Milling Stumps and Roots

Is it worth it? January 8, 2010

I have been storing since last summer a large group of cherry and maple stumps with attached roots that were saved from a roadbuilding project in front of my home/shop. I am seeking help in developing a strategy for milling. I haven't moved or pressure washed this inventory yet. Does anyone have any experience milling and drying this type of inventory?

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Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor Y:
I used to bicycle with a guy who wrote on the back of his helmet "I (heart) Pain". If you want to mill stumps you will learn to like pain. I have sawed walnut stumps, but the return was small for the amount of effort expended.

From the original questioner:
I'm not interested in re-inventing the wheel or having a fire sale on stumps that have the potential for unusual lumber. I have purchased redwood burl from the ocean that has yielded some very unusual wood. Granted this is cherry and maple, but I tend to believe that there is a gem somewhere in the pile. Life's an adventure. Are you interested in seeing images of the maple to see how wrong I may be after letting the natural process do its job on these unusual and sculptural stumps who might find a home in a restaurant or architectural setting?

From contributor A:
I saw several stumps a year. Here where we have very stoney soil you will find ingrown rocks and even pockets of sand. The stumps will produce some very nice wood at times and others will not. You need to chunk large stumps with a chain saw and saw out where the large roots take off to the side. If you leave about two to three feet of stump sometimes you get some very nice gun stocks that have grain running down the stock.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for your thoughtful response. See the attached maple image. After pressure washing I will send some new images and would request some further input on the "blocking" of this stump to take advantage of any figure in the stump, if any. I have done this with madrona root, with some level of success but the scale is "slightly" larger.

From the original questioner:
These are some of the cherry. Despite the jumble I will sort and seek advice on which ones might be a better choice.

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From contributor U:
Have you ever sawn stumps before? If so, you must have got a good return for your effort, and I wouldn't have anything productive to offer in the way of advise. There is much more than fighting though these clumps with a bandmill. I've sawn several - some for customers and some for my own operation. The last one was about two years back, and I decided to make it my last. At least here in my neck of the woods (central PA), I've not run into any lumber from stumps worth writing home about - and certainly not worth the effort, time, and loss of band blades. If you tackle these, and it sounds like you will, I wish you luck and remember - some companies make band blades that are cheaper than their normal blades, (such as WM with their silver tip blades), which could save you some coin.

From the original questioner:
Thanks contributor U. All of the responses are taken under advisement. Plan B. 1. Pressure wash. 2. Sand blast. 3. Offer the largest stumps as table bases for the Adirondack Rustic Market.

From contributor G:
The chainsaw carvers like them.

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