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lewisc

Milling rough logs

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There’s a pepper mill in here somewhere. It looks like firewood on the outside (had to split it with an axe) but there’s some decent timber underneath. It’s Tasmanian Blackwood - a beautiful timber and these pieces have a walnut like colour.  Cut down 25 years ago according to the guy I picked it up from and that was at least 5 years ago. 

All I’m after is at least one piece that I can turn to a 65mm cylinder and make a pepper mill. 

What would be a good plan to process it? I’m thinking bandsaw to start?

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Sure, you can go straight to the bandsaw with firewood. If you have a jointer and can create a flat surface beforehand, that's even better. But I've taken plenty of wonky logs to the bandsaw. They wobble and it's kind of scary. Spend some time orienting your first cut so that the downward force of the blade is more or less supported by the table as much as possible. Then, once you've made your first cut, orient that against the table for your second cut. It gets easier as you approach your final shape. To get an initial straight line, I'll often stretch a string down the length of the log and follow that.

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If you have some skill with wedges you could split off pieces to get the shape closer to where you want it before taking it to the band saw. Some of those split faces look pretty flat so you don't really have to do that.

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1 hour ago, Chestnut said:

If you have some skill with wedges you could split off pieces to get the shape closer to where you want it before taking it to the band saw. Some of those split faces look pretty flat so you don't really have to do that.

I’d probably ruin it if I tried using wedges. The only reason I had to split it was to take it on a plane from my brothers house. I picked up a trailer load of it - not really useful for furniture but with bit of work there are a few pieces good for turning and crafty things. 

I’ll take a few passes on the jointer and then see how the bandsaw goes. 

 

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27 minutes ago, lewisc said:

I’d probably ruin it if I tried using wedges. The only reason I had to split it was to take it on a plane from my brothers house. I picked up a trailer load of it - not really useful for furniture but with bit of work there are a few pieces good for turning and crafty things. 

I’ll take a few passes on the jointer and then see how the bandsaw goes. 

 

Jointer and then band saw works for me. The car key holder i just made was a piece of firewood before i milled it into a board.

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@lewisc a couple of thoughts. 

Conceivably you could spin it as is.  It's a matter of balance and vibration.  If you have a good sized heavy lathe, secure mounts at head and tail stocks and a stout roughing tool you can turn it into round. 

Looking at your pictures it seems it would be unwieldy, so it would be worthwhile to bandsaw a bit.  But I see no reason to "target" the square you drew on the end unless you want to make a square pepper mill.  Just cut off enough material to get the timber balanced enough to get on the lathe where you make it round and more balanced (and larger than your square).  Remember it does not need to be cut to any regular shape, you just need to be able to spin it without having it take your lathe for a walk about.

Also if you're going to be rough sawing many logs you might want to look at making a sled for your bandsaw.

 

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