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Laburnum tree coming down - how best to cut it up for use?

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BigShot

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The laburnum in our back garden is starting to fall so we're having it felled. The guys turned up unexpectedly today - great service but I'm now in a rush to find out...
...for turning and working (either myself or by others) what lengths are best to have it cut to?

Seperate answers for brances and trunk if that is better.

Either way we're keeping it - it'll be worked or seasoned and burned in a stove (I'm led to believe that it's fine in a burner but really bad for cooking with) but I'd like to get it into suitable lengths to start with so I don't write off it's usefulness to turners and the like.

Any input (except perhaps on the burning issue as I've read more about burning laburnum than anyon has any right to) appreciated. :)

Cheers folks.
 

woodbloke

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Fantiastic timber! Keep limb wood whole, dunk in liquid candle wax to seal the ends and store for outside under cover and out of sunlight. Split the main trunk sections in half to minimise splitting during drying and treat the same as the limb wood. I have a lilac tree to do next week and will do the same thing - Rob
 

paulm

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As well as Rob's advice, the important thing is also to keep the lengths as long as possible as you will inevitably get some end cracks (although much less so if the ends are treated as suggested).

If the lengths are short and you lose 3 to 4" in from each end with cracks you won't be left with much that's usable.

Also best to treat the cut ends straight away as they can start to crack same day/next day if left, so don't put it off !

Cheers, Paul
 

BigShot

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Thanks for the replies folks. Unfortunately I was sent on an errand before I had any replies so most of the limb wood has been cut shortish, but I'll make sure they don't get any shorter.

Just to clarify - am I getting the trunk cut in half horizontally (as the trunk stands) or splitting it lengthwise like you'd du if ripping it on a mill or splitting with wedges?
 

woodbloke

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BigShot":qp311vvx said:
Just to clarify - ... or splitting it lengthwise like you'd du if ripping it on a mill or splitting with wedges?
Correct...keeps splitting to a minimum. Good advice also from Paulm who has one or two bits of timber :-" in his 'shop - Rob
 

adidat

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sunny somerset!
its a lovely wood to turn and the colouring of the heartwood when finished is excellent

adidat
 

BigShot

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Thanks again. I'm very aware of it's reputation as a turning wood.
It so happens the surgeon works with green wood too so no stranger to turning. I mentioned it once and he started telling me how it needed doing so I've left him to it. :)

I might end up splitting the trunk myself by the looks of it (it'll be a good workout if nothing else) but the limbs that were left are as long as they could be kept, we've got a nice looking firewood pile and a dirty great trunk to find a place for.

Might end up painting the ends - not sure I've got enough wax to do the job. Any tips on that front?
 

paulm

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PVA glue or an oil based paint would be best, needs to seal the ends of the wood fibres to slow down moisture loss. Emulsion would be better than nothing but I wouldn't think it would be too effective.

"Good advice also from Paulm who has one or two bits of timber in his 'shop - Rob"

Don't know what you mean Rob, must be thinking of someone else, surely :wink:

Cheers, Paul
 

BigShot

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I just had a rummage through the paint-corner of the garage and it turns out we have about a third of a bucket of builder's PVA.
Not sure what's best to put it on with though - a cheap brush? A fistful of kitchen roll? Something else entirely?

I'm going to pop out and get to it in a few, but I'll check for replies before I go.
 

paulm

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Cheap brush is what I tend to use, don't be to mean with the pva though, you need a decent coat to seal the ends of the fibres.

Hardly jealous of your laburnum haul at all, honest :mrgreen: :lol:

Cheers, Paul
 

CHJ

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Make sure you store it somewhere that remains dry, if left outside where it can be regularly wetted by rain the sap wood will rapidly deteriorate to white crumble.
If stored for any appreciable length of time watch out for infestation in the sapwood.
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BigShot

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Indoors might be an issue...
...what about piling it up, a few sticks under to keep it off the ground and a tarp or something over it to keep the rain off?
That likely to do the job?

"...infestation in the sapwood." - not sure I could see it in the picture - what should I be looking for?


Paul - I used a brush to slather the glue on nice and thick. This morning some had dried pretty much clear and the rest were milky coloured with white blobs (presumably where it's soaked into some soft parts). Should do the trick. Thanks for the advice. It's nice to know they aren't just going to crack open or rot now. :)
 

paulm

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Hmmm, you will likely get some cracks still, just not as many as you would have otherwise :)

Piled and covered as you suggested should be fine if not in strong sunlight.

Glad your all sorted :)

Cheers, Paul
 

CHJ

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BigShot":3jafuwo1 said:
.........what about piling it up, a few sticks under to keep it off the ground and a tarp or something over it to keep the rain off?
....."...infestation in the sapwood." - not sure I could see it in the picture - what should I be looking for?
....
As Paul says should be fine if covered so that it does not get soaked every time it rains, don't restrict the airflow around it too much, don't want fungi to start growing on it if it is too humid.

Despite it being poisonous to some degree it happily plays host to fungi if moist and Woodworm seem to be very happy to munch on the sapwood so be careful there is nothing close that is already infected.

No infestation in the sample shown but the sapwood is easily rubbed off by hand due to poor storage, wet rot and fungal growth.
 
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