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Philstix
01-29-2011, 05:39 PM
I am about to receive a western maple log approximately 40 inches in diameter by about twelve feet long. Indications are that at least some of it has quite curly grain. Anyone have any ideas on how to best handle this? How long should I cut the sections of the log and how large should the billets be? Or probably more to the point, where can I find the information I need to prepare the wood for air drying? Otherwise it is all just firewood.

Tarhead
01-29-2011, 07:19 PM
Get a thick coat of Sealcoat on the ends as soon as you can. You'll want it quarter sawn. Here's a link to a study on drying small quantities of green hardwoods at home: http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/10749 Your drying time will vary greatly depending on your climate and wind. I dry my lumber in a covered stack outside like this: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/data/500/walnutstacked1.jpg
Stack ~12 inches off the ground and cover the ground with a piece of plastic. Sticker it every 16-24" with 1" sticks, ratchet strap tight and cover the top.

As far as cutting...I would leave it as long as you can as it will split some on the ends no matter what you do. Once it is dry and stable, cut to rough dimensions as you need it.

spruce
01-30-2011, 05:12 AM
I dry my lumber in a covered stack outside like this....

If you do this with maple lumber in most parts of the country (like Woodinville, Washington), you will wind up with a fungus-infested pile of firewood....

Check out this thread (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?42141-Maple-log&highlight=maple) for info on how to process that log...
Fungal prevention is your biggest concern.....

Tarhead
01-30-2011, 06:57 AM
I bow to Bruce's experience in this. As you can imagine, sun, heat and case hardening are much more of a concern for me. I've not had any fungus issues with the one load of Red Maple I've done but I pretreated with Boracare.

spruce
01-30-2011, 09:05 AM
I've not had any fungus issues with the one load of Red Maple I've done but I pretreated with Boracare.

Could you elaborate on this??
Is this (http://www.nisuscorp.com/portal/page/portal/Nisus/categories/homeowners/products/boraCare) the stuff you used??
Thanks in advance....

Yeah, any time you introduce moisture to a stickered pile of maple--and that pile looks like it would get rained on--you're asking for trouble...
If that pile was indoors, you would still need to hit it with fans to surface dry the wood, and then move the stickers after a week or so to prevent sticker stain....

It's a depressing topic for me, as I've lost loads of maple to this problem... :(

Tarhead
01-30-2011, 09:35 AM
I pretreat all green lumber with Boracare or Timbor powder dissolved in water and liberally spray it on with a garden sprayer as I stack it. I lost a large bunk of very wide Quarter Sawn White Oak to Powder Post Beetles and have used it religiously since. Cheap, non-toxic (to humans and pets) insurance for boring insects and fungus.

Philstix
01-30-2011, 10:40 AM
Thanks for all the information. I looked up Boracare andthe only residential supplier in Washington state is located about 2 blocks from where I work. Maybe thats a good omen. I can cut the log into any lengths that I want. From there I will split it into billets. Is this workable? And if it is do you have any size recommendations? In the end I hope to get some tenor ukulele and/or mandolin sized sets. I can stack the wood on a back deck which is covered but open at each end or build a freestanding stack like the picture above.

spruce
01-30-2011, 11:34 AM
I pretreat all green lumber with Boracare or Timbor powder dissolved in water and liberally spray it on with a garden sprayer as I stack it. I lost a large bunk of very wide Quarter Sawn White Oak to Powder Post Beetles and have used it religiously since. Cheap, non-toxic (to humans and pets) insurance for boring insects and fungus.

Thanks for that...
Have you ever tried a solution of Borax??


I can cut the log into any lengths that I want. From there I will split it into billets. Is this workable? And if it is do you have any size recommendations?

Well, if you're in the biz, the tree dictates what sizes you cut it into.....
If there's 9" of white wood, then you're thinking cellos and guitars....
5" means mandolins and fiddles...

But if you're cutting for yourself, then your sizes are all that matters....

I'd limit my thickness to 2.5-3", just to expediate the drying process...

Tarhead
01-30-2011, 02:09 PM
Thanks for all the information. I looked up Boracare andthe only residential supplier in Washington state is located about 2 blocks from where I work. Maybe thats a good omen. I can cut the log into any lengths that I want. From there I will split it into billets. Is this workable? And if it is do you have any size recommendations? In the end I hope to get some tenor ukulele and/or mandolin sized sets. I can stack the wood on a back deck which is covered but open at each end or build a freestanding stack like the picture above.

Go with Timbor powder if they have it or can get it. Mixed with water it stays on the surface and is easier and cheaper.
Do you have easy access to your attic? If so you may want to consider putting some of your wood up there to dry. If your house is modern it's probably the best ventilated space you own.

As far as using a solution of Borax...do you mean Boraxo detergent? No, not enough Boric Acid in it and the detergents will wash the residual away.

Philstix
01-31-2011, 03:13 PM
Thanks once again for all the input. I'm going to give it a try. Time to start getting together the supplies needed and preparing the space. I'll try to post pics as I go.

spruce
01-31-2011, 04:17 PM
I'll try to post pics as I go.

Love to see 'em...
Working up a log usually produces some good pictures....

http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee22/e_stamp/2006-10-30_143418_Tree-Fall.jpg

Tarhead
01-31-2011, 05:05 PM
Love to see 'em...
Working up a log usually produces some good pictures....

http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee22/e_stamp/2006-10-30_143418_Tree-Fall.jpg

That probably left a mark.:D

Liam Ryan
02-01-2011, 07:14 PM
That'll hurt come winter

funaddict
02-05-2011, 05:53 PM
Here's a uke made from some western bigleaf maple from Woodinville. I sawed the tree up into about 4" x 9" x 20" billets and hot dipped the endgrain ends into parafin wax. I had more success with the parafin than with the Anchorseal type wax emulsions. These were turning blanks that are now becoming instruments. If I had intended them for instruments I would have probable cut them at 2" thick instead of 4".
Alan