Cut down my trees or not?

Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum

Help Support Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum:

Pilot-34

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2020
Messages
1,302
Location
Most of me is in IL but my hearts in Alaska
Heck I barely have the courage to pass on the left of one truck let alone on the right of another .
You know that truck you see at the turtle races taking 25 minutes to slowly pass another truck? That’s never me not because I’m too polite it’s just I’ve seen too many things happen to semi trucks. I would be afraid to spend that much time next to another one.
Trucks scare the heck out of me, perhaps not as much as cars driven by 16-year-olds with their friends but more than enough!
 
Last edited:

don january

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
3,105
Location
Midwest
Will added strength increase pay load. No Will DAR pass alternative wood. Yes if run out and grading is within specks Will DAR pass engine choice. Yes if power plant meets the DAR's flight rules and safety features. to the OP of this thread Thanks for my and others time wasted.
 

speedracer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2020
Messages
164
What do you see as idiocy ? Haveing a views along a scenic Highway ?
My saw mill owning uncle loves to say "Trees belong in a sawmill, not the side of some dumb mountain". Also, "Sure, I believe in dedicated wilderness area's, everything above 6,000 feet" (That's above timberline in the PNW.)
 

Pilot-34

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2020
Messages
1,302
Location
Most of me is in IL but my hearts in Alaska
I spent some time with Sitka spruce.
There’s no magic in the name. There won’t be much clear wood in a 12 “ log now if you have a eight foot diameter log your chances are better.
Remember spruce mean the tree grows in a spiral. Not exactly a good thing for a plane.
 

blane.c

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
5,015
Location
capital district NY
Yes maybe 10% of the trees can produce aircraft quality wood of appreciable amount and that is likely 10% of said trees and they need to be three hundred to a thousand years old ... better start growing some now.
 

Orange4sky

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2020
Messages
55
I’m a woodworker with years of experience milling and using local trees for furniture. The only reason to do so is character, not quality. The idea is romantic, not practical.

You can’t possibly beat the industrial system for quality control. You will most probably waste a lot of time on wood you can’t use. Then, if your trees are actually good enough to yield 100% clear quartersawn wood, you will have to dry it for a year per inch thickness unless you also want to build a drying kiln just for a couple hundred board feet of lumber. After all that you will find out if it’s full of internal tension or twisted.

Thinking about it makes my wallet hurt. Just go buy it and save yourself a couple of years and probably a bunch of money too.
 
Last edited:

Aviacs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
221
Yellow popular has a low yield rate for FAS lumber even in the A grade trees. If all your trees are A grade....
Sounds like a made up grade?
Maybe you mean F1?
Or have grading standards for trees on the hoof changed that much since i occasionally did it?

After the tree is down & sections of trunk set out for sale/selection, there may be some lumber grades and potential veneer grades used informally.

After it is sawed into lumber or turned into veneer, then there are some A grades for either. Most of which will not address the most important characteristics for an engineered wood product. For Hardwoods, FAS Would be standard "top" lumber grade; FEQ rarely, for highly selected "virgin" timber or some imports. For sawn softwood lumber, there is indeed an A grade, but all softwood letter grades are appearance grades and again tell little about the things we care about for aircraft structure, like grain run-out (slope) in all directions & minimun growth rings/inch, specific gravity at a given MC, etc.

Pattern wood, cuemaker supplies and hobby-wood suppliers often have grades running out to 3 or even 5 A's :)
AFA aircraft lumber for structural parts, the specification is MIL-S-6073.


To the OP:
Yes, you can do it.
Read the specs, test routine samples.
Note there is a specific gravity spec for spruce, not sure how to convert that for poplar, but the point would be stick with the density of your tested high yield pieces at known (tested) MC's, etc. Some straight grain heart poplar can be quite brittle. I observe that as a woodworker, not one who had used it for building an airplane. My personal concern (superstition?) as a life long woodworker is how poorly poplar sometimes fairs vs mold and rot resistance. If your bird will be hangared in an enclosed relatively climate controlled environment (as opposed to, say, open barn in a humid rainy climate) it would be fine. If not, use your own judgement. To be clear, Sitka spruce is rated to have almost no rot resistance, either; but i have very little experience building anything with it. On the east coast we are (were) more likely to get Doug fir, the heartwood of which has some moderate rot resistance.

As others noted, EAA has good resources and they can provide links to deeper reads.

Good luck!
smt

PS, response above is in answer to the general practical question, "can it be done"
AFA philosopy, all of life is about fungibility between money, resources, and time.
What makes sense to expend for your situation, projected through completion?
 
Last edited:

Aviacs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
221
FWIW, a good friend of mine in PA built a tall, hollow mast out of poplar, probably 5 or 6 years ago.
The boat and mast are kept in a dry, drive-into second floor barn he built in the woods; but there is no climate control.
It's been sailing for a couple years, at least, and seems to be fine.

I argued with him at the time, but like the OP, he had plenty of poplar trees on his property. Forest poplar tends to grow very straight and knot free. He did not want to spend for Sitka spruce, or sort through lumber yard doug fir. Given the gestation time of the rather large boat he was building for lakes sailing, there was plenty of time to saw & dry lumber for the mast, boom, & jib while the hull was under construction.

Without forcing it, poplar does need to be dried in a dry place, somewhat rapidly, with dry stickers (not off-rips of non-dry material) to avoid mold and sticker stain.

Again, The mast & other rigging seem to be fine.

smt
 
Top