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Author Topic: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?  (Read 2667 times)

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Offline lirachamo51

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anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« on: February 02, 2015, 05:57:38 pm »
I've just finished up splitting rest of firewood for this year and was looking at some black birch i was splitting and had beautiful dark wavy grain, getting sawmill this coming fall and was wondering if anyone has sawed this for lumber or slabs, thanks for any info on it! i know it makes a wonderful wintergreen tea with shavings from branch bark.
Randy

Offline Ocklawahaboy

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Re: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2015, 06:56:23 pm »
No experience but a google image search turns up some pretty stuff.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2015, 07:15:44 pm »
I've sawn probably several hundred Mbf.  We sawed it for grade lumber and sold it to a local wholesaler.  I would run across some curl, but I never found it to run enough to think about separating.  From a lumber standpoint, they put all the birch together. 

I remember talking to a guy that said his dad sawed birch during WWII and they used curly birch for aircraft propellers. 
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Offline lirachamo51

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Re: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2015, 09:44:45 pm »
i have a lot of it on my property,along with white and yellow,but the black is a much prettier grain as well as it seems to be a harder wood, at least it splits much harder and heavier !
Randy

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2015, 09:47:09 pm »
I've sawn a little bit of it. The boards had brown heartwood with white sapwood on the sides. I think it was used as doors on a kitchen cupboard. I don't know how it behaves drying. I seldom see much of it over firewood size around here.
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Offline 4x4American

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Re: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2015, 09:57:01 pm »
Birch makes great toothpicks  ;D
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2015, 10:00:16 pm »
There used to be a place up route 22, I think in Berlin, NY, that had the machines to make the toothpicks, but I think they gave it up years ago.
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Offline lirachamo51

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Re: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2015, 10:04:14 pm »
most of it is in the 6"-10" range but do have quite a few that are from 16-20" hate to cut it for firewood if it has more value as lumber !
Randy

Offline mikeb1079

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Re: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2015, 10:41:36 pm »
i can't imagine that it wouldn't make beautiful lumber.  i'd set aside anything over 12" or so for your mill.   :)
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Offline 4x4American

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Re: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2015, 11:08:34 pm »
There used to be a place up route 22, I think in Berlin, NY, that had the machines to make the toothpicks, but I think they gave it up years ago.

I'm gonna start selling toothpicks I tell ya..lots of the ones you get nowadays are junk.  I like the older square Foster ones. 
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Offline 4x4American

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Re: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2015, 11:12:21 pm »
Well this thread got me on the subject of toothpicks, I stumbled upon a how its made video on youtube, and in it I found out that goats produce fibers that help make bulletproof vests! @POSTONLT40HD oughta like that one!
Boy, back in my day..

Offline lirachamo51

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Re: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2015, 11:30:10 pm »
I've been on google the last hr and seems at one time it was used for flooring and many other things, it is harder and denser than white birch,but also has some issues of warping when drying, but ill be saving the good trees for this fall when i retire and get my mill. then ill try my luck with it,can't wait!
Randy

Offline 5quarter

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Re: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2015, 11:42:14 pm »
4x4...youtube is like that. you can start out watching, "tree falls on house" and 20 min later you're watching , "cat attacks woman" ;) :D
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Offline Ianab

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Re: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2015, 12:42:57 am »
I'd certainly save the best tree for milling. It's a commercial timber species, and gets sold along with regular birch. Can be used for furniture and cabinet work etc. The stability is likely to depend on the log size and quality. Bigger logs = more straight grain  = better behaved boards.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2015, 05:13:32 am »
There was one company that we sold 8/4 to that used it for butcher block counter tops.  It is pretty tough stuff.  Think along the lines of hard maple, but with a little more distinct grain.  There may be a bit of color to it.  I've only seen birch done up in a clear finish.  It always seemed to be very white.  We only dealt in green lumber, so I don't know how it dried.

I never saw much birch over 20".  Quite a bit was in the 14-16" range.  We didn't put anything on the headblocks that was much less than 12".  The butts yield a decent amount of clear lumber and 1 Com lumber.  The value of the 1 Com wasn't that far off from the upper value.  Some of the gnarly stuff wasn't worth cutting for grade, so we put it into ties and pallet lumber. 

I remember seeing that you can make a birch beer out of the sap.  I think it was in one of  Ewell Gibbons books.  I took a core sample in one during sap season, and the sap flowed out like a fountain.  I imagine you could also make a birch syrup from the sap, but it would have to be boiled down more than maple sap, if I recall.
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Offline rooster 58

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Re: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2015, 06:14:16 am »
Indeed, I understand they make birch syrup ;)
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2015, 07:16:10 am »
In parts of Alaska they have "Red Birch" and they make syrup for them.

I never got to try it, but have heard it's very tastey!
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Offline lirachamo51

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Re: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2015, 07:44:35 am »
when i bought the property in 2012 the forester i was working with pointed out the trees , showing me the difference from cherry and on young trees its hard to tell from bark,but if you break a small branch it has a great wintergreen smell. so when i got home did my research and found many uses for it but nothing on quality of lumber. have  made the tea and it is very good,haven't been able to do the syrup yet as my job takes me to fl in feb and all around the country in summer and then home for the fall, 38 yrs living out of suitcase! so ready to retire and get my sawmill !
Randy

Offline POSTONLT40HD

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Re: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2015, 08:14:41 am »
I found out that goats produce fibers that help make bulletproof vests! @POSTONLT40HD oughta like that one!

Just trying to give back to the community. However, around this crowd, I always wear my vest.
 

 
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Offline 4x4American

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Re: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2015, 08:41:51 am »
 :D :D :D :D
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Offline lirachamo51

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Re: anyone experienced with sawing black birch?
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2015, 07:28:52 pm »
split my last dry truck load of fire wood today after digging out the 14" inches of snow. had a couple of more pieces of black birch i split and took a picture to show the grain for those that haven't seen it before.

 
Randy