Silver Maple Board Quality
From contributor J:
Very rarely do you find any wood in branches that is worth making lumber out of. There is usually too much tension in them.
From contributor W:
Mill the logs soon after the trees are felled. I sawed a very nice silver maple log last year that I let set for several (5 or 6) months. The wood had lost the bright appearance associated with maple. It was more of a light grey color through and through.
From contributor T:
I agree with contributor J. If the branch logs or any lumber after third cut have some sort of grain figure to them, I would not think twice about sawing them. Silver maple grows a few nice grain patterns - burl, curly, and fiddle back. Odds are, though, that the branches are plain grain and are full of tension, wind shakes, and other nightmares.
When I cut silver maple, I will grade saw - square the log, then cut boards off the clearest sides of the cant until I hit the ugly gray and knotty heartwood. I'll save the cant as block for around the mill or just burn it.
I have found that silver maple is fairly stable and doesn't check badly. I have had no problems using latex paint for end sealer. Also in my area, I am finding more ambrosia beetle stains. I like to find logs full of them for contemporary furniture makers, but when trying to cut white clear boards, the stains get annoying.
If your customer has two 25" diameter trees, I would have high expectations for nice lumber. The question is, enough for his kitchen? Try to get more of your own silver maple logs to cut for him and jack up the price, probably 50%.
From contributor R:
I had the same question. I have a 48" silver maple trunk just downed. I plan on slabbing it. Not sure what widths yet, as this is my first slabbing project. Once slabbed, how do I keep it from graying?
From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor
Dry it promptly and rapidly and you will avoid graying, if the tree was living when cut and then sawn promptly.
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