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Author Topic: Sawing Cottonwood  (Read 6638 times)

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Offline Mark M

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Sawing Cottonwood
« on: January 17, 2003, 10:33:38 AM »
Does anyone saw cottowood and if so what do you use it for? I am just getting started with my sawmill and have access to a lot of this stuff. I have been told it make good lumber for horse corrals <sp?> (horse cages) and pallets. I'd like to find a market but am ignorant of its uses. Any ideas or advice would be appreciated.

Mark

Offline Norm

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Re: Sawing Cottonwood
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2003, 12:03:19 PM »
ISU forestry department has a handout that talks about using cottonwood for framing lumber. You may try sending them an e-mail to see if they can send it to you. If not let me know and I'll see if I still have it. I have sawn up a few cottonwoods that grow on our farm and the worst problem I have had was getting them to dry without warping, also I had a lot of ring shake in the ones I used but that may have been because they grew in an area that cows grazed many years ago. They say horses won't crib on them and that horse people like them for stalls. Mostly I sell them to the local pallet mill in logs and don't mess with them except for my own use.

Offline beenthere

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Re: Sawing Cottonwood
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2003, 12:05:30 PM »
Mark
Cottonwood is a strong wood, but its uses will require it to be kept fairly dry (inside horse stalls may work if the manure doesn't pack up against the wood). Cottonwood isn't very decay resistant. It makes good sheathing too.
Otherwise, it will make good construction lumber i.e. 2x's and 4x's. There are a lot of growth stresses in the trees and some planning needs to be done when it is cut.
A few years back I heard of sawing cottonwood into 2" flitches and drying the flitches before ripping them into the desired width sizes. I believe the procedure was called Saw-Dry-Rip. The growth stresses were relieved when the flitch dried, leaving straighter lumber when finished than the conventional Saw-Rip-Dry procedures. It was, I think, better to saw the flitches parallel to the bark too, rather than parallel to the pith, to take away the cross grain in the flitch and some of the effects of growth stresses.  The Iowa State Forestry Dept. has done a lot of study of Cottonwood because that is about their only tree of any volume in the river bottoms. Also, Minnesota School of Forestry may have information on the drying studies done with the Saw-Dry-Rip procedure, nicknamed SDR.  I also think some of the wood bridge work in Iowa was done using cottonwood for the bridge material, treated with creosote. Good results from what I have heard.  
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Offline Larry

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Re: Sawing Cottonwood
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2003, 02:32:25 PM »
A few years ago there was a mill in north central Missouri that was sawing a lot of black cottonwood for use in coffins and the non-exposed parts in furniture.  Black cottonwood doesn't seem to have as many fuzzys as the yellow cottonwood.
Larry
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Offline Frank_Pender

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Re: Sawing Cottonwood
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2003, 06:59:39 AM »
Mark, I have been sawing C wood for some time now.  I have sold most to horse people for stalls and corrals.  I have also sold some to wood workers for furniture.  I have been drying it , only after it has air dryed for abouyt 60 days.  I run the MC down to 6-7 %.  for the horse people I have not been drying the wood.  For wood workers it sizes are running 5/4 x 10" & 12" x 8' to 12'.  I am getting $0.50 a bd.ft. for green and $0.75 for dry, here in Oregon.
Frank Pender

Offline Jacar

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Re: Sawing Cottonwood
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2003, 07:45:26 PM »
Frank,

What size do you cut your c-wood for horse stalls?  We have a lot of horse people around here.  Thanks.

Jack
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Offline Frank_Pender

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Re: Sawing Cottonwood
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2003, 07:39:52 PM »
Jack,

  I have cutting it a full 2" x 6" for stall walls that are setup to have the boards slide into a slot at each end.  With the narrrower board there is less chance of haveing a hoof center on just one board and break.  For corrals I have sawn both 2" x 6" and 8" for an eight foot spaceing of the posts.
Frank Pender

Offline Buzz-sawyer

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Re: Sawing Cottonwood
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2003, 09:00:34 AM »
Here in Illinois cottonwood is very common and I market it as barn building material in 2'' construction lumber, it is strong and light, and works great for building material. Around here cotton and sycamore are cosidered trash, or weed trees! so i get all I want! 8)
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Offline Mark M

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Re: Sawing Cottonwood
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2003, 10:11:01 AM »
Hi Buzz

I went out to the dump last Saturday and found 2 cottonwood logs about 30" by about 14 feet or so that are straight, solid, and pretty clear. They are a little too big to haul home so I think I'll drag my saw out there and make some 2 bys.

Mark

Offline Haytrader

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Re: Sawing Cottonwood
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2003, 01:09:53 PM »
If you put it up as fence, nail it soon as you saw or you will need a drill. It gets hard.
Haytrader

Offline Jeff

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Re: Sawing Cottonwood
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2003, 01:45:56 PM »
No Shake?
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Offline inspectorwoody

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Re: Sawing Cottonwood
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2003, 05:22:48 PM »
 :D Didn't know cottonwood was worth anything...Last time I knew it was worth about 3-5 cents stumpage  :o Haven't heard of people using if or horse stalls either...the amish around here use ash for all that fancy jazz. Glad to see there is a use for it besides some pallets.

Offline Buzz-sawyer

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Re: Sawing Cottonwood
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2003, 07:28:57 AM »
I do watch for shake in the cotton too...I dont bother with picking it up if shaky...if the tree is 60-70 tall I may check higher in the tree ...often there is no shake present, anyone know the real truth on shake? wind streesses torque at the base?
    HEAR THAT BLADE SING!

Offline Frank_Pender

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Re: Sawing Cottonwood
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2003, 07:25:42 PM »
All of the CottonwoodI have sawed here in Oregon has hod no shake what-so-ever.  Like was said earlier, if you are going to nail it down, do it soon after sawing as nailing will often split the wood or bend the nail. :D
Frank Pender

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Sawing Cottonwood
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2020, 11:15:52 PM »
Big Cottonwood trees. Are they worth sawing ???

Offline Larry

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Re: Sawing Cottonwood
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2020, 11:34:38 PM »
If you have a market.  When I got my first mill in 1994 I sawed a lot of cottonwood into tobacco sticks for barn curing.  A lot of the tall tobacco barns in NW Missouri were mostly cottonwood and for sure the rails were cottonwood.  Member Kansas (RIP) kept a couple of guys busy sawing construction lumber near Topeka.

It makes good utility shelving, I think better than pine.  I've sawed a lot for sheathing.

Bands with lots of set work the best I think.
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Sawing Cottonwood
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2020, 07:57:32 AM »
makes good trailer decking, as it crushes and does not split unter metal dozer track.  does not decay as much if it is clean and out of the dirt.  even if left in the sun and rain.  cotton wood here can be 7 foot diameter, so what do you mean when you say big?



 

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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Sawing Cottonwood
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2020, 09:15:36 AM »
I have sawn it into nice clear 1x stock
I also saw poplar ( aspen) into clear 1x and 2x stock and have no problem selling it.
Have one cabinet maker come from maine and buy the clear 5/4 stock i sell.
No one saws it in Maine.
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Sawing Cottonwood
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2020, 09:22:17 AM »
here is some for trailer decking.  full 2 x 8 x 18 feet.



 
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timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Sawing Cottonwood
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2020, 09:27:20 AM »
I have been told it is used in coffins as well.  It has more water than wood when fresh (MC over 100%) and feels like a noodle when you pull a board off the mill.  light when dry. these were put on a trailer the same day and sprayed with boiled linseed oil.  been 5 years and I am told going strong.  I will take a pic of the left over 2 foot x 18 foot slab later that has been out in the weather for the past 5 years off the ground and still solid.  it has some surface checks
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor


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