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Milling cottonwood for tongue and groove

Discussion in 'Milling & Saw Mills' started by Polish hammer, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. Polish hammer

    Polish hammer ArboristSite Operative

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    Anyone done it? Obviously it’s a surplus is some areas and mine is one.. I have a room I’ve been wanting to finish and have a lot of cottonwood I know it fuzzes up or it can.. but if I mill up enough and after drying and planning can I tng and look good? Just trying for something other then knotty pine or cedar.. I don’t have access to any cool or exotics and never heard of anyone use it it inside there house..
     
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  2. buzz sawyer

    buzz sawyer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I see no reason not too - as long as it's not for flooring. You might want to have it kiln dried.
     
  3. TRTermite

    TRTermite ArboristSite Operative

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    Ship lap is quicker and more forgiving on wall installs but what you are doing needs to be considered and humidity changes can bite you in the but even if it is kiln dried and my experience is the kiln is not a benefit as cotton wood air dries very well and the wood I have used that was kiln dried will still swell and flex if it is not sealed .. You probably already know dry cottonwood takes a very sharp bit/blade to avoid burning the wood. I have entertained the same idea as you and don't think it foolish at all My sister bought a house that all the dimension lumber (cottonwood) came from a local mill sawed and built in '56 still straight but hard to drill the joist for electrical and plumbing improvements. good luck
     
  4. KiwiBro

    KiwiBro Hold my beer and film this...

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    If not on the floor I agree with the shiplap idea. Not being familiar with cotton wood, perhaps just colour code the end sealer on the log so you know at a glance which way the grain is running when it comes time to profile the timber. Might help with fuzz and burning.

    Are you planning to machine it yourself or send it away? I've been looking into this equation for adding value to the lumber I mill. Nothing beats a four-sider for this. I've made my own T&G with a T&G bit and plunge router but it is a very long, tedious process I'll never do again. Crunched the numbers on a planer moulder and to make about 3000' of 1x4 lumber into decking would take me two days with a planer moulder as opposed to under 2 hrs with a four-sider.
     
  5. Polish hammer

    Polish hammer ArboristSite Operative

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    Didn’t really consider the ship lap and that is a good idea! I would machine it with my neighbor he has all the tng equipment and specialty things I just have a mill and a planer.. one of my concerns is it would be put up in the room with my wood stove so I would be worried in winter when it’s super warm and dry in there
     
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  6. Es Anderson

    Es Anderson ArboristSite Lurker

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    I have not ~seen~ it personally, but I have heard that some horse owners used cottonwood to tng their horse stalls, as evidently horses dislike the taste and will not chew on it. I have a bunch of cottonwood I am trying to figure out what to do with, too. I was leaning more toward making some practical/rustic type furniture, as it apparently is quite hard but fairly light when dry. I have heard similar things to that which is posted above re: the need for very sharp tools to cut without fuzzing or tearout, and have heard it should not be sanded - but again this is all secondhand knowledge. Good luck!
     
  7. andy at clover

    andy at clover Woods!

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    Man this stuff is fuzzy. Even the end grain is fuzzing out.
    I just dropped a "small" one and have a biggy to do this fall.. no idea what to do with it.
    My tree guy that brings me chips tells me it takes 5 years to become firewood in our wet climate.
    I bet he's not busting it up small though.
    Nasty to split and sort of plain looking grain. I see why it's a pulp tree.
    Best left for shade if you need it :D
     
  8. TRTermite

    TRTermite ArboristSite Operative

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    We sold many a 2" x 12" CW plank to line horse stalls and the horsey people said they didn't "CRIB" (chew) on it as it didn't have any tannin in it. The CW plank was choice because it had a bit of forgiveness (bounce) if installed at a certain height and a fair span in the middle to allow it to spring and helped minimize injury from kicking . Another thing they liked was the cottonwood sawdust chip from a circular saw for bedding because it was absorbent and didn't irritate the hooves or foals. Black Walnut was a no-no as it could dry up a mares milk ( have heard this but no facts)
     
  9. Rosss

    Rosss ArboristSite Operative

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    I did my bathroom counter with a 2" thick live edge slab of cottonwood. Looks great!
     
  10. andy at clover

    andy at clover Woods!

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    Do you mind posting a picture ?
    Thx!
     
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  11. Rosss

    Rosss ArboristSite Operative

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    Cottonwood countertop with clear hardwood floor finish.
     

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  12. andy at clover

    andy at clover Woods!

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    Thanks Ross
    That looks great!
     
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