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Author Topic: Sawing Hard Maple  (Read 1158 times)

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Offline johnhm

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Sawing Hard Maple
« on: September 30, 2013, 05:45:26 pm »
I just sawed up some hard maple up here in the U.P. of Michigan and was surprised to see the lumber turn yellow before my eyes.  Will it stay that way?  When is the best time to saw hard maple to get good white wood?

Offline beenthere

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Re: Sawing Hard Maple
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2013, 07:17:19 pm »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum.

When were the trees cut down?

Warm weather for one thing, doesn't treat h. maple very kindly.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Sawing Hard Maple
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2013, 07:22:12 pm »
johnhm,welcome to the forum. What's the plan for the lumber?
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Offline Corley5

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Re: Sawing Hard Maple
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2013, 07:59:04 pm »
Let it dry.  The color will plane out :)  Winter is the best time to deal with sugar maple :)  Veneer buyers used to pay more in the winter than in the warm months.
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Offline johnhm

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Re: Sawing Hard Maple
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 08:32:49 pm »
The logs were cut a couple of weeks ago.  The plan was to add it to inventory and sell to local woodworkers.

Offline johnhm

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Re: Sawing Hard Maple
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2013, 08:34:49 pm »
I plan on having it kiln dried in a dehumidification kiln, any problems with this.  I appreciate the responses and the good news on the lumber.

Offline qbilder

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Re: Sawing Hard Maple
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2013, 11:00:41 am »
The yellowing you see is the sap/moisture turning color and is only on the surface. The wood will be white.

Maple is a finicky wood. It's easy to mill and easy to dry, but tough to keep white. To keep the lumber bright white and clean, you must get it stickered right away with air flowing immediately. It really takes very, very little time for maple to begin staining. The warmer it is, the faster it happens. I learned the hard way. My most recent batch was a few thousand BF cut this past June & July. I made the effort to sticker & stack it in the kiln immediately as it was coming off the mill. In fact, it was a DH kiln I built on site just for the purpose of drying the maple I was about to mill. I didn't even fell the trees until the kiln was ready. The lumber dried quickly, without high heat, and the wood stayed bright white, clean, and straight.

The batch before was ruined because I didn't get it stacked & air flowing soon enough, so it all acquired gray & blue stain. And it was cut in late November. The batch before that was stickered in a barn loft immediately after milling, no kiln or even a fan, just the breeze that naturally flows through a barn. That lumber was incredibly white, clean, and stable. Granted I quarter saw 90% of my maple, so stability is rarely an issue for me. Color control is my biggest concern. From what I gather through my experiences, getting it open so air can flow over it to prevent fungus, is the key to keeping the white color.   
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Offline johnhm

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Re: Sawing Hard Maple
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2013, 05:49:24 pm »
Thanks qbidder, very helpful!  It will be in the kiln tomorrow.

Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Sawing Hard Maple
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2013, 06:43:44 pm »
IMHO Hard maple is labor intensive to dry
I have made "flow thru " stickers on my shaper to use when air drying.
They are like little "h" beams in cross section.
These work good.
When sawing small amount i stand the boards on  the walls of my pole building for a few days then sticker and stack.
When sawing larger volumes i stack then re stack and sticker after 3 or 4 days moving the stickers a few inches..
I have had no problems when using these methods.
Hope this helps
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Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: Sawing Hard Maple
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2013, 06:49:35 pm »
a d.h. kiln will not dry your wood  and keep the wood bright white. a close white but not bright. summer time isnt the best time to be sawing hard maple. ;) i'm always the bearer of bad news :)
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Offline WDH

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Re: Sawing Hard Maple
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2013, 08:56:55 pm »
a d.h. kiln will not dry your wood  and keep the wood bright white. a close white but not bright.

Steve, say more about what it takes to kiln dry maple bright white.
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Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: Sawing Hard Maple
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2013, 09:28:03 pm »
its my understanding that hard maple needs to be dried at a higher temp. than a d.h. kiln can do. the sugars in the maple will turn the lumber into a caramel color if  the temp is low.
 dont get me wrong about drying maple, it can be done in a d.h. just dont expect real bright lumber.
are you concerned with how your food is grown? try to buy local when ever possible.support your local farmers...

Offline WDH

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Re: Sawing Hard Maple
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2013, 08:27:19 am »
I am going to give it a shot for sure, so I will be calling on your expertise as I learn the lumber drying ropes.  I could pay you back with copious amounts of grits, but that would probably not garner much enthusiasm on your part  ;D.
Woodmizer LT15, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Sawing Hard Maple
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2013, 08:37:00 am »
WDH,I know what them words mean,but just can't make them read like you do.  ;D But I know one thing,if and when you ask me for my expertise on something,I'm going to be VERY careful on a payment plan.  :D   
Good luck with that maple.
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Offline qbilder

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Re: Sawing Hard Maple
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2013, 11:08:30 am »
a d.h. kiln will not dry your wood  and keep the wood bright white. a close white but not bright. summer time isnt the best time to be sawing hard maple. ;) i'm always the bearer of bad news :)

My experience exactly contradicts what you state. I have had zero issue keeping maple white with a DH kiln. The dry wood is as white as the boards coming off the mill. In fact, I believe if you research the data, you'll find that high heat early in the drying process is what turns the sugars a caramel color. High heat early causes the wood to darken. Low or no heat early retains the white color, and the wood can be heated later in drying with no affect on color. I will do a quick look to see if I can find the publishings that cover this, and post a link or two.   

edit: due to the gov. shutdown, the USDA sites are down  :D Maybe the Doc. can shed some light on the subject. If not, I will try to remember to post up the links when this gov crap is over.
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