box elder lumber for crafts?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by MELOC, May 22, 2006.

  1. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i am clearing some over-grown landscape and i cut some really pretty box elder. it has a star burst red pattern. i was cutting that and some silver maple, also nicely burled and patterned, and was wondering if it is worth trying to sell or if i should just cut it into firewood? i have many nice knots and a few crotches and some small lengths.

    i searched on ebay and say some market for box elder turning stock, but i have no bandsaw or mill. if i could find a wood craft person in the pa/md/va/wv area it would be great.

    if i plan to do anything constructive with it, how should i handle it?
     
  2. Selena

    Selena proud to be pro-choice

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    Box elder is too soft to burn for firewood. It will not burn hot enough and gunk up your pipe. Only way we'd burn it is if we risked freezing to death. The trees grow fast, tend to split, and are most likely to blow over in a storm. Husband has been cutting them down over the years. We had a branch, appr. 4 feet around fall on our old chicken coop. After cutting it down and dragging to the burn pile, we found what we thought were 3 more trees behind the building to be one box elder that had split into 3 trunks over 5 feet around (each trunk). IMHO, good for bon fires and not much else in the burning area.
     

  3. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i would not wish to burn box elder exclusively but it mixes well. i like to burn my stoves hot often so i burn out most creosote build up. it is good to start fires with (branches and such).

    the same could be said for pine but they burn alot of it out west i hear. we are spoiled to have so much oak, locust etc. here in the east.
     
  4. kitaye

    kitaye Well-Known Member

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    Carvers will pay for wood like that. Don't know how much or even where to advertise it but I've seen Box elder articles in the Carver magazines. Some lovely stuff those people can do with wood.
     
  5. Nancy in Maine

    Nancy in Maine Well-Known Member

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    Seriously? We have so many box elders around here! We can them "weed trees". We did try and burn one once. True, not much heat, but this time of year we are burning old, dead pine and the amount of heat is just right. So it serves 2 purposes, as we're in the long process of cleaning up 8 acres of scrubby pine.
     
  6. just_sawing

    just_sawing Haney Family Sawmill

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    THere is a market for the larger trees. The market is for the outside burl and portions of the Red streaks. I have two four foot diameters on the Mill site now but I am one of the only one araound here that messes with it. The trees have really no comericial valve but they can be beatiful
     
  7. toomb68

    toomb68 Well-Known Member

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    many people like to turn box elder....bowls , vases, decorative objects. but i don't think you could sell enough or make enough money to make it worth your time. the pretty red fades to a brown over time......
     
  8. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's called "box" elder because it used to be used for making boxes, just learned that! You can make syrup from the sap, but I've heard it isn't very good.
     
  9. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i guess i have a more specific question now. if i try to sell it for turnings etc., should i dry it first? will it check if i do? do people want it green?
     
  10. Shadow

    Shadow Well-Known Member

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    Me and the wife both do wood turning and carving. Box elder I have turned and carved, both I did wet, I prefer to cut my own and wax the ends as soon as I cut it. Warning green box elder smell like a wet dog on a bad day. After it dries it stops stinking., I have no idea who would want to buy it unless it is really fancy figured or burled.
     
  11. hunter63

    hunter63 Well-Known Member

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    I have a lot of it at "the place", weed tree, in my opinion.
    If you find a place to sell it , please post.
    Won't hardly burn the first year, some luck the second year, by the third, to late, doesn't burn, just shrinks.
    Also smells, and doesn't split well.
    He!! of a time killing off the stumps. will keep sprouting back.