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Sawing and Drying Forum

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Sawing a dead tree

12/15/15       
Philippe Member

This WE we saw a dead tree that had been blown out by a storm. It was long dead as the bark (deeply furrowed) was mostly peeled away. We cut it "rift/QS" as on the yellow highlight in this illustration:

The wood looks beautiful and is stickered now. It felt very "dry" to the touch (i forgot to measure it). I suspect it is hickory.

We also sliced the main crotch in 3/8" and 1/2" (with boards 1/4 and 3/8" thick), stickered with thin sticker (1/2") every 6".

The grain pattern is also very beautiful. and it is very fun to "discover" the pattern after each cut :)

What kind of problems should we expect from such boards ?


View larger image

12/16/15       #2: Sawing a dead tree ...
Fil Eep

You should expect the same problems you have drying any lumber with the addition of probable insect infestation.

12/16/15       #3: Sawing a dead tree ...
Gene Wengert-WoodDoc

Unfortunately, the picture is not correctly labeled. Quarter and rift labels are switched.

Quarter and rift dry more slowly...up to 15% slower. Technically, q is 75 to 90 degrees ring angle to the face and rift is 45 to 75. Quartersawn must show the ray fleck on a wood like oak which you only see with the 75 to 90 angles.

12/16/15       #4: Sawing a dead tree ...
Gene Wengert-WoodDoc

Correction...on closer examination, the labels are ok.

12/19/15       #5: Sawing a dead tree ...
Dave Boyt  Member

Website: http://www.norwoodsawmills.com

If it is hickory, powder post beetles may be a problem. I've had more issues with hickory than any other species. Little mounds of sawdust where they chewed their way out is an indicator. You might use BoraCare or TimBor. Both are non-toxic surface applications, and will kill the beetles when they chew their way out so they won't infest other wood.

12/19/15       #6: Sawing a dead tree ...
Gene Wengert-Wood Doc

David's comment about PPB applies to lumber. However, there will likely be sawdust with eggs, larvae or insects that is not treated, so you will likely have the insects flying around when the weather warms up. Further, with PPB, they can do a lot of damage inside the wood before they eat their way to the surface to breed and lay eggs again. Because the borate products are water soluble, if the lumber is exposed to rain, the product can wash off some areas of some pieces and protection is gone. In other words, no air drying.

One question: how long after the insect eats the borate before it dies? Does it have time to breed and lay eggs after eating?

It is important to keep PPB infected wood and sawmill debris a long distance away from uninflected wood to prevent spread.

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