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About ucoulddoit

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  1. Hi Steve. Thanks for looking into this and I'll send a sample. It's good looking timber regardless of whether it's a genuine mahogany or a related species and I'm looking forwards to using it, hopefully over the next couple of years or so. Andrew
  2. Thanks for looking into this aswales. I've been studying the online notes and pictures for The Wood Database, and other online stuff, but am conscious it is too easy to become biased towards the answer I'd like! Seems to be quite subtle differences between different mahogany types and sub species and difficult to pick out what would give a definite answer. So an independent view is appreciated. Andrew
  3. Thanks Muttley. Lets's hope Steve can make a definite ID. Andrew
  4. Thanks for all the comments. Another picture below is four treads after pressure washing to remove the demolition dust and grit. I'd wondered about an African mahogany and some planks have ribbons of twisted grain which is see from several internet sources is found on Sapele. Online pictures of sapele endgrain look similar as well, but I've not checked the spacing/scale of the pores. My dad was pretty good at wood identification so I suspect it is a 'mahogany' of some sort, rather than Iroko. I recall him telling me as a child that he bought it for a good price as mahogany was out of favour for joinery work in the mid 1960's because it was a 'hardwood' and less easy to work with than alternative timbers. Andrew
  5. Thanks Nepia. Steve was the first person I thought of when writing the post, so I 'll just wait and see if he spots this thread. Andrew
  6. Looking for opinions about the mahogany species in the attached pictures if anyone can help. The reclaimed timbers are from a staircase my dad made in the mid 1960’s for the house he self built where I grew up. The house has just been demolished to make way for a new care home! Fortunately, although the house was sold on about 25 years ago and I’ve lived 200 miles away for over 35 years, I’d heard about the project and was able to get most of the staircase timbers, about 10 cu ft, so that I can make a few things which will have some sentimental value. There is a bit of colour variation, some timbers are a deeper red than others which are yellowy/orangy red. The end grain and side grain looks similar though. Just wondering if both samples are the same mahogany species with natural colour variation? Or different species? Also, I’m wondering what species they are most likely to be, Honduras, Cuban, Brazilian or from somewhere else? Andrew
  7. Thanks for your advice Rob and link to your website. The two short chains are Oregon ripping chains and so is the one for the 25 inch bar. So I’ll probably go that route in future if I need any new chains as my mills are quite small. With hindsight, I should probably have asked my original question differently, as I mill stuff for my own use and should have realised the professional millers on here would view it from a business perspective. Time and cost isn’t really that big an issue for me, within reason. Something more along the lines of ‘are there technical and/or safety reasons against lengthening a ripping chain’. After posting the question, I fairly quickly found a discussion on another forum along these lines, and a comment that a chain shouldn’t have more than one join, i.e. fine to join chain off a reel to make up loops, shorten a stretched chain, or repair a chain. But that was dismissed by others, so I’ve concluded that lengthening a chain is a viable way forwards. Should have bought a grinder years ago! But my hand filing has worked fine with an occasional re-grind for just a few pounds. They are small mills and only ever had very light use. Haven’t milled any logs for a few years but the mills have continued to have occasional use for re-sawing large dry timbers so they will fit onto my bandsaw and planer. That was the original reason to buy the small log mill, so I’ve pretty much gone full circle, but am keen to have them in good working order in case something like a ‘highly valuable walnut’ is being given away…..! Andrew
  8. Thanks Alec. That's useful advice. I have a mini mill and use a 25 inch bar in a MS391 with a ripping chain which is good to use in conjunction with the Alaskan mill. I still have the 20 inch bar, but only use it for cross cutting now. After a break from milling for a few years, I milled a log at the weekend as a favour for a friend and hit a nail on the second cut......! So I decided it's time to get a second chain for the 28inch bar to avoid another long delay hand filing a damaged chain when out milling. A granberg ripping chain looks like £40 to £50 and is certainly the easy option. But I'd be interested to learn how to modify chains and this seems like an opportunity so I'll look into the kit you mentioned. I see the Malloff book also has advice about splitting and joining chains. Andrew
  9. I’ve two ripping chains for a 20 inch bar which I used when I started milling with a small log mill. But they haven’t been used for years as I upgraded to a 28 inch bar in an Alaskan mill with a Stihl 661. Both had only moderate use and were professionally reground after the last batch of milling they were used for, and the teeth are now about 8.5mm long on one chain and 9mm on the other. So, they have a fair bit of life left in them. Just wondered if joining them to make up a longer chain to fit the 28 inch bar would be OK? If OK in principle, would it be advisable to have the longer chain reground so that all the teeth are the same length? Probably not much of a cost saving compared to buying a new Granberg ripping chain, but it seems a shame to leave them soaking in a tub of oil if they could be used again. Andrew
  10. The tables are from 'The conversion and seasoning of wood' by William Brown which was published about 30 years ago and is available to buy online. An online review comment I saw mentioned it is a bit theoretical and I'd agree, but still useful. I needed to read it several times though, to work out what I really needed to know! It's geared to producing high quality timber. Only one of the ten chapters discusses timber conversion and when I started milling timber for my own use, that was the main topic I needed advice about....... Now I realise avoiding drying defects is perhaps the real skill to acquire in order to create valuable timber. I've not come across a 'bible' but have found useful stuff in various books which all together combines into good advice. The Maloff book, Chainsaw Lumber making is good, but I feel it leans towards milling lumber for construction rather than furniture making which is my main interest. Whereas for others, it might be the only book they need. Andrew
  11. I’ve found the attached tables useful over the years to work out the size and spacing of stickers for different types of timber and thicknesses. They don’t mention mulberry, but a quick look online brought up a tendency to checking and slow to dry. Not sure what thickness your planks are, but I’d hazard a guess at ½ inch sticks about a foot apart. And plenty of weight on top as already mentioned. Andrew
  12. A couple of methods which I've not tried are drilling a 'largish' hole to remove the pith, or soaking the disk in PEG (polyethelyne glycol). Not sure what size of hole would be needed, I'd guess 25 to 50mm diameter, but maybe someone could advise on this? But a patch in the middle might not look too good. What I did about 20 years ago was use an ovalish piece of wood which had been cut at an angle instead of straight across the butt. I bought the air dried slab from Boddy's of Boroughbridge (no longer in business unfortunately) and leant it against the wall on our landing for a few months to acclimatise to the centrally heated house. It distorted quite a bit, but it didn't crack from the centre to the edge. So, that method of milling could be experimented with. The attached notes explain a bit about the table I made which which still looks as good as the day it was finished. Andrew
  13. The following link is about a 13m long table made with single lengths of bog oak which is surprisingly thin, about 39mm after drying. The pictures show a plank being carried by about a dozen people.......! Andrew The Fenland Black Oak Project WWW.THEFENLANDBLACKOAKPROJECT.CO.UK Our aim is to transform a 4,800 year old Fenland Black Oak into a spectacular 13 metre long table for the nation.
  14. News item about Tim Stead, an artist/sculpter and pioneer of natural edged and slab furniture which might be of interest to others. Andrew Anxious funding wait for Tim Stead's house with a wooden heart WWW.BBC.CO.UK A trust wants to buy the property in the Borders to celebrate Tim Stead, the artist who created it.
  15. I've been following this project for almost 2 years also and the story about sourcing the Douglas fir for the mast was fascinating. I liked the story about how the forester had records from when the tree was first planted and also each time it was 'looked after' by trimming branches, etc. so that a century on, someone would be able to fell a top quality, long, straight and knot free trunk! Does anyone do that these days? A few years ago I had some old larch trees milled for cladding which yielded some boat skin quality planks and the sawmill manager talked about rumors of larch trees planted locally a century earlier for boat building which some folk round about like to believe would now be worth a fortune...... He clearly thought I might have stumbled upon this 'pot of gold', and was disappointed when I said there were just a handful in a neglected patch of trees. But who knows what's out there......? Acorn to Arabella is another boat building project worth following on YouTube. It's a slightly small boat than Tally Ho and is being built almost entirely using timber felled and milled by the two chaps building the boat on the farm owned by one of their families. Andrew


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