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Author Topic: oak in my backyard from hurricane gustav  (Read 3548 times)

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Offline cyriaque

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oak in my backyard from hurricane gustav
« on: September 14, 2008, 04:16:33 PM »
hurricane gustav knocked down my oak tree. i now have a log that is 40 inches diameter by 40 feet long in my back yard. there are no significant knots or branches in that length. as far as i can tell, the tree is solid all the way through.

is this viable for having someone come on site to mill it? a friend told me that it is not worth it because oak will warp and is too hard to work with.
if it is worhwhile-what size lumber should be made out of it?

i am totally ignorant about any of this and am not handy with tools so i would have to get someone to do it. do u have any idea what their fee may be?

your suggestions and expertise will be very welcomed. i live in baton rouge

charles

Offline thedeeredude

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Re: oak in my backyard from hurricane gustav
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2008, 04:35:45 PM »
A tree that big has around 3000 bd ft. roughly.  Oak can be cut and dried and using common practices you can reduce warp.  As for it being too hard to work with, maybe if you kiln dried it and tried to work it with handtools only.  Red and white oak are often used commercially.  I wouldn't hesitate to have it sawed up.  Fees are highly variable but up here 25 cents a foot is average for custom sawing, with helpers provided.  The size depends on what you want to use it for in the end.  Construction lumber, fencing, furniture all have different requirements for size of lumber.

Offline beenthere

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Re: oak in my backyard from hurricane gustav
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2008, 06:31:51 PM »
cyriaque
Welcome to the forum.

Do you know which oak it is? 

Also, having some idea what you want to do with the wood from the log would be very helpful to your decision.

Just getting it sawn into 'something', be it lumber or timbers, or large slabs, is only part of the labor and investment. As mentioned, getting the product dry and into some more useable form will all be part of the decision as well.

Equipment to move the end product around, and space to store it are all things to think about too.

But you've come to the right place for some help in your decisions. Give us an idea what you want to do with it ... in the long run.

 :) :)
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline tyb525

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Re: oak in my backyard from hurricane gustav
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2008, 11:01:25 PM »
You could have it sawn and dried in a kiln. Then you could acquire a knack for woodworking, and build custom furniture for your family, made from oak right out of your backyard!

Just a thought...

But seriously, I would consider having it sawn up, and then have your sawyer recommend someone who could dry it for you (if he doesn't have a kiln).

Or you could sell the whole, unsawn log to someone (like a sawyer).
LT10G10, Stihl 038 Magnum, many woodworking tools. Currently a farm service applicator, trying to find time to saw!

Offline Woodchuck53

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Re: oak in my backyard from hurricane gustav
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2008, 12:50:51 AM »
By all means saw that puppy. If you don't need all the lumber maybe you could work out a deal with the sawyer to cut it on halves and maybe he will know some one with kiln priveliges. Take your time and  get references for the sawyers in your area, but put that old boy to good use. I would harvest it in a minute. Good luck, Chuck
Case 1030 w/ Ford FEL, NH 3930 w/Ford FEL, Ford 801 backhoe/loader, TMC 4000# forklift, Stihl 090G-60" bar, 039AV, and 038, Corley 52" circle saw, 15" AMT planer Corley edger, F-350 1 ton, Ford 8000, 20' deck for loader and hauling, F-800 40' bucket truck, C60 Chevy 6 yd. dump truck.

Offline metalspinner

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Re: oak in my backyard from hurricane gustav
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2008, 08:38:08 AM »
cyriaque,

I collect logs like you mention all the time. You have plenty of wood there to make it worthwhile to cut into lumber.
Do you want new hardwood floors in your house?  New kitchen cabinets?  New bedroom set?  Bunk beds for the kids? All of these projects can be made from your tree.  Lots of work on your part is needed, but what else do have to do? :D
If you have no skills to do any of the above, that's O.K.  As you have plenty of time to study up while your wood is drying.  Your sawyer can direct you to proper drying and care for the lumber.  Then it's up to you to get busy learning the woodworking end. :)

Oak has been one of the most well behaved woods in my woodstack.  Whether or not it is red or white oak.  Flatsawn or quartersawn the boards dry wonderfully flat.  I have not used  live oak.  What kind do you have?

If in the end you do not want to hassle with it, maybe a church member would be interested.  I have acquired a few logs from Craigslist.  A call to a local wood dealer may put you in touch with interested parties as well. Usually not the wood dealer, though.  He may have a list of people like me that are wood junkies.
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Offline John Mc

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Re: oak in my backyard from hurricane gustav
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2008, 08:51:34 AM »
I wonder if what he has is a Live Oak. They generally are a medium height (40-50 ft) and I've seen them up to 4 feet diameter. They were once important in shipbuilding. According to my tree guide, some of the first publicly owned forests in the US were purchased to preserve these trees. The shape of the tree looks a lot different than the red and white oak we have up here in Vermont.

Cyriaque - Did the leaves on this tree stay green the whole year round? If so, it's probably a Live Oak.

I second the recommendation to have some of the wood sawn up and make something for yourself out of it, even if it's only a set of bookshelves. Some before and after photos of the Oak standing near your house, down on the ground, and maybe some of the sawing process might make a great thing to show the kids/grandkids. 

We had a White Oak blow down in our woods a few months ago. I had it sawed up by a friend with a sawmill, and now it's air-drying till it's dry enough for my wife to make a bench / storage cubby for our entry hall.

John Mc
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline cyriaque

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Re: oak in my backyard from hurricane gustav
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2008, 10:06:23 AM »
Thank you for the info.  It's not a live oak, btw.  i've been told it's either a white or red oak.
another neighbor has one down in his front yard and is looking into the same thing i am.  i will keep everyone posted as to what i find ou

Offline scsmith42

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Re: oak in my backyard from hurricane gustav
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2008, 11:17:16 AM »
Charles, I second the comments by others.  You may need to do some searching to find someone that can saw a 40" diameter log (pretty heavy to put up on some of the smaller mills).

I would strongly suggest that you have your sawyers "quartersaw" the log.  Considering the size, it should yield some really nice boards.

Scott
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and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.

Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: oak in my backyard from hurricane gustav
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2008, 11:51:38 AM »
red oak has pointy leaf tips, white oak has round leaf tips :)

How bad did your area get hit by the hurricane?  it may be a while before you can have it sawn due to the volume of trees down.  If possible, leave it hooked to the roots as long as you can prior to sawing.  Also, coating the ends of the logs with a wax based sealant, such as "anchor seal" (www.uccoatings.com) will help prevent the logs from checking.
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Offline John Mc

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Re: oak in my backyard from hurricane gustav
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2008, 01:27:13 PM »
red oak has pointy leaf tips, white oak has round leaf tips :)

There is a species known as Southern Red Oak (sometimes called Spanish Oak, though there is none of it in Spain). It's fairly common in parts of the South. This has round tips as well, but the lobes tend to be longer, almost like fingers, unlike White Oak, which has stubbier lobes.

John Mc
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow


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