University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Northrop, E. B.; Chittenden, H. A., Jr. (ed.) / The Wisconsin lumberman, devoted to the lumbering interests of the northwest
(August, 1874)

Shaky lumber,   p. 504 PDF (379.8 KB)

Page 504

504                   The Wiscons
Mm. EDrron:-If the question, as
to the cause of lumber being shaky,
was put to one hundred men, prob-
ably nine-tenths, if not ninety-nine
hundredths, of them would say it
was caused by the wind swaying the
trees when frozen. This answer or
reason seems so plausible, that but
few give the matter more thought.
AU lament the fact that lumber is
shaky, but take no pains to investi-
gate the matter, and to inquire if
that answer is correct or not. Hav-
ing given the subject much thought,
I have arrived at a different conclu-
sion; I am satisfied that the wind
has nothing to do with it. Shaky
timber  never grows in    places
particularly exposed to the wind,
and the heart of white pine never
freezes unless it is shaky. It usually
grows on low, wet, cold land, and if
found an high land, it is in or on
some depression or valley, that is
undrained on that high land. If the
land on which shaky timber grows is
cleared up, and sown to grasses, the
the spot on which the shaky timber
stood, will grow a wild grass, and
until it is drained, cannot be made to
produce any other. Now my theory
is, that there is a substance that is
soluble in water, in the cold, wet
places where the timber grows and
it is taken np in the sap of the tree,
being a little heavier than the sap,
it is left in the grain of the wood,
and coats it over, and this coating is
so smooth that it prevents the grains
of wood from adhering to each other.
As proof that this soluble sslution is
heavier than the sap, we always find
the butt of the tree shaky, if any
part, and never the top. As proof
of the coating of the grains of wood,
those grains that are shaky, as we
call it, will not rot; after shaky pines
has all fallen to pieces, as it were,
they grains themselves, are found
perfectly sound and bright, showing
that this coating is impervious to
water, and the fact that it takes three
Cn Lumberman.
or four times as long to season or
dry shaky lumber than it does sound
lumber, this shows. to us that this
coating prevents the sap leaving the
wood. The above are the reasons
for my theory. What this substance
is I am not enough of a chemist to
tell. I have no doubt if one would
burn some shaky timber, and analyze
the ashes, he could tell us all about
it. What would be of more value to
the public would be to find a remedy.
If it is the same substance, as my
theory holds, as the one that causes
the wild grass, no doubt draining
would be a remedy, if it was done
before the trees grew, but that will
not help the grown timber. I sub-
mit this, hoping that it will attract
the attention of some one that can
tell us more about it.  CANADA.
-Boston Lumber Trade.
At the close of the recent national
convention of lumbermen at Williams-
port, a meeting of the planing-mill
owners of that city was calledl by J.
T. Drew, Esq., of the counsel of the
executive committee of planing-mill
owners, for the purpose of bringing
before them the matter of the de-
mand of Joseph P. Woodbury, and
those associated with him in the
ownership of his patent, for a royalty
on all planing and moulding ma-
chines, using the "pressure bars"
claimed to be covered by said patent.
Mr. Drew explained to the gentlemen
present the effect of the sustainment
by the courts of the validity of the
Woodbury Patent, and the con se-
quent enforcement of the demand of
the claims of the Woodbury Patent
Planing Machine Company, and the
importance to each of them of unit-
ing in the organized effort, now be-
ing make by more than a thousand
leading firms throughout the coun-
try in combination, to resist the
claim. The assurrance was given that

Go up to Top of Page