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Main Discussion Area => Arrows- Sponsored by Trueshaft Archery => Topic started by: loefflerchuck on November 27, 2017, 03:18:21 pm

Title: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: loefflerchuck on November 27, 2017, 03:18:21 pm
Since any wood I cut I can't use in my Veritas arrow maker for a couple years, I've been using kiln dried wood with good results. Poplar, hickory, maple, oak, and birch have all worked well. I got a perfect piece of douglas fir for $80 that I planned to get about 140 shafts from. So far almost every 1/2" square I have tried to feed through has splintered and gone in the trash.
 Has anyone out there had this problem with kiln dried fir?
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: willie on November 27, 2017, 04:03:19 pm
I have not had much trouble with doug fir that was kiln dried. but I am not torquing it into a veritas. 1/2" square seems like a lot to shave down. how fine is the grain?

not all drying kilns are operated the same. mistakes are made and sold. I had a unit of spf that was very brittle, and the carpenters blamed the drying on that.
just recently, I remembered reading that wood is often dried to different M.C. depending on where the product is intended to be shipped. ie if you live in a very dry area, your supplier might spec a lower mc to match emc of your area. wood intended for use on the coast or back east is dried not so much as it will just regain. some wood is heated to HT (high temp) specs to sterilize for export. and some, like I found recently at a small local mill, is dehumidifier dried, never going over 120F.
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: loefflerchuck on November 27, 2017, 05:25:54 pm
Thanks Willie. This has pretty fine grain. The 3 out of 20 that made it through without splintering had about 8-9 rings in a 11/32 shaft.

I'm in Utah, so I'd imagine if it was dried for here it is pretty dry.
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: Badger on November 27, 2017, 07:30:04 pm
  Doug fir will dry very fast on its own. 1/2" squares would finish drying in just a couple of days if you dried out a 1X6 for about 1 month. I would want it down below about 12% before I cut it into squares so it doesn't warp. I run doug fir through my veritas tenon cutter all the time. Not sure if that is the same as the arrow maker you are talking about. I cut mine closer to 7/16 and I don't push it very hard.
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: Bryce (Pinecone) on November 28, 2017, 10:17:58 am
The problem probably lies in the material itself. If it's not good-straight, old growth/ tight ringed fir it won't make the best shafts.

The best way in my experience is a shafts plane. Or the surewood shafts workshop;)
Those dowel cutters are tearing out the ends right?
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: RBLusthaus on November 28, 2017, 10:47:27 am
About a year back, I purchased a KD doug fir board from my dealer.  85 bucks.  I figured over 100 shafts, easy.  Best grain I ever saw in a board - almost perfectly straight with very little runout.  I thought I hit the lottery with this board.   

Maybe three shafts made it thru my doweler without breaking or tearing out something awful.  My experience seems to be the same as yours.  I stopped trying and used the supply of 1/2 inch squares as very expensive wood stove kindling.   

If you still have some, maybe try spritzing them with water prior to running them thru the doweler.  I have not tried this, but promised myself I would next time I have this problem.   

I am not sure if the problem was the KD or just case hardened wood, or something else entirely.    I have not tried DF since.   

Russ
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: willie on November 28, 2017, 12:30:51 pm
The problem probably lies in the material itself........The best way in my experience is a shafts plane.
My thoughts also


Quote
If it's not good-straight, old growth/ tight ringed fir it won't make the best shafts.
Bryce, the last time I was looking at doug fir at the specialty supplier, what they stocked had very straight grain, but it was light weight and looked like the interior variety from the color. Ever try it for arrows?
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: Bryce (Pinecone) on November 28, 2017, 12:36:05 pm
The problem probably lies in the material itself........The best way in my experience is a shafts plane.
My thoughts also


Quote
If it's not good-straight, old growth/ tight ringed fir it won't make the best shafts.
Bryce, the last time I was looking at doug fir at the specialty supplier, what they stocked had very straight grain, but it was light weight and looked like the interior variety from the color. Ever try it for arrows?

It's the only wood I shoot. Sometimes stores sell hemlock right next to fir and even sell it as fir, but it ain't. Fir heartwood can be light brown to a pinkish hew.
Good dense fir is worth the work.
Cut into 1/2" squares and then plane the rest of the way 11/32. And I like the last 10" of my shafts tapered to 5/16 at the nock base.
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: willie on November 28, 2017, 01:56:20 pm
from usfs website

Quote
Pseudotsuga menziesii has two widely recognized varieties: menziesii, the green variety indigenous to the area west of the summit of the Cascade Range in Washington and Oregon and of the Sierra Nevada in California; and glauca, the blue Douglas-fir native to the interior mountains of the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountains in the United States, and to Mexico. The division between the two varieties is not as clearly defined in Canada, although menziesii is commonly considered indigenous to the area west of the crest of the mainland Coast and Cascade Ranges.

what i have seen from the rockies seems to be quite different in color and density. Not sure what surewood uses, but if they source local, I will bet that it is coastal, which can be stiffer.
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: loefflerchuck on November 28, 2017, 04:38:39 pm
Bryce, The wood was perfect grain and between 26-30 rpi. Pretty tight for fir I have seen. Surewood does it best. I see they hand split their fir to season. I like the ease of the two blade shaft maker but guess if I want to use this wood hand planing is the way. How long does it take to hand plane 120 shafts? Maybe be done in a few years.

Russ, sounds like we had the exact same experience. Wish I talked to you before my purchase. You paid $5 more than me. I may give your idea a try.

The 3 shafts that did survive are around 55-58# spine at 11/32
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: Bryce (Pinecone) on November 28, 2017, 04:47:39 pm
from usfs website

Quote
Pseudotsuga menziesii has two widely recognized varieties: menziesii, the green variety indigenous to the area west of the summit of the Cascade Range in Washington and Oregon and of the Sierra Nevada in California; and glauca, the blue Douglas-fir native to the interior mountains of the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountains in the United States, and to Mexico. The division between the two varieties is not as clearly defined in Canada, although menziesii is commonly considered indigenous to the area west of the crest of the mainland Coast and Cascade Ranges.

what i have seen from the rockies seems to be quite different in color and density. Not sure what surewood uses, but if they source local, I will bet that it is coastal, which can be stiffer.

Every Douglas Fir west of the cascades is what we use, exclusively
.
Bryce, The wood was perfect grain and between 26-30 rpi. Pretty tight for fir I have seen. Surewood does it best. I see they hand split their fir to season. I like the ease of the two blade shaft maker but guess if I want to use this wood hand planing is the way. How long does it take to hand plane 120 shafts? Maybe be done in a few years.

Russ, sounds like we had the exact same experience. Wish I talked to you before my purchase. You paid $5 more than me. I may give your idea a try.

The 3 shafts that did survive are around 55-58# spine at 11/32

Yes they do:)

A dozen or so can take 20-30 mins depending on how much coffee is in your blood stream 😁
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: DC on November 28, 2017, 04:57:36 pm
Bryce, The wood was perfect grain and between 26-30 rpi. Pretty tight for fir I have seen. Surewood does it best. I see they hand split their fir to season. I like the ease of the two blade shaft maker but guess if I want to use this wood hand planing is the way. How long does it take to hand plane 120 shafts? Maybe be done in a few years.

Russ, sounds like we had the exact same experience. Wish I talked to you before my purchase. You paid $5 more than me. I may give your idea a try.

The 3 shafts that did survive are around 55-58# spine at 11/32

Do you need all 120 now? Hand planing can go pretty quick. Make a "V" groove jig to hold them, maybe 1/2 hour each. I'm guessing, I never kept track when I was planing them.
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: loefflerchuck on November 28, 2017, 07:41:18 pm
Thanks for the info. No, I do not need these soon. I have plenty of other woods to feed through the Veritas that can handle it.

I'll google arrow jig for hand planning and watch a video to figure this out DC
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: DC on November 28, 2017, 08:57:12 pm
I quite enjoy planing shafts. It's one of those, kick your mind out of gear and just do stuff things. It's very pleasing to turn a square stick into a nice round, tapered or barrelled shaft.
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: Bryce (Pinecone) on November 29, 2017, 09:04:21 am
Thanks for the info. No, I do not need these soon. I have plenty of other woods to feed through the Veritas that can handle it.

I'll google arrow jig for hand planning and watch a video to figure this out DC

Shoot me your email and I'll send you a arrow plane build PDF or Carson has some Strunk shaft planes on the Echo site.
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: BowEd on November 29, 2017, 11:34:07 am
I know I've been shooting douglas fir for a long time[at least 5 years] and like them a whole bunch.They make great footed shafts too.The only way I can get that old old douglas fir supply here is to acquire an old door from a house that's 80 years old.Reducing by hand is my way 1 at a time.
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: loefflerchuck on November 29, 2017, 03:52:07 pm
Thanks Bryce. chuck@heartwoodbows.com.

My supply should last me years.
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: TSA on November 30, 2017, 04:52:00 pm
here, i'll give a little input as well.
Now, remember this is my opinion, based on my experience, albeit experience gained from running  hundreds of thousands of shafts.
 i have used Ipe, Hickory, ash, poplar, birch, Lodgepole pine( chundoo), osage, fir, Hemlock, sitka spruce, and even a few  Yew.
now most of these have just been a few dozen or more  shafts for experiments- but i ran maybe a thousand fir, have run a lot of hemlock and pine , and even more Sitka.

there are a lot of good arrow woods out there- but i still think the best arrow wood, is the one you have in your shop!!

But, just talking about Fir, and methods to work it.

in my experience, these coastal woods like to be around 11 or 12 %MC. perfect for yew staves, perfect for other rain forest conifer woods. i find at that MC, they are most stable, shatter less, and cut easier. We keep our grading room at a very specific MC, so that the shafts stay at around 12%.

now drying wood: there are a lot of opinions on this. the risk with commercially dried woods, is that you dont know how they were dried, out of a "spaghetti mill"- they can dry a load of 2x4's in 24hrs- imagine the torture in those boards.
another thing about kiln drying, is that just before the boards are removed, the temp. is spiked- this is to ensure a total bug kill, and to set the pitch- that will do damage to the boards- for sure.
ANY HEAT during the process of drying will damage the cell structure of the wood to some degree or another- this will vary from piece to piece, dependant on so many factors, ie:starting MC, finishing MC, temp attained, duration of high temp, quality of wood etc etc

Thats the very reason that we wont kiln dry any of our wood.
talk to musical instrument makers, or shaker furniture makers or coopers- they will tell you they dont want kiln dried wood- for the very same, excellent reasons.

when I ran fir- which is an awesome arrow wood by the way, I found it to be a wee bit brittle, but then Hemlock can also be- i find their characteristics very similar. Good hard hitting shafts, but just need to keep them from getting too dry!
when I had raw fir shafts in Alberta- they got so dry that they would just shatter on impact so badly that i was scared to shoot them, and i tossed a large armful of fir shafts, not wanting to take the risk, or run the liability.


when we started out many years ago, we started with one of those Veritas dowel makers ( not the tenon cutter) and they work quite well.- the issue with them is,( and this is the biggest problem with DF, as the manufacturers that make shafts from DF will recommend the use of  sanding jig raher than a pencil sharpener type taper tool) that DF does not like the cutting tool running across the grain, it will produce a lot of tear out, tool chatter and will shatter.

most of the Df shaft manufacturers will use tools that cut with the grain. eg: routers or molders- now they have some advantages, the main one being incredibly high productivity, but also have their own host of issues- the biggest one is producing shafts that are out of round- shafts that are slightly oval, which play heck on a cresting jig- but in all fairness dont  affect its flight characteristics.

so thats the background, now what to do with your fir board?

1. i would get the MC in the right place- store it in your bathroom and monitor its MC.
2. build a dowelling jig, using a router and a hand held drill.
3. stay away from the cross cut tools for Fir.
4.seal up the shafts as soon as they are made, to retain the mc, and keep it stable.

keep us posted
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: loefflerchuck on November 30, 2017, 07:56:55 pm
Wow! Now that is some serious advice. Thanks TrueShaft
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: Bryce (Pinecone) on November 30, 2017, 10:06:44 pm
I can say that my shafts fall below 12% probably even down to 3% all the time when I hunt the 2/3rds of Oregon that is desert. Yes our west coast is usually 100% humidity lol which has its pros and cons. But I've never had one shatter! And I miss and hit rock walls often LOL
Yew is a great arrow wood, no one ever wants to take straight clean yew slats to make arrows. But I've saved some straight trained bolts to run through the surewood shop and LET EM FLY!


I got all your emails guys. When I get a couple mins I'll send y'all the jig plans.
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: DC on December 04, 2017, 02:16:42 pm
Bryce, The wood was perfect grain and between 26-30 rpi. Pretty tight for fir I have seen. Surewood does it best. I see they hand split their fir to season. I like the ease of the two blade shaft maker but guess if I want to use this wood hand planing is the way. How long does it take to hand plane 120 shafts? Maybe be done in a few years.

Russ, sounds like we had the exact same experience. Wish I talked to you before my purchase. You paid $5 more than me. I may give your idea a try.

The 3 shafts that did survive are around 55-58# spine at 11/32

Do you need all 120 now? Hand planing can go pretty quick. Make a "V" groove jig to hold them, maybe 1/2 hour each. I'm guessing, I never kept track when I was planing them.

I was way out on time. I just made an arrow shaft so I decided to time myself. I planed it in a "V" block to round and rough size. Then I grabbed it in a drill and bought it to finished spine on the belt sander. Took around 10 minutes start to finish. I didn't rush but I didn't do anything else either :D
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: Jim Davis on December 04, 2017, 02:19:13 pm
+1 on the need to cut DF with the grain. I cut my squares to 3/8" and run them through my router setup, as suggested above. I also use a sanding disc setup to taper the nock and point ends.

As for kiln drying, lots of us get one area of an arrow far hotter than that to straighten a kink.

BTW, would somebody tell me where they are buying DF and paying $80-$85 for a board!!!??? When I buy lumber for shafts, I buy spruce dimension lumber with good grain and if there are knots, they are spaced at least 30" apart. 2X6s often have good sections.
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: TSA on December 04, 2017, 05:23:33 pm
Jim, the issue is not so much the heat- but having said that waaay too much heat will destroy any wood, but its rather the heat  being applied while the mc of the wood is very high, and the heat is used ( and sometimes steam is used in the kilns too) to expel the moisture in the wood, and as time is money in the mills, this is done at a rate that the cell walls cannot handle. The consequences are an excessive expansion of the moisture in the cells                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and the very rapid movement of the moisture from the core of the piece of lumber towards the outside that it actually ruptures the cell walls.
moisture is intended to move through the tree naturally via the  slow and natural process of osmosis, when it is forced, there is damage.
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: DC on December 04, 2017, 07:40:14 pm
What does kiln drying do to the arrow wood as far as spine and weight are concerned?
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: willie on December 04, 2017, 09:01:46 pm
wayne, have you looked into low temp dehumidification "kiln" drying?
Code: [Select]
https://www.nyle.com/lumber-drying-systems/lumber-kiln-drying/dehumidifcation-kilns/
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: TSA on December 05, 2017, 05:29:50 am
DC, i dont know how it effects spine-others may have input. it may or may not have a significant effect. i just know that the structural integrity is effected.
as for weight , that will simply be defined by the wood mass plus the water- same as any piece , irrespective of how it was dried, i guess.

Willie, i will take  a look at that link, many thanks.
i am just adverse to any heat usage- i hear you about the lower heat. the higher the heat the greater the damage, so lower heat would mitigate some of the damage for sure.
all wood drying kilns have a dehumidifying aspect to them. As the moisture is expelled from the wood, it needs to be replaced with lower MC air.

if the "drier" had No heat and just a dehumidification process, that would be the best, as now you are relying on the process of osmosis.
(no ill intent, but just a quick explanation of osmosis, its the process of moisture migration from a high pressure area to a lower pressure area in an attempt to stabilize the pressure- as i remember the explanation from high school hundreds of years ago!!)
this system would work the best, but would not be commercially viable- the process would just take way to long.
i would hesitate to even call that a kiln, as the word kiln implies the use of heat. i would simply call that an air  drier
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: Bryce (Pinecone) on December 06, 2017, 09:19:31 pm
It's transference of water or other solvent through a semi-permeable membrane, in this case; the cell wall;)
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: loefflerchuck on December 07, 2017, 07:11:28 pm
Update: I took the 1/2-" squares of fir and rounded the corners on my table sander. Most made it through the Veritas after that.
Title: Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
Post by: TSA on December 07, 2017, 09:47:17 pm
good job, success!! :) :)
i need to make a correction here, after a bit of head scratching, and after what Bryce said,  the term "osmosis" is the incorrect term- my apologies.
osmosis relates to a transference between two different concentrations of solute.
more correctly, what we are talking about is simply moisture moving from a high-pressure area to a low-pressure area, much like the weather, or like wood finding EMC ( equilibrium moisture content).
thanks, this has been a great thread- glad after all this - Loefflerchuck has had success with the shafts!! :OK