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Need tips for processing soft woods

Wood Doctor

Wood Doctor

Edwin
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Jan 10, 2008
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Omaha, Nebraska
I remember about 15 years ago when I helped a friend finish a cabin in the woods. He used a wood stove to heat it and usually collected ash, mulberry, elm, and cottonwood. I asked him which one of the three he liked best. He thought for awhile and said. "When I want to get the cabin warmed up fast in the morning, I reach for the cottonwood. If I run out of cottonwood, the elm is next. Nothing warms this building up faster, and when I'm cold, I have no patience."
 
turnkey4099

turnkey4099

Tree Freak
Joined
Feb 27, 2002
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18,173
Location
se washington
Basswood doesn't split that bad. It's almost spongy. Cottonwood can be a huge pain in the butt as some of it splits stiff like elm. I leave box elder, silver maple, basswood, and the little bit of cotton wood in bigger splits as they dry pretty quick.

And your gonna wanna let the cottonwood sit for a summer. It will put out fires if you throw it in wet.
How is it to burn? I took two loads from a guy who had a whole grove felled to clear a spot for a big shop 40x60. Added up to about a cord so I will be burning that next winter.
 
cantoo

cantoo

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Fellas that basswood around here sells for crazy prices to the wood turners, carvers and model makers. Even little pieces 5"x 5" sell. I cut up and burnt a couple trees that blew over last year. Then I found out that people are nuts for it. I have a guy coming to look at my cedar to see if he can get bowls blanks out of them. I'm waiting until he gets here to show him some basswood blow downs. He makes "artwork" or something out of it.
 
NIP Group
Wood Doctor

Wood Doctor

Edwin
Joined
Jan 10, 2008
Messages
11,109
Location
Omaha, Nebraska
How is it to burn? I took two loads from a guy who had a whole grove felled to clear a spot for a big shop 40x60. Added up to about a cord so I will be burning that next winter.
It burns about as well as dry balsa, willow, poplar, or cottonwood -- fast and hot. Figure the same heat content (BTU/lb) as all other firewood. That includes oak, hickory, locust, and anything else produced by a tree. When burned, 133 lb of basswood will produce about 1 million BTUs, nearly the same as all other species.
 
turnkey4099

turnkey4099

Tree Freak
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Location
se washington
It burns about as well as dry balsa, willow, poplar, or cottonwood -- fast and hot. Figure the same heat content (BTU/lb) as all other firewood. That includes oak, hickory, locust, and anything else produced by a tree. When burned, 133 lb of basswood will produce about 1 million BTUs, nearly the same as all other species.
Thanks: Yep, a lb is a lb of btus. Just matters how often one has to fill the stove. I burn and sell a lot of willow ($120/cord) so will use it that way. I was hoping it was some better than willow.
 
Jeff Lary

Jeff Lary

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I just e-mailed a friend of mine to see if he wants a Basswood tree last fall. He turns stuff for fun, but if he does not want it I will drag to off to rot in the woods. It stinks and does not burn well enough to be worth the effort to work it up ( and it works up very easy)
 
Streblerm

Streblerm

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I dragged home a good sized basswood and when dry it was lighter than anything I’ve ever burned amongst pine, spruce, fir, poplar, even tree of heaven. When dry the pieces were like a styrofoam prop. I would toss pieces to people and the reaction was always the same.

I wish I could’ve found somebody who wanted it. It did work up easy.
 
Wood Doctor

Wood Doctor

Edwin
Joined
Jan 10, 2008
Messages
11,109
Location
Omaha, Nebraska
I dragged home a good sized basswood and when dry it was lighter than anything I’ve ever burned amongst pine, spruce, fir, poplar, even tree of heaven. When dry the pieces were like a styrofoam prop. I would toss pieces to people and the reaction was always the same.

I wish I could’ve found somebody who wanted it. It did work up easy.
Dry willow is actually lower in density than dry basswood. Dry balsa is the lightest of them all. All three deliver a million BTUs when you burn 133 lb -- same as elm, oak, hickory, locust, etc.
 
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