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    Butternut sawing

    I have a few logs of butternut from my small woodlot/farm which I need to turn into usable dimensions in the near future. Trying to decide what dimensions are best. I'm thinking 5/4 as thats what I'll mill up some Wild Cherry which will be sawn at the same time but welcome any input. Is there much demand for butternut? It's going to go into the lumber shed for a couple of years and I'm a bit concerned about PPB. Might sell or barter if there is any demand.

    have 4 logs with largest about 18-20 inches at butt end smallest dimension at ~14. Doyle scale says about 200 bft.

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    Re: Butternut sawing

    Jonathan, welcome to our saw dust pile and thanks for joining us.

    I can't offer any advice on 4/4, 5/4 sawing etc. Are you using a WoodMizer or a chainsaw mill? First you should decide whether you want to saw for maximum lumber yield or top quality (flat sawn or quarter sawn?). Quarter sawn looks pretty interesting in the pic.

    http://www.hearnehardwoods.com/hardw...rnut_wood.html

    It's going to go into the lumber shed for a couple of years and I'm a bit concerned about PPB. Might sell or barter if there is any demand.
    Butternut does appear to be susceptible to bugs and rot.

    http://www.wood-database.com/butternut/

    Doyle scale says about 200 bft.
    Total or per log? A 14" d x 16' log = 100bf according to this table.

    https://wunderwoods.files.wordpress....nderwoods1.jpg

  3. #3
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    Re: Butternut sawing

    8/4 butternut makes beautiful Windsor chair seats-----and it carves easily.

    Jerry
    We make a living by what we get...............We make a life by what we give

  4. The following user says Thank You to walnutjerry for this useful post:


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    Re: Butternut sawing

    Jerry, do you glue up narrower boards to make your Windsor chair seats? I played with the idea to make an EWP stool seat (2 x 7.5") because a 15" w board wasn't available.





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    Re: Butternut sawing

    Having sawn some oak, black walnut, pine, and sweet gum as an amateur with a chainsaw mill, I would say you want a mix. Definitely 5/4 (as opposed to 4/4) for the majority, but it is always good to have some matching 8/4 for seats, etc.

    For heavy posts (12/4+) for table legs, etc, I have only done oak, and I hand split those and then used a froe and axe to get a rift sawn grain (looks like quarter sawn on all 4 faces of the post). Not sure how you would accomplish that on a mill, and for cherry, you may have to hew them with an ax (due to the grain characteristics, a froe may not work well). Heavy posts also take forever to air dry. To get 4 posts, you will need a minimum of a 16"-18" diameter log, but because posts normally don't have to be as long, can be from a 3'-4' log.

    jmtcw

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    Practicing at practical woodworking

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    Re: Butternut sawing

    Yes, I do glue up narrower 8/4 to make up a 20"x20" seat blank. made my first chair in 1996 and do not know of a problem with any of the seats I have glued up.

    Jerry
    We make a living by what we get...............We make a life by what we give

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    Re: Butternut sawing

    I'll be using or rather hiring a local sawyer with a portable bandsaw. Yes I am a bit concerned about the condition of some of the logs. One was just cut and should be in good shape if I can get it treated soon. Anyone ever use Timbor?

    I'll have to go back and check the measurements on the various logs. I was remembering 200 bd ft total for all four logs but was working from memory.

    I'm holding out hope that one particular log is spalted but may just wind up with a rotten wormy mess

  9. #8
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    Re: Butternut sawing

    Quote Originally Posted by Gofor View Post
    Having sawn some oak, black walnut, pine, and sweet gum as an amateur with a chainsaw mill, I would say you want a mix. Definitely 5/4 (as opposed to 4/4) for the majority, but it is always good to have some matching 8/4 for seats, etc.

    For heavy posts (12/4+) for table legs, etc, I have only done oak, and I hand split those and then used a froe and axe to get a rift sawn grain (looks like quarter sawn on all 4 faces of the post). Not sure how you would accomplish that on a mill, and for cherry, you may have to hew them with an ax (due to the grain characteristics, a froe may not work well). Heavy posts also take forever to air dry. To get 4 posts, you will need a minimum of a 16"-18" diameter log, but because posts normally don't have to be as long, can be from a 3'-4' log.

    jmtcw

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    Sounds like some 8/4 might be useful for seats but stick with 5/4 for everything else. I made the mistake of cutting a lot of dimensional variety on a large cherry a decade ago and it was a pain to sticker and dry correctly.

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    Re: Butternut sawing

    Sounds like some 8/4 might be useful for seats but stick with 5/4 for everything else. I made the mistake of cutting a lot of dimensional variety on a large cherry a decade ago and it was a pain to sticker and dry correctly.
    I forgot to send this link to you. It's the only butternut flitch that Hearne had available (about 300 bf). Each board has a brief description including bugs, rot, other defects, etc. It's a 4/4 and 5/4 mix averaging about 18" w.

    http://www.hearnehardwoods.com/flitc...ut/flitch.html

    Board #5573. Hearne says "Might be best piece in log".

    http://www.hearnehardwoods.com/flitc...ed/JPEG/05.jpg

    Board #5581. 2" t with pith checking.

    http://www.hearnehardwoods.com/flitc...ed/JPEG/12.jpg

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    Re: Butternut sawing

    Butternut is an excellent carving wood. It and basswood are the premier wood for chip carvers.

    Wide boards are nice for large plates.

    You may want to consider advertising it to carvers.

  12. #11
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    Re: Butternut sawing

    Quote Originally Posted by chestnuthunter View Post
    I'll be using or rather hiring a local sawyer with a portable bandsaw. Yes I am a bit concerned about the condition of some of the logs. One was just cut and should be in good shape if I can get it treated soon. Anyone ever use Timbor?

    I'll have to go back and check the measurements on the various logs. I was remembering 200 bd ft total for all four logs but was working from memory.

    I'm holding out hope that one particular log is spalted but may just wind up with a rotten wormy mess
    I've used both Timbor liquid and Bora-Care concentrate. The Bora-Care is easier to apply and has worked very well to prevent infestation. Since it is liquid, there is a slight penetration which helps with the effectiveness.
    Rich Beaudry - Wood Carver UNC Tar Heel '69, '75 -- "Being happy doesn't mean everything's perfect. It means you decide to see beyond the imperfections."

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    Re: Butternut sawing

    I just received some Timbor. As soon as I can get the log in the tractor shed I'm going to spray it.

    thanks!

  14. #13
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    Re: Butternut sawing

    Quote Originally Posted by chestnuthunter View Post
    I just received some Timbor. As soon as I can get the log in the tractor shed I'm going to spray it.

    thanks!
    I see that I said "Timbor liquid" -- sorry, I meant powder. The Bora-care was a liquid and, as I indicated, I found the liquid easier to work with and apply.

    Keep in mind that there is actually limited penetration, so applying it to a log will not get to the interior. Reapply after you have planks. I used a 2' garden sprayer wand to spray between the planks after the boards were stickered.
    Rich Beaudry - Wood Carver UNC Tar Heel '69, '75 -- "Being happy doesn't mean everything's perfect. It means you decide to see beyond the imperfections."

  15. #14
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    Re: Butternut sawing

    Still not experiencing freezing temps yet but when you mix your Timbor don’t let it freeze as it is a salt and you will have a real mess getting it out of a garden pump sprayer. Mix it and use it. Don’t let it set around in a liquid state in cold climes. Just saying.

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    Re: Butternut sawing

    Thanks for that tip. Hopefully I'll be able to move and spray it soon.

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