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Wood Question


Geo
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A big branch fell from an American Cherry in the back yard. The branch is at least 6" in diameter. Should I bother trying to get something out of it? It might be just wide enough for one or two quartersawn neck blanks.

I know you would usually get wood from a much thicker piece of tree :D, but I would like to use this if I can.

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Don't even worry about it. First, 6" means you are going to have a lot of sap wood if not all, which is not as dense. Second, it is going to contain a good portion of the pith (center) which shrinks pretty badly. Third, you never what to use wood from branches. The different effects of gravity cause the grain in the branch to grow differently and will have stress in the wood before you ever do anything to it.

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I would stay away from branches entirely when it comes to anything but mulch and firewood. Even if you took every precaution in the world when drying it, the boards would probably get up and walk away with as much movement as you would get. Unfortunately, the trunk is the only good place to get any lumber, and even at that, a very straight, upright trunk is best. I have a huge (probably 70') black walnut tree that's gotta come down, but the 40' long trunk has a slight "S" to it, and I'm worried about that being worth cutting up.

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I have a huge (probably 70') black walnut tree that's gotta come down, but the 40' long trunk has a slight "S" to it, and I'm worried about that being worth cutting up.

Don't worry about the curve in the trunk. If the straight sections between the bends are long enough to get a decent length log out of, just buck it in the middle of the bends. Those ends will end up getting trimmed off anyway later on. Let the wood do it's end checking in those parts as it dries. You still want to seal the ends to keep this to a minimum, though.

But even curvey logs are fine to saw up. You won't want to make necks out of them, but they make good enough lumber for anything else. You wouldn't believe some of the wonky logs I've had to saw up in the past.

But on the cherry: Ya, a 6" branch is firewood, unless you want to use it for small carving projects and such.

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Branch wood = bad for stability. Turn it into turning or something, but do not make it into a neck.

A little squiggle in the main trunk is a completely different kettle of fish. You may want to avoid using some of it for necks, but it should be just fine for must purposes.

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