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Author Topic: Splitting the pith on locust for timber framer?  (Read 439 times)

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Offline forrestM

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Splitting the pith on locust for timber framer?
« on: September 14, 2020, 05:37:38 PM »
Hello,

Just got some locust logs dropped off to me from a timberframer. They want to use these as the band board on a timber frame deck. The logs will need to have 2 flat faces sawn into them, 90 degrees from one another. The one pictured here was the exception - they thought they could split it down the center and get two from one. 

If I saw like they have pictured, is it going to bow like crazy? I havenít sawn locust yet, but also generally avoid cutting through the pith.   

Would it work better if I just shifted the cut an inch to either side of the heart? That way it would be captured on one face, and left out the f the other face?



 

Online Don P

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Re: Splitting the pith on locust for timber framer?
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2020, 06:25:19 PM »
If its like our locust don't mind me but I'm stepping back out of bowing range from here :D.
Leave yourself room for a final correction cut.
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Online Dave Shepard

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Re: Splitting the pith on locust for timber framer?
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2020, 07:13:05 PM »
I would expect a lot of bowing. Enough to ruin the pieces.
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Splitting the pith on locust for timber framer?
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2020, 07:47:56 PM »
I am not a timber frame guy.  I have sawn locust.  the exact phrase given to me was it will "squirm and move around like a whore in church".  I have made 4 or 5 projects with it.  it is black locust that is very rot resistant like white oak.  I have used honey locust.  It can be hard to mill.  sharp blades, and if you hit metal, you are done and not getting to the end of the log with a dull blade.  

 

 

 

 
 

 
 

 
 

   


 
heavy



 

wire stopped us dead.  some other wood I could limp to the end.  need a sharp blade.  tree guy Sean.  tool purchased after seein it work at @customsawyer 



 

great dense wood, has some flaws but strong and pretty.  the pith will tend to split and pull on you edges.
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Offline longtime lurker

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Re: Splitting the pith on locust for timber framer?
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2020, 08:17:06 PM »
I tend to saw a lot of species that are prone to a whole lot of tension but never locust so take this FWIW:

I split the pith all the time, and the more log stress in a species the more I am inclined to split it. When you split the pith you turn a straight log into two bananas ok, but if those bananas are big enough that you can then resaw them to get what you want it will give you a very stable product. Heart centred wood from species prone to that level of movement have a propensity to split when drying, often to the point of failure.

Problem being that means you need bigger logs.
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Splitting the pith on locust for timber framer?
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2020, 08:29:14 PM »
I must admit I don't know what a band board on a timberframe deck is?  What are the green dimensions of the board?  I've never sawn Black Locust either.  

So I'd talk to the timberframer more.  Maybe talk to the framer more.  They might say that it will get screwed every 12 inches- then bowing may not matter?  You can advice him of what it may do and if he still wants you to cut it that way, go ahead, it's on him and you'll get free experience.
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Splitting the pith on locust for timber framer?
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2020, 08:57:47 PM »
With locust you do almost anything to get the lumber you need and have alot of failure. That is the way it is with open grown hardwood. But to get 2 2sided cants from 1 log is not a good idea.

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Re: Splitting the pith on locust for timber framer?
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2020, 09:07:16 AM »
Once I spent most of a day quartering locust logs, cut through the pith. Told the guy they would all bow like crazy, and they did. But he didnít care, and the work was successful, because he use these as fence posts, with most of the bow curled into the ground. The ďcharacterĒ visible from above the ground, pleased him. Go figure.
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Splitting the pith on locust for timber framer?
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2020, 03:22:31 PM »
I'm cutting locust
I have done a lot of flipping and skimming to get useable  lumber.
Sawing locust is a job in its self :D
Very similar to our poplar/aspen
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