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Author Topic: uses for cottonwood  (Read 27811 times)

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Offline Handy Andy

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uses for cottonwood
« on: January 30, 2009, 06:56:32 AM »
  Have a couple of cottonwood trees that blew over this fall, wondered what the best use of the wood is?  Have a neighbor that has some buildings built from cottonwood. They made studs,rafters, boxing and all from cottonwood and they are still standing, probably 50 plus years old,  asked about them, and he said they built the buildings with the lumber green, how would it work if you dried it first?
My name's Jim, I like wood.

Offline Norm

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Re: uses for cottonwood
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2009, 07:30:09 AM »
I've used it for framing lumber and was less than impressed. I tried it green and it shrank too much for my taste. I then tried air drying it and ended up culling a good 30% of the lumber. In our area we get shake in it for some reason so sawing it was a pain also. I've seen others use it and like it but that's not been my experience.

Offline Haytrader

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Re: uses for cottonwood
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2009, 07:33:50 AM »
Then you will need to drill a pilot hole for a nail.

If they have been down very long, then the tree will be hard to saw. Leave them down a little longer (touching the ground), and they will degrade fast.

There is a house here framed with cottonwood that is approx. 75 yrs old and some barns over a hundred. As long as cottonwwod is used on the interior and kept dry, it will last a long time.
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Offline Warbird

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Re: uses for cottonwood
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2009, 10:39:38 AM »
I don't even like to burn it for firewood.  I don't have a mill but to my knowledge, cottonwood is one of the more worthless woods out there.

Offline Reddog

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Re: uses for cottonwood
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2009, 12:31:46 PM »
I did a google search and alot of uses came up.

I also know per pound dry it is one of the stronger woods.
Alot is used for scaffold planking.

It is easier to build with green.

Offline Paul_H

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Re: uses for cottonwood
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2009, 05:17:56 PM »
They make toilet paper out of cottonwood.I think arky cuts his own because Wanda can slice so very thin whereas circle mills tend to have thicker cuts which can cause chaffing and bleeding :P
eg  tregar  meste  p  Tulla, for  ho  var  krulla  i  ulla.

Offline Warbird

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Re: uses for cottonwood
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2009, 06:07:43 PM »
LOL  When I was younger and my family was dirt poor, we had to use wadded up newspaper.  Talk about uncomfortable...

Offline LeeB

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Re: uses for cottonwood
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2009, 06:21:57 PM »
Looks like this threads turning crappola.
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline Paul_H

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Re: uses for cottonwood
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2009, 06:38:27 PM »
Sort of but the Cottonwood market is usually steady here with toilet paper being the main product and some as plywood filler.As far as firewood goes,I know a few oldtimers that burn a lot of it after it has been seasoned at least a year and it is a warm weather firewood,if you will.
It's been used as lowbed decking too with mixed results.Douglas Fir is still the #1 choice locally.It's been in the back of my mind to make a small dovetail cabin with Cottonwood and see how that pans out.
There are a couple of Cottonwood threads from 4-5 years ago somewhere around here.I had posted a picture of a door with Cottonwood panels that my friend Glen made.It was a really nice door but my pictures didn't do it justice.
eg  tregar  meste  p  Tulla, for  ho  var  krulla  i  ulla.

Offline Paul_H

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Re: uses for cottonwood
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2009, 07:05:42 PM »
I went and got the sample board that Glen made up for me when I was playing around with Cottonwood 4-5 years ago.I had some chunks that we resawed and passed through the planer to t&g and then it was sanded and finished.The two boards on the left were given a light "natural" stain.The middle board was left with no stain and the two on the right were stained with a Cherry stain and the whole shebang was given a couple coats of Varathane.

 




 



The sample was thrown together quickly and has since been left outside undercover,spent some time beside the freezer in the mudroom and the past two years leaning against the wall by the back door beside the woodstove.I just pulled it out,wiped it with a cloth and took these pics a few minutes ago.All in all the Cottonwood has held up pretty good.
eg  tregar  meste  p  Tulla, for  ho  var  krulla  i  ulla.

Offline LeeB

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Re: uses for cottonwood
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2009, 07:29:06 PM »
Looks like most of those are quarter or rift sawn. I seem to remember having better luck with that cut running it through the planer than flatsawn. Less tearout.
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline Paul_H

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Re: uses for cottonwood
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2009, 07:38:00 PM »
It tends to fuzz a bit but sands out after a coat of Varathane.
eg  tregar  meste  p  Tulla, for  ho  var  krulla  i  ulla.

Offline Handy Andy

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Re: uses for cottonwood
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2009, 10:56:22 PM »
  Thanks for the replys, as for the outhouse, I remember going to the outhouse where we had an old catalog for t p. Folks got the house finished and water hooked up about the time I started school.  Think we got a phone about the time I was 12. My folks didn't waste a lot of money.  But they went to real t p when we got indoor toilets.  Jim
My name's Jim, I like wood.

Offline Warbird

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Re: uses for cottonwood
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2009, 02:20:45 AM »
It is amazing what we take for granted these days, isn't it?

Offline Kansas

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Re: uses for cottonwood
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2009, 08:16:05 AM »
We cut more cottonwood than anything else at our mill. Pallet, skid and box lumber, blocking, beams, etc. make up most of what we cut it for. We have also cut thick slabs for picnic tables, a lot of it for horse stalls, wall covering for the inside of party rooms, cabins, and barns converted to party areas. All the additions we have built at the mill have used cottonwood trusses, nailers and rafters. We have cut a fair amount for replacement  siding for barns, where it is going to be painted.
I have seen some nice furniture made with it, but here in kansas, it fuzzes pretty bad. Shake can be a problem, depending on the area you are in, and even within the same timber. If you cut and sticker it for furniture, it seems like about 10% will twist and warp badly no matter how nice the log.

Offline Haytrader

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Re: uses for cottonwood
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2009, 10:38:20 AM »
While taking the scenic route on a return trip from Oklahoma City a couple weeks ago, I stumbled across a sawmill operation. Since it was Sunday, there wasn't anyone around.
This guy had a bandsaw with blades about 6" wide and teeth on both sides. He also had a Peterson.
90% of the logs in his log yard were cottonwood. The logs were 8' to 10' long and very little lumber around. His mill is in cedar country and there was a big pile of cedar slabs but very few cedar logs. He also had some huge walnut logs.
I will have to go back by there sometime and maybe catch the guy there to find out what he saws.

You guys talking toilet paper reminded me off a story my aunts roomate from college told us when I was a young lad. She said they were so poor that they tore off a square and poked a hole in the middle. They then stuck a finger through the hole and, well, lets just say they used the square more than once.     :D :D
Haytrader


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