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Cutting tree "slabs" for projects

NOt sure if this is the best area for this question, but here it goes.. We had a 50yr old or so Dogwood tree that split some time ago abot 3ft up from the trunk. This past winter here in Connecticut finaly did it in. THere was only one branch with leaves this summer, We just cut it down this weekend, and while cutting I noticed the "heartwood" had some unique coloring and texture. Of course this was my son's favorite tree as it was next to his playhouse/garage/shop. I am thinking of making several projects from it:coasters, clock, "tiles", small items. My question is should I dry it out THEN cut it into 1.5-2" slabs, or cut it into project size pieces now?? THanks in advance

A. Spruce
Re: Cutting tree "slabs" for projects

You can rough cut some slabs out of it with a chainsaw easily enough. To dry it, wax the end grain and allow it to sit in a dry part of your garage for a couple of years. The wax will reduce checking caused by moisture leaving the wood through the end grain.

When you're ready to use it, simply run it through a planer or set up a router jig to surface it.

Re: Cutting tree "slabs" for projects

Cutting with a band saw would create less waste than a chain saw. After it is cut into slabs, you do need to seal the ends, stack and sticker. You need air circulating through the pile to get even drying. Air drying generally takes about a year for each inch thickness. 1½" slabs would take about a year and a half but an 8" diameter log would take about 8 years.


A. Spruce
Re: Cutting tree "slabs" for projects

Cutting with a bandsaw will create less waste, but there's some important things to know. First, you need a very coarse blade or you're going to have significant binding. Secondly, a fresh cut log is going to be very wet, that wetness is going to coat every surface of the bandsaw, rusting the bare cast surfaces if they're not well prepped before hand and then cleaned and dressed immediately after the cutting process.

Your typical run of the mill 12" or 14" bandsaw isn't going to cut the mustard here either, it will bog down too much to be worth the effort.

Re: Cutting tree "slabs" for projects

The drying takes too long.

Bring them to Southern California, they'll dry out in a week. :D

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