– Ben Martens

Tree Recycling

We removed a couple small cherry trees along our driveway that were dying off. I saved some of the chunks of the bigger trunk in hopes that I could get a couple usable boards out of it. It will be way more work than just buying cherry boards, but it would be kind of neat to have something from a tree that grew in our yard. I watch lots of home milling on YouTube (especially Matt Cremona) but those are almost always bigger trees. I don’t really know how it translates to these smaller logs and I didn’t take the time to do a ton of research.

The logs were just a tad bit too tall for my bandsaw to handle so we sliced them up a bit with the chainsaw. Then I ran them through the bandsaw making ~2″ slabs. Those boards are now sitting in my shed with spacers between each one to allow for airflow. The goal is to get them to dry out as evenly as possible to avoid massive warping or cracking. I could have left them as a full log, but that generally leads to some pretty big cracks as the stresses in the wood are relieved. I don’t really know which way would work better, but a large part of this project is just about learning for myself.

I won’t know for quite a while (a year or two?) how well this worked. I have a moisture meter and it says the wood is at 36% right now. Professionally dried wood that has acclimated to my shop is closer to 10%. Once it’s dry enough, I’ll use my tools to mill them into nice square/flat boards and take out any of the warping that occurred while drying.

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