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Wood Acquisition Rescue Program - Resources

 

milling3A well run WARP will require a number of people and material resources. We recommend to each woodworking club that is implementing a WARP, have the following resources identified ahead of time. When you get a call that a tree is down, or about to be felled, you will have little time to be locating the resources you need. Locate them ahead of time, so you know where to call when you need them.

#1 - People with chain saws (at least one or two)
These are often Woodworking Club members. They may need to be called upon to remove the limbs from trees or buck large trees into manageable lengths. If they are qualified and insured, they may be tree fallers as well, but falling is best left to the professionals.

#2 - Access to a Crane Truck
This is not as awesome as it sounds. Some trees will be located in areas that are difficult to get at, and many large trees may need to be lifted onto trucks or trailers to be hauled away. In some instances auto wrecking trucks are suitable, otherwise a truck with a "lift" from a construction company may be needed.
In some cases trees may be in peoples back yards or other less accessible spots. Some of these are so large they are impossible to remove economically and the only option is use a portable mill. like an Alaskan chain saw mill or a small portable band saw which could be used to process these logs. In some cases you may have to make the determination if a tree is worth salvage or not. Not every tree will be worth the time, expense and effort of rescuing it for wood.

#3 - Access Tree Hauling Truck or Trailer
This can often be done with a suitable utility trailer (car haulers work well) or a truck large enough to hold the wood, as mentioned above a truck from a construction company may work for this.

#4 - Saw Mill
In almost every region of the country there are numbers of people who have small saw mills. Some of these mills are portable, some are fixed. There are also a variety of them that use large chain saws to cut rough planks, while others use gas driven circular or band saws. You will need to compile a list of people with mills, fixed or portable depending on your need and preference, or what is available in your area.

#5 - Work and Storage Location
Very often wood is "rescued" during the week and workers and club members are only available on weekends to assist with the milling. You may need a small yard to store the trees until you can get a work party to begin processing them, and you may need a place to mill the trees if the mill you are using is portable. Many farmers and industrial locations will allow temporary use of their acreage (offering to clean up thoroughly after can go a long way too). Also if you are dealing with local and municipal governments, they often have a secure place where wood can be stored short term.
WHAT IS IMPORTANT - is that trees that are felled, need to be moved to a secure place, otherwise they will be bucked up and removed by others.

#6 - Drying Wood (optional)
There are a variety of ways wood can be dried. Most hardwoods are best dried slowly to reduce twisting of the wood. Air drying boards naturally, when they are two inches or more thick can take two to three years or more. Electric or gas fired kilns can dry wood in only a few days but there is an added cost for this service. Other kilns that dry wood through evaporation processes include solar and moisture extraction kilns. These often take a few weeks to dry the wood, but the twisting is often much reduced, as is the cost of drying. If you can cannot find someone with a kiln in your area you may need to sell your wood "green". Evaporation and solar kilns can be quite safe and economical to build . These could be worth investigating in for an individual or a club.

#7 - Sales Yard or Location
If you are selling your "rescued" wood green, you could use the same cutting lot, or if you have dried the wood maybe you can sell it as it comes out of the kiln.

#8 - Reserve Funds
The process of recovering wood will cost your club some money. You will need to have money to pay people for their services, possibly a tree faller, a skidder, someone to "crane" the wood and haul it to your holding yard. You will also have to pay someone to mill the wood and possibly something for drying too, depending on your situation. Make sure you keep track of the costs because this is what will help determine how much you will be selling the wood for.

With some suppliers you may be able to "trade" some of your wood for their services. A saw mill or kiln operator for example may be interested in taking some wood as all or part payment. This is another option for you to explore.

#9 - End Sealers for Tree Trunks
Once a tree is down, it is critical to seal the end grain of the wood. Most woods dry quickly once the end grain is exposed and when it dries too quickly this can lead to cracking an warping. We recommend that your club invests in a suitable quantity of end grain sealer, that is specifically manufactured for this purpose, available at all fine woodworking stores. You will need a substantial quantity of this, talk to your dealer to establish the correct amount.
The "Leaders" will need to know where this material is being stored, or assign it to a club member of the WARP team.

#10 - Cleaning Tools
Depending on where you haul your trees to or mill them into boards, you are likely going to be faced with some amount of cleanup. We recommend that a few brooms, shovels, plastic bags or plastic garbage containers be available to carry waste away.

#11 - Signs or Spray Paint for "Tagging" Trees
Once a tree has been cut down, particularly if it is on public land and in are area where there is heavy traffic, it is VERY important to identify and "tag" your trees so others who come across it will not take it. We recommend that small waterproof signs be made and stapled to the trees, or that the trees be spray painted to identify them. In most cases this is all that is needed in order for people to not buck your trees into firewood. Is is also a good idea to move them away to a secure location as soon as possible to reduce temptation.

#12 - Metal Detector / Remover
One of the known disadvantages with "urban" trees, is that they can contain bits of metal, including nails, wire, even old bullets. All of these can damage saw blades and can create safety hazards.
If possible, we recommend using a good quality metal detector on a tree to see if you can find any metal bits. Don't be surprised if the metal detector does not pick up nails that are embedded deep in the tree. It is not unusual to cut down trees with nails or pieces of wire in them that have been in the tree for decades.

#13 - Informing the Community
In order for the WARP to be a success, you are going to need to inform a lot of people of what the program is, and how they can participate in it. Much of this will be up to individual Club Members but it is also a good idea for the WARP Leader and/or Woodworking Club President to pay a visit to local municipal government officials to inform them of the program and the benefits to the community.

People who will need to be contacted include Town / City / Municipal / County government officials in "Parks", Highways and road maintenance, Building and Public Works. Private companies like landscapers, arborists, tree fallers, building contractors and developers and anyone else who may have occasion to remove trees.

ALL OF THESE CONTACTS should be provided with at least one business card so that in the event they have trees that need to be removed they will know how to contact someone in order to donate their trees. This is where woodworkweb plays the role of FIRST LINE CONTACT and in turn informing the appropriate club of the wood rescue opportunity.