Is this birch good for lumber?

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The_Mad_Woodworker

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Shaun
I have a number of trees of my property that I hope to one day timber into useful wood. For right now I am interested in birch. Previously I have felled and attempted to lumber (by hand) one of my medium sized (aprox. 7-8 inch Diameter) birches only to find that it had more knots in it than my project could afford. Now i anticipated that this would be an experiment and a learning experience. which is why I Did not fell one of my largest birches (12-16 in Diameter). Now before I destroy a perfectly beautiful tree, I am hoping some one can advise me on how I might determine if a birch has a useable (relatively knot free) section in it. I await your wisdom.



p.s. if anyone in need of birch or aromatic(red) cedar (other species are present), I would be very open to the idea of trading wood for labor and tools (e.g. portable mill), as long as I get some.
 

Kyle

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Kyle Edwards
< 10" = firewood or rustic furniture legs or turning. Not good for lumber as it is immature reaction wood. Red River birch sawn properly is very nice lumber.
 

CrealBilly

New User
Jeff
7~8" diameter is a sapling, leave it on the stump for 50 ~ 60 more years. 12 ~ 16" diameter is still pretty small, I wouldn't expect much from 12 ~ 16" log as far as lumber for furniture goes. 20"+ diameter logs on the small end are good for lumber as long as they are solid, straight, clear of branches and tramp metal, most yard trees are none of the above. The best logs come out of the woods, not out of someone's yard.
 

richlife

New User
Rich
I've gotten some nice rough cut birch from a local sawmill, but it clearly came from the kind of tree to which Kyle and Jeff refer. Also, trees you cut (or have cut) for lumber most often don't get much more than 20% up to about 50% yield unless you have the facility and technique to handle it right for drying.

Rich
 

The_Mad_Woodworker

New User
Shaun
good to know, fortunately, I live in the woods. I'll double check my largest Birch, but I suspect that it will be as you have said, too small. Here's hoping.
 
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