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Author Topic: Black Cherry  (Read 1615 times)

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Offline Pete and Jesse

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Black Cherry
« on: September 10, 2019, 03:50:18 PM »
I have 1500 bf of black cherry logs that were cut in March. Can they be used for anything besides firewood. DBH is between 20-25".

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2019, 04:42:31 PM »
throw them on a mill and see what you got.  are they solid?  
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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2019, 05:02:06 PM »
Yes they are solid. Any suggestions on length/thickness of boards. Just measured one and it is 19" at end of 50' log.

Offline Resonator

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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2019, 05:43:35 PM »
Few tips from my experience with Black Cherry:
Buck the logs to straight lengths (cut long as manageable), Anchor Seal the ends.
Saw 4/4 boards as wide as possible, box the pith, and edge the boards to remove as much sapwood as possible.
After drying plan to re-rip boards to straighten any split, crook, cup, bow, etc.
Black Cherry likes to dry fast, which can be bad because it causes defects, but good for air drying to get MC down.
Under bark there's boards and beams, somewhere in between.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2019, 05:44:06 PM »
Cherry is a high value wood.  Trim the sap off and cut them.
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Offline Woodpecker52

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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2019, 06:17:35 PM »
The heartwood stays good forever don't waste them as firewood.  They are a great wood used for smoking meat.  I have a kitchen table I made of cherry years ago still beautiful, I think I used a linseed finish.  A definite good wood to sell.
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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2019, 06:32:20 PM »
   I cut them into 4/4 boards and 8/4 live edge slabs. If you have a real sharp curve cut on both side of it and make a set of curved benches. I had a good sized butt log with a lot of sweep so I cut it into 3" thick live edge slabs for fireplace mantels then I squared off the back so I had a curved, live edge front about a foot wide in the middle and 7-8 inches on each end and sold a pair of them to a guy with 2 fireplaces who fell in love with them. Save your short boards for cutting boards. People like to cut them into narrow strips and alternate the dark red color with white like ash or maple and dark brown from walnut. So yes, save them from becoming firewood.


 These are oak but an example of what you can do with curved pieces.
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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2019, 07:00:10 PM »
Turn the logs so that when you "saw through" you are sawing parallel to the pith check, otherwise every board in the center will split and look like a banana peel.


 
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Offline Pete and Jesse

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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2019, 07:51:35 PM »
Black Cherry likes to dry fast, which can be bad because it causes defects, but good for air drying to get MC down.
Would it be best to dry this in the hay mow or greenhouse?

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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2019, 08:02:57 PM »
Itís best to dry stickered cherry in an unsided shed, no sun, no rain, very little wind.
Put another stack of wood on top as weight or the top few layers will bow badly.  Saw it as @Magicman says, isolate the pith check.  Remove the sapwood as much as possible. 
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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2019, 08:59:21 PM »
I'll reiterate, trim the sapwood (the white part) of the boards.  It tends to pull boards into potato chips as it dries and shrinks much faster than the heartwood. 

You could make 4/4 boards (rough saw 1.125 thick), or 5/4 boards (1.375 thick).  
You could make beams.  I mill cherry beams 1/2 inch oversize and plane them later.  I mill cherry live edge branches 1 inch oversize as they will move more drying.

You could cut slabs 1.75, or 2.25 thick without removing the sapwood (for table tops later).  

Often Cherry will have curl - curly grain, which is really nice.  You're likely to have some in that pile.



 
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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2019, 09:23:53 PM »
x2 what Mr. YellowHammer said. (He knows way more about lumber making than I do). smiley_thumbsup
I wouldn't stack green lumber in a green house unless its converted into a solar kiln. The other thing I'll add is after drying and planing, I spread the boards out inside a building. After a while the top board face gets more light and air, and gains a much richer, darker reddish color than the bottom face. This is the side I present when selling. $ ;D $
Under bark there's boards and beams, somewhere in between.
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2019, 06:24:36 AM »
Good ventilation and no sun are key to storing and drying lumber!
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Offline Pete and Jesse

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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2019, 07:54:15 AM »
Itís best to dry stickered cherry in an unsided shed, no sun, no rain, very little wind.
How large of a shed will it take to dry 1500-2000 bf?  Would it be ok in my haymow, or should it be outside?

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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2019, 08:10:00 AM »
  I cut them into 4/4 boards and 8/4 live edge slabs. If you have a real sharp curve cut on both side of it and make a set of curved benches. I had a good sized butt log with a lot of sweep so I cut it into 3" thick live edge slabs for fireplace mantels then I squared off the back so I had a curved, live edge front about a foot wide in the middle and 7-8 inches on each end and sold a pair of them to a guy with 2 fireplaces who fell in love with them. Save your short boards for cutting boards. People like to cut them into narrow strips and alternate the dark red color with white like ash or maple and dark brown from walnut. So yes, save them from becoming firewood.
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Offline Pete and Jesse

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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2019, 08:17:20 AM »
I'll reiterate, trim the sapwood (the white part) of the boards.  It tends to pull boards into potato chips as it dries and shrinks much faster than the heartwood.

You could make 4/4 boards (rough saw 1.125 thick), or 5/4 boards (1.375 thick).  
You could make beams.  I mill cherry beams 1/2 inch oversize and plane them later.  I mill cherry live edge branches 1 inch oversize as they will move more drying.

You could cut slabs 1.75, or 2.25 thick without removing the sapwood (for table tops later).  






What do you do with cherry beams? 
I have seen oak beams move in many directions after several years in a house.

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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2019, 08:40:18 AM »
Itís best to dry stickered cherry in an unsided shed, no sun, no rain, very little wind.
How large of a shed will it take to dry 1500-2000 bf?  Would it be ok in my haymow, or should it be outside?
    To help visualize 1,000 bf think of a 5X10 utility trailer stacked tight 20" high or 20 rows/layers of 1" boards. So if you have 2,000 bf you'd have 2 trailer loads. Double the height when you add 1" stickers between the rows. Less height if 8/4 lumber.

   I find people can visualize a utility trailer load of wood easier than any other way.

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Offline Tom the Sawyer

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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2019, 10:53:07 AM »
Pete and Jesse,

Generally, a stickered stack of 8', 4/4 boards, with layers 4' deep; 1000 bf will be about 5' tall.  Add your foundation height.  And at 16" spacing, you'll need about 230 stickers.
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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2019, 07:14:31 PM »
Turn the logs so that when you "saw through" you are sawing parallel to the pith check, otherwise every board in the center will split and look like a banana peel.

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Is this woodmiser language?  I have been sawing since 1980 and don't understand this advise.

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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2019, 08:39:25 PM »
   Sounded clear to me and certainly what I try to do.I understood it as Pith check/heart check being the normal crack found in many if not most hardwoods and certainly in cherry and by placing the cant so you are sawing parallel when sawing through the cant to make finished boards the boards will not have the crack in them while if the crack is vertical it will show up in every board.

   BYW - I bet you have done this for years but maybe called it by different terms.
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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2019, 09:31:20 PM »
look back at the pic in reply 8 by MM, the blade is parallel to the crack in the center of the tree.  it might ruin a board or two, but not 8 boards if you had rotated the log 90į
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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2019, 09:40:23 PM »
Nothing Wood-Mizer about it.  Every Cherry log that I have ever sawn has had a "natural" pith check.  Saw vertical to it and every board toward the pith will split apart, sometimes before you can remove it from the sawmill.  Saw horizontal to it and the pith check will be contained within a couple of the center boards.  I have seen the pith check run nearly to the bark and the opening and third face boards split.

Here is an example of one and how I set it up to be sawn:  LINK

Scroll down to Reply #11 in the attached link for another example.
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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2019, 10:26:10 PM »
Another case of taking bow over crook.
Cherry beams can also move considerably as they dry but can be interesting and cherry often forks and has some neat curves. This is one idea I mean to get back to, some naturally braced posts. I was in a honey hole of locust a week or so ago getting firewood, old pasture, and it is also full of nicely forked cherry.


 
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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2019, 10:42:42 PM »
Sawing parallel to the pith crack definitely results in the highest recovery of wide boards. Unfortunately as one gets closer to the heart, the boards have flat sawn, rift sawn, and quarter sawn grain all in the same board. There is a special name for those boards.

Saw with the pith crack at 45 degrees and it edges out. Takes more time. The boards won't be as wide, but the grain will be consistent flat sawn with a centered cathedral grain pattern.  

I saw both ways, but always get the most pleasing grain patterns out of big logs the second way.  Quality or quantity?

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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2019, 09:12:53 AM »
M.M. , You certainly have your own language to describe log sawing. For at least 100 years terms like heart, heart center and tapering have been used in books describing hardwood grade sawing. Most hardwood and spruce logs that I saw have a big check and get turned to try to get as much of the defect in the last board or cant as possible. Your banana peel warning, what is this? Do you mean from not tapering?

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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2019, 07:20:26 PM »
@Pete and Jesse , Cherry beams for timber framing.  Both square beams and live edge(cut on two sides only) like don P is showing.  Posts, braces, beams etc.




 


 
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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2019, 08:30:46 PM »
M.M. , You certainly have your own language to describe log sawing.  For at least 100 years.....
I have no idea where that came from because admittedly I have not been around for 100 years.....yet.  Most all of the terms that I use are found in the FF Dictionary above, and all have been gleaned from my experiences while sawing as well as here on the FF.

I though that I explained very well and it is certainly common knowledge here on the FF that I only custom saw for customers and my sawing is geared toward fulfilling their expectations.  In no way have I ever represented myself or my sawing as being the correct or the only way to saw.  It's only one way.  As explained in the "LINK", the turning, face opening, and sawing examples shown were only to provide an example of a way to prevent a log's pith check from ruining lumber and thereby reducing the log's yield.  In the examples shown every board was utilized because the board face opposite the check was clear of any signs of the pith check.

Yes a board, especially a fresh sawn Cherry board that splits apart at the pith will curl toward the bark and my reference to it looking like a banana peel was not too far off.  This experience is what taught me to always orient the logs pith check perpendicular to the blade for the first face opening which would put it horizontal to the blade for the saw through thereby eliminating the possibility of the boards splitting at the pith.

I apologize if my terminology is foreign and not easily understood by your standards, but I can assure you that I strive to use correct English and punctuation to make my contribution here on the FF meaningful to those reading it. 

Now, let's talk about Grits.   ;D 
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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2019, 09:30:29 PM »
I could and do understand the banana peel reference. I hope I never see one come off my mill. I don't saw much hardwood,so I might just make it. And I don't saw alot. What I have sawn on my mill some saw in a month.
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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2019, 07:58:31 AM »
@Pete and Jesse , Cherry beams for timber framing.  Both square beams and live edge(cut on two sides only) like don P is showing.  Posts, braces, beams etc.
(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)


(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
 

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

My limited experience with logs is seeing them as timber and firewood.  Those beams you made I would have just turned into firewood.  If nothing else everyone's suggestions will cause me to look at crotched, crooked and short logs differently. Thank you.

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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2019, 08:10:33 AM »
Using hardwood forks for decorative posts might be ok but if you have a choice use white pine or cedar as the hardwood may split apart in time.

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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #30 on: September 13, 2019, 09:43:07 AM »

My limited experience with logs is seeing them as timber and firewood.  Those beams you made I would have just turned into firewood.  If nothing else everyone's suggestions will cause me to look at crotched, crooked and short logs differently. Thank you.
It can be a curse.  my neighbor comes over to have an intervention occ. and take wood scraps off my floor to make bowls and such.  I then take buckets of the scraps he did not want and are left over out to the burn barrel, but am not above snagging something back to save in case it is needed.
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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2019, 12:21:58 PM »
Using hardwood forks for decorative posts might be ok but if you have a choice use white pine or cedar as the hardwood may split apart in time.
Typically wood checks to the heart and relieves that radial/tangential drying stress we've been talking about. It is pretty rare for a timber containing the heart to check through. The check will usually adhere to the rule of least work and pick the shortest or easiest path from that surface to heart. As always, the more you can season it before use the better, it'll show you its intentions.
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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2019, 11:48:52 PM »
Using hardwood forks for decorative posts might be ok but if you have a choice use white pine or cedar as the hardwood may split apart in time.
What?  Sorry, never seen that happen.  A lotta frames with crotch/forked timbers, and I've never seen a problem.  Regarding Cedar, I would not advise using cedar in a timberframe, too light, not strong enough.  White pine, no problem as long as it's sized appropriately.  
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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2019, 12:24:25 AM »
"I apologize if my terminology is foreign and not easily understood by your standards, but I can assure you that I strive to use correct English and punctuation to make my contribution here on the FF meaningful to those reading it. "

You have nothing to apologize for. You are a very valuable contributor.
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Re: Black Cherry
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2019, 10:08:29 AM »
 When I was building my cabin yrs ago I pulled some cherry 4/4 boards out of the hay barn at the farm to make cabinet doors out of. After cutting the white wood off an glueing two boards together. I put a finish on them and hung them, in a couple of months they had shrank half an inch. drying for 5 yrs in a hay barn didn't do me any good they should have gone right to a kiln instead of the hay barn. But hey what do a couple of young farmers know (we milked cows) ;D.
Ed K


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