Sawing Sweetgum

Sweetgum does not "gum up" blades, but it is prone to movement when sawn. March 13, 2007

I have been told that sweetgum will gum up bandsaw blades. Does anyone have info on this? Also, what limitations does it have as far as framing lumber goes? I have several gum trees, but to this point have never sawn any.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
I have never heard of or seen this. The word "gum" does not refer to gum in the lumber. However, sweetgum does indeed warp tremendously in drying and also can stain easily. Often the lumber is divided into two groups, sap gum and red gum (heartwood).

From contributor T:
I'm thinking we should change "does indeed warp tremendously" with "can indeed warp tremendously."

From contributor A:
Sweetgum saws well but needs to be flipped about every cut. It will bow and jump loose even from a hydraulic mill. I would not use it for framing lumber and saw it 5/4 thick to get a 3/4 board.

From contributor V:
I haven't ever sawn sweetgum on my mill, but have cut trees down and I don't remember any gummy buildup on the saw's chain. To get rid of pitch buildup on blades when sawing gummy, sappy and pitch filled logs, spray a 50/50 ratio mix of bar chain oil and diesel (have heard kerosene works too) in a spray bottle. Spray a few shots on the blade every two minutes or so of sawing.

From contributor G:
If you burn wood for heat, I suggest quartering the logs on the mill, then cutting to length with chainsaw... because that stuff doesn't split easy (if you do it my way, with a maul).