Suggestions on a case hardened wood "gift"

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Was gifted with about 300 board feet of black ash - surfaced and edged, all 6" wide and 8 ft long. Very beautiful stuff. Now the catch. The wood was rejected by a local mill as being case hardened in the kiln and each and every piece has one to three full length checks going almost through the thickness of the pieces. Anyone have any experience with this? I'd hate to think I have a very beautiful pile of firewood?
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I'm curious to see what suggestions you get on this. I've always understood that case hardening results in stresses in the wood (hence the checks), and that it will warp, cup, or twist when cut, which makes it pretty difficult to do anything with.
John
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"Bruce Kaatz" wrote:

Get a good 24T rip blade and rip the checks out then reglue back together, if required.
Lots of patience will be required, but what the heck, the wood was obtained at a good price.
Have fun.
Lew
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On 10/30/2014 9:12 PM, Lew Hodgett wrote:

I used Tamarack from a local sawmill for my cupboards and wainscoting. Most people around here just use it as firewood.
http://www.wood-database.com/lumber-identification/softwoods/tamarack/
My wood is similar to the photo but with very little of the dark color. It is almost all like Knotty Pine in color and appearance but with a very pronounced Fir sort of grain. In my opinion it is one of the nicest looking wood I have seen. Even those that use it for heat say it is the best firewood available. It is also the most expensive local firewood.
It is difficult to work with but the finished product is well worth the extra effort involved in using it.
This is a photo of the cupboards They have been stained.
http://www.mts.net/~lmlod/Photo/cupboards3.jpg
If you like the look of the raw wood you will not likely be disappointed when you have finished it. Don't worry about the time clock just enjoy the challenge of creating something beautiful out of what others may consider junk.
LdB
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"Bruce Kaatz" wrote in message
Was gifted with about 300 board feet of black ash - surfaced and edged, all 6" wide and 8 ft long. Very beautiful stuff. Now the catch. The wood was rejected by a local mill as being case hardened in the kiln and each and every piece has one to three full length checks going almost through the thickness of the pieces. Anyone have any experience with this? I'd hate to think I have a very beautiful pile of firewood?
No, it may be able to be used in projects that a few checks / cracks won't hurt such as cutting boards, butcher blocks or decorative items for display such as lamp bases (if you're into turning) where you glue up a number of pieces or use bowties to stop the checking. It may be case hardened but depending on how thin you cut it, it should remain reasonably stable.
A thick table top with natural checking can be a thing of beauty if done properly.
Bob S.
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On 10/30/2014 7:21 PM, Bruce Kaatz wrote:

to me for proper disposal. :)
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I have seen wood defects filled with colored epoxy. If it is colored to match the wood or compliment the wood color, the epoxy can give the wood an unusual character.
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On Fri, 31 Oct 2014 01:21:26 +0000 (UTC), Bruce Kaatz

How thick ?
John T.
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It has been surface planed and edged and is an actual 3/4 inch thick. Most of the checks seem to go 1/2 inch to 5/8 deep. Some of the boards are checked / split from both sides.
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On 10/31/2014 9:02 PM, Bruce Kaatz wrote:

Sounds like really nice firewood, Bruce.
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On 10/31/2014 10:17 PM, Richard wrote:

That's a shame. Sounds like it's not usable for much. Honestly, if it's really case hardened, you probably will not be able to cut a straight board of any usable size from it (it will twist and warp while it's being cut). You might take it to use for small/thin accent pieces, but for anything major, I'd pass. It will never be stable in larger pieces, and filling or reinforcing the checks will only be a temporary cosmetic fix. Too bad, because black ash is among my favorite woods. I hate to see it going up in smoke.
JP
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I should, but I don't want to endanger the shipper.
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"Bruce Kaatz" wrote:

Assuming you can salvage the wood, what do you plan to do with it?
Lew
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Well I randomly selected two of the boards and found it did just as you said when . The contortions that wood went through was amazing. And I found out that I was able to make my good old Unisaw into a Sawstop. Impressive how it was able to bind up and instantly stop the saw. I think I'll just cry a little and enjoy a campfire.
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On 10/30/2014 8:21 PM, Bruce Kaatz wrote:

If you're game, you can try the US Forest Products Lab recipe for relieving case-hardening. It's feasible because the problem is that the resulting movement when sawn is resulting from forces created by the nonuniform drying that has occurred that aren't able to equalize. Re-moisturizing at temperature will basically return it to it's starting point and one can then dry again.
<http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/products/publications/specific_pub.php?posting_id 507&header_id=p> <128.104.77.228/documnts/fpltn/fpltn-213-1952.pdf> First URL is page that has link to the doc, second is directly to the server holding the pdf file.
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On 11/01/2014 1:09 PM, dpb wrote:

BTW, unfortunately, I'd expect this will have a marginal success rate on this particular bundle owing to the fact it's been surfaced which has already upset the equilibrium as achieved out of the kiln. If they'd stopped after discovering it on the first few boards and gifted the remaining unsurfaced bundle as received I'd think your chances of success would have been dramatically higher.
I'd still give it a go on a few pieces, however, before relegating it all to the burn bin; as you say, black ash is a nice material and would be a shame to lose a score.
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"Bruce Kaatz" wrote

Well I randomly selected two of the boards and found it did just as you said when . The contortions that wood went through was amazing. And I found out that I was able to make my good old Unisaw into a Sawstop. Impressive how it was able to bind up and instantly stop the saw. I think I'll just cry a little and enjoy a campfire. ***************************
If it were me, I would find a rip blade with about 12 to 24 teeth, the fewer the better, out of non carbide teeth. Bend some wild extra set into the teeth, and try again.
If worse comes to worse, try ripping it from both sides at half the thickness on each pass. If it is binding on the rip fence by bending sideways, make a sled that you can clamp the wood to, then cut out the checks. You would be limited in the length you could do, of course. For ideas on a sled, if you need some, search for "using a table saw for a jointer."
I have never had to try to use case hardened wood, so these are just ideas. I wouldn't give up after one attempt, though.
Jim in NC
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On 11/3/2014 9:11 AM, Morgans wrote:

There are methods to work case hardened wood, as Jim suggests. The problem is that case hardening produces tremendous internal stresses within the wood. The twisting, warping and binding that occurs when sawing are only symptoms or evidence of these stresses. The fact is that as-is, this wood will never be stable in pieces of any significant size.
I had never heard of a method to relieve these stresses in lumber as dpb posted (USFPL link), but it certainly might be worth a try.
JP
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On 11/04/2014 3:31 AM, John Paquay wrote:

The point made above in the first paragraph is the bigger issue than simply being able to chop the stuff up w/o losing fingers or the like. Unless the stresses are relieved, it's basically a waste of time because the end piece of work in which all the effort has been expended is likely going to self-destruct sooner rather than later.
I have used the formula (or a self-devised variation thereof before I actually found the recipe 30 yr or so ago) but only on a very small amount. It takes essentially a steamer to accomplish and most folks don't have the capacity to deal with much of any size. It also must be done with the material as it is or at most only taking shorter lengths; once one rips it and it moves, then it's not going back even if re-moisturized.
In VA, in the days before things got so ridiculously expensive, I knew a small sawmill operator who also had a kiln (pronounced as a "dry kill" :) ). Back then often they would steam black walnut before drying to cause some of the heart wood coloring to migrate to the sapwood so he had the capacity to do so already. Doing so then caused more care to be needed to be sure one didn't overdo the early drying to avoid casehardening the whole kiln full. I'm not sure this is a common practice at all any more; haven't heard of it recently. It has the somewhat detrimental side effect that the heartwood comes out a little duller than otherwise.
He occasionally would resteam bundles of walnut or cherry to reclaim it and had moderate success. Now, with the cost, I doubt any commercial kiln would bother; it's just overage that's a cost of doing business that occasionally something will go wrong. Even then, for anything other than the most pricey species it simply wasn't cost-effective in bulk.
To salvage a few boards as an individual is something else but it is a significant amount of effort to have any hope of success.
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On 11/04/2014 3:31 AM, John Paquay wrote: ...

Just in passing, I was certainly surprised the link didn't seem to generate any comments; beginning to wonder if anybody had noticed it.
Wonder whether Bruce came back and saw it and perhaps may give it a go before lighting up the fireplace/wood stove...
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