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On 29/04/2019 at 20:00, Big J said:

I'm not sure what it is about sycamore that attracts the metal. Worst trees I've ever had had been sycamore.

 

Depends on the project, but unless you want nasty sticker marks and grey staining, you need to end rear that sycamore for 3-6 weeks.

Having read this before about drying Sycamore I thought I'd check out my boards as I have only ever sticked them out horizontally straight after milling.

As far as I can see there are sticker marks or blue/black staining.

The only reason I can find for this is that I don't mill the trees as soon as they are felled, it's normally a couple of months before I get to them.

Granted they're not great photos but from what I can see there are no marks.

Anyone else got a theory?

Sycamore 1.jpg

Sycamore 2.jpg

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19 hours ago, Forest2Furniture said:

Having read this before about drying Sycamore I thought I'd check out my boards as I have only ever sticked them out horizontally straight after milling.

As far as I can see there are sticker marks or blue/black staining.

The only reason I can find for this is that I don't mill the trees as soon as they are felled, it's normally a couple of months before I get to them.

Granted they're not great photos but from what I can see there are no marks.

Anyone else got a theory?

Sycamore 1.jpg

Sycamore 2.jpg

I reckon your right about the delay before milling. If the free water is gone before you mill then it doesn't hang around at the interface between sticker and board and get the mould going. From my experience of Sycamore it sheds the free water very quickly after felling.

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20 hours ago, Forest2Furniture said:

Having read this before about drying Sycamore I thought I'd check out my boards as I have only ever sticked them out horizontally straight after milling.

As far as I can see there are sticker marks or blue/black staining.

The only reason I can find for this is that I don't mill the trees as soon as they are felled, it's normally a couple of months before I get to them.

Granted they're not great photos but from what I can see there are no marks.

Anyone else got a theory?

Sycamore 1.jpg

Sycamore 2.jpg

Its sap that causes the problems. The planks get a black fleck running through them as they dry.

Top grade Sycamore is winter felled when the sap has dropped to avoid the problem.

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Sycamore needs to be felled at the right time of year (ie, before the sap starts to rise). In Scotland, that would be January up until about mid February.

 

It then needs to be milled as soon as possible after felling, as the grey staining from the crosscut very quickly starts to devalue the stem. It's just unattractive.

 

As regards drying, there are two ways to do it. Either end rear for 4-6 weeks and then put into stack, or stick straight into a vacuum kiln. Some of the large producers of sycamore in the UK use vacuum kilns as it allows them to rapidly dry the timber without all the tedious end rearing.

 

Or if you are producing character grade timber, a bit of grey staining and sticker marking isn't the end of the world. From personal experience, I could just about get away with kiln drying it from green in a conventional vented set up, but you would still get some staining. I have straight stacked fresh sawn sycamore, and staining is also inevitable.


I never found that there was a big demand for sycamore though, so it's not something I cut too much of.

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3 minutes ago, Big J said:

Sycamore needs to be felled at the right time of year (ie, before the sap starts to rise). In Scotland, that would be January up until about mid February.

 

It then needs to be milled as soon as possible after felling, as the grey staining from the crosscut very quickly starts to devalue the stem. It's just unattractive.

 

As regards drying, there are two ways to do it. Either end rear for 4-6 weeks and then put into stack, or stick straight into a vacuum kiln. Some of the large producers of sycamore in the UK use vacuum kilns as it allows them to rapidly dry the timber without all the tedious end rearing.

 

Or if you are producing character grade timber, a bit of grey staining and sticker marking isn't the end of the world. From personal experience, I could just about get away with kiln drying it from green in a conventional vented set up, but you would still get some staining. I have straight stacked fresh sawn sycamore, and staining is also inevitable.


I never found that there was a big demand for sycamore though, so it's not something I cut too much of.

It very much depends on the year, I have seen Sycamore dripping in the first week of January.

After leaf drop was usually the norm, through to February. Second grade was never a problem and could be cut all year round and air dried as the bulk of it was used for upholstery work,....settee and chair frames so colouring and stain not an issue, nearly all air dried.

I have never come across a UK mill that end stacks Sycamore plank, I have however seen high quality butts that have been cut with sap up stood on end but with little success.

Most of the higher grade gets shipped now.

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6 minutes ago, ESS said:

It very much depends on the year, I have seen Sycamore dripping in the first week of January.

After leaf drop was usually the norm, through to February. Second grade was never a problem and could be cut all year round and air dried as the bulk of it was used for upholstery work,....settee and chair frames so colouring and stain not an issue, nearly all air dried.

I have never come across a UK mill that end stacks Sycamore plank, I have however seen high quality butts that have been cut with sap up stood on end but with little success.

Most of the higher grade gets shipped now.

Most of my knowledge as regards sycamore comes from a now retired timber buyer/grader called Gavin Munro. He bought and sold thousands of tonnes of the stuff back when it was fashionable. It's out of fashion now so practically worthless.

 

The end rearing is a solution to the issue of sap staining for smaller mills. Larger mills all vacuum kilned it, as far as I'm aware. That's one of the reasons it's often very cheap; because the production process is so quick.

 

Boring timber though, unless rippled or highly figured.

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