Cooperage: A treatise on practice and methods (from 1910)

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Re: Cooperage: A treatise on practice and methods (from 1910)

Post by 8Ball » Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:11 am

From the treatise:
pages 241-244
In a great majority of stave mills, after the staves are cut or sawn they are piled on the yard or under open sheds to season, called air-drying, while others put the staves direct from the knife into dry kilns. (This sub- ject will be found more fully presented in Section IX of this work.) In piling stock in the open or under sheds built for this purpose (see Fig. 78) considerable care and attention are necessary, in order to insure that the
Fig. 78. View of Stave Piling Sheds and Log Pond.
workbeproperlydone. Somemanufacturersareofthe opinion that after staves are made, the important part has been accomplished and that they can be piled in any old place and in almost any shape or manner which sug- gests itself to the sometimes inexperienced piler. This is a very grave error, as by improper piling valuable timber is liable to be wasted, and this is not the stage in the manufacture where waste should occur. If there must be waste, let it occur in the woods or before so much time and labor have been expended upon it.
It appears to be the most difficult problem for some manufacturers to realize and appreciate the value of expending a little more time and labor in raising their stave piles suf-
ficientlv clear of the ground.
On a visit to the yards of some mills where staves are
piled for air-seasoning, one will find many cases of gross carelessness, where good, well-manufactured staves are piled so nearly flat on the ground that the grass and weeds growing up around not only hide the poorly laid founda- tion, but obstruct and retard the proper circulation of air through the several layers on the bottom of the pile. Eventually, when these staves are taken to the jointers, it will be found that the majority of them are stained or have turned black and sour from moisture and lack of proper air circulation incident to being kept close to the ground. Not infrequently some are found to be so rotten and worm-eaten as to be entirely worthless. A great deal can be done toward facilitating the drying of stock if the staves are piled on pieces of timber and kept away
from the ground as far as possible, with the piles sepa- rated as far as the binders will reach, or at least 14 inches, to allow of good air circulation between the piles, and with a tunnel about 18 or 20 inches square running cross- wise throughout the centre of the piles, and at the bottom, directly opposite one another, so that where there is

a series of piles this opening makes a -continuous tunnel throughout them all. This opening or tunnel has a ten- dency to create air currents in and about the piles, and considerably facilitates drying or seasoning, and should not be omitted.
If there is nothing near at hand suitable to pile upon, which will furnish a good foundation, why not get some- thing? There are generally a lot of saplings or some- thing of the kind in the stave woods that can be had and used to advantage in making a pile foundation. If something of this kind was secured, and the bark re- moved, one or two sides flattened if thought necessary, and then take some of those cull stave bolts, and, instead of laying them flat on the ground, dig a small hole and
set them on end to form posts, on which the saplings could be placed in the shape of stringers, it would make a pile foundation that would be clear of the ground and would let the air currents circulate freely through and under the piles and prevent moisture coming up into the pile, and so insure staves in the bottom of the pile being as dry and bright as those up toward the top.
It matters not just how these details are carried out, as one should naturally be governed in this by local condi- tions, but it looks as if there should be an awakening to the necessity of getting stave piles clear of the ground. What is needed is more active steps in the work of spend- ing a little more time and energy in piling staves to save trouble and loss of stock and profits on some of the stock, because of deterioration in the piles for lack of this atten- tion. Wehaveoftenseenagoodrickofstavesspoiledby undue exposure, being practically neglected after they
were on the yard. Open sheds are now considered by the progressive manufacturers as being the most economical and the only method by which staves should be piled for proper air-seasoning. The
sheds should be built to

suit the location, but where practicable should be made about 20 feet wide and 100 to 150 feet long. (See Fig. 78.) They are not very expensive, as no floor or sides are required; then the staves should be piled crosswise of this shed, making short and substantial piles, and when
Fig. 79. Slack Stave Foot-power Jointer.
jointing out, the oldest or the ones subjected to air-sea- soning the longest should always be taken first; in this way one is always shipping the best-seasoned stock, and the staves will not be liable to rot on account of remain- ingontheyardtoolong. Stavepilesshouldbeatleast 8 inches off the ground, and the grass and weeds kept cleaned away, as any sort of vegetation has a tendency to draw dampness; and in piling, the staves should be laid flat, with the least amount of lap possible ...
The struggle is real and this rabbit hole just got interesting.

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