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Harvesting 'found' lumber?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by bassteban, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. I have stumbled upon some walnut(a tree is being removed)- is there any reason I shouldn't grab the biggest section I can find(I have permission)& try to dry & use it for bass building?
  2. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    You would be foolish if you didn't grab it.
    Walnut is an excellent sounding wood and it's really expensive. About $20 per foot 2 inch thick!
    Def grab it!
  3. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    It seems to me that you'd want to get it resawn into planks right away and let those sit stacked in your shop for as long as you can. Stack them with spacers between them to promote airflow, too. Giving the endgrain a coat of sealer is also recommended to slow the drying process and prevent cracking.

    There are resources available on the web that talk about this sorts of thing. Google should help you out.

  4. I'm not sure how big a piece I can get out of this stuff, but free is free. It's rumored to be over 100 degrees today, though... :cool:
    I think there's some spalting in one of the trees- I don't recall ever seeing spalted walnut. :meh:
    I think I'll go post in the Gallery Hardwoods section & see if I can find out something about drying this stuff.

    Edit: Thanks, Nateo. I had to run out earlier; I will search on drying.
  5. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    I don't think it's necessarily fair to ask Larry for drying hints, on his paid forum, if your process is competitive with buying wood from him. I'm sure he'll let you know.

    As nateo said, it is normally sawn, stacked and stickered, and end-coated with Anchorseal.

    My understanding is that backyard wood is fine, but that you might have trouble getting it sawed, because the sawmills are afraid of nails in any suburban wood. Try searching this forum for "backyard wood", I think it's been discussed here before.
  6. I'm not ambitious enough to compete w/anyone- if I get so much as a top or two, that would be a huge accomplishment for me. Right now I'm too busy w/diapers(my main gig)to even do a serious search. Thanks for the tip, though.
  7. I checked & found out the wood is already spoken for. Whew- it's stinkin' hot today!
  8. The advice given is right on so far.

    But when it comes to making your own wood, it can be done quite easily with one of the several chainsaw mills on the market. My neighbor has one and he makes rough lumber all the time from fallen timber. He's holding a 16" x 3" x 60" slab of poplar for me right now that's over 6 years old that he made with his mill.

    The idea of these things is simple. Using one method or another, you attach a runner guide to the log on which you rest the carriage for your chainsaw. The guide and carriage keeps the saw parallel to the center of the log and you make rip passes along the length, moving the guide as you lop off each board. You can cut any thickness you want as long as you keep in mind that these are rough cut and will need finishing by planing and sanding. The width of the board is only limited by the length of the chainsaw blade (within reason) and the fineness of cut varies by model of mill and the chainsaw selected for use. A rig like this isn't too expensive, especially if you've got a good big chainsaw and it WILL pay for itself by the second or third log you process. My last issue of American Woodworker had an in depth review of all of the mills including the larger frame sawmills that use band saws for cutting. Very, very informative.

    For drying you want to look into Nyle dehumidification. This is a process that you can do at home, in a closed space to dry wood to usable moisture specs. Lots to learn and know here so regardless of the other responsibilities, you'll have to do the research.
  9. sound-guy


    Jun 13, 2005

    It ain't that hot you big baby, why don't you cut down your own darn tree. And don't you think you were a little hard on your sound guy last week? I mean this has got to be a first coming from a "Bass Player". The bass is too loud :crying: ??????
    What gives?
  10. Hambone, sound-guy is a close personal friend of mine. I'm not trying to claim immunity from any rules for me, him or anyone else- just vouching for an exceptional, well, for lack of a better term, 'sound-guy'. The man registered here to learn more about his craft from our(low-enders)end of the sound-spectrum. He already has ample opportunity to ridicule me. :rolleyes: Apologies all around for any broken rules. I also hope this doesn't come across as criticism of your enforcing said rules. And I'm still not going out in this stinkin' heat!

    BTW, what's HC?
  11. Scott French

    Scott French Dude

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    Yet another example of online man-flirting gone bad.

  12. My sound man is sweet, but my man-flirting is STRICTLY reserved for my drummer. ;)
  13. Your bud looks looks exactly like a troll! :eyebrow: and I was always one to shoot first and let them ask the questions later anyway. :rolleyes:

    HC is Harmony Central - THE south-o-town trailer park of onliine musical forums but I'm not supposed to say that. ;)
  14. They are a bit rude over there(HC). Now, w/o actually seeing my friend, how did you know he resembles a troll? :meh:

    Edit: Hambone, you may now consider my last PM answered, thank you.
  15. Back from the dead- it's a zombie-thread. :ninja:
    Hey, I now have some logs from a walnut tree that was felled 2 years ago; I coated the ends w/sealer & quartered the larger piece. having not cut this stuff into boards long ago like I should have, is there any chance that it might yet yield some pretty face/top material? I will try to get pics of the developing splits, etc.
  16. Mofo-Kang


    Aug 26, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    Really? That'd be very easy to screen for with the sort of fluoroscopic x-ray machine airports use. I guess whether one of those would be cost-effective or not would depend on the size of the sawmill and how much risk they were willing to take.
  17. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    The figure won't change with time, it's part of the grain structure of the wood. As as aside, I've heard that you can "kiln dry" wood in your over, at, say, 200 degrees or so, for 12 - 14 hours.

    I've never tried it myself, but then, I generally purchase my wood from resellers who air-dry for several years.
  18. Right- I realize the figure is what it is; my concern is that not cutting the sectioned log into boards right away might affect proper drying. I just don't have access to anything w/the capacity to saw this stuff up.
  19. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    Some guy built a hollow Ric project a while back, and he resawed his wood with a HAND SAW...

    So, er, yeah. It can be done. I'd recommend just taking it to a cabinet shop, though. A cabinet shop local to me has a horizontal "veneer saw" band saw, and they cut some 13" wide stock into 1/4" one-piece tops for me, charged me about $25 for 4 tops, cut and thickness sanded to 180 grit.
  20. Yeah, that's what I'll probably do. There's a local shop here that does small stuff. If it comes out looking nice I'll toss up some pics.

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