Milling Lumber From Logs

So, if one day you come home and find a log sitting in your front yard, you’ve got some options to choose from that will turn that log into useable lumber. Firstly, I like to saw every log into quarters with a chainsaw and it pays to be really careful to cut a very straight line. Either keep the saw log as one long log and I can size it when I see it or if they want to do the sizing target 6->10ft logs as a ball park. If you try to do this stage with a big electric planer, you can end up wasting a lot of time and wood as the humps may kick the log over, preventing you from choosing the ideal surface to work from. One method that helps remove this dust is to rock the saw in an arc, kicking up the bottom with each stroke.

These will be cut into blocking to hold the rest of the lumber up off the ground. So you can see how a cutting pattern like Jeff posted could be sawn just my moving the saw head into the appropiate positions. Unlike the illustration, we rotate the log after the first cut, putting the cut (and flat) surface downward onto the log carriage. I remember one customer who got very emotional as he watched me mill a century old burr oak log. Even a rough old oak log can have beautiful wood inside it, and watching it come off the mill one board at a time, is almost magical.

If Hert is dead, you may go to another wood mill to purchase lumber and clear the objective. If the log is really dry, it may be more efficient to use a 7 or 8 PPI saw than one that’s 4 or 5 PPI and intended for green wood. A hallmark of poorly processed, do-it-yourself lumber is the presence of spalted or partially rotted wood. Because I think 2-1/8″ is a little thin, I commonly cut 8/4 lumber at 2-3/8″ thick. With a large saw and a special device fitted onto the chainsaw bar, any kind of board can be made for just pennies. Your regular stock chain on your saw works okay when it is sharpened correctly.

I have found semi skip to be useless in milling lumber and I will concentrate here on standard chain and full skip chain for sawmilling. Unplug the saw whenever you perform a blade change or adjustment that puts your fingers close to the blade. The mill only needs to be steadied and pushed gently until it reaches the end of the cut. Keith’s Note: In this application, I don’t think you will have an issue using green lumber. Regardless of the species, seal the ends of a log as soon as the tree is felled to prevent excessive checking. Generally, only the saw was powered, and the logs had to be loaded and moved by hand. Visiting a lumber distributor can be an intimidating process for the uninitiated.

The best advice I can give you is this: Cut the wood to the size you are going to need (plus an allowance for planing up both sides) BEFORE you air dry the lumber. Home users can use dado stacks, but most saw makers over there don’t even bother making saws that accept stacked blades. These are the commercially accepted numbers, and except for 8/4 lumber the ones that I shoot for. Branch wood usually does not make good saw logs because there are internal stresses in the branches from growing at an angle to the ground.

The block can be rotated repeatedly so the saw will remove the wider portions of the quarter. I’ll stack all this new wood up in the rafters and just forget about it for a year or so. However, I do have some nice wood that’s about dry now, it was sawn up over 2 years ago now, so I think I’ll take it down and see what I’ve got, but that’s for another day!

Thicker pieces for dimension lumber are cut next, while the center of the log yields stock for heavy timber pieces. His fees are similar: no payment for logs (though he notes that giving them to him is often less expensive than paying a tree service to deal with them) and a fee if you want the lumber. We recently cut eight foot lengths of hard, dry black walnut 34 inches wide, with a 93cc Chain saw at a rate of about 1-1/2 to 2 feet a minute. Down the road from our offices here in Cincinnati is the Frank Miller Lumber Company , in Union City, Ind. To build quality traditional furniture, you need to start with perfectly flat and square lumber.

But one does need to know enough to decide which trees are worth harvesting and to be able to tell the sawyer how to mill each log. The guards are effective without being in the way, and the mill kicks the sawdust away from the operator. Lumber produced in early sawmills had varying dimensions depending on the customer’s specific order or the mill’s standard practice. Even with a blade guard in place, you don’t want your hand anywhere near the spinning blade.

As I have said I would not recommend using a table saw for re-sawing, personally I would use the bandsaw because it can be guarded. Photos 5 and 6 show how to rip thin strips with the blade guard in place using a couple of easily constructed table saw accessories. The scale below shows the target hardwood lumber thicknesses for commercially produced, rough-cut lumber and their planed thickness counterparts.

According to Norwood mill designer Peter Dale, the mill is used worldwide, and is designed to meet strict European safety standards. To a lumber grader, rift sawn boards have end grain that is 75 to 45 degrees to the face, although others suggest a less restrictive 60 to 30 degrees. For kiln-drying, he charges 60 cents per board foot for lumber one inch thick and 75 cents for lumber two inches thick. Keep in mind that lumber within a single building may show a variety of saw cut mark types and ages.

But a better solution is to build a small table that’s the same height as your table saw (Photo 3). Or if room permits, build a permanent outfeed platform. To produce smooth lumber with sawdust extremely fine ( it will blow away in the wind ) you must use a full house standard chain ( the most teeth ). You can purchase standard crosscut chain with the teeth at 35 degree angle or oregon rip chain with the teeth at a 10 degree angle and modify it to produce the smoothest lumber. Always add a little more than you think you might need, when cutting lumber for furniture, because you will probably want to plane it down later.

In general though, softwoods are cut on the standard quarter scale with 4/4 lumber measuring 1″. Right now I have two eight footcurly cherry logs and a spalted maple log that we pulled from the firewood stack waiting to be cut up on my friends small 18″ hud-son sawmill. The circular motion of the wheel was changed to back-and-forth motion of the saw blade by a connecting rod known as a pitman arm (thus introducing a term used in many mechanical applications). With the saw unplugged and the blade down, measure from the blade teeth to a point on the fence equal to the part length.

Actual dimensions of modern 2x lumber vary, and vary more widely depending on whether or not the members are kiln-dried (more likely to be exact in width) or pressure treated (still wet) or not kiln-dried SPF (Spruce Pine Fir) lumber. Here is a comparison table for you that actually compares both methods that I did as a demonstration at a forestry exhibition in 1984, log loaded ready to to saw lumber

Adze cuts to hew a rectangular beam out of a round log were made in two steps: an adze, a hoe-like cutting tool with wooden offset handle was used to make a series of cuts along the round up-facing surface of a log. Before using a portable saw mill , ensure that the mill is set to cut planks of wood to the desired thickness. Thus there are no large logs to make prime lumber – it is more like firewood by the time it hits the ground and is stacked. If the log is going to be made into partially finished lumber, the second cut may be made below the first at any depth the user to saw lumber