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Author Topic: Letting Logs Sit for 3-4 months?  (Read 2108 times)

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Offline abosely

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Letting Logs Sit for 3-4 months?
« on: July 24, 2015, 01:11:33 AM »
If I get some logs before I'm able to mill them and they were to set for 3-4 months, off the ground and with the ends well coated with sealant.
Would it cause problems with ends checking & splitting and being harder to mill?
I'm not wanting to try and dry the logs, just store them till I am able to mill them up.

Would it help or make a difference if they were covered well with tarp also?

If it just isn't a good thing to do I'll not do it. I've just read that the logs should be milled as soon as cut.

I can probably get a few logs for nothing and have them sitting there waiting when I get mill going. If I lost a little bit on the ends it wouldn't be too big of a deal since it's lumber for building my boat and house. But I would sure like to minimize the loss of length as much as possible though.

Cheers, Allen 



 

Offline Ianab

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Re: Letting Logs Sit for 3-4 months?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2015, 04:47:58 AM »
What species?

Some will handle sitting around better than others. Durable wood like cedars, white oak, walnut can last for years and still be sawn, even if the sap wood starts to fall off.

Other less durable woods will start to stain and be attacked by bugs within weeks if the weather is warm.
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Offline abosely

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Re: Letting Logs Sit for 3-4 months?
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2015, 05:09:07 AM »
It will be Eucalyptus deglupta Commonly called Rainbow Eucalyptus.

Would spray them down good with HI-Bor borate to help fend off any little buggers. It's used here on Big Island a lot. Most of the store bought wood is pressure treated with Hi-Bor.

Actually planning on dipping the lumber before stacking it to dry to help discourage any of them from visiting my lumber. I know it wont be the same as being pressure treated with it but hopefully will keep any of them at bay while drying.

Cheers, Allen

Offline PC-Urban-Sawyer

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Re: Letting Logs Sit for 3-4 months?
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2015, 09:10:08 AM »
Allen,

NO TARP.

Sorry, but I did mean to shout.

The tarp will trap moisture and your logs will turn to mush much faster.

Good luck!

Herb

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Re: Letting Logs Sit for 3-4 months?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2015, 09:28:13 AM »
Depends on the weather. Kamarere can be a problem child for end splitting so don't spare the end sealer. Seal it well though and it'll hold quite a while,  4-6 months wouldn't be unreasonable. If it swings really hot and dry put a sprinkler on them, don't fret about mould or fungal stuff, keep them wet and they'll hold for ages with minimal trouble.

It's lyctid susceptible, and not termite resistant. One of the borate solutions might be okay if the weather is kind but borate overspray is water soluble so serious rain or having to irrigate them will wash that off. You may be able to add a bit of wetting agent to help it stick, I've never done that but it might be worth a try for light shower proofing. Most anything that will control subterranean termite will do better then borates on a log pile... There's no issue with residue in the timber as its only a bark treatment.

I'll run through the dip diffusion method of borate impregnating timber here when I have access to my PC... This iPad typing drives me nuts.
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Re: Letting Logs Sit for 3-4 months?
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2015, 10:38:48 AM »
allen
Welcome to the Forestry Forum.

Click on your user name, and it will take you to where you can update your profile and include your location. Very helpful when responding to your questions, as what might happen in one country, doesn't apply to others. tks. 
south central Wisconsin
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Offline abosely

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Re: Letting Logs Sit for 3-4 months?
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2015, 03:50:25 PM »
I updated my profile with location info. I thought I,d already done that but hadn't.
I'm in Ocean View, Big Island Hawaii 2350 ft ASL. The weather here is quite consistent, 60 nights upper 70s to 83 max daily & mid 60% - 70% humidity, not a lot of full sun, sunny mornings then a bit of clouds in afternoon & light rain every week or so.

Termites are an issue here. Most old structures are chewed up pretty good. So treating for them is important here. 

Good point about tarp, Duh! I should have thought about that. I have some dark sun shade cloth I can make a simple frame to hold it up well above logs to keep direct sun off them but not prevent air circulation.

I read that plantation grown trees dry with less issues than wild grown trees. What is it that make the differences in drying reactions? Is it age?

Also read that plantation grown trees are lighter, less dense and not as strong as wild grown ones. Quite a big difference in weight at 12% listed. 31/32 lb/sqft vs 40/42 lb/sft. Is it age difference that make the difference?

For the boat, a Wharram Narai Mk IV Catamaran, I don't real heavy lumber.
Basically just want comparable to Douglas-Fir.

I'll be getting somewhat younger trees, 36" diameter or less. Trying to learn about Kamarere.

Cheers, Allen





   

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Re: Letting Logs Sit for 3-4 months?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2015, 05:51:55 PM »
You could use a tarp to keep the rain off, but just a roof. Like a carport.  Open at the sides so the air can circulate. Keeping the sun and rain off should help, but you don't want to seal it up with no air flow
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Online beenthere

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Re: Letting Logs Sit for 3-4 months?
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2015, 06:34:55 PM »
Or go to the other extreme and put a sprinkler on them.
Often mills will keep log decks from drying out by doing this, if a log pond isn't available.
Drying and cracking would be a concern if stored a long time.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Letting Logs Sit for 3-4 months?
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2015, 11:02:25 PM »
Studies show that sprinkling with the equivalent of 2" a day of rainfall will allow several months of storage, although lumber from such logs will be more likely to surface check.  Make sure you wet the ends and sides of the logs, not just the sides.  Large drops get blown by the wind less, but finer drops provide better coverage.  Insects can be an issue.  Borax will not work well in this case.
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Re: Letting Logs Sit for 3-4 months?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2015, 10:58:34 AM »
If there's serious termites in your yard start by getting rid of them. It's hard enough keeping them out of log piles when they need to colonize first; trying to stay in front of them once they establish is a nightmare.  So I'd be running a "scorched earth" policy based on something like Lorsban ...  Forget the termite control guy and talk to local agricultural supply places about whatever gets used to keep them out of crops there and start spraying it where you're going to set up.

If your thinking this is a long term venture try and get some old concrete posts or decommissioned utility poles to stack your logs on: make them work to get at your log piles, either way is good as you will be able to see the termite runs going up to your timber, and if you can keep running a bit of poison out over the bed logs you won't need to worry so much about in stack treatment. Ideally of course sawlogs shouldn't be there that long that much damage can be done before sawing but ... It's not about saving the bit of log they might gnaw on as much as it's about keeping them away from sawn timber. If you can't get something termite unfriendly for bed logs under your piles then bark the first logs and paint them with creosote or copper  napthenelate, or even anti fouling paint.
Make your yard as termite unfriendly as possible as early as possible or you'll be chasing your tail for so long as you run a mill.

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Re: Letting Logs Sit for 3-4 months?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2015, 08:26:52 PM »
Dip Diffusion method of Borax Treatment.

Firstly you need to understand that spraying a board with a borate solution is not preservative treatment of the board. That is an envelope treatment... you spray it on the outside and it sits on the outside of the timber. It is an protective system of sorts but anything that breaks that envelope such as rough handling, or planing the timber, or putting in a screw, exposes untreated wood to the elements and decay.
Proper treatment of timber requires that our preservative be placed inside the wood not just the outside. The depth of treatment will vary according to the method used and the treatment solution we choose. Inorganic salts such as the borate type chemicals can actually be applied in such a way that full penetration of both heart and sapwoods can be achieved although that is rarely done. Further, preservative loading well in excess of the minimum retention standards can be achieved. It is possible to treat with borax and other inorganic salts to a level sufficient to carry a fire retardant rating though again this is seldom done due to the length of the treatment cycle required. (On a boat if I was planning long trips away from the beach I'd be thinking about that though - as a Ships Master the one thing that terrified me was not reef or rock or container strike or being tromped under the forefoot of a supertanker in mid ocean. Nor was it storm or tsunami or other weather events. It was fire. Fire on a small boat in mid ocean is the stuff of nightmares) I wasn't always a sawmiller.

The other thing that you need to understand is that borates leach out as easily as they leach in. For that reason the use of borax for a treatment regime limits the in service useage of that timber to areas where its not going to be subjected to ongoing wetting. Borates are exceptionally good timber preservatives for internal use, or for external use where a further water repellant barrier coat is applied. Paint is a barrier coat, and so to some degree is decking oil. But the use of borate treated timbers in exposed situations is far from ideal - if its going to get wet or be in ground contact I would advise against relying solely on borates for treatment.

I don't know much about the commercial borax timber treatments available. We've always mixed our own. The reccomended mixture is to use 60% disodium octoborate and 40% boric acid. Mix by weight as the two powders have different densities. I know that some of the commercially available borax treatments are exactly that mixture and others are based solely on disodium octoborate. You want the boric acid in the mix as it (a) increases the total borate loading in solution and (b) has an anaerobic effect that reduces the risk of staining due to fungal attack during treatment. Both Disodium Octoborate (borax) and Boric acid will be available from agricultural supply places, both are used to improve soil boron levels in crop lands.

What you need to do then is make a saturated solution. How much depends on the volume of wood to be treated obviously but it doesnt have a shelf life so if you're sawing regularly you might find it easier to do one big batch occasionally rather then playing about with 4 gallons at a time.
Premix your chemicals using 3 parts of Borax (disodium ocotoborate) to 2 parts of boric acid.
Use a large enough container and fill with clean hot water to between 2/3rds to 3/4's full.
Start stirring the powder in. Both take a while to dissolve fully and will require ongoing stirring.
Keep stirring and adding more each time it dissolves until it isn't possible to get any more to dissolve.
You now have a concentrated borate solution.

From there its all about how much timber you wish to treatand how you sh to treat it. You can either thin your concentrate with water for a spray if you only wish to provide a protective envelope during drying. To actually treat the timber properly though requires more hen just an overspray. For a small output operation with no concern about cycle times dip diffusion is the cheapest method.

To Dip Diffuse your lumber you'll need the following:
Concentrated Borate Solution.
Plastic sheeting: the kind builders use under concrete.
Duct tape.
A method to apply the borate solution. That might be a spray pump for small batches, though best results will be achieved by having a trough of some sort in which you can drop each board. Old 40 gallon drums cut in half lengthwise and welded together to the required length makes for a cheap and effictive troughing.

Half fill your trough with concentrated solution. (Back when I was doing this we never made concentrated solution as such... we just used to half fill the trough with water and start adding borax. Cold water makes for slow dissolving so we'd start filling the trough a day or three before we needed it and just wander past and stir and add more powder every couple of hours to allow plenty of time for it to dissolve.)

Lay out your plastic sheet.

When sawing, as each board comes off the mill give it a shake to knock excess sawdust off it then drop it in the trough containing concentrate.

Make sure the board is fully submerged in treatment solution.

Remove from trough and block stack your wet timber onto the plastic, wetter the better. If spraying rather then using a trough - knock off excess sawdust and block stack directly onto the plastic, spraying each board to point of runoff as you go.

When your pack reaches the desired size, lift the sides up and tip more/spray more solution over the timber. You cant get it too wet in there.

Seal the plastic up using the duct tape. We want enough seal that it doesn't dry out in there.  Fungal attack does not occur above fibre saturation point so you dont need to worry too much about staining if the logs were wet and you dont let it dry out below FSP in that pack. Also the anaerobic effect from the boric acid works in terms of denying air to moulds and fungii.

Walk away and forget about it. This period will take probably 2 to 3 weeks for inch, and a month for 2" thicknesses. The thicker the timber the more "soak" time required. During the soak time the borates will diffuse through the cell walls of the timber.

Open your pack up and strip out to dry as per usual. As it dries the boraate salts will be left inside the cells of the timber. We've now got timber thats got treatment solution  in it rather then on it.



As a method its cheap, effective and slow. But you will get properly borate impregnated lumber as the timber will uptake the borate solution during the period its wet in that pack. Note that this will not work unless you've got a concentrated solution so if using one of the off the self borate treatments you'll need to mix it significantly stronger then the pack directions indicate. Dont ask me how much stronger as I've never used them but I'd suggest that you want it to the same "cant dissolve any more powder in the water" strength. You can't get too much borate in your timber - the more you have the longer it will last, the greater the amount of leaching it will take before the borate concentration gets below the "tasty to a termite" level, and at best you'll get a fire retardant loading which is really good in a house and bad for BBQ's.

Most commercial borate treated lumber today is treated by using the borate solution applied via a pressure treatment vessel. Properly done dip diffusion will give you a far higher loading of preservative then standard cycle pressure treatments can economically achieve so your backyard operation while slow is actually doing a better job then a commercial treatment plant.

The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline abosely

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Re: Letting Logs Sit for 3-4 months?
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2015, 05:04:36 PM »
LTL thanks for the info!
For the logs, I just need to keep them safe for a month or so and will protect them from rain while they sit, with temporary roof cover.

Protecting the lumber for building the boat is kinda temp also. Need to keep any of the locals from setting up house in it till gets used for building. When it's used in boat structure all wood is encapsulated in 4 coats of epoxy at minimum.

But, I'm going to be building a little house with 4x6 frame, 2x6 joists & 2x subfloor and 1x flooring.
So will defiantly use the soaking treatment for all of the house lumber. I'm really happy & appreciate your explaining how to do it. I was concerned about protecting the lumber in the house. All the exposed wood will be oil finished, so I'm guessing that will protect the salts from weathering away.

You wouldn't happen to be familiar with Eucalyptus deglupta wood or where to find out about it, would you?

I'm looking for any information about milling, drying & working with it, as that's what I'll be using for boat frame and house.

From what I've read it planes well but quartersawn lumber tends to tear out some when planing. I would like to use quartersawn for the boat lumber for strength, but don't know if I can because of tear out. Any input would be apprenticed. 

 Cheers, Allen

 


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Re: Letting Logs Sit for 3-4 months?
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2015, 05:36:29 PM »
This link may help you.

http://www.woodworkerssource.com/show_properties.php?wood=Eucalyptus%20deglupta

There are others if you google Eucalyptus deglupta
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Offline abosely

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Re: Letting Logs Sit for 3-4 months?
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2015, 05:48:41 PM »
Thanks beenthere, I've seen that one and The Wood Database. But looking for more detailed information if possible.

Such as how fast or slow to dry it, suggestions about milling etc..

Cheers, allen

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Letting Logs Sit for 3-4 months?
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2015, 11:31:42 PM »
It might be important to understand that if you sell lumber with a treatment in it, there are specific rules about notifying the consumer and providing documents, such as CIS.  For that reason, most insect treatments for lumber have a very short life. 

Note that the concern about borates, which often are applied other outside of the piece of lumber also affects the burning of the planer waste, as the borate will not burn, so the ash has a very high boron concentrate which means special requirements for disposal, etc.

The good news is that most lumber is dried without any treatments, and the small amount that is treated has low levels of short life chemicals.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more


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