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Author Topic: Looking for small Beech logs  (Read 1277 times)

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Offline merryg

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Looking for small Beech logs
« on: December 28, 2014, 09:39:36 AM »
Looking for Beech logs between 4 and 8 inches in diameter. I could also use Walnut if that is available. The wood needs to be seasoned.

I'm in the Acton/Boxborough area of Massachusetts.

I'm willing to buy in bulk if you have the inventory, but will take small quantities if that is what is available.

Thanks,
Meredith

Offline beenthere

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Re: Looking for small Beech logs
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2014, 01:20:24 PM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum.

Am wondering what you expect "seasoned" logs to be. Any way you can define that for your logs?
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline merryg

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Re: Looking for small Beech logs
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2014, 07:43:52 PM »
To give you a little more information, I manufacture shoe lasts, and they are traditionally made out of beech or walnut. I'm just now getting to the point of doing volume work, so I need to find a regular supplier and get my cost down. I've been laminating up turning blocks out of lumber, which I understand is the most expensive way to go and most time consuming.

I just need to get the Beech into a stable condition. I'm not sure how dry I need it as I may need to steam it anyway to get it stable. The dimensions of the turning blanks I start with are usually around 4.5 x 4.5x 13 inches. Anything bigger I can cut down.

So assuming I de-bark it myself and can rig up a way to steam the Beech, would it need to be seasoned first?

Thanks for your help,
Meredith


Offline boscojmb

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Re: Looking for small Beech logs
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2014, 08:24:20 PM »
Hi
I'm about 1/2 hour south of you.
I' m wondering why you want logs to start with. Logs with bark on them will rot before they dry out. Round logs that have been peeled MAY dry eventually.

Why not start out with 4-1/2" x 4-1/2" cants? (or whatever size works best)

There are several folks here that can supply you with the material you need (myself included)
John B.

Log-Master LM4

Offline beenthere

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Re: Looking for small Beech logs
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2014, 08:35:59 PM »
I'd suggest re-looking and re-thinking the use of well-dried lumber, planed, and glued up to form the turning stock for your shoe lasts. Much more control of the quality of the final piece.
You can remove defects in the lumber before lay-up, and reduce the waste when turning the 'last', IMO.

Not exactly sure what you expect to gain by the steaming mentioned.
Can you explain that a bit more as to "why" ?

Steaming wood is a technique used in rendering veneer logs for easier slicing into veneer, but mostly for ease of cutting with the knife and reduction of lathe checks.
Not sure how it will help your drying and quality control of the blocks of beech.

Interested to hear more about your approach.
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline merryg

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Re: Looking for small Beech logs
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2014, 09:06:49 PM »
The wood I have been using is European Steamed Beech imported from Germany. It's nice stuff. I've been told that Beech needs to be steamed for dimensional stability. I'm not sure how true this is for a turning block, but I thought it would be the safe way to go.

Right now, I'm paying $5.10 per board foot. This really eats into my profits. Most other lastmakers have switched to hdpe plastic, but I don't like the environmental impact of plastic, so I'd like to scale up with wood if possible. I'd also like to source American wood if I could. I don't know the difference between European and American Beech if any.

So, my thought was that since I only need turning blanks that are small, there might be some small logs that I could buy by the cord or more that would significantly reduce my cost. If they are too small to turn into lumber, it might be less work for someone to sell the logs to me instead of making them into firewood.

I see your point about the quality of the wood. You may be right and this will possibly increase the waste. I'm just not sure how to make this economically viable.

Thanks,
Meredith

Offline beenthere

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Re: Looking for small Beech logs
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2014, 10:29:20 PM »
Notwithstanding the cost of steaming beech logs, I think you'd be better off finding a good source of kiln dried beech lumber (may be hard to find on the open market) that could be supplied to you.
If not, getting your own kiln and drying green or air dried beech lumber seems would be less expensive a process than a "steamer". After steaming, you will still have to dry the wood.

Some experimentation seems in order for you to figure out what you can do with American beech, getting it in to the finished product but also the availability of it in lumber form.

Just seems so much better than trying to work with the beech logs.

And I could be all wet too.   ;D
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline Reddog

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Re: Looking for small Beech logs
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2014, 11:12:45 PM »
Steaming is what worked for Pattern makers to obtain a stable wood base material.


How is having the pith/center of the log going through your blank going to affect your end last?

Offline SPIKER

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Re: Looking for small Beech logs
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2014, 05:47:25 PM »
couple of photos (must be loaded onto the Forestry Forum server) could help with a few detailed pics of the end product & steps in between...

M
I'm looking for help all the shrinks have given up on me :o


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