Troubles with the walnut
#21
  Re: Troubles with the walnut by Dayle1960 (So I have a four foo...)
For my logs, I split and then resawed on a sled.


Wished I had this guy's setup (or a real bandsaw mill):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WItDzkTk-2s

Matt
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#22
  Re: Troubles with the walnut by Dayle1960 (So I have a four foo...)
(05-16-2017, 07:22 PM)Dayle1960 Wrote: So I have a four foot long, eight inch diameter walnut log that I need to make into a 4 x 4 hunk of lumber.  It is very green, dripping wet, and down right awful to try and square up.

It is highly unlikely that you can get a 4"x4" hunk of lumber out of an 8" diameter log without it splitting and cracking while it dries.

As others have pointed out, if you want to wind up with solid lumber, you need to get the pith out. If you take out a slice centered on the pith, then you can take symmetric boards off of each side that you can laminate to get your 4x4 after the boards are dry.

Take the center pith out of the center slice and you can even reassemble the 4x4 out of the core in the manner of a bandsaw box with the grain pretty much aligned.
"the most important safety feature on any tool is the one between your ears." - Ken Vick

A wish for you all:  May you keep buying green bananas.
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#23
  Re: Troubles with the walnut by Dayle1960 (So I have a four foo...)
I disagree. Take a look at all the 4x4 posts at your big box store; they all have the pith roughly in the center. This is the way to balance drying forces and not end up with a warped post. Not recommended for fine furniture but for a green 4x4 boxing the heart is a good plan. Keeping the pith in the center can be the right thing to do.
Lumber Logs, domestic hardwoods at wholesale prices: http://www.woodfinder.com/listings/012869.php

Lumber Logs' blog: Follow the adventure
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#24
  Re: Troubles with the walnut by Dayle1960 (So I have a four foo...)
(05-21-2017, 05:04 PM)TomFromStLouis Wrote: I disagree. Take a look at all the 4x4 posts at your big box store; they all have the pith roughly in the center. This is the way to balance drying forces and not end up with a warped post. Not recommended for fine furniture but for a green 4x4 boxing the heart is a good plan.  Keeping the pith in the center can be the right thing to do.

We are going to have to disagree.

Yes, lots of the junk wood sold by the big box stores have the pith in them. Rarely do I see it centered in the lumber.

The pith dries and shrinks at a different rate than the heartwood. That leads to radial cracks spreading out from the pith.

Whether or not those radial cracks are a problem for one's project is an individual choice. If the OP wants a rustic-look post with cracks for their project, I have no argument with that choice. I just tend to assume that rustic-look is not the usual goal here. I know that that is an assumption and very subject to being wrong. Slap <-me Sorry if I fail to confirm that when I post. Blush

The changes in size as wood moisture content changes is different in the longitudinal, radial, and ring-tangent directions. That is one of the reasons that quartersawn lumber is valued for making furniture.
"the most important safety feature on any tool is the one between your ears." - Ken Vick

A wish for you all:  May you keep buying green bananas.
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#25
  Re: Troubles with the walnut by Dayle1960 (So I have a four foo...)
For me, the pith does not make this a poor piece of wood. I just wanted a hunk of walnut so my son could practice his wood working skills on it. It is basically a "throw away" piece of wood that he wanted. I got it relatively cheap....free....so it's not like I'm loosing a large chunk of change.

I had him out in the shop using all of my tools to make this a square piece of lumber. I wanted him to understand how hard it was for the old timers to square up a log. He had a hand in the surfacing of the one side and was as frustrated as me. But to his credit, he hung in there like a trooper.

I appreciate all of the responses I've received, yet I have not had time to finish the squaring of the log because I've been very busy with work and other home repair things. One this is for certain, after a week in the shop the log has dried a little. It's not dripping wet anymore. Just damp to the touch.
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#26
  Re: Troubles with the walnut by Dayle1960 (So I have a four foo...)
(05-21-2017, 05:04 PM)TomFromStLouis Wrote: I disagree. Take a look at all the 4x4 posts at your big box store; they all have the pith roughly in the center. This is the way to balance drying forces and not end up with a warped post. Not recommended for fine furniture but for a green 4x4 boxing the heart is a good plan.  Keeping the pith in the center can be the right thing to do.

Strange you should mention. Hereabout, boxing the heart is done because that area is otherwise unsaleable, or it comes from small wood.  Purely economic, not aesthetic consideration.  

According to FPL, quarter still dries slower than face grain , so "balancing" drying has nothing to do with it either.  

Branches originate from the heart, so even those lost early in growth will leave residuals, lowering the grade to pallet.
Better to follow the leader than the pack. Less to step in.
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#27
  Re: Troubles with the walnut by Dayle1960 (So I have a four foo...)
I admit that pith does not belong in most of what we do around here, but I was thinking in terms of converting logs into timber framing type sticks, sizable pieces for posts and beams, that sort of thing. Timer framers box the heart routinely for the stability reason. Trying to get two 6x12s from one log will yield two sweepy warped and useless beams.

If you want grade lumber then you would take a different approach to sawing the log.
Lumber Logs, domestic hardwoods at wholesale prices: http://www.woodfinder.com/listings/012869.php

Lumber Logs' blog: Follow the adventure
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#28
  Re: Troubles with the walnut by Dayle1960 (So I have a four foo...)
While not strictly a "handtool" I've seen people suggest using a hand-held power-planer to get a flat side on a log to begin the process of breaking down wood for sawing on a bandsaw sled.  I'm a bit surprised that the froe didn't work.  You should have been able to split the log in 1/2 with that.  It would; however, be pretty useless for trying to split off pieces perpendicular to the radius.

I love walnut and wish you the best of luck in milling usable lumber out of your log.
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#29
  Re: Troubles with the walnut by Dayle1960 (So I have a four foo...)
Acorn, I too was surprised at the difficulty with the froe. As I was "froeing" from the end, the froe kept following the grain which seemed to tract towards the outer portion of the log. It kept just peeling slivers off the cadmium layer. I got so aggravated that I just gave up and continued with another tool. The best luck I had was with the skil saw and cross hatching the log then popping the squares up with a chisel. Worked pretty nice, but I'm sure there is a better "old timer" way that I haven't tried yet.
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#30
  Re: Troubles with the walnut by Dayle1960 (So I have a four foo...)
The froe really wants to be  "walked" a bit to open the split ahead of the tool instead of following it, as a simple wedge.  Lots of videos out there on its use.  The twist is the thing.

http://www.pbs.org/woodwrightsshop/tools/froe/

Dayle, the traditional method for making a beam was called "hewing." You'll find many videos by using it as your search criterion. What you do is pretty much the same, score and hew.
Better to follow the leader than the pack. Less to step in.
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