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RE: Rotted surface hardwood logs6/8
We have an abundance of logs that are over 2 years old, and some are rotted on the surface, but still good inside. So we have been cutting them into large beams, and keeping them under an overhang with stickers to dry.
The question is that within a year or two, we wish to further cut them into boards, is there any problem with having any discoloring on the surface, or other issues if we keep them in this state?
Also, we have spalted maple, oak, and other Northeast hardwoods. Are there any problems with storing the wood in this manner? We expect to cut thinner wood from this, ¼ to ½ inch thick.
Wood spalts because of a decay fungus called white rot. If conditions continent to be favorable, the rotting (or spalting) will continue and eventually the logs will be of no use.
Why don't you saw the logs into lumber right now? It is very unusual to wait to saw, as sawing of dry logs is quite difficult (the wood is twice as strong) and staining and decay (rot) is common.
For 1/4 thickness and even 2/4 thickness, it is common to initially saw a 5/4 piece, dry it, and then resaw it.
We have 100s of logs in our yard, and to be efficient we would have to do upwards of 10,000 to 14,000 board feet per day, which our machine is not capable of producing.
As time goes on, we accumulate more logs, and our accumulation is greater than our production of saw cutting.
We are trying to cut 1/4 inch thick. If we put a log on the machine, we cannot cut from a 5/4 piece, because the band blade will hit the clamps, which hold down the board.
When we cut wet wood into ¼ inch, we must place the stickers approximately 12 inches apart to avoid dipping of the lumber.
The thought was, if we let it get hard, we could possibly not worry so much about the dipping if we were cutting 10 to 14 mc.
We appreciate any input. What are your thoughts on what we are doing?
I think you have a good approach. For 1/4, the close spacing of stickers is essential.
As you mentioned, thicker is flatter. For 1/4, I would consider cutting 4/4, drying it, with special attention to stress relief (conditioning) and then resawing. You could easily get three pieces. With a thin kerf resaw, maybe you could get four pieces from 5/4.
Have you consider sprinkling your logs with lots of water to keep them in better shape when storing?
When sawing dry, the saw will try, at times, to follow the grain. So, keep it as sharp as possible with as much tension on the blade as allowed.
We do not have a thin kerf resaw, and probably do not have the monies for one at this time. But which brands do you recommend, and is there a custom machine made by a smaller company than the big 3 (ie. Baker, Cook, Woodmizer, etc.).
You suggest sprinkling logs with water, are you referring to a garden sprinkler to keep the logs wet, and will that also promote the decay of the logs, as we are probably 6 months to a year in cutting.
Since we are in NJ, there are very few sawyers, and no one seems to want to move off their butts, even though we would be paying a good price for people to saw.
I do suggest the big three on your list. Their equipment works.
You need more water than just a garden sprinkler. We need to do the ends and surfaces. Enough water and you prevent decay and most other damage. Six months max in warm weather.
I had some ailanthus sawed to 16/4, then four years later (air dried) changed my mind and tried to split the boards to scant 8/4. With a new blade, by the time I was done with the log there was wow of 3/4" in the kerf. I barely got two 5/4 from one 16/4.
How about selling the logs? If you are beyond the capacity of your mill, how will holding the logs improve things? Won't you still be beyond capacity in a year or two?