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robutacion
2nd Sep 2008, 04:29 PM
Hi everyone,

I've been trying to identify a particular type of tree that found on a property near by. These trees have been pulled off the ground with a bulldozer and pilled up (flat stack type) in one of the small house paddocks, for later burning. There are some other trees like them still standing, but this lot, maybe 20 or 30, have been removed. According to the property owner, these trees are no good for firewood (doesn't burn well), are too soft, no good for anything.
I did recognise these trees, as one of the species normally found nearly water (river banks, swamps, etc) back in my country of birth. I have also seen a few of them standing around water ways in the area but I haven't seen any cut down and available. I also remember that these trees were use to make door arches and anything that needed curving due to its flexibility, normally laminated with the finish timbers use on the rest of the house. Mainly white (ish), this timber has some brown(ish) colouration through it, light when dry, stringy to work with, very light colour bark (light grey) and a quite strong smell of "green timber" even when dry.
I have also notice that these trees are very mature and trunk sizes above normal (2' some) for this species.

I believe these trees were removed some time in the beginning of the year, they appear green, very wet and very slippery to walk over. Some have borer, some are hollow, some look affected with some roting fungus, some show and extraordinary layer of green moss growing all around the trunk near the roots (I believe this happens [moss] while tree was standing up).

Anyway I cut some out (4 logs), approx 4' lengths, closer to the root as possible (wider size timber), and brought them home. Before I took them to the storage paddock, I cut 1 piece (same length as diameter) of each log and split them in half. One half of each log was end grain sealed (painted) and put away to dry, the other halves where cut in round blanks for rough turning. One of the larger blanks was turned 2 days ago and sealed with timber stabiliser (2 coats). I've notice how much lighter those round blanks felt, since cut from the log and kept drying under cover, 2 weeks prior, the bigger difference did occur when I rough turned that one blank. In the beginning I was getting some water spray, but by the time I was half way cutting the inside of the bowl, was no more water spray. Even tough stringy, the timber did cut very well (very sharp tools), with the biggest surprise when I remove the bowl from the chuck, all the weight was gone, I could nearly sand it and make dust. Obviously, the timber was more wet than green, and with all that spinning around, the water was just pushed out of the timber. The weight at this stage, with the 2 coats of stabiliser, and 48 hours since turned, would be similar to the same bowl made out of totally dry pine. It hasn't shown any signs of cracking, warp or any movement, so far. This is I believe due to the timber characteristics as a light flexible timber. This is the first time I have use this timber for turning, and I should say looks very promising indeed.
I will try on my next bowl (3 to go, rough turning) a special product that is applied immediately after being turned, to stop any colouration of the timber, there is, it will not go yellow(ish), but stays its fresh cut colours, in this case near snow white. (pic of shavings attached).
I will try to collect some more of it before its burnt, now that I know this is good stuff.
I manage to find these trees species name, while searching, as the name that was giving to me was "popidur", and is no such thing. Anyway the name is POPLAR /Populus, one of 5 species, 1- Abele (white Poblar), 2- Grey Poblar, 3- Aspen, 4- Lombardy Poplar and 5- Black Poplar (the one is question).
One of the articles I come up about these trees is this one (http://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http://courses.washington.edu/z490/gmo/poplar.jpg&imgrefurl=http://courses.washington.edu/z490/gmo/toby.html&h=245&w=251&sz=29&tbnid=Ok0T0paOML4J::&tbnh=108&tbnw=111&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dpoplar%2Btree&sa=X&oi=image_result&resnum=3&ct=image&cd=1)

Cheers:2tsup:
RBTCO

joe greiner
2nd Sep 2008, 09:00 PM
Good score, very good results, and a nice bit of research there, RBTCO. Thanks for sharing.

Joe

thefixer
2nd Sep 2008, 10:13 PM
That's a lot of trees in pic 1. They must have been very poplar.:rolleyes:

Cheers
Shorty

Ad de Crom
3rd Sep 2008, 02:06 AM
RBTCO, poplar is a very nice wood for turnings, had in the past a lot of that stuff, so now you have the opportunity take it before they burn it.

Ad

OGYT
3rd Sep 2008, 04:30 AM
RBTCO, I have one in my yard. I planted 5 of them about 12 years ago, and it's the only one that survived. When I purchased them they were named Lombardy Poplar. They are about a 15 year tree.
I will cut this one down before it falls on my shop. And you're right. It's good turning wood.

Rum Pig
3rd Sep 2008, 08:46 AM
Good score RBTCO the grain pattern is really nice in the bowl you turned :2tsup:
hate to see the rest get burnt:no:

Hickory
3rd Sep 2008, 01:15 PM
I believe they are Lombardy Poplar. A true poplar and useless as a "Wood" but for turning, it is a "walk in the park" to get some decent projects. It will spalt quite easily as it is rather soft and moist, It do check quite easily. A soft and lightweight wood and will rot in a heartbeat. Most trees live about 10-12 years and just Die from old age although I have seen some quite old. You can rip off a limb and keep the lump intact, stick it in a muddy river bank and it will take root and grow. Can become a Weed of a tree but you have to plant them as they usually reproduce from root stems (or at least that is the way they did on our farm, back when I was knee high to a grasshopper and we used them as a wind break as the house was atop a knoll and winter blew some cold air and snow and spring would wave a lead flag.

hughie
3rd Sep 2008, 01:50 PM
[ back when I was knee high to a grasshopper and we used them as a wind break as the house was atop a knoll and winter blew some cold air and snow and spring would wave a lead flag.
[/QUOTE]

Hickory,

sounds you and I were neighbours :U a lazy wind...going right through you

Frank&Earnest
3rd Sep 2008, 03:15 PM
Thanks for the memory... I remember one Sunday afternoon when a terrible storm was felling those lining the Milan-Lodi road and we dodged the falling trees in a FIAT 600 driven by dad... AFAIK Lombardy poplars are good only for woodchips because they grow like weeds, but would certainly be very easy to turn.

robutacion
4th Sep 2008, 02:56 AM
Thanks for the memory... I remember one Sunday afternoon when a terrible storm was felling those lining the Milan-Lodi road and we dodged the falling trees in a FIAT 600 driven by dad... AFAIK Lombardy poplars are good only for woodchips because they grow like weeds, but would certainly be very easy to turn.

I Frank&Earnest,
Apart from the bad experience (terrifying, I believe) you would had, seen those trees dropping down to the road while your Dad was driving the "famous Fiat 600" (some memories here!:)) on the busy Milan-Lodi, have you actually ever done anything at all out of this wood species? nor even turning some of it before?:oo:
Poplars grow exactly the same as most varieties of gum/eucalyptus, cut it right down to the ground, they will shoot new trees all around in no time. Actually this reminds me of the eucalyptus plantation trees back on the other country where the first cut was ready in 16 years, the second and next cuts would develop in half that time. That's right, first cut 16 year, second cut from the same trunk would yield at least 2 to 3 grown trees from the new shoots. The third cut was normally the most financially rewarding, with at least 4 to 6 new trees growing (yield) from the same original root system. So basically, 16 years after plantation, 100% yield, 8 year later, 200% to 300% yield, the following 8 years, 400% to 600% yield. After 32 years, the root systems would weaken considerably, with maybe one more cut 8 years after, producing about 200% in numbers but reduction on the overall log size from 15" to 10". Any other attempts to grow out of the old stump, would produce only small diameter stuff of 5" if lucky. This were the growing times and yield expectations on new plantations around the 1970's.:roll:
Sorry, I got carried away with the growing process of theses Poplars, and according to some of the research I've done recently, there are some testing being done at present, with the intention to use these species on new quick grow plantations for our Industry.
Did you know Poplar is ranked as a Hardwood?:?

Well Frank, if you haven't turn this one before, I reckon you will be soon...!:D:doh:
Actually, my preparations of today and the plans for tomorrow, if it does not rain, it will be going to this property with my small trailer to fill it up with logs to fit the trailer width 4'+a bit. I will be working hight as the timber has been stacked bloody hight, and trying not to fall, those logs are slippery as butter. Being flat stacked, all in one direction, makes it a little dangerous as trees are not braced on anything, they move a lot and when the cut is made to separate the big roots still attached, from the base of the trunk (widest timber), the heavy root rolls downs and moves things around, while I am at the top hanging on on slippery stuff :o:no:
I wish that I had climbing boots with spikes under it.:-

Cheers:2tsup:
RBTCO

woodwork wally
6th Sep 2008, 10:46 PM
Hi By the sound of that slippery dipping I think you should make yourself a set of boot irons like the old dad had when logging in the bush . they were held on like early roller skates with metal plate with about 1/2 inch -or 12 mm. spikes and sat in front of the heel of the boot with strap over instep and another around back of the heel to hol in place. and the used them as climbing stirrups when lopping before felling as well as on logs in the logg yards they were made by the local smithy . but with the gear you have it wouldnt be hard to do Regards WW.Wally

Ed Reiss
7th Sep 2008, 12:30 AM
RBTCO...

Nice turnings! :2tsup:

I've found that kiln dried poplar is a good wood for segmented construction as it is very stable, and also takes dye, stains, and paint very well.

Cheers,

Ed :D

robutacion
7th Sep 2008, 03:02 AM
Hi By the sound of that slippery dipping I think you should make yourself a set of boot irons like the old dad had when logging in the bush . they were held on like early roller skates with metal plate with about 1/2 inch -or 12 mm. spikes and sat in front of the heel of the boot with strap over instep and another around back of the heel to hol in place. and the used them as climbing stirrups when lopping before felling as well as on logs in the logg yards they were made by the local smithy . but with the gear you have it wouldnt be hard to do Regards WW.Wally

I wish that I had spent some time, making something like your dad had. I thought the first time I had troubles on those logs, was due to the fact that we had some rain early that day and on the day before, but I couldn't be more wrong. I don't remember to have so much trouble walking on logs, using the same type boots, for a long time. I know that my extra 20 kg put in these last few years, isn't helping much, but these trees are an absolute nightmare to work over. My planned trip to the property last Wednesday, had to be changed at the last minute so I planned it for the following day.
The weather has been good for days with plenty of sunshine so I didn't thing that I was going to have much problems walking over those logs. I even changed the side of the of timber pile, from last time, there is, last time I was in the shade (West) so this time I decided to go on the East side, where the sun was hitting hard and hot. I seemed to be alright for the first half an hour or so, then certainly I start feeling my boots slip a little, looked down it appear to be some moisture where I just had my feet on, the rest of the log(s) looked surface dry so I continued on.:rolleyes:

Not long after, I lost my balance, couldn't grip and fell down into the log bellow, skidding into a gap between logs, just big enough to fit both legs but, not the rest. The chainsaw stayed on, just beside me a few feet away, has I was a bit saw on one knee and on my hip. I became suspicious about the certain slippery surface on the logs, but I just couldn't find anything wrong. By then, I had already cut and rolled down the 3 highest trunks on that layer. Each trunk would allow about 2 or 3 smaller logs of 4 feet long by whatever the diameter (from 1' to 2'+). I was half way into what I wanted to do for the day so, after a drink of water I got re-fulled the 24" bar chainsaw and went up, to continue on from where I left.:((

I started the machine on the ground, because "she can be a mongrel" to start sometimes, and as I was just getting to the place where I would start cutting the next log (half way up on the pile, about 3 meters or so about ground level), stood up, got my both hands on the chainsaw, as soon as the chain started cutting in 1" or so, lost grip on my both feet, felt the whole body going back-wards, so I tried to use the hand grip of the chainsaw to hold on to, because the chain wasn't deep enough ( or maybe wouldn't make any difference), the chainsaw come out of the cut and down I went. I obviously was holding on tight to the chainsaw, cause as I went back, the chainsaw was thrown in the air and behind me, at least 6 meters. I end-up, hanging by my right leg upside-down, back and head (helmet went flying) hitting hard against the logs, my harms were just touching the ground, and the only thing that I could see was, sky.:(

All this happened with my wife just a few meters away, and just before she was taking some pics, and saying "be careful, don't fall down again". There are no pics of either incidents, nor I thing the camera would be pointing into the right place, even if she had it in her hands, believe me, I know "panic/panic...!". Actually, quite common!
It took me some effort, with the help of my wife, to get my right leg free (just bellow the knee) and get in the up right position, which did hurt like buggery. I had a very sharp pain on top of that leg, not allowing me to stand up on it for some time. Half an hour or so later, and while I was resting seated on a log, my wife got everything in the waggon, as the day was really and truly over for me (us). :q

The big chainsaw was broken, and I was pretty saw all over, but fortunately no broken bones or any other major damage that can be seen, anyway. No doubt, these falls don't help in any way my health, nor that I'm related to cats, as my 9 life's have been truly and certainly, used....!:C
Such just an nonacceptance/balance/fight between brain and body:doh:.
Anyway, I got some answers to why the tree surface (bark) certainly, would get slippery. I notice in places where I would stand over for a while, moving the feet a lot, those were the places where I would start feeling a slip here and there. What its happen is, this particular tree species have was is called a green skin bark, there is the outside layer (outer bark) as we would normally call "bark", is no more than a few mm (3 to 5mm) of a very absorbent/porous skin. Under it (inner bark) is a combination of a fibrous material (10mm to 25mm) that works like a "sponge", protecting the timber "flesh" keeping it moist and accumulating lots of zap (slippery resins). What happens is, when pressure (weight/impact/force) is applied to the outer skin (bark) , zap is repelled from the inner bark through the very porous outer skin, making it very slippery. This zap will keep on the surface, until pressure (weight, etc.) is applied, which afterwards is "soaked/absorbed" back in.:oo:

Taking this into consideration, and the fact that the affected areas were exposed to me standing on them and the "bashing/hitting" of the 1.20 meters heavy logs been thrown/rolled over the trunks of the trees down-wards, and the short space of time in between the first lot been cut and pushed down, and me going up again for the second lot, does explain what happened. No question, boots with spikes, next time.:D

I'm adding a few pics of that day, nothing special, the first pic was taken from the road, about 800 meters away.

Cheers:2tsup:
RBTCO

Brendan1152
7th Sep 2008, 09:52 AM
Scary stuff, glad you are OK.

Regards

Brendan

rsser
7th Sep 2008, 06:05 PM
Wot Ed said.

Poplar of some variety was used by fine cabinet makers for panels out of sight as it could be stained and finished to look like the much more exxy exotic timber on view.

robutacion
8th Sep 2008, 12:22 AM
Thanks fellows,
I can see some good stuff coming out this lot of timber, there is, if I manage to finish what I've started and get it home. I've got 8 or 9 logs already cut, from my last trip but left there, I was in no condition to handle them into the trailer. Half of it or more is waste, from holes, bore, rot, defects, etc., but I remember one particular tree was very sound all the way through, and I got 3 logs out of it. I'm giving myself until Tuesday to recover, as I've got it planned to get those logs on the Wednesday. I would be happy to get those logs home, as I don't think I will have by then any special foot-ware to allow me to get back up again, and cut as much as I can, before is all burnt. I was given 3 weeks to do so, from last Thursday so, I haven't got lots of time...!:no:

Talking about special foot-ware, I have been wondering if any of you have or know of someone that have, an used pair of those spike boots (size 8 to 9) or any accessory that goes under the boots to achieve a proper grip. I have no doubt that will be some new stuff costing an harm and a leg that can do that job but, I would look at any other less expensive option, that can do the job safely. Any suggestions?:D

Cheers:2tsup:
RBTCO

joe greiner
8th Sep 2008, 01:47 AM
Glad you survived, RBTCO. What I've learned, so far (the hard way, alas):

Using a home-made set of spikes (derived from Lineman's climbers), I climbed a tree to trim the upper branches before felling. Chained to the trunk with a belt harness, I managed to lose the grip, and slid down about 10 feet. No damage, but scared the bejaysus out of me. I returned to the task via extension ladder, also chained to the tree and also me. Luckily, this was not a pine tree; professional arborists use spikes with extra-long gaffs to penetrate their thick bark, as well as overhead hanging ropes for auxiliary support. Rental mobs will NOT rent such tools around here. I've amassed a collection of tree-climbing patents. The best I've found is probably US 3078951 from Switzerland. Use http://www.google.com/patents with that number in the search field. The articulated gear costs well over US$1000 IIRC; probably a whole lot more. Google search was inconclusive, so they might not be available anymore. Even so, it could tolerate improvements for varying trunk diameters.

Make a proper hinge cut to direct the tree's fall. To help the directing, attach a pulling line or chain well above the cut. Using the extension ladder, as above, is safer than climbing spikes for this operation. On one tree leaning in the wrong direction, I used two come-alongs on the pulling chain, and over a period of about a month I snugged them leap-frog fashion into better alignment. I made several partial hinge cuts, like kerfing the back of a plank, to bend the trunk closer to the desired fall. When ready, I pulled the tree down and stepped aside - missed my target by only a few feet. The trunk split from one of the hinges; my objective was removal, not recovery, so it didn't matter.

I'll add more when/if they crawl back into the active memory.

Sadder but wiser,
Joe

OGYT
8th Sep 2008, 06:21 AM
I have one suggestion to handle this situation, RBTCO: An old pair of too-large gym shoes, preferably a pair that will fit over some of your own. Cut down the center of the top (leave the lace grommets in place), to expose the inner sole. Drive roofing nails of the appropriate length through the soles. Put on your shoes. Put on the ones with the nails, and lace them on. It may be awkward at first, but it should work. You could even use contact cement to attach another layer of leather to cover all the nail heads.

joe greiner
8th Sep 2008, 08:33 PM
Al, and any others, that could be a half-baked recipe for disaster. The load on the spikes is HORRENDOUS, and the nail heads could be punched into the bottom of your foot. Have a squint at proper Linemans' spikes, made with a steel strap to form a stirrup. That'll the baseline for any improvements. The short gaffs of Linemans' spikes are OK for power poles, stripped of bark, NG for trees - need longer gaffs. I'll scan the TreeClimbing patents I've collected for some examples of possible adaptations. There's about 30 of them, some relating to hunter's tree stands, so it'll need to be culled down to a more reasonable list.

Joe

Frank&Earnest
8th Sep 2008, 11:38 PM
Talking about special foot-ware, I have been wondering if any of you have or know of someone that have, an used pair of those spike boots (size 8 to 9) or any accessory that goes under the boots to achieve a proper grip. I have no doubt that will be some new stuff costing an harm and a leg that can do that job but, I would look at any other less expensive option, that can do the job safely. Any suggestions?:D

Cheers:2tsup:
RBTCO

Gee, RBTCO, I look the other way one minute and you manage to half kill yourself! :D Have a look here, plenty of ideas and designs.

http://www.backcountrygear.com/climbing/Crampons.cfm?code=gaw03&gclid=CLvHm-SYzJUCFRg6awodjC65iw

They are not difficult to make with proper metalworking gear, but if you have long term use for them it's probably worth buying reliable new ones. Better still, is it really wise to continue doing these heroics with your bad back? :(

Best of luck. Get well soon.

joe greiner
9th Sep 2008, 12:28 AM
Frank (Frank&Earnest), those are better for walking on ice and slippery terrain. Boinked the menu for Climbing, but didn't see anything suitable for tree climbing, except by rope ascenders.

Joe

Hickory
9th Sep 2008, 01:45 AM
My son has pole spikes from a previous job where he had to climb them, He uses them on trees w/o problems. But to layout expense for some free wood would negate the Free Wood part unless the wood is of such quality to make the expense and the risk because it is obvious that the user is not experienced and usually results in catistrafic results and limb loss (not tree limb) etc.

Tree felling and topping is best left to those who are experienced and well equiped, I know we seem to think we can do anything, but with age comes wisdom, I have felled a few trees and sawn the fallen but I for one will not attempt the task any more, One trip to the emergency room cost more than a Pro charges to put the tree on the ground. For him, the easy part is laying the tree on the ground, pay him to do it and then you and your buddies can have at it with the rest.

Frank&Earnest
9th Sep 2008, 11:44 AM
Frank (Frank&Earnest), those are better for walking on ice and slippery terrain. Boinked the menu for Climbing, but didn't see anything suitable for tree climbing, except by rope ascenders.

Joe

Yep. My suggestion was for walking on the already felled trees. For climbing trees, I agree with Hickory. Been there, done that, not any longer. As I said about "heroics".

BTW, if you google "tree climbing spikes" you get many hits, including DIY solutions.

robutacion
9th Sep 2008, 01:50 PM
Thanks Frank&Earnest, Hickory & joe greiner,

Some good pointers there.

Walking on piled trees, is not something that I do everyday nor is something that any other person collecting timber will do on a regular basis, what I'm getting at is the obvious solution is to get something (spikes system) that attach's to the boots only when necessary. Your link Frank, does help a lot, as that's the system I need.:rolleyes:

I accept and agree with your words of wisdom Hickory, certain jobs are better left for those with the talent, youth, flexibility, strength and the correct/best equipment available in our modern days. I've been cutting trees and process them since I was a little boy, (10, 11 years old), climbing/walking/stepping on piled-up trees, wasn't a rare event, even tough the tree had normally very rough bark, traction wasn't the problem.
I'm very safety oriented, and most of my actions are planned and risk assessed. There is a big difference between risk assessment, preventive measures and other possible risks, normally called accidents.
Then are another very important factors that need to be taken into consideration, to put it clearly and bluntly as possible, there are/were no impossibles for me, just certain things require a grater degree of difficulty! 20, 30 years later, the head says, what's the problem, you done this hundreds of times...! the body says, in your dreams mate, in your dreams...! The head have it all worked out, has lots of experience with these things so, my other me (the wise guy) says, this is going to hurt...!
It always does, some times more then others, (quite considerably...!:~). Then is also the financial issue putting lots of "weight" on my final decision. Can't afford to pay for timber, don't have any heavy equipment to assist with the handling, couldn't possible afford to pay for a contractor to do it, go out of my way to stop/void timbers to be destroyed/burnt, etc., never say no to anyone that needs trees down, like to see the yard (storage) full of timbers, absolutely adore to work with the chainsaws, like to handle timbers of any species or sizes, gives me lots of pleasure to make blanks and turn them into whatever, sell very little finished work, mostly is given as gifts or donated to some Australian Institutions in need, get all this timber made into turning/carving blanks, painting them, etc., send boxes of it all over Australia, just basically covering the freight and for a little petrol, "nearly" give away collected and prepared timbers away, to those that do visit me, and you know why? because I can and because I want to...!:D
To be able to continue to do this, lots of timbers are needed, no one brings me any, so the only option is to do it myself ( my lovely wife included, off course), with what I got (equipment). This whole exercise, is going to end for me in a near future, maybe I'm accelerating and/or even provoking the inevitable but, in the end, all comes down to choices and this is what I need to do for my own sanity and happiness. I just couldn't contemplate any other better way to spend my last years of some physical mobility!:(

PS: Is good to see a few years a supply of either turning wood (if applicable), if something happen, but most importantly firewood, to keep us warm in the cold days.

Cheers:2tsup:
RBTCO

robutacion
15th Sep 2008, 01:52 PM
Hi Everyone,

A little more work done on those Poplar logs.
After piled-up at the storage paddock, I gave them a little bit of sorting, as many logs are hollow, etc. and proceeded to pushed back on the ground and cut them in lengths to match their diameter (square cylinder), rip them in half and took them home for further work.
Is amazing how quickly these logs (timber) dries, after cut in smaller sises. For what I can see, the timber appear to be dry but extremely wet, it become very light after rough turned and even more in just a couple of days after. I reckon if it was green, it would turn that light weight that quick...!
Anyway, I got mostly large stuff, and some forks that I cut as normal to utilise the fork grain design, but on these trees, the joint goes too deep into the half log, not leaving much timber to turn so, for the next time I will cut them through the fork joint, for this lot I had no choice than cut through the fork joint, ending up with some nice rectangular type blanks.
Two (2) coats of paint and they are ready for some action very soon. The other logs that I will let dry slowly, will be cut in the next few days ( weather allowing) and as per normal, the logs will the rip in half, with 2 coats of paint on the end-grain (bark on) and stacked on a timber pallet, under cover for natural slow drying.

Unless I sell some soon, I will have to take some and store them under my bed, or somewhere in the house. I wish the Landlord or I, could afford to bulldoze the old small "kind off" sheds and built a bigger one instead, with lots and lots of shelves made out off square 50mm steel mesh, for quick and safer drying...! Yeah... a man has the right to dream, huh?:D:doh:

Cheers
RBTCO