Violin Forum/Message Board Forum Index Violin Forum/Message Board
Provided by Lemuel Violins Inc.
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Old Growth Appalachian Red Spruce

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Violin Forum/Message Board Forum Index -> Violin Making and Restoration Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Dave Chandler
Super Member


Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 387
Location: Mt Mitchell in North Carolina

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 5:02 pm    Post subject: Old Growth Appalachian Red Spruce Reply with quote

Hi all. I've been sort of out of the net for a while, but I'm back. Wanted to share recent activities.

I've received a "Removal Permit" from the US Forest Service, to harvest dead wood in the National Forest, and am presently cutting up a "blow down" Appalachian Red Spruce that is at 5000' elevation, north slope, probably blown down around February. Its 20" in diameter, and I'm cutting 22" logs, splitting it in quarter (bolts), and then backpacking each bolt out through the woods. It is just outside a national park, and can't remove wood via the park, so next best is to pack it downhill to a forest service road about 3 miles. At least its downhill, and a decent trail.

I've split some of these bolts into wedges, and am pleased with the looks. The grain is pretty darn straight, annual rings do vary from decade to decade, but lowest count is 14 rings per inch, and highest 28 rings, and average is 20 (I counted 95 rings over the 4.25 inchs where lower bout would be). So, 10" radius times 20 lines makes this about a 200 year old tree.

Now I just gotta wait 4-5 years. Some of the pieces are big enough for viola as well as violin. ANother "blow down" I'm looking at measures 75" in circumference, so by my poor math skills, should be about 25" in diameter. This should yield about 12" radius, so may be acceptable for cello tops.

I'll probably start drying the bolts on site to reduce the weight (whew!), stacking and covering them for a month or so, then bring them out. May try a wheelbarrow next time.

My only problem looks like ... ignoring the energy factor.... that there's so much blown down wood in a 500 meter radius, I could have enough wood to fill up my workshop in no time. The wife thinks I'm nuts. I'm looking at some pretty rare wood, that is at least AA, maybe AAA. A couple thousand blanks could fund my retirement in 5 years (I'm 60 this fall).

Any advise so I don't ruin some very rare old-growth wood?

p.s. Don't tell the forest service, they think I'm going to burn it up as firewood.
_________________
Dave in the Blue Ridge
President, Southern Violin Association
http://southernviolinassociation.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
tomigv
Member


Joined: 11 Apr 2008
Posts: 50
Location: lee/s summit mo

PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Is it possible to drive an atv bike with a trailer to the stand of dead trees, That way you can deliver multiple loads of spruce to your truck without burning up valubale energy ?? Can you rent an ATV for 1 day ?? may save time and back breaking labor. wedges are traditional , but with a chainsaw you could bust out a lot more wedges quickly good luck .
_________________
I am very interested in violin and bow making. Have quite a few interesting bows and a large cache of pernambuco. I like to experiment using local midwest hardwoods,
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
kel
Member


Joined: 20 Oct 2008
Posts: 73
Location: Asia

PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...
_________________
Newbie Maker Kelvin


Last edited by kel on Thu May 14, 2009 4:56 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dave Chandler
Super Member


Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 387
Location: Mt Mitchell in North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 10:19 am    Post subject: Old Growth Reply with quote

Not possible to use an ATV to the site, just too steep and dangerous, plus its not permitted on the trails in that area. So if I were going to break rules, I'd simply carry it a hundred yards to a National Park roadway.

Appreciate the comments about mold setting in quick. I've already noticed that, and the wood is very wet and heavy right now.

Over the past week a bridge has washed out and they've closed the road, so I can't get to my pickup point. Additional wood will have to wait a few months. Meanwhile, will cut and stack and wait on the bridge. Will cover the stack to keep additional rain off, but leave lots of air circulation coming underneath.

Meanwhile, I'm exploring the best way to cut this wood into nice neat wedges without having to use a chainsaw, and without having to spend a lot of money on a very large bandsaw (although that's probably the best tool -- will have to ask Santa). Looking for a "fro" but probably wait for the wood to dry a lot more before cutting it into smaller pieces.

I think storing whole logs may tempt uncontrolled splitting, and a long time in drying. Should I presume the wood is more stable if I store it in bolt sizes, and put sealer on the ends? If I cut it into small (one violin size) wedges at this point, is it more likely to warp? I'm using deck sealer on the ends of the pieces I've already cut. Will this work do you think -- or should I get some parafin? Linseed oil? Any thoughts?
_________________
Dave in the Blue Ridge
President, Southern Violin Association
http://southernviolinassociation.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
DonLeister
Moderator


Joined: 29 Mar 2007
Posts: 278
Location: Richmond, VA

PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dave,

Since you asked;
You might try not sealing the ends of some pieces , since sealing can keep moisture in! See if the unsealed ones split. Being summer and humid, sealing may initially hold in alot of moisture. Watch the wood and then if cracks start to form that would be the time to seal.
Also, a clear sealer allows you see the endgrains and helps to determine the best split or cut when it comes time.
If the stack is shaded that will keep it from drying too quickly (ends splitting).
Also, get it off the ground , the higher the drier, since alot of moisture comes out of the ground.
Or if you can't get it off the ground, put plastic down (sloping) and then stack on that.

Last May my neighbor cut a large red maple so I had to check it out, well I milled a section and kept going back because it looked really nice and free.
A hundred plus sets later I stacked it inside my workshop with a gentle fan blowing on it and an exhaust fan going, it was a week before any signs of splitting ends. Then I sealed it and kept good circulation going.

I think you really need to watch the wood and see what it does. You really do NOT want any mildew staining to happen, it is about impossible to get rid of.

Good luck, I hope your hard work pays off!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
Dave Chandler
Super Member


Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 387
Location: Mt Mitchell in North Carolina

PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 1:01 am    Post subject: Old wood Reply with quote

Thanks Don.

I really appreciate all the suggestions.
_________________
Dave in the Blue Ridge
President, Southern Violin Association
http://southernviolinassociation.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Janito
Member


Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 110
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am in NC also, so I would be interested to see a photo of a split billet.

The narrow rings interest me because I didn't realise spruce would grow slowly in summer this far south (even with the elevation).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dave Chandler
Super Member


Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 387
Location: Mt Mitchell in North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Janito:

Here is a pic showing the straightness of the grain, followed by a photo close up of the grain against a ruler.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/38492037@N03/3545574363/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/38492037@N03/3546381506/
_________________
Dave in the Blue Ridge
President, Southern Violin Association
http://southernviolinassociation.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Janito
Member


Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 110
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks.

Very nice wood.

I have a plank of very old red spruce that was cut for a harpsichord sound board. It's great acoustical wood.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Violin Forum/Message Board Forum Index -> Violin Making and Restoration Forum All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group