Y-Crotch Lumber Examples

Sawmillers show off a couple of nice slabs, and an example of a coffee table made from crotch wood. December 28, 2006

Got my hands on a massive Siberian elm last week. Butt flare measured 68" at the widest point. I had to cut down one of the branches a bit to get the mill to pass. My 60" bar got quite a workout.

Click here for higher quality, full size image

Here's a close-up of the crotch:

Click here for higher quality, full size image

Another crotch. These slabs were 12' long x average 54" wide x 10/4 thick. I'd guess by the level of soreness in my back they weighed close to 400 lbs a piece.

Click here for higher quality, full size image

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor S:
Those are some seriously nice slabs! How long do you estimate to dry?

From the original questioner:

Forever and a day if I'm lucky. I need a kiln asap.

From contributor L:
Beautiful Y-cuts (crotch cut sounds so improper). Will these dry out without too much checking and splitting? One of our big cherry trees got knocked down, so I cut it up some last year - most interesting pieces came from a Y just like the ones you show and I've had it air drying for a year now. Afraid to un-pile it until it's as dry as it will get - I've read how bad cherry checks and seen it so in a couple beams I made. Anyone had luck making anything from a big crotch like this? Table legs, chair back, mirror stand?

From contributor M:
A fair number of woodworkers love the Y crotch wood for coffee tables. Nakashima seems to have started the style that many emulate.

Here's a black walnut crotch coffee table, hopefully refined a bit. Wide belt sanders come in handy.

Click here for higher quality, full size image