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Author Topic: Wood from large limbs/branches for calls?  (Read 358 times)

Offline Paulmyr

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Wood from large limbs/branches for calls?
« on: September 11, 2022, 01:26:00 PM »
I have a Mulberry tree in my back yard that had 2 large limbs come down. The tree grows kinda funky. It has 3 main trunks that rise at varying degrees. One of the trunks had 2 branches break away and another that is nearly horizontal about to come down. At some point the whole tree will have to go. I would imagine there is quite a bit of tension in the wood from the whole tree. When the trunks come down there will be plenty of wood to lay on the sawmill for cutting blanks but the wood will have a bit of tension because the trunks don't grow vertical.

The question I have for you experienced call makers is would you feel comfortable making a call from dried wood that originally had considerable tension for fear of wood movement in changing atmospheric conditions. Say like from low to high humidity.

When you choose stock do you look for boards cut from the main trunk? Does it bother you or do you just look for proper grain/cut?
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Offline mmclain

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Re: Wood from large limbs/branches for calls?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2022, 12:01:09 AM »
 No there isn’t any tension lengthwise.   It will cup as it dries some woods more than others.   The call should be double turned to relieve any cupping that occurs after coring out the internals of the pot.  Regardless of the way the tree grows the wood will cup. Depending on the species some more some less.

Offline Paulmyr

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Re: Wood from large limbs/branches for calls?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2022, 10:35:08 AM »
I’d have to disagree with you about wood not having tension lengthwise. All the milling sights I visit talk about wood tension(hardwoods) and compression(softwoods). It’s how trees grow to fight gravity. I’ve seen it 1st hand myself while milling where boards bowed considerably while the blade cut through them from the trunk wood of trees that grew at an an angle and not straight up from the ground. The thicker the cut the more they bow. Sawyers try to fight this as well as other movements (cupping, twisting, crooking) during the drying process by adding considerable weight on top of their stacked lumber or by the use of ratchet straps.

When you talk about cupping do your hollowed blanks move across the width? Does it cup towards or away from the side where you removed the material  on your 1st turn? A board will cup towards the center of the tree if it was flat sawn.

Quarter or rift sawing is used by hardwood flooring manufactures to fight cupping. The movement in these cuts tend to be sideways by crooking  (crowning of the board for the carpenters among us) as the wood on one side of the face of a board is younger than the other side and dries at a different rate. Tension/compression could add to this movement or possibly fight it? Twisting is common in rift sawn wood. It seems type of wood plays a role in the volatility of the these movements.

It maybe the case that these movements are minimal, if at all, with smaller blanks used in pot calls compared to furniture or something.

 How about box calls being the blanks are cut along the length of the board? From what little I’ve been able find on the net, Quarter sawing for the paddles and flat sawing for the box seems to be the most viable as it exposes the wood grains in a way that causes the most vibration when the paddle is manipulated.

Maybe it's a moot point if the wood is allowed to acclimate for a long period of time and the blank is then cut after the wood has moved.

Or ….. am I over thinking all of this?


« Last Edit: September 23, 2022, 10:52:46 AM by Paulmyr »
Paul Myrdahl

Offline mmclain

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Re: Wood from large limbs/branches for calls?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2022, 11:21:07 PM »
Yes it will cup across the grain and to the center.  All Dry wood  “no matter how long it’s dried” will cup after its been hollowed. even quarter sawn will cup and can be measured .  It doesn’t shrink lengthwise that’s what I meant.  Ive sawn, dried, and turned plenty of wood.  It’s best not to fight the warping or twisting if you want a more stable piece of wood.   It’s pointless to fight persimmon and some other woods from all the movement    That “minimal” movement on a first turn built call is enough to crack the surface or disrupt a good adhesive bond.  Kiln drying wood wont stop cupping either.
 

 

Offline Paulmyr

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Re: Wood from large limbs/branches for calls?
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2022, 08:41:10 PM »
So you'd comfortable using branch wood for making calls?
Paul Myrdahl

Offline mmclain

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Re: Wood from large limbs/branches for calls?
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2022, 10:06:38 PM »
Yes.   If they are big enough.  The crotch of the tree is where most of the stress lies.  That’s why you get the nice character in the grain thus it becomes highly desired for wood turning.  Once you core out all the waste wood and let it rest the wood movement becomes minimal.  Doesn’t matter if it’s the trunk or limb the wood will move after its dry.     If you’ve ever sawn persimmon you’ll notice that the warping/ cupping is severe and the crotch areas shrink more than the rest of the board.  Its a large amount of waste compared  to a sawn poplar or oak board.  Your mulberry wood will Be just fine for some types of calls.  Depending on the size they might not be suitable for a pot call.     
« Last Edit: September 29, 2022, 10:18:29 PM by mmclain »

Offline Paulmyr

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Re: Wood from large limbs/branches for calls?
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2022, 12:05:00 AM »
Thanks, I have some branch pieces with about a 12" diameter and the split  trunks are close to 20" when I get the chance to bring them down. Got 3 large Mulberry on the perimeter of the property. Need to find the property stakes but I'm pretty sure they are mine.

Also have some Catalpa trunk pieces that are about 16" that have been waiting for the chainsaw for about a little under 2 years. I'll have to check them out and get them on the mill if they are still good.  They came off a hollow monster that was  near 80' tall and about 3 ft in diameter at the base. I bet the tree guy had a place for it. Told him to get rid of the trunk before the 1st crotch as I had no way to manage it at the time.

2 more Catalpas in the front yard that are on the chopping block. They are soaking up all the water and sunlight and killing what little grass is left. They are not near as big as the monster was.

Add one of the walnuts from the back yard and some ash at the cabin and I should have a pretty good stash of wood for working when I get the the shop built.

Thanks again for your time.
Paul Myrdahl

Offline Paulmyr

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Re: Wood from large limbs/branches for calls?
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2022, 08:49:41 PM »
How about any of you box call makers? What are your thoughts on this matter? Are you looking more at the grain? Does wood movement and what part of the tree the wood comes from of concern to you?
« Last Edit: September 30, 2022, 11:02:32 PM by Paulmyr »
Paul Myrdahl