Saturday, May 4, 2013

Springtime in Wisconsin

 The picture above shows some mineral streak in the board on the left. The board on the right has bark inclusion in it. Mineral streak is what the tree gets out of the ground as it grows. Most hard maples have this in them. The figured ones seem worse then plain.
 This plank is birdseye, 4" thick and very heavy.The plank below is 16/4 hard tiger maple. Very tight curl and will probably go for music instruments. The bird poop is free...
Piles of birdseye and hard curly maple

The last 2 months have been busy. Got almost 4000' of birdseye and hard tiger maple stacked and stickered . Thank God for my friends and son in law. They haul and help me stack and sticker. Some of these planks of green maple weigh several hundred pounds each. I move each of these pieces 4 times by hand by myself and with help. You wonder why good wood costs money? Lots of dollars tied up for a long time drying. Gas and truck expenses and dry kiln expenses. Plus handling. Sure makes the price more reasonable when you think about it. It takes lots of care to make sure it dries right, without honey comb or checking. Can't do much about twist and warp, but we try.  This will stay like this for several months. Then slowly it gets kiln dried. The 4/4 stock[1"] takes the shortest. The 16/4[yes 4" thick birdseye and tiger maple] can take a year or more. Can't rush it. Its like wine. It has to be done correct or you get firewood. I was so happy to get 12/4 birdseye, now I even have some 16/4. Not much at all but what I have is wonderful. A lot of this came off an island in Upper Michigan. Nice slow growth and wide. Seems to have a lot of 10" and wider stock. Had to be some huge trees.

The paint colors tell me what mills they come from. The end grain gets sealed at the kiln. I know folks say you can use latex paint or oil paint to seal end grain. Talk to any mill or kiln, they only use anchor seal. Its wax based and seals perfect. Best stuff out there. I will not cut corners drying wood. It is like building furniture. Do the best you can with the best material and you have no regrets.

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