The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Sawmills and Milling => Topic started by: JoeyLowe on February 23, 2002, 05:56:53 PM

Title: Willow Oaks, Pin Oaks, and Water Oaks
Post by: JoeyLowe on February 23, 2002, 05:56:53 PM
 :-/  Please share any wisdom on these trees.  I was milling a 225 year old log today and larned that these trees are difficult.  For instance, We had to slab this tree to get it to fit on the mill. (LT40 Super)  We slabbed the log down to 30" and still had difficulty getting it onto the mill.  My F350 pulled the log right up to the mill, but rolling it onto the hydraulic arms was another story.  We finally did get it upon to the deck before we realized that although the head would go over the log, it was still a tight fit when sawing, so we had to trim the log again.

Then the real problem started.  As we were cutting the log, pieces of it started falling off.  Most of the log interior was hollow and most if not all of the wood was mushy.  I felt like I wasted most of the day slabbing this thing and with all the difficulty getting it onto the mill my stubborn streak kicked in and I tried really hard to get some usable lumber out of it.  Sidenote:  Whenever I tried to use the hydraulic log turner, the log turned would just poke a hole in the side of the log.

The log owners were present and were really wanting some lumber to make a table and bench out of, but I don't think it is going to happen with this log.  Now they do have some 10' long by 20" wide limbs from this tree that seems to be in better shape so I might get some lumber out of it.

Aside from split rail fences, what uses if any have yall benefited from with water oak?  I expect a lot of business from this particular job and I know that goodwill will go along way.  However, when do you walk away from a job like this?
Title: Re: Willow Oaks, Pin Oaks, and Water Oaks
Post by: woodman on February 23, 2002, 07:11:17 PM
  Joey had one like this but not as big, after opening cut the owener and I looked at it saw it was not worth cutting  and took it off the mill. I have had no luck in cutting limbs, I find there is to much tenshin in them. But I do like your chose of color in a mill. But that's anouther story. :D :D
Title: Re: Willow Oaks, Pin Oaks, and Water Oaks
Post by: Bud Man on February 23, 2002, 07:29:00 PM
JL ==I'm learning from your doing at this point==Don't think it's as much white oak as a  species but the old sow's ear and silk purse story.  Did not the quartering of the log with the new Stihl saw expose the shape of the log? Look's like all you can do is saw what's before you and chalk it up to learning and getting used to your new mill.   The good load of logs is yet to come and you will be better prepared for them .
Title: Re: Willow Oaks, Pin Oaks, and Water Oaks
Post by: Tom on February 23, 2002, 08:15:18 PM
I cut a lot of water oaks.  The unfortunate thing is that the large ones are not only time consuming on the mill but are full of bug holes and rot.  The wood you can get from these trees is quite pretty though and, because it is so available, the backyard woodworkers here have me cut all they can find.

I  have cut limbs that were of good size and the craftsman will pick the good stuff out of it when dries. Limbs must be cut like you would a leaning tree and have the stress relieved from the cant as it is cut.

Water Oak is one of the Red Oaks and is course in grain.  Its rays, when quartered, are large and crotch wood is almost luminescent.  There is a tendency for some of the grain to be black and this red and black combination is desired by many of my customers.  I don't know for sure, but I have been told that the black streaks are bacteria infection and cause the wood to separate,  something I have not experienced.

When you are approached to cut any type of wood that maximizes the saw, you can expect problems and a labor intensive day.  To keep your production in line try to keep your logs at 25-inches or less.  To keep your customers happy with the big logs you will have to bite the bullet or charge a premium.  

When confronted with rot, there is only one thing to do, that is to cut around it.   This is what makes custom cutting on-site so interesting.  The customer gets to see first hand what you are up against and you have the opportunity to provide him some education as to viable logs in the future. This type of job will make or break a custom sawyer.  You must keep your cool, make it fun, teach the customer what is best and look forward to being asked back.  If you learn to handle these situations, you will become an expert and a genius in his eyes.

** when cutting for myself, I shy away from the real large logs.