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Thread: Pecan log

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    Phillip Cooper (53)
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    Pecan log

    I have a friend that gave me a large Pecan log, measures 9' 9" in length, and is about 18 to 20 inches straight through. It was cut last weekend, so it hasn't dried very much yet. My question is, would it be better to make bowl blanks or cut it for flat lumber? The ends look fine, no rot and it is real straight for a log. I can't find any metal in it with a metal detector, so I'm pretty sure it would be fine on a band saw/mill. What is Pecan usually used for? I can't say I've ever seen anything made with it. I also figure there would be different drying methods depending on how it is cut. How would you dry bowl blanks if that were the final result?

    My son asked me about pen blanks and I told him if we used it for that we'd likely have a couple thousand pen blanks to work with, which is way more of one kind of wood than I desire for that purpose.
    Today a pile of wood, tomorrow a pile of sawdust......

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    Re: Pecan log

    Phil,
    I do believe you have a larger Pecan log than Stuckey's.

    I have no experience with Pecan so I'll let others comment on taking care of your log.

    Rob

  3. #3
    jeff...
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    Re: Pecan log

    Quote Originally Posted by pcooper View Post
    I have a friend that gave me a large Pecan log, measures 9' 9" in length, and is about 18 to 20 inches straight through. It was cut last weekend, so it hasn't dried very much yet. My question is, would it be better to make bowl blanks or cut it for flat lumber? The ends look fine, no rot and it is real straight for a log. I can't find any metal in it with a metal detector, so I'm pretty sure it would be fine on a band saw/mill. What is Pecan usually used for? I can't say I've ever seen anything made with it. I also figure there would be different drying methods depending on how it is cut. How would you dry bowl blanks if that were the final result?

    My son asked me about pen blanks and I told him if we used it for that we'd likely have a couple thousand pen blanks to work with, which is way more of one kind of wood than I desire for that purpose.
    Sounds like a fairly stress free log however to small to QS unless you want 7 or 8" widest boards... What ever you do seal up the ends with ancorseal and get it to the sawmill quick. Dry hickory is a PITA to try an mill, however if it's fresh it ain't too bad. It's even a PITA to try and cut with a chain saw if it's dry... Expect a lot of twist if you have it flat sawn - go with 5/4 (1 3/8") rough sawn to get 3/4 clean dressed boards. If you decide to have it QS 4/4 (1 1/8") should be good for 3/4 finished boards.

    Whatever you do just make sure you do it quick, else you'll have a lot of wood for the smoker

    Thanks

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    Re: Pecan log

    It's in the Hickory family. What I have worked with wasn't as tough as blades and bits as Hickory tho. It does make nice furniture, the tree I cut had brown specks in the light colored lumber.
    And the cutoffs are among the best wood for smoking meats and fish, IMHO.
    The few turning blanks I had I sealed them and then stored them in bags of shavings. I still had some checking, I should have rough turned them before storing, I think.
    ken
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    Re: Pecan log

    when you can find pecan it is often used as a replacement/ supplement to hickory. I've seen spalted pecan that was unbelieveable. I've never seen that in hickory, but it probably is out there.
    since pecan doesn't grow around the wetern part of the state its not often seen here although Gennett lumber has had it on occassion. I had some from Georgia, mother's family has pecan trees like we have pines on their property so I've gotten to play with it a little. Turns nicely btw

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    Re: Pecan log

    I'm not sure why, but the pecan that I've seen that was grown and milled in Texas does not look like our local pecan.

    Phillip, in a few weeks I'll be doing a small Kiln run of pecan and hickory for a local customer. It will all be 5/4 wood, and there will be leftover space in the kiln. If you're interested in having your boards KD, I can include it in that run - send me a PM and let me know.

    Scott

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    Re: Pecan log

    Phillip,
    Several years ago my FIL was taking down several hickory trees (same family as pecan) and I asked him to leave me a 4 long section of the straightest trunk he had. Turned out to be approx 16" dia. I just wanted to experiment with quarter sawing on my band saw.

    Quartered at approx 5/4 I got 8 nice boards approx 5- 6 x 48. Sealed the ends, stickered and air dried for about 16 months. I had some end checking but not much. Quartered they stayed fairly straight. 5/4 was more than enough to get boards.

    As far as lumber, the hickory was nothing special but I liked the color and look of the finished product (a small storage chest and a step stool) It was very hard, similar to working with white oak only a bit harder.

    The quartered boards less than 4 wide were also put to good use. Made some runners for several table saw jigs and the rest was used to make smoke. I'm not a turner so can't tell you anything about bowl blanks.

    It was a lot of work for about 15 board feet of useable lumber, but I learned some things and that made it worth the effort. Don't think I'd do it again on such a small scale unless it was a particularly nice wood.

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    Re: Pecan log

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post

    It was a lot of work for about 15 board feet of useable lumber, but I learned some things and that made it worth the effort. Don't think I'd do it again on such a small scale unless it was a particularly nice wood.
    That's the thing that keeps me wondering which is the best way to tackle this. I'd like to make something other than smoke with this, I'm hoping that it makes something nice, and has at least a little nice grain. I understand that the work vs the final result in board feet of lumber is a big deal. I've cut some smaller bits of wood and see the work vs the actual usable wood laying on the floor and wonder was it worth it, but it was fun work, and I learned something every time I tried. My thing is to learn how and when the really nice wood comes along, I'll know what I'm getting into, maybe?....

    I wish I had ten to fifteen big logs so it would be worth the effort anyway you look at it.
    Today a pile of wood, tomorrow a pile of sawdust......

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