sjeff70

Milling a log on the bandsaw

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In this Matt Cremona video he takes a short log and mills boards into different grain patterns using a jointer and bandsaw.  What interests me is that he uses the jointer to get 2 sides flat where others use a common practice of attaching a log to a sled before running it through the bandsaw.  Matt doesn't waste his time doing that though.  He installs a high fence on the bandsaw and runs one of the jointed faces along it - simple.  I love this approach.  My question is what's the maximum length of log one can use, using this method.  His log is pretty short in length.  I suppose a length that wouldn't be too heavy for the jointer and bandsaw and one you could safely move around without straining yourself?      

Go to the 4 minute mark:

 

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Yep I think you answered your own question...what you can safely move around and control which I think is limited to pretty small short stock. If your doing boxes and such it would work well.

 

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2.5' I tried 3 feet and it was just too heavy....

I've milled some logs on my bandsaw and had it work great. I've milled some logs and it turned out aweful. It's a tough process.

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On 2/21/2020 at 4:58 PM, Chestnut said:

2.5' I tried 3 feet and it was just too heavy....

I've milled some logs on my bandsaw and had it work great. I've milled some logs and it turned out aweful. It's a tough process.

How big around did you go and what grain patterns did you shoot for.  Are logs worth buying?

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12 minutes ago, sjeff70 said:

Are logs worth buying?

Defiantly not. Poke around and you should be able to get free. If someone is asking money for a log on craig's list offer them free haul away  and they might take it. Only time i'd pay for something is walnut and that's a HUGE maybe, there is just too much risk involved with nails, rot, insects ect.

14 minutes ago, sjeff70 said:

How big around did you go and what grain patterns did you shoot for.

10" i just did flat sawn because anything else is too complicated. If i had an easier way to quarter logs i'd have done that but then you need bigger logs and that makes things more difficult.

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15 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

Defiantly not. Poke around and you should be able to get free. If someone is asking money for a log on craig's list offer them free haul away  and they might take it. Only time i'd pay for something is walnut and that's a HUGE maybe, there is just too much risk involved with nails, rot, insects ect.

10" i just did flat sawn because anything else is too complicated. If i had an easier way to quarter logs i'd have done that but then you need bigger logs and that makes things more difficult.

The log would have to be 16" around if you wanted to get a project out of it.  You'd get (4) 8" boards and then the stock gets narrower and narrower from there.  A log 16" around at 2 feet long would be too heavy to handle and the length too short.  

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15 hours ago, Coop said:

@sjeff70, are you meaning 16” diameter or circumference? 

Did you used to be a math teacher Coop?  Do you know what the diameter of a log would be if it had a 16" circumference?

D=C/PI

D=16/3.14

D=5.1"

:D

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That’s what I came up with and thus the reason for asking as you said 16” around and to me that meant circumference. Or maybe there was just a comma missing. 

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On 2/22/2020 at 5:40 PM, Chestnut said:

Defiantly not. Poke around and you should be able to get free. If someone is asking money for a log on craig's list offer them free haul away  and they might take it. Only time i'd pay for something is walnut and that's a HUGE maybe, there is just too much risk involved with nails, rot, insects ect.

10" i just did flat sawn because anything else is too complicated. If i had an easier way to quarter logs i'd have done that but then you need bigger logs and that makes things more difficult.

I was looking through youtube videos over the weekend and came across only a few videos where a large log was quartered in the field.  When you search with the word, 'quartered' it wants to bring up 'quarter sawn' but I don't know what else to call it.  But anyway, in both videos they used the Alaskan sawmill.  If one were inclined to quarter a 17" diameter log, 3 feet long, in the field it would make things more manageable bringing quarters to the shop. 

I came across a surprising number of woodworkers happy to plain sawn logs in the shop.  I understand the desire to slab but only a few attempted patterns on too small a log in the shop.  I know it's tough on the bandsaw but I found no videos where someone quartered a log in the field and then milled one of the quarters on their bandsaw.      

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3 minutes ago, sjeff70 said:

I know it's tough on the bandsaw but I found no videos where someone quartered a log in the field and then milled one of the quarters on their bandsaw.  

Does it count if it's Mattias Wandel and it's firewood? Pretty sure he's done it in a video or three. The videos just aren't dedicated to the task.

Even halving a 17" diameter log that's 3' long might make it manageable. If someone has an alaskan mill seems pointless to bring the bandsaw into play. I guess less kerf loss. On free wood I don't much mind kerf loss.

I plan on buying a chainsaw this weekend that I'll eventually mill with I'll probably mill 10/4 and resaw in the shop for 4/4 or just use the 10/4. I have a line on a decent standing American elm that has a good 20' of clear strait trunk.

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I recently watched a YT video of some Russian weekend lumberjack using the hand tool technique of marking a line and sawing to it, but with a chainsaw. He was turning out some nice-looking 8/4 stock, in the field, with just a 16" saw and a chalk line. I plan to try it, next time I have access to a log.

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9 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

I recently watched a YT video of some Russian weekend lumberjack using the hand tool technique of marking a line and sawing to it, but with a chainsaw. He was turning out some nice-looking 8/4 stock, in the field, with just a 16" saw and a chalk line. I plan to try it, next time I have access to a log.

I free handed a couple slabs with out the line with my 16" saw. It kinda works but it's really slow.

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I wonder if its the type of chain that makes it slow. Ive read doing rip cuts there a ripping chain you can get. It would be worth it if you are doing a lot of chainsaw milling.

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28 minutes ago, Gary Beasley said:

I wonder if its the type of chain that makes it slow. Ive read doing rip cuts there a ripping chain you can get. It would be worth it if you are doing a lot of chainsaw milling.

That is correct. You can also get chains that have a skip in them which basically reduces the number of teeth that are engaged in the wood at one time similar to a lower tooth count saw blade.

My case wasn't helped by the fact that i was using a MS170 which is a ground breaking 30cc teeny tiny compared to the 90-120cc monsters.

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18 hours ago, Chestnut said:

Even halving a 17" diameter log that's 3' long might make it manageable. If someone has an alaskan mill seems pointless to bring the bandsaw into play. I guess less kerf loss. On free wood I don't much mind kerf loss.

 

I thought it might be easier/more efficient because I could use the jointer and make quicker work of it, like in Cremona's video above.  

Thanks for the input all, I just wanted to verify what I was seeing because it looked like no one else was doing it.    

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Other random thoughts on the matter. It's easiest to do it with freshly cut wood. Once a log dries it gets a LOT harder to cut on the band saw and there are difficult internal stresses that get released, don't ask me how i know. With fresh wood there is a lot of moisture and you have to wax down your jointer and saw promptly after cutting to make sure rust doesn't set in.

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