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Twisted Maple Log3/1
I have a maple log that resembles the stripes on a barber pole. The log is very straight but it looks like it has been run through a fluted rifle barrel. I guess you could say it has a right hand twist. How would you experienced sawyers recommend I mill this & can I expect the boards to twist when drying ? The log is about 26" in diameter.
My guess is youd be lucky to get much out of it after its dry. In our experience when we saw really whacky stuff it continues its whackiness until its dead dry and then will continue to do whacky stuff if the MC it lives in ever changes.
Maybe mill it thick planning to resaw it when dry and plan for a lot of shorts and a lot of waste.
I really enjoy sawing the odd stuff that most production mills wouldnt even bother with but we can use a lot of shorts in the shop on furniture.
You'll probably know as soon as you open the log up what your in for. First few boards off the cant are usually a good indicator.
Post some photos.
I agree with Mark B that there will be a lot of reaction wood with the twisting growth pattern, but the figure may be spectacular with a twisting rope look running down QS boards. I would not cut the wood thick, but rather would saw to final thickness before drying. You will always loose more to defect if you cut thick, dry then resaw.
With that said, I would quarter saw the log which will give the most stable board. Be sure to center the core on both ends of the log to the saw cut. The wildest figure tends to be near the outside of the log. If you are cutting the wood for furniture, "heavy" 5/4 to 8/4 thicknesses would be good.
Sticker the boards carefully and weight the pile. Maple can be dried fairly aggressively and if you operate a kiln, I would run the drying schedule a little slower than normal, but keep the temperatures in the normal ranges. This approach should yield interesting lumber.
This is called spiral grain. Indeed, the lumber will twist. Faster drying using low RH and lots of air flow will minimize twist. Consider sawing mainly squares, as twist in a sqaure is often not a defect if the square is used for turning stock.
For softwoods, the spiral starts clockwise and then gradually becomes less for 15 years and then reverses, but the CCW spiral is not as severe. This spiral is of great concern to log home builders. The logs twist as they dry, so if they dry after being in place, the wall has an opening, etc. it is unusually to see spiral grain in hardwoods. It is genetics most likely.
Learned this from a customer of mine:
The tree itself acts to maintain straightness and the thick stickers resisting cupping and twisting. The tension of the strapping is better than any amount of weight you can put on it and a lot handier.
Sell or use live edge slabs.
Thanx for the great ideas / info. I regularly use ratchet straps as they make it easy to keep tension & re-tighten on the lumber stack. I also like to cut logs others cannot be bothered with. Some of the most beautiful slabs & shorts have come from these babies. I'm retired...I have time to "waste" on stuff like this.