Backyard Milling


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Has anyone gotten any usable wood from backyard milling?  I know there are tools you can buy and way better methods than how I free cut this log...I just felt guilty cutting all of the tree that fell in the yard for firewood. I don’t think I will get any fine furniture from this wood, but thought it would be cool if I could even get a few small boards to build a tiny box or something from a tree that was in our yard. Do you think it’s a lost cause or worth a shot?  Now just have to find a spot to store for a while.  

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I have the pictures now.  Some of those pieces look pretty short for flatwork.   The one on the top in particular looks like it would be a challenge to joint/plane, at least by machine.  Do you do any turning?  What kind of tree is it?

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I think it’s a neat deal to cut your own lumber and create something from it, even if it’s a small box. I did the same with a Mayhaw tree that finally died after yielding delicious jelly making berries for several years. 

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16 minutes ago, Coop said:

I think it’s a neat deal to cut your own lumber and create something from it, even if it’s a small box. I did the same with a Mayhaw tree that finally died after yielding delicious jelly making berries for several years. 

Did you do anything special to let the wood dry or just stack it in a corner?  I wish I knew what kind of wood it is but, have no idea other that it looks pretty.  That is also the fun part to me as you might end up with something out of a wood that is not really available commercially or that may other folks would have something. 

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I would let it dry just as you have it stacked/stickered. Keep in mind that depending on your weather, General rule of thumb is drying time is 1 year per Inch of thickness of the board. You have the ends painted like they should be. 

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Looks like you have some Elm there? I can't see the bark that close but I'd guess American Elm. I've milled quite a bit of material from yard trees both mine and neighbors. I've done it with a chain saw mill, free hand like you did, and also on my band saw in my shop. It works well and you can get some smaller usable pieces pretty easy.

I made these from an apple tree.

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The 1 year per inch is more of a myth than it is a rule. Drying time varies immensely depending on location, temperature and humidity levels. I can dry 1" boards in my basement in 60-90 days. at 45% humidity and 65 degrees you can easily dry 1" boards in 6 months, half that if humidity is closer to 25%.

Keep some airflow around the boards to prevent mold, and if you can add weight to the stack to help keep them flat. As far as special attention nothing is really needed other than airflow to prevent mold. The mold risk is only in the beginning until the wood drops to 20-25% MC.

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11 hours ago, Chestnut said:

Looks like you have some Elm there? I can't see the bark that close but I'd guess American Elm. I've milled quite a bit of material from yard trees both mine and neighbors. I've done it with a chain saw mill, free hand like you did, and also on my band saw in my shop. It works well and you can get some smaller usable pieces pretty easy.

I made these from an apple tree.

0703181942a_HDR.thumb.jpg.72f9d089211c8f7a116f8f08ea1ec591.jpg

The 1 year per inch is more of a myth than it is a rule. Drying time varies immensely depending on location, temperature and humidity levels. I can dry 1" boards in my basement in 60-90 days. at 45% humidity and 65 degrees you can easily dry 1" boards in 6 months, half that if humidity is closer to 25%.

Keep some airflow around the boards to prevent mold, and if you can add weight to the stack to help keep them flat. As far as special attention nothing is really needed other than airflow to prevent mold. The mold risk is only in the beginning until the wood drops to 20-25% MC.

Do you typically leave the bark on or take it off when it is drying. 

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