sycamore is not a good candidate for posts.  They are almost sure to twist. 
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Offline Qweaver

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Re: Drying Sycamore Beams
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2015, 11:17:17 AM »
I have six 6' posts cut and stacked to dry.  I will just have to see what happens.  I've made a lot of pretty tables and trim out of quarter sawn sycamore that stayed straight.  It's not worth a hoot out in the weather but is doing great in the man cave.  Works good for sheathing the interior walls on my sheds also.  I used it for painted exterior sheathing on part of one shed and it is doing OK there also.  Maybe the W.Va. sycamore is a different animal.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Drying Sycamore Beams
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2015, 08:31:34 PM »
You can't quartersaw a post.  Hopefully, you will have a favorable result.
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5-111, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Southside

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Re: Drying Sycamore Beams
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2015, 10:26:11 PM »
@WDH  Last week I was speaking with a tie buyer and he told me they cull all QS ties.  I did not say a word but sort of scratched my head, could not figure out how on earth one could actually pull it off.  Eventually I figured out that he meant don't split the pith 4 ways and make a cant out of each "quarter" on big logs. 
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Re: Drying Sycamore Beams
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2015, 07:42:40 AM »
Makes sense.  Splitting the pith will cause side bend as the juvenile wood in the log will shrink just a little bit while the mature wood will not, pulling the board or cant into a "C".
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Drying Sycamore Beams
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2015, 06:29:14 AM »
Traditionally, when quartersawing, the first step for a large log would be to saw the log into quarters....that means that you would split the pith.  As just posted, this leads to excessive warp.  The ties and posts need to be heart-centered.  This language of quartersawing a post is no longer widely used, but it does show up once in a while. 
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more


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