Interesting Find today


Recommended Posts

Hey all,

I had something interesting happen today and I'm not sure where to go from here. I own a heavy construction company here in Louisiana and this morning we were preparing to drive some pilings for a boathouse down near Shell Beach. The first piling we tried struck something under the water and about 6' deep under the mud. We couldn't move the shed so I decided to have the crew try to move the obstruction. Four hours later I'm the proud owner of a cypress log about 25' long and 2' in diameter with the root base still attached. I cut the end of the log clean and counted 161 rings. I can put 50 rings in 1" close to the center. Now this has been buried a very long time and I'm sure it will make a wonderful piece of furniture when I'm done with it but I'm honestly at a loss how to proceed. Does anyone here have an idea how long I need to wait to cut the log into boards or can I look now? I don't want to ruin this piece.

Thanks in advance,

Dave

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave,

Cypress isn't generally thought of as a furniture-grade wood, it's relatively soft and definitely splintery(is that a word?), sorta like SYP. Its best qualities are its weathering ability and its resistance to insects.

That makes it ideal for outdoor use, think decks and siding, maybe a table or three. The splintering makes it questionable for chairs.

Find a sawyer and get it cut ASAP keeping in mind the eventual use. The longer you wait the more lumber you'll lose to end-checking, and you can grow old and grey waiting for a 2' log to dry. Seal the ends of the boards, stack it carefully with plenty of stickers, in a year or so you'll have some really nice lumber to work with.

Congrats on your find! Just take care with it.

Best,

Bill

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Bill, get is sawn now, if you seal the ends well, stack and sticker the planks and add some good weight to the top of the stack you will be fine. With the density you mentioned you shouldn't see too much out of control movement, but it is wise to weight the stack. Contrary to Bill's statements however, I find Cypress to be a pleasure to work with. It is soft and is generally a secondary wood because of this. As an outdoor species it is great and it is light. However, I have a little experience recently in working with this type of sinker Cypress. We have a stock of the stuff at the lumber yard found in very much the same way you did from Baton Rouge. It is very dense and the years spent submerged has altered the texture and color of the wood. It is very dense and works like a dream. I can only hope you have the same experience. Keep us posted.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Shannon's right, I wasn't thinking about what being buried for 25 years or so could do to the log. All of my experience with cypress has been with the conventional kiln or air dried lumber.

Take some pictures when you bust it open, I'd love to see what it looks like!

Best,

Bill

Link to post
Share on other sites

I talked with a guy who has a Woodmizer mill close by and I hope to cut it up this week. I'm putting some water on it to keep it damp everyday until then. I'm wondering whether I should cut the log in half with the trunk end shorter or both the same length. Should I cut it all 4/4 or perhaps the smaller portion thicker and the larger trunk 4/4? Suggestions please, I've never milled a log before. I'll take a photo Monday and post it so you can see the before, then I'll post the after. Now I want to go looking for more in that canal.

Dave

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey all,

I had something interesting happen today and I'm not sure where to go from here. I own a heavy construction company here in Louisiana and this morning we were preparing to drive some pilings for a boathouse down near Shell Beach. The first piling we tried struck something under the water and about 6' deep under the mud. We couldn't move the shed so I decided to have the crew try to move the obstruction. Four hours later I'm the proud owner of a cypress log about 25' long and 2' in diameter with the root base still attached. I cut the end of the log clean and counted 161 rings. I can put 50 rings in 1" close to the center. Now this has been buried a very long time and I'm sure it will make a wonderful piece of furniture when I'm done with it but I'm honestly at a loss how to proceed. Does anyone here have an idea how long I need to wait to cut the log into boards or can I look now? I don't want to ruin this piece.

Thanks in advance,

Dave

"Furniture grade" though is subjective. We've seen Dave's nice shop - so we know there's a "liking" to the natural look. Personally, I like things made from cypress because it's often pretty clear, it's easy to work, and it has nice grain lines that give a good look whether it's stained or just coated with a poly. Here in coastal SC, we have quite a few rivers and swamps also and all of them grow cypress. "Lumber landing" is where we swam as kids on Black River. To us, it was just a sandy boat landing about 50' wide but many decades before, loggers cut huge cypress trees up river and floated logs down to the landing which was beside the rail road tracks and the logs were loaded onto the rail cars. On the trip down river, some logs always sunk along the way. I knew a man who discovered a group of 36-48" Dia. logs that had been sunk for a few DECADES! They were still in perfect shape; but that may apply primarily to cypress since it grows in water/swamps. This guy had the sunken logs reclaimed (that was a job!) and immediately sawed into 1x and 2x lumber, stacked with spacers, and set to dry for a year. He build his entire house out of these rough sawed cypress logs - including 2x12s in the floor and 1x8s on the roof and exterior walls. I'm sure around the country, wherever there are rivers, there probably are sunken logs that are preserved under water. Dave, that could really apply for more cypress finds in LA and hey, if you go looking for logs you could also go noodling along the way! :D

Tim

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Who's Online   0 Members, 0 Anonymous, 155 Guests (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

  • Forum Statistics

    29321
    Total Topics
    397393
    Total Posts
  • Member Statistics

    22103
    Total Members
    3644
    Most Online
    Gwenn
    Newest Member
    Gwenn
    Joined