Eric.

Rough Sawing Lumber

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I did a little searching for this info, but I couldn't find the answers (probably didn't look hard enough, but I'll ask anyway).

I have a few customers in Ferguson, MO who were hit with a tornado several weeks ago. There are still LOTS of trees laying around, and I was eyeballing a big 'ol white oak today that was cut up in 4-6 foot sections...BIG logs, up to 2 foot in diameter. I've been wanting to build a new bench and I figure it'd be a perfect way to get a bunch of lumber for the project. I know it'd have to dry for quite some time...I have time.

How would I go about rough cutting those logs? Chainsaw? I have big chainsaws, but I have no idea if that would even be possible or reasonable.

Any tips greatly appreciated!

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Yup, you can certainly do it with chainsaws. How big of a bandsaw do you have at home? I'd say cut it into the biggest your bandsaw will take, as the kerf is significantly less on a bandsaw.

There are guides you can mount to your chainsaw to cut certain widths too. For example: http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/tresl39.html

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My uneducated advise would be to contact Woodmizer, either by phone or email, they can give a list of registered owners in your area. It is my understanding that they could trailer one to the site and cut your logs, good luck. Pat

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Or Google for "alaskan mill" (without the quotes). You'll find lots of fascinating YouTube videos of guys cutting up logs with chainsaws.

-- Russ

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That chainsaw jig is awesome! Thanks for the ideas and videos guys. I'll definitely be making one of those.

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Cutting rough lumber is fun. There is a small company here in maine that builds manual bandsaw mills. Dad bought one to cut up some lumber on our properties. It works really well. I want to build a house next year so we are sawing dimensional lumber and boards to board in with.

I would try a local sawyer. I think people are getting .30 to .50 cents a board foot 'round these pahts. Lol.

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Don't forget to seal the ends to prevent checking.

What do you guys normally use for that?

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I use a wax-based product sold as end-grain sealer. Others use paint.

I've seen some people suggest smearing construction adhesive as an end-grain sealer as well

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Eric,

Here's what i did with 2 logs 5 1/2' L x 12" Dia. of Sweet gum. After ripping the logs, I lightly planed with a power plane to smooth the chainsaw cut.

I have an outfeed table on my bandsaw which helps in milling the logs. A roller stand helps with feeding the bandsaw.

You can saw a 24" log with a 14" bandsaw with a riser block, by ripping the log with the chainsaw first.

I sealed the ends with AnchorSeal.

Good Luck!!

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Nice set up Rich! Well thought out. How fast can you feed that through the band saw?

Thanks Joe,

I can feed that in about 2-3 minutes at 6" in height.

If you notice in the picture, that is a Rockwell 14" bandsaw. I've upgraded it to a 1 HP motor, and Cool Blocks.

I use a 5/8 3 TPI hook blade. Cuts like a dream.

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Ok guys, I know this is not the Normite Forum but I see you Rich using a 14" bandsaw with 1HP? I'm looking around on Craig's list for a band saw....I've kind of been under the assumption that for resaw, I would need the higher HPs...2 or more. I know the feed rate would be faster with higher HPs but seeing what you're doing Rich, it looks like 1 HP is sufficient. (?) So right now, I have an opportunity to get a Jet 18" band saw for $800. It has 1 1/2 HP. Would this saw handle resaws well?

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Hey Tim, with a little bit of time and setup, you should have no problem doing resaw with that machine. An 18" capacity will be nice to have as well.

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Thanks Sac....bought it! Its so purdy! Now I can resaw some of the Magnolia logs I have and thanks to all of you, I now know to seal the ends....probably with paint. (yep....he's groping in the dark) WHAT you seal it with doesn't matter - right? Just that you seal it. (yes?)

Eric, I have a fair amount of experience with a chain saw. I have a husqvarna with a 20" bar and I think if you do not use a chainsaw jig, you could probably freehand it well enough to get it done. Just allow some extra on the thickness because the "free hand error factor". You may have to plane a little extra but I've ripped logs before free hand and they came out pretty well. New chain or newly sharpened chain and it will cut straight. Green wood works much better. Hope this helps.

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Thanks Sac....bought it! Its so purdy! Now I can resaw some of the Magnolia logs I have and thanks to all of you, I now know to seal the ends....probably with paint. (yep....he's groping in the dark) WHAT you seal it with doesn't matter - right? Just that you seal it. (yes?)

Eric, I have a fair amount of experience with a chain saw. I have a husqvarna with a 20" bar and I think if you do not use a chainsaw jig, you could probably freehand it well enough to get it done. Just allow some extra on the thickness because the "free hand error factor". You may have to plane a little extra but I've ripped logs before free hand and they came out pretty well. New chain or newly sharpened chain and it will cut straight. Green wood works much better. Hope this helps.

Yeah Tim, I've done my share of chainsaw wielding myself. I can rip logs freehand up to a few feet, but after that it gets a little tricky because it wants to drift. I've hacked up quite a bit of lumber that way, but I'm still wanting to build that jig for when I run across a giant walnut or white oak to make the most of it and minimize waste...it's been a busy summer, haven't gotten around to it yet. I'm supposed to take down a couple ash trees this fall, so hopefully I can get it done by then.

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Yeah Tim, I've done my share of chainsaw wielding myself. I can rip logs freehand up to a few feet, but after that it gets a little tricky because it wants to drift. I've hacked up quite a bit of lumber that way, but I'm still wanting to build that jig for when I run across a giant walnut or white oak to make the most of it and minimize waste...it's been a busy summer, haven't gotten around to it yet. I'm supposed to take down a couple ash trees this fall, so hopefully I can get it done by then.

Yeah, I'd say if a person plans to do very much of this, either buy or build the chainsaw jig that was discussed before. The main problem I see with free hand is the waste. A little off here and there and suddenly you've lost the equivalent of a few boards in the planing (that doesn't look right...plane ing....guess it is) but you lose a couple of nice boards not to mention the wear and tear on the planer.

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I have lots of fallen oak trees on my country property and we can only split so much for firewood, so a few years back I bought an attachment from *gasp* harbor freight that you bolt onto the chainsaw bar and it follows a board you fasten to the log. I milled a couple red oaks and a couple of white oaks this way. One of which was too wide for my 16" bar to get through so I had to rip it down the middle first. This was ok since I ended up with boards that were 6-8" in width. It was fairly hard work and I would get some waviness since the guide acts like a pivot point for the bar because it is only attached near the motor. However a couple years ago, I came across an alaskin mill for sale on craigslist. I snatched it up. The guy I bought it from had a monsterous 30" bar on it. He owned a tree trimming business and was moving to colorado. He also had ripping chains but they would not obviously fit my 16" bar. He gave me a lesson about grinding chains and specifically the grinding profile on ripping chains. I bought a few chains that fit my 16" bar from him and I ground the blades per his instructions. He gave me a big chain to use as an example too. So even though I use like only half of the capacity of the alaskan mill, with the ripping chains, it does an amazingly good job. It is still more work and slower than a bandsaw mill. I currently have 2 white oak logs, 2 walnut logs and 2 cherry logs drying on my back patio under my deck. With the ripping chains and the alaskan mill, the surface finish is as good as a bandsaw cut. You have to use a guide with the ripping chains. You can not control the cut without it safely. You still have waste because of the chain thickness but for wood that would have ended up as firewood, it can't be beat.

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If you are looking to mill with the saw I'd recommend at minimum a 90 cc saw. You could get away with a smaller saw, say a 70 cc saw, for occasional use with logs in the 12-18" diameter range. A lot depends on what type of wood and how big. 

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Bmac with the forum migration there are a lot of old threads popping up. Just a heads up cause this one is 8 years old.

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I could have swore someone just posted on this thread, the time stamp was only 2 hrs old when I responded. Now the post I responded to looks like it was deleted. 

Maybe I'm seeing things and read the date wrong, but the post I responded too is clearly not here any more!

 

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Lol I've had that happen to me as well. I want s chainsaw mill real bad.... But Megan and I have a large expense upcoming so no new toys for me any time soon.

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Someone did just post, but I think it may have been a thinly veiled advertisement.

 

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