Making project wood from tree limbs


I have a few 6" diameter by 15" long English Walnut limbs of a tree that was recently cut down. My brother in law is going to cut them down into boards. He said to let them dry for a couple years before I use them. How do I do this? Is there a quicker way?
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how thick are they cut? figure 1 year dry time for every inch of thickness for normal air drying on stick spacers called stickers. to dry quicker add heat but not to much as it will lead to problems . depending on the part of the country your in and relative humidity, i would suggest after air drying for a couple 3-4 weeks take it up to about 112 degrees with air circulation with relative humidity lower than the moisture content of the wood and it will dry much faster. look up kiln drying on the web. ross
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Tom wrote:

Buy a kiln if you want quick. Or - if the dimensions you stated are correct - use your oven.
--

dadiOH
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Tom wrote:

I haven't tried using limbs for project wood, but from what I've read, it's far from ideal because limbs are a mix of compression wood (bottom of branch) and tension wood (top of branch). When this mix of wood is ripped into boards, these two types of wood will almost definitely not dry evenly, but instead will cause the board to warp, twist, bend, cup, crack, etc. I have had experience with a 2x4 from a tree that must have been leaning - when I ripped it into 2x2s on the bandsaw, it went from a straight board to 2 wildly curved boards. Crazy - I'm glad I wasn't using a TS where it could have grabbed the blade and bound up. I'm not sure how this type of wood affects turning - hopefully someone else will contribute to that question. Check out the following article for more info: http://www.woodzone.com/articles/reaction_wood.htm Sorry to spoil your great idea - is there any wood left from a straight trunk of that english walnut? Andy
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All of the above is true, and turnings are generally spun oversize, left to dry and contort, then re-turned for circular. Don't need straight boards for that.
All you ever wanted to know about drying and wood at http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr113/fplgtr113.htm
Right price, too.
I'd saw five or six quarter hoping for useable four.
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Andy wrote:

Not only that, but even if you managed to get the boards small enough to straighten and flatten in the beginning, the normal seasonal changes would be exaggerated by the compression/tension issue such that you would have boards that squiggled around like a frightened python.
As for turning the wood, I can't say. But I imagine the same issues would come into play with seasonal changes.
On the other hand, you would have absolutely deLIGHTful firewood...
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On 1 Jun 2006 10:44:08 -0700, wood snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

It's great for turning, but don't ask how to dry it if you value your sanity- anything from dishsoap to burying it out in the yard wrapped in cheesecloth while performing Voodoo rituals is fair game in that context.
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Prometheus wrote:

Good to know...thanks. One of these days I'm going to take the plunge and get a lathe. The only reason I don't have one now is that, if I did, I really wouldn't leave the house at all anymore.
BTW, if you go the Voodoo route, should the feet be from a right-tilt or a left-tilt chicken? :-)
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wood snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Depends on the phase of the Moon.
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On 1 Jun 2006 18:26:51 -0700, wood snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Left tilt, though some say a right-tilt is ok when the moon is full. But in any case, you have to soak yourself in alcohol for a bit, wash your hands with dishsoap, put on a mask of PEG, let the wood sit for a while on the cool floor, then stick it up on a high shelf in a paper bag and rotate 3.7 degrees on it's axis every second Tuesday for several years, microwave it, boil it- and then do the aforementioned ritual.
Of course, sometimes they still crack even then. :)
Lathes are fun, but they really are an odd little world unto themselves.
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You could make a kiln. A lot depends on the conditions under which you store the wood, too. Proper stickering(allows airflow around all sides)can help. These are pretty small pieces to begin with, and allowing for checking, splitting, movement, etc., may eat up a lot of your stock. Perhaps others here can advise, too. Tom Tom wrote:

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tom wrote:

1" thick lumber stickered and kept in a hot attic for one summer should be useable that winter.
Wood frokm tree limbs (DAGS "reaction wood") is reported to have poor stablity so one might keep that in mind when planning the project.
--

FF


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Hi Tom,
Each one who has responded to your question is right. Indeed they are. but what have you got to loose except some time? I wouldn't bother with a Kiln myself, not for those few small pieces. I would only air dry. I do like that idea of putting those small pieces in the attic during the summer. I never thought of that. The heat up there would really drive that water out.
Who knows how it will turn out. At that size, even if they twist and warp badly, you may be able to match two pieces which are twisted or warped into a nice shelf. Imagine the two upright sides each twisted in the opposite direction and placed between two shelves so that a smaller shelf was at the top, and a larger shelf at the bottom, with the sides twisted out to make that bottom shelf a curved shelf. What an Eye catcher it would be. How many would ask you how you managed to do that?
The key is always to make use of what you have available to you. There is always a way to either fix, or to make use of some flaw in a piece of wood. I have seen many beautiful item made which was greatly enhanced by a flaw in the piece.
Yes, each answer is right and correct. Each has a valid point which only you can evaluate. I know that I have made things out of some woods which others said should have been firewood, but they came out as beautiful pieces.
Note the even if a piece twists, bends, and cracks very badly, you can always cut it down even smaller to make things like pens, handles, candle holder, and such. It does not have to be kept as large pieces.
Gentlemen, I than each of you for your answers, they bring back many memories of the times when I cut down trees, cut into lumber myself with a chainsaw, air dried, and then built with, and used for many projects. Yes even some for the firewood for my wood burning furnace. Even the bark could go into the furnace.
Zap
Tom wrote:

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Not being an expert like most here, I did cut up some walnut a friend had stacked up for firewood outside. I don't know if that made a difference - it wasn't protected from rain/snow etc so it went from wet to dry and back again.
I made several boards about 3/8" thick by about 18-20" long and maybe 5-6" wide. II've used them for a lot of little projects as trim and handles and even box lids and they haven't given me any grief after a couple of years glued together.

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[...]
I'm guessing you didn't have one of those fancy and expensive portable saw mills like a Wood-Mizer[1]. How did you go about making the boards?
[1]: http://www.woodmizer.com /
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Nothing but high-tech massive macho machinery for me. I whacked off the bark with a hand axe and then cut the logs on my Grizzly 14" bandsaw and sanded them on a belt sander. Eventually I bought a DeWalt thickness planer and now use that to finish the stuff off.
On Fri, 2 Jun 2006 10:09:07 -0500, "Bob Moos"

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Agreed. I have no intention of being a sawyer. :) It's just something I'd like to know how to do, so if I do happen to come across a nice tree being taken down, I can do something with the trunk.

Ideally, I'd like to find a mill in my area where I could just take the odd tree trunk to and have it cut for me. But I haven't found that yet. The local hardwood dealer will only do sawyer work for very large volumes, and thus it's neither cost effective for them or me.
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Thanks, that's good to know.

I was wondering how things would get started with one of these devices. I found the web site for the device[1] you mentioned. That site explains a lot about how rough beams and planks can be made with a chainsaw. That certainly looks to be something that's within my budget and I'd be able to do.

Good advice. Although not the subject of this thread, I was mostly interested in this type of device for doing tree trunks.
Thanks!
[1]: http://www.beammachine.com /
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