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Sycamore - harvesting for timber

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Wouldchuk

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Hello all,

Couple of questions i will stick up as separate threads. First up - Sycamore harvesting....

I have been offered the timber from three mature Sycamore trees, each around 3ft diameter and a good 30ft high. I was wondering whether it is worth trying to take the largest trunk sections to my local sawmill and having them planked.

I can take probably three six foot lengths of trunk in the tipper truck - so is this worth the effort? i have the room to store it, stacked, in-stick and vaguely under cover.

It would be a satisfying thing to be able to do - harvest, plank, season and ultimately use.

Is there a minimum size that I should consider - minimum diameter, minimum length of section for instance?

If it comes to it, i will simply take as many chunks as i can and season for turning with, and the rest can be ringed for firewood, but if i can get some more useable timber then i'd like to give it a go.

any thoughts welcome.
 

Nick Gibbs

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It must be worth it, if only for the adventure! David Savage wrote in an early issue of British Woodworking (I can provide the pdf if you email me) about the planking and seasoning of sycamore, which can be tricking as it stains easily. As an alternative to going to your local sawmill (which is a good idea) you might consider using a mobile sawmill. We have a directory of mobile sawmill operators on our sister magazine, Living Wood's site. The list is still small, but send us a request and we might be able to find a local mobile mill through the manufacturers.

Basic rules of seasoning are, of course, using even-sized stickers and keep the boards in a dry, ventillated place out of the sun, if you can.

Good luck.

Nick
 

Blister

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Not sure what are you are in as its not in your profile

I believe its best to store sycamore upright to avoid staining

Also drying times are around 1 year per inch of thickness

Andy Harrison may be worth a call he does lots of timber

http://www.aharrisonwoodturning.co.uk/index.html
.
:wink:
 

jph

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What part of the country are you in?
I have a Lucas mill. I am in Essex.
John
 

Nick Gibbs

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John, do you want to be put on our directory of mobile sawmill operators? You can find it at living-woods.com. We are trying to widen the usage of mobile mills so that woodworkers and the like can find a local miller.

Do email me with basic details.

Nick
 

EddieJ

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If you are near to either Waldron in East Sussex or Crowborough, I may be able to arrange to help you out.
 
A

Anonymous

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yeh we do need to know where you are.

i know of two mobile mills one rotherham the other sheffield

we'll have our own list soon :lol:
 

angelboy

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andyoaks":2i1vw70a said:
yeh we do need to know where you are.

i know of two mobile mills one rotherham the other sheffield

we'll have our own list soon :lol:

That's interesting!

I have an enormous (must be 25m easy) sycamore that needs to come down in the coming year and the tree surgeons said they could get it milled but it would cost a fortune.
 

Nick Gibbs

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Where are you? Call some of the people on our list (www.living-woods.com/mobile-mills) and they'll give you an idea of how much it might cost. It depends on lots of factors (accessibility, crown, quality of stem, and more I don't know about), but they should be able to give you an indication of the time it will take. You might be able to get a firewooder to take the tree down for the branchwood, or at least spread some of the cost. The demand for firewood is currently good, and sycamore is ok, but it would be a pity to cut the stem up for the fire if you can use it. If you want a mobile miller in your area, do email me and I might be able to direct you through one of the suppliers.

Nick
 

Scrums

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I'm afraid, in my experience Sycamore needs to be felled when the 'sap's down' - January/February, then milled almost immediately and end reared with plenty of air circulation.

I took some summer cut and milled Sycamore some years back and sticked it - all of it turned out dirty - grey streaks, brown staining etc. You also have to be very careful what you do stick it with too - as it stains very easily.

Chris.
 
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