gryffynda

Advice on how to cut tree trunk into slabs

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So over the years that I've owned my place, I've had this notion that I would eventually use the trunk of the cherry tree in front to make the back and sides of a violin.  This year the tree became so large that it needed to be removed from the small yard in front of our building.  I requested that they leave me the trunk, which they have done.  It is a heavy son of a gun.  I need someone to come cut it into slabs and I have a few questions.  Is there a particular kind of saw person that does this?  Is it something a handyman can do?  What thickness should the slabs be?  How do they remove the bark?  Thanks for any info.

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Not a job for your typical handyman..... and "cutting into slabs" not the right process.

Depends on the diameter of the trunk whether the wood will be large enough for tone wood.

Process would be:

Cut the trunk into rounds of sufficient length [24"] is as good as any.  Chainsaw and Handyman fine for this.

Split it into wedges quarters or eights depending on diameter. Split means wedges/Froes/Hammers/Mauls...... not saws. Young Handyman fine for this.

stack it in a covered [dry] area off of direct contact with the ground to dry and cure for a few years...... Yes do remove the bark.

Do some research during that time regarding resawing or splitting the cured wedges into the appropriate dimensions for fiddle backs and sawing some for ribs.

Prefer to have your final pieces all vertical grain split/sawn on the quarter. Last two steps you should look for some help from some one familiar with tone wood processing and may even be able to work out a trade for the wood excess to your needs.

BTW  Use paint or wax to liberally coat the end grain of your green split wedges before you stack it.... will help the wood dry/cure with more stability and fewer cracks/checks.

 

Good luck

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mood2000   
2 hours ago, gryffynda said:

cut it into slabs

watch the video at (07:25) minutes , using a band-saw machine 

 

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2 hours ago, gryffynda said:

What thickness should the slabs be?

at least more than ( +1" ) for violin , for cello ( 3.5" ) ... 

for tonewood dimensions , visit a wood supplier website , with this link :

http://www.tonewood.ca/tonewoodviolin.htm   

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2 hours ago, gryffynda said:

How do they remove the bark?

don't remove the bark , after cutting you log , then you can easy to remove the bark with handsaw or band-saw 

like this picture :

b2628611e916298bb813cd4c26e07691.jpg

 

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2 hours ago, gryffynda said:

cherry tree in front to make the back and sides of a violin

cherry wood not suitable for a violin , could be use for other strings instrument such as ( Guitar ) , for the top plate only 

because the density of cherry wood is pretty lower than maple for the ribs and back plates .

have a look to the Wood Density Chart  , here is the link :

http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/wood-density-d_40.html 

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after cutting your tree to lumber then , the wood must (dry) aged at least 2 years then you can star make your project , or you can sell your wood to any supplier .

Here is a long discussion about ( Aged Tonewood ) : 

===================================================================================================================================================

Good Luck  

   

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gowan   

I don't think it is fair to dismiss cherry wood for luthiery tone wood.  I know people have successfully used cherry for instrument backs.  Because the density is different from maple it will be necessary to adjust your technique in determining the graduations for the back.

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What's the length and diameter of that piece? I'm guessing that when you factor in sapwood removal and avoidance of the tightly curved rings at the center, you're not going to get quarter cut pieces of adequate size for anything "violin."

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Gryffynda,

I have not used cherry but see no reason you couldn't use it for violin backs as long as you can get a minimum of 4 1/4 inches width of clean wood. Violin backs should be cut like pie slices  1 3/4"  thick on the outer edge and 1/2" thick on the "point" towards the center of the tree. Minimum length is  16". Figure out how many pieces you can get from the log and cut over size unless you need to cut close to maximize yield. Don't forget to save out some for ribs and scroll blocks for each back. One good usable set is better than several pieces cut too small! You can divide up the log by cutting to whatever length you decide on then splitting into quarters, planing one side of the split then cutting the "pie slices" by trimming off the inner point  to get a flat, marking out your slice on all 4 sides and sawing off the slice with the flattened point surface resting on the band saw table. You need to get the pieces cut as soon as possible to avoid staining and then seal the ends immediately with a commercial wax emulsion such as AnchorSeal or whatever log end sealer is available at your local logging supply store. VIolin wood is really very rare and if your log isn't big enough or doesn't split  right there is just nothing you can do.

Good luck! I think you will soon realize why tone wood is so expensive,

 

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2 hours ago, gryffynda said:

Here is a pic posted to my FB:  

 

Unfortunately this appears to be some sort of fruiting cherry tree.  It is not the black cherry harvested for hardwood lumber.  This wood tends to be full of shake, sap pockets, and is not very stable even when thoroughly dried.

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It does appear to have ring shake and some evidence of disease - I'm afraid it won't make the grade ....

could you post a sharp image of the cross section?

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Many years ago, a very good Viennese customer of mine decided to cut down a big pear tree in his garden. He was infatuated with the idea that I should make him a Cello out of it. I didn't think a fat lot of his idea, since he has a super Grancino Cello anyway, but was in a polite and helpful mood. I asked the local Organ builder what to do with it, and followed his recommendation to take it to Herr Zöbish in Unterbergen. Herr Zöbisch was a very very old, but nice man, who had something like a band saw, with five paralell blades and an attached railway carriage. He told me straight away, that he personally would use it for firewood, but understood that the trees owner had something of an irrational relationship with his tree. I had to wait until Herr Zobisch’s rainwater reservoir (which drove the saw) was full, and he sawed it up into 50mm thick planks, which I then painted the ends of with wax. The tree spent the best part of 20 years in my roof until I persuaded my Cello customer that it would make a fine kitchen table, and organised him a carpenter suitable for the job. He is now thrilled with his kitchen table from self-grown wood, and everybody lived happily ever after.

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43 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Many years ago, a very good Viennese customer of mine decided to cut down a big pear tree in his garden. He was infatuated with the idea that I should make him a Cello out of it. I didn't think a fat lot of his idea, since he has a super Grancino Cello anyway, but was in a polite and helpful mood. I asked the local Organ builder what to do with it, and followed his recommendation to take it to Herr Zöbish in Unterbergen. Herr Zöbisch was a very very old, but nice man, who had something like a band saw, with five paralell blades and an attached railway carriage. He told me straight away, that he personally would use it for firewood, but understood that the trees owner had something of an irrational relationship with his tree. I had to wait until Herr Zobisch’s rainwater reservoir (which drove the saw) was full, and he sawed it up into 50mm thick planks, which I then painted the ends of with wax. The tree spent the best part of 20 years in my roof until I persuaded my Cello customer that it would make a fine kitchen table, and organised him a carpenter suitable for the job. He is now thrilled with his kitchen table from self-grown wood, and everybody lived happily ever after.

'Tis true; a lot can happen in 20 years, or even 2.  But hey, irrational is fun once in awhile.

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Mampara   

As a seasoned woodworker I saw my own lumber regularly with an Alaskan mill from various tree species. This trunk appears to be roughly a metre in length? You may get a few slabs from it but fruiting woods usually crack and warp during drying.  From experience its always worth a try, you may not get violin grade timber but it will be good for tool handles etc. Good luck!

Edited by Mampara

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1 hour ago, Mampara said:

As a seasoned woodworker I saw my own lumber regularly with an Alaskan mill from various tree species. This trunk appears to be roughly a metre in length? You may get a few slabs from it but fruiting woods usually crack and warp during drying.  From experience its always worth a try, you may not get violin grade timber but it will be good for tool handles etc. Good luck!

It will be interesting to see what happens.  The trunk piece is 34" in length and 13-14" in diameter.  I'm thinking I could get maybe 4 slabs?  If the slabs seem okay I may have them bisected to 17" in length to make them more manageable.

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Mampara   
9 hours ago, gryffynda said:

It will be interesting to see what happens.  The trunk piece is 34" in length and 13-14" in diameter.  I'm thinking I could get maybe 4 slabs?  If the slabs seem okay I may have them bisected to 17" in length to make them more manageable.

You will probably get 2 plain cut and 1 quarter sawn slabs depending on the thickness of the trunk and the blade used. It would be better to keep the slabs at their current length as the ends will split leaving only the middle portion useable. Thicker slabs dry slower but tends to be more stable, 2 inch thickness works OK for most fruiting species.

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21 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

Many years ago, a very good Viennese customer of mine decided to cut down a big pear tree in his garden. He was infatuated with the idea that I should make him a Cello out of it. I didn't think a fat lot of his idea, since he has a super Grancino Cello anyway, but was in a polite and helpful mood. I asked the local Organ builder what to do with it, and followed his recommendation to take it to Herr Zöbish in Unterbergen. Herr Zöbisch was a very very old, but nice man, who had something like a band saw, with five paralell blades and an attached railway carriage. He told me straight away, that he personally would use it for firewood, but understood that the trees owner had something of an irrational relationship with his tree. I had to wait until Herr Zobisch’s rainwater reservoir (which drove the saw) was full, and he sawed it up into 50mm thick planks, which I then painted the ends of with wax. The tree spent the best part of 20 years in my roof until I persuaded my Cello customer that it would make a fine kitchen table, and organised him a carpenter suitable for the job. He is now thrilled with his kitchen table from self-grown wood, and everybody lived happily ever after.

- a beautiful solution.

cheers edi

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On 9/14/2017 at 1:41 AM, gryffynda said:

So over the years that I've owned my place, I've had this notion that I would eventually use the trunk of the cherry tree in front to make the back and sides of a violin.  This year the tree became so large that it needed to be removed from the small yard in front of our building.  I requested that they leave me the trunk, which they have done.  It is a heavy son of a gun.  I need someone to come cut it into slabs and I have a few questions.  Is there a particular kind of saw person that does this?  Is it something a handyman can do?  What thickness should the slabs be?  How do they remove the bark?  Thanks for any info.

Hi Grffynda - last night I stumbled over this...

- and bookmarked it as something potentially useful.

Now to make me a froe and find me some billets :-)

cheers edi

PS - I have just watched the video again and realized that the little wedges that he makes when thinning the shingle would make ribs that would exactly match the pattern in the plate.

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