We had a storm blow through the other day and it took out our Mesquite tree.
I'd say the diameter of the trunk is about 12"-18" at the largest points,
and I had the guy cut the trunk into 4'-8' sections (depending on where the
curves fell) -- basically as long of straight sections as was possible. I
got about 5 sections out of it.
I have some questions:
1. How do I prep and store this for air drying?
- Are there services who can mill the tree into boards?
- How thick should I make the boards?
- How and where should I store the boards for proper drying?
- Do I need to paint the ends with anything?
- How much might milling cost me (due to weight, the service would need
to come to the house)
2. How long should air drying take (I live in the Phoenix, AZ area)? A
clerk at the local hardwood store thinks it'll take at least a year AFTER
the trunk is cut into boards. Maybe twice that long if I don't cut up the
As I've never started with a whole tree before, I'm not exactly sure where
to begin. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
"5/4" ... 5 quarter on a circular mill
"4/4" ... on an accurate band mill ... 1" +\-
"8/4 ... turning squares , 'other'
use 'thru & thru' ... no turn
I'd go for 4/4 till 1/3 thru ( flat grain )
. switch to 8/4 till 2/3 thru ... vert grain
/ resume 4/4
. covered atop with waste lbr cover boards
. =stickered= lbr, after sawing !!!
. mixture of canning parifin(wax) & gasoline, 1:50 by volume.
Mooch a trailer. DIY.
Well Air_dried boards aughta 'ring' slightly ... 10% mc ???
" if ever " ...
Best sawn =green=.
Cheapest sawing is "thru & thru" ... dont turn the log ..
'turn' for maximization of flat grain lbr.
Depends upon what the best display of 'figure' is ...
no idea of what your "M" lbr will do.
What 'use' planned ???
Turning squares normally 8/4 min ... 2" x 2"
Spindle squares 3/4 , maybe ,
best hand shaped on a 'shaving horse' .
Mostly excellent advice. I would add, Google for wood-mizer's web site,
email to see if they have any sawyers using their equipment in your
area, then call one, and see about doing a trade, maybe 50-50, with the
wood. Mesquite is an expensive wood, so it may be possible.
Google is aleays your friend.
Look for a small saw mill, using a =traveling= band mill ,
... as opposed to a traveling carriage
capable of handling 16' logs ...
pay the 'fee', keep the lumber.
The bigger, traveling 'bands' are a much better 'rig'.
The 'smaller' ... so so .. too lite for the work .
Alaskan mills ( chain saw ) are a bit wasteful ...
... saw 6/4 to get a planed nominal 1" board ... ( 0.750in +\- )
Circular mills are a bit better , not as mizerly as a band mill.
. use 2 fdn 'bunks' , each 'on' level , not necc with the other,
. placed on concrete ground pad of some sort
. one 'lvl' bunk is bound to be below the other ... :-)
. space the bunks to lie 2' "in" from lbr ends ( 102" rgh lgth for 8'
. hi_2_lo bunks aughta provide rain shedding ... 2" per 8' is fine
. 'planting' 3 bunks, proper, is a lotta work ...
I'd run two(2) 2x6x8 PT planks as the lowest 'tier' , build up from
. lowest tier of "wood"(lbr0 aughta be =min= 6" off the ground
three(3) stickers per tier , 2' ,4', 6' mark
. align the "pile" with long/open "side" into the prevailing wind(s)
. west, generally ... air circulation
. =stickers. should =all= be same thickneess ... +\- 1/16"
. =plane= 'em if not ... "S2S" , not S4S ... :-)
. =align= all stickers vertically
. outter, long side 'edges' aughta be aligned vertical ,
. waste the internal "space", if need be
. better covering & tier circulation
. place longest on bottom, shorter atop
. stagger short lgth tiers .. adjust/shim to equal "height' with scrap
plastic tarp or lo_grade lbr atop ,
except for sides , preserve the circulation
Stickering, & covering, is "=key=" in air drying lbr ,
take some 'pains' in the 'doing'.
Shade , on the open sides helps , AZ sun is strong.
via some sorta horizonal 'eve'.
6" is min 'nice'
Well air dried lbr wont develop the "case_hardening" that
kiln dried will ...
done well, the best way for furniture useage .
No kiln case harden to plane off , its =all= good.
Keep a few representitive saw mill "scraps" to use as a guide to the
drying process ...
'snip' an end, maybe ... 2" is plenty
. samples =stacked= well inside the pile, not in the 'house' ...
. but, accessable to the 'reach' .
Weigh periodically , & chart .
Sap wood 'sample' ... assume 100% 'mc' , start
Heart wood ... 60%
Drying "curve" aughta be a near 'geometric' , max at left, falling to
the rite ...
"Dry" in One(2) to '2' years depending on ambient air mc%
Place samples well, into the pile , last to "dry" .
Mostly 'done dry" when it rings.
When the [100%](sap) nears the [50%] mark, by weight, you're close.
Similar notion for heartwood. diff values ...
Assuning that sap/heart weigh similar when bone dry ...
watch for the curves to "approach" each other ...
A Myrtle wood tree to a tea cart in 4 years +\- ...
. 2 year drying ;
. 1.7 yrs making jig*fixture tooling ;
. 0.3 yrs making parts, assembling , & finishing.
Plastic/plastic tarp tend to be a PITA, replacement needed about every
6 or 8 months. What I do now is get old, rusty sheetmetal roofing. Pop
that on. Weight down with cement blocks.
Around here, we don't have to worry too much about sun, as in Arizona.
South central Virginia gets warm, but not blazing, and it is almost
always reasonably humid. I like to stack and sticker under the tin roof
for about two or three seasons, finish up in a three sided shed. More
work, but it also means I don't have to rush the wood into projects
because there's no storage space. Current shed is about 16 x 15 long
(actually, started out as some kind of animal stall) and is one of two,
with a raised enclosed area next, and then a "garage" that stores lawn
mowers. Whole shed is about 60' long. I could store more wood if I
could talk my wife into tossing out some of our old junk.
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