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wind storms
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home projects
devastation
tornadoes
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Turning Storm Damage Into Lumber
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Turning Storm Damage Into Lumber

The tornadoes of 2011 in Alabama and surrounding states were devastating and will change the lives of many people. For some, it will take months or even years to rebuild their homes. My heart goes out to anyone that is faced with the devastation that these storms and other storms like it can leave behind.

One of the things the storms leave behind is many tree limbs and branches. This can even happen with wind storms. Many times people just saw up the limbs and branches and either burn them or take them to the dump. When this happens, you could be throwing away good lumber, which could amount to lumber you could use for home projects such as birdhouses, wood tables, or anything that you would normally have to go to the lumberyard for.

Some time ago when a storm blew a large limb out of my elm tree, about 8 inches in diameter, I was using my chain saw to clean it up when I realized that instead of just cutting it up for firewood, I should run it through the band saw I built and make some good lumber with it. Since my saw had a cutting capacity of 12 inches deep, I cut the limb into 4 foot pieces, and with the help of roller stands and my friend, I was able to lift the 4 foot limbs onto my saw.

With the help of a temporary guide that was fastened to the limb, I made 4 cuts with the saw, each time rotating the limb 90 degrees and re-attaching the guide each time. This reduces your limb with 4 easy cuts, and makes it much easier to fit through any band saw you have that has a capacity of at least 6 inches. One of the things I did with the beam after doing this was I was able to make much thinner wood that was about 3/8 inch thick. I then made model outhouses with the lumber, and gave a friend several of them, and sold the rest of them locally. Any type lumber you have from a storm can be resawed down to 1/16" or up to any thickness you desire and that will work with any bandsaw you have.

The saw I made with mostly old car parts and junk laying around the shop is in the picture above. I have cut many types of wood with it, including oak, elm, walnut, hickory, and note the beautiful red tint in the piece of boxelder on the saw. You can do any of these things if you have your own saw whether it be homemade or a commercial built bandsaw.

So, the next time a storm hits, instead of getting frustrated with the mess it has created, why not turn it into useable lumber, which is really turning it into dollars as any lumber you make, saves a trip to the lumberyard and those trips are sometimes quite costly!


Street Talk

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