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Author Topic: Milling Drift Wood  (Read 1172 times)

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Offline MosbyD

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Milling Drift Wood
« on: October 27, 2019, 11:42:27 PM »
Ok I was wondering if anybody ever Mills drift wood? Iíve not found any information on it and was wondering if it would be worth it for the woodworking community maybe. I live close to the Mississippi River and there are full trees that are some times 20-30 ft long and 36-40 in across big end. Iíve hit them with my cursing ax and they feel and sound solid. It was just a brain fart and thinking about it. 

Offline JoshNZ

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Re: Milling Drift Wood
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2019, 03:08:52 AM »
I've never seen his results but I know a guy with a farm that backs onto a decent river here in NZ, who has a field day after some storms.

Worth a go surely, fresh stuff from a river. The dried stuff on the beach, maybe not haha...

Offline redbeard

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Re: Milling Drift Wood
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2019, 03:48:48 AM »
If the wood has been in water or rolling around on the river banks sand , mud and silt will work its way into the checks on the old logs that have been there along time.
Very abrasive on your blade.
Fresh logs with the bark still on you will have better luck.
The word drift wood in my area is old gray beach logs n stumps from the ocean and full of sand.
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Offline millwright

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Re: Milling Drift Wood
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2019, 09:12:31 AM »
Iíve sawed some sinker logs that work their way to the shore. They make nice lumber, but can be hard on blades from mud and sand

Offline alanh

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Re: Milling Drift Wood
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2019, 03:07:47 PM »
I`ve pulled quite a few from the Ct River and have had no problem milling them, have gotten some nice looking lumber from some, others.. not so much, as mentioned above I imagine it depends on how long they were washed ashore

 

Offline TKehl

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Re: Milling Drift Wood
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2019, 04:15:35 PM »
For river logs, I would recommend a pressure washer and and deep opening cuts so you aren't repeatedly sawing through the outer layers.  

Exceptions are out there if they are special logs and worth the blades to get live edge.  But for general lumber, break down to a square cant quickly and don't fret over loosing a few jacket boards.   ;)
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Offline Stephen1

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Re: Milling Drift Wood
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2019, 07:32:41 PM »
I just sawed a sinker log for a customer. It was floating in the bay by his cottage for few years. The thinking when he showed up, it would be EWP or Hemlock. His lake was part of a logging operation 100+ years ago. I was hoping for a stamp from a mill on the end. Nothing.
We sawed it, Live Edge, it was grey about 5 " in all around, then after the second cut it was Red Oak. Nice wood no knots, 28" wide. 12' long
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Online Magicman

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Re: Milling Drift Wood
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2019, 08:07:23 PM »
I have sawn many sinker as well as logs that were lassoed and retrieved from the Mississippi River.



Sinker Cypress logs,






Sinker logs bucked and ready for sawing.


 
And yes, sometime they are clogged with hardened mud/sand.


 
More "recovered" logs for wall paneling for the new home in the background.



Recovered Black Willow with a river oxbow lake in the background.



More recovered Black Willow.  This customer works the high water, lassos logs, tows them to his property and ties them to trees. 

The rewards are great so just charge your regular sawing rate plus blade sharpening.
 
 
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Offline MosbyD

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Re: Milling Drift Wood
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2019, 10:14:26 PM »
Man guys thank you all for the info. Think I will chance it and give it a try when I get a mill up and running. 

Offline donbj

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Re: Milling Drift Wood
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2019, 11:30:56 PM »
Here's a haul last spring during high water on the lake. Western Red Cedar. It came floating in and I pulled it out. Had to be quick as by 11:00 am or so the wind would change and blow it all out again. Every day a different haul.


 

 

 

 
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Online firefighter ontheside

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Re: Milling Drift Wood
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2019, 11:34:49 PM »
I want to pull some logs out of the the river right down the road, but havenít had the opportunity.  I bought a white oaklog that was pulled out of the Gasconade River here in Missouri.  I am milling it to sell as mantels.
It has really cool texture from being shaped by the current over untold years.

 
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Offline donbj

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Re: Milling Drift Wood
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2019, 12:35:19 AM »
More drift wood photos. Cut these slabs 3". 16 to 20 inches wide at the butt ends

 

 

 

 

 
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Online charles mann

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Re: Milling Drift Wood
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2019, 05:32:47 PM »
Iv got a locate of a couple logs that looked to be under water for a while, or at least washed down stream and against an embankment or bridge piling/s. 1 log looks to be around 36-40Ē across and another around 24-30Ē. Species unk, no bark of them but seem to be very solid. Down side is, they have been in a dump site for over a yr and dried out, but checking doesnt seem to bad from what i can tell. Gonna have to get a hoe with a thumb to move the brush and other junk logs off them, plus a couple, what looks to be live oak, with a bee hive living in 1 and trying to embed into the other live oak. I made sure the hoe im gonna rent is cabbed, plus load the logs at night and cold. 
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Offline JoshNZ

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Re: Milling Drift Wood
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2019, 06:03:17 AM »
Build yourself a box and nab the queen =D. If you trap her inside the box inside mesh or whatever and leave it on the ground next to the log for a few days they'll relocate

Offline Hoopty5.0

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Re: Milling Drift Wood
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2019, 09:12:55 AM »
There is a guy I follow on FB who recovers and mills logs from the beach (he's in Corpus Christi TX) with nice results. Here is an example:



 

Offline donbj

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Re: Milling Drift Wood
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2019, 11:23:12 PM »
There is a guy I follow on FB who recovers and mills logs from the beach (he's in Corpus Christi TX) with nice results. Here is an example:

That's a nice piece of wood. I would imagine the sand would have got into much of those bug holes. I have had logs from the lake that I never even got squared up and my blade was toast from all the sand in the checks and defects. Generally though my blade life was about 30-50% of usual cutting beach/lake wood.
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Online charles mann

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Re: Milling Drift Wood
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2019, 01:20:32 PM »
That is some nice wood. Would make some nice furniture. 
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