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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I came across what I believe to be a big wild cherry tree in the bush lot where I cut some firewood.
It has to be 4-5 feet in circumference,(not dia like I originally posted)
It's going to come down,dead on the top and the guy that owns the lot has already notched it.

My questions are
is it worth it to try and save some of it and if so what of length log might suffice for some potential bodies ?
how thick and when should it be milled into slabs
how long before the milled slabs are seasoned enough for shaping(probably drying outside/garage).
TIA
 

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You can probably find someone with a mobile chainsaw mill to mill that in to lumber for you if you want to do it in quantity, cherry is nice wood and not cheap - you could sell some once it's dry. If you're just grabbing a chunk or two for a few bodies, then I'd go probably a couple feet longer than the body you want it for, because you can get some big split ends with drying, and you may want to select certain parts of the board once you see it dry. Probably close to an inch thicker as well as it will shrink & probably cup a bit. Sticker the lumber (with slats between boards to allow air to get to all sides). Paint the ends so they don't get too dry too fast & split any worse. Figure on one year per inch of thickness to air dry to usable dryness. Probably more for a guitar body. Probably want to spend some time looking things up with a bit more detail on the interwebs before getting at er. Figure out whether you want your bodies quartersawn, slab, rift, whatever before you start chopping it up.
 

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That is a large cherry tree. No wonder it's dead, it seems to have lived a long time. If you want it for bodies, cut it in lengths long enough for a body with a few extra inches to spare or long enough for several bodies with enough extra so each body is a bit longer than necessary. I hope it's not rotten in the middle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You can probably find someone with a mobile chainsaw mill to mill that in to lumber for you if you want to do it in quantity, cherry is nice wood and not cheap - you could sell some once it's dry. If you're just grabbing a chunk or two for a few bodies, then I'd go probably a couple feet longer than the body you want it for, because you can get some big split ends with drying, and you may want to select certain parts of the board once you see it dry. Probably close to an inch thicker as well as it will shrink & probably cup a bit. Sticker the lumber (with slats between boards to allow air to get to all sides). Paint the ends so they don't get too dry too fast & split any worse. Figure on one year per inch of thickness to air dry to usable dryness. Probably more for a guitar body. Probably want to spend some time looking things up with a bit more detail on the interwebs before getting at er. Figure out whether you want your bodies quartersawn, slab, rift, whatever before you start chopping it up.
Thanks for that,gives me a place to start.
I believe it may be a Black Cherry after a little more searching,never the less the wood looks quite interesting from what I can see in the notch.
I had already thought of the mobile mill to process it.
My main problem as it stands right now is it's location,it's fairly deep in the bush,getting a mill to it would be next to impossible,and getting a large chunk out somewhere accessible would be a huge feat.
My neighbour (who owns the lot) does have a tractor so pulling may be an option.
The only thing with pulling it out is that the bark will get full of dirt,and I'm not sure how easy it would be to debark it after.
The mill won't want to run it through if it is packed with dirt,just like I don't want to run my chainsaw through dirty bark.
Nothing is easy though.
 

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If it's that large in diameter, how tall is it? Is it nice and smooth around the diameter or is it gnarly and lumpy looking all the way up? Cherry can have a lot of bark inclusions and pitch pockets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If it's that large in diameter, how tall is it? Is it nice and smooth around the diameter or is it gnarly and lumpy looking all the way up? Cherry can have a lot of bark inclusions and pitch pockets.
@AlBDarned

Sorry guys,had a brainfart last night,I meant circumference not diameter,(I fixed that in my post)so quite a bit smaller than my original statement.
That being said it is over 40' tall and the trunk seems fairly uniform all the way up to about 20' where it had forked and one side has broken of years ago.
The bark is really thick and scaly,so its hard to tell whats underneath it.
This is all a new adventure to me if you couldn't tell,never had free run of a bush lot before.
 

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If it looks nice and consistent on the outside then it could be worth harvesting. Not for guitar bodies though - that can be had off the shelf cheap. If I was going to go to all that effort to get a tree out of the bush I'd mill it into grain matching long boards - think table tops, headboards etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
^ I was thinking along those lines,with the idea of a body or two as an aside.
I'd like to do a table .
It's all speculation right now,just a thought in the bush.
I'd have to talk to my neighbour about it first,there are actually a few of those trees on the lot,it might be worth it to do a few of them rather than just the one.
If we can get at them .
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well ,just got back from the bush,me and dog went for a walk.
Slogged the way into where the tree is only to find that a huge poplar has blown down on top of it and busted it up some.
Don't know if there is anything worth saving now,couldn't get a good look through all the brush and snow.
 

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I happened on a nice haul of cherry about 25 years ago and used it for furniture and flooring. Ranged in colour from almost white to dark rusty red, even in the same board. Beautiful to smell, work, and see. I have a few smaller scabby boards left, designated for lapsteels.

It would depend what I needed it for I suppose, and I almost never know that when I get lumber so I generally look for or cut 5/4 by various widths and mill from there. Some 2" boards can always come in handy (especially for guitar bodies) but will require more drying time. Rough cut and sticker some boards (weighted if necessary) and wait.
 

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Wood Plywood Floor Flooring Hardwood
I've got a cherry body blank waiting for me. I've built a lot cabinets out of cherry over the years, nice wood to work with. I like it.....a lot.

Can you build some sort of cradle to skid that log out of the bush on so it doesn't have to drag in the dirt? Tilt snowmobile trailer behind a quad maybe?
 

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Not sure if your still thinking about the Cherry wood but if you are, it may be Black Cherry. Black Cherry has a distinctive bark. If you are going to harvest it. Make sure you square the log by milling the bark or it will check right through the middle of the whole log. I learned that the hard way. Only good for firewood if that happens. As for dirt and sand. It could be power washed before taking it to the mill. Finishes to a nice light red colour. (quite light but nice). If it's 4 ft in circumference. I'm guessing it may be a 16" trunk or bigger. That is a good sized Black Cherry and well worth harvesting.

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
. Black Cherry has a distinctive bark. If you are going to harvest it. Make sure you square the log by milling the bark or it will check right through the middle of the whole log. If it's 4 ft in circumference. I'm guessing it may be a 16" trunk or bigger. That is a good sized Black Cherry and well worth harvesting.

That looks like it,I thought it may be a Black Cherry.
Good tip about the bark,thanks,I did consider the pressure washer idea as well.
Like I posted above,the wind brought down a huge poplar on it ,so it may only be good for firewood now.
There are more down there though,so when/if I do get a decent log I will get it milled right away or at least debark it .Thanks again .
 

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I see your "on a log in a bog in eastern Ontario" That may be a savior if the Black Cherry log is sitting on wet ground. A few years ago, a buddy was looking for some cherry to make small shelf projects. I told him I had some down that I hadn't touched for a year or so that he could have if he wanted it but told him it might not be any good as it hadn't been debarked. I grabbed my chainsaw and we went back into the woods and cut a little off the ends. Because it had been laying on wet ground it was still good. I helped him take it to a local mill who sawed it up for him. He then took it home to let it dry. Should be dry by now as that was 25 or 30 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The bedrock around here is really close to the surface in a lot of areas,any sort of heavy rain pools up all over the place.
The bush lot has a few really damp areas,with the mild weather and the few centimeters of daily snow lately,it's going to be inaccessible for a little while now.
There's going to be a chainsaw fiesta if/when it dries up this spring.
With last summer's record rainfall we've fallen behind on firewood stock,luckily there are a few ash trees already down,so as long as we can get some split and piled I won't have to buy any this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I see your "on a log in a bog in eastern Ontario" That may be a savior if the Black Cherry log is sitting on wet ground. A few years ago, a buddy was looking for some cherry to make small shelf projects. I told him I had some down that I hadn't touched for a year or so that he could have if he wanted it but told him it might not be any good as it hadn't been debarked. I grabbed my chainsaw and we went back into the woods and cut a little off the ends. Because it had been laying on wet ground it was still good. I helped him take it to a local mill who sawed it up for him. He then took it home to let it dry. Should be dry by now as that was 25 or 30 years ago.
Maybe I could trade your buddy some wet for some dry .:D
 
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