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Author Topic: WM - "Max" log length.....?  (Read 2677 times)

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Offline E-Tex

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WM - "Max" log length.....?
« on: June 09, 2018, 04:10:07 PM »
I have a job next week to cut some logs up to 20' 8".  I told the guy my LT50 is rated for 21, so we are OK.  Well........
 
These will be the longest I've attempted so far, so I thought I run my mill from end to end and see what the length truly is.  Now, there is a black piece of tape on each end and I think I recall the WM rep telling me that was the max log length of 21'...stay within the tape and you're ok.  BUT.....I ran my mill from end to end and it looks like the true "Maximum" length is at 20' 10"....or really about 20' 8.5" so the blade has room to clear each end. 

There is a rubber bushing/stopper on each end I guess I could take off and gain a couple inches on each end.  Not sure?

I'd like some input on what your LT 35, 40, 50 will do.  Do you see the same thing?  Or am I missing something?  Not sure why they say rated for 21'.

Either way I should be ok at 20' 8", but I'd like more info before I make the trip and potentially embarrass myself and tick off the customer.




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Offline Magicman

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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2018, 05:18:34 PM »
I recall that you can remove the rubber bumper and gain a few inches, but put the hardware back.  You would not want to derail !!!    :o
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Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2018, 05:52:41 PM »
Ive taken the rubber baby buggy bumpers off several times.
Youll be fine but DONT slam the head against the metal at the end.....slowly exit the log.
Every 21 foot log I have sawn I always make a dry run from beginning to end to make sure placement is right and that the blade will fully exit.
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2018, 06:02:11 PM »
If (on my mill anyway) you have a log on the mill and the sawhead all the way toward the hitch and the end of the log is "just" in front of the teeth on the blade, when you get to the other end of the 21 foot log, the body of the blade will still be in the log/cant but the teeth will exit the far end!

I hope you can understand what I just said!  :-\
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2018, 06:30:36 PM »
It's a real pain to saw so close to max capacity. Yes, it will cut 21', but not without difficulty. If the log is off just an inch it won't go into the log, or the band won't exit the log. 
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2018, 06:59:29 PM »
    Dave nailed it. Even 1/4" past the black marks and you won't be able to get the blade in or out of the log. Longest I have sawed on my LT 35 was 20'6". Be dang sure your logs are cut square on the ends too.
Howard Green
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Offline Sawmill Man

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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2018, 07:44:27 PM »
What Poston failed to mention is what happens when you do exit the log too fast. Any bounce back at all and the back of the still turning blade hits the end of the log. The results will be hair raising lol
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Offline E-Tex

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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2018, 07:45:50 PM »
thanks for he help.....

I've marked 20' 8.5" from end to end and made several "practice" runs to make sure I can clear the log.  (The marks I've added are about 2" inside each of the black tape marks WM added).

I called the customer expressing my concerns and he said we can cut off an inch or two as well.

And, once I get the logs loaded I will make dry-runs.  Should be fine.

I feel much better now,,,,,,,,"THANKS" again for the input.
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Offline E-Tex

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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2018, 07:50:19 PM »
What Poston failed to mention is what happens when you do exit the log too fast. Any bounce back at all and the back of the still turning blade hits the end of the log. The results will be hair raising lol
I'm in the "Backing a running blade into the log CLUB" already!!!!!
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Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2018, 07:54:36 PM »
It can be nasty!  :o :o :o
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Offline barbender

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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2018, 10:26:11 PM »
I know sawing 20' on my LT40 is enough of a headache that I avoid it. 16's are plenty. One other problem sawing 20's is that my board dragback can't go past the log far enough to hook the board. It screws up the whole workflow. I think you will find sawing these max length logs enough trouble that you will wish you had charged double for them, IMHO.
Too many irons in the fire

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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2018, 02:30:12 AM »
You can remove the bumpers to get a little extra length. In fact, I replaced the cotter pins holding them in place with "hairpin" pins. One thing you have to watch for: if you run the head all the way to the front without the bumper, the power shoe will shear off the nylon nut that holds the contact strip in place.
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2018, 10:43:48 AM »
You think you 35,40 and 50 guys got it bad when it comes to long logs, my LT70 with no extension is spec'ed at 20'4". Positioning/cutting a 20 footer is an exercise program in itself. Way back  when Marv was still at Salmon Arm Woodmizer, he built me an 18 inch extension out of an old piece of LT40 frame which was a life saver .....at first, but then I was wanting to do 22 footers and 24 footers so I got a 6 foot extension...Now I wanna do 30's.....it seems to be a never ending cycle.
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2018, 11:03:54 AM »
When you get out around 57' capacity, that seems to be close to enough. 



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Offline Percy

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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2018, 11:07:22 AM »
When you get out around 57' capacity, that seems to be close to enough.


(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Ayecarrumba!!!That is a long unit!!! Impressive......No one has asked you to cut a 60 footer? :D :D
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2018, 11:38:42 AM »
Wow!! Is that a beam for a roof ridge pole?
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2018, 12:34:38 PM »
Never have to end match flooring again with that baby!!  
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2018, 03:43:27 PM »
While I was in Liberia, we saw 2 lt40s from Europe and the roller toe boards were powered. That would sure make it easier to set up a log that is close to max length. 

Another option is to leave the log over 21 and trim both ends to fit after its loaded. 
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Offline 4x4American

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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2018, 05:59:37 PM »
You think you 35,40 and 50 guys got it bad when it comes to long logs, my LT70 with no extension is spec'ed at 20'4". Positioning/cutting a 20 footer is an exercise program in itself. Way back  when Marv was still at Salmon Arm Woodmizer, he built me an 18 inch extension out of an old piece of LT40 frame which was a life saver .....at first, but then I was wanting to do 22 footers and 24 footers so I got a 6 foot extension...Now I wanna do 30's.....it seems to be a never ending cycle.
They claim 202 on my super 70.  I have it figured out though, when I get a guy brings me in 20 logs to cut, I call my friend to bring over his hud-son that can cut 33.  16 is the longest I cut typically.  I will cut 18 if absolutely necessary.  Anything over that I sub it out.  Im too old for those kinda headaches lol 
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2018, 06:06:36 PM »
 It's this guy going to cut the 20's in half to get two 10's?   :D A false economy if ever there was one. 
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2018, 07:09:32 PM »
4X4,

   When I turn 126 y/o like you I won't cut 20' lumber either. :D
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2018, 07:37:40 PM »
I've had several inquiries about the longest lumber/beam my saw will cut.  I know the specs say 21', but I tell customers 20' is max.  I've only milled up to 16' to date.  I'm inclined to add a handling charge for 16' plus because it is more labor intensive.
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2018, 08:34:25 PM »
Ted,

   I know some sawyers add an extra fee for real long, real big or short logs but I'd try to keep the billing system as simple as you can unless it is a significant amount involved. if they just want one log out of the whack cut long for a header I would probably not charge extra. Same as I do for short log, where I bill by the hour, but if they just have 1 or 2 I just bill same as the others.

   If they are just bringing you one long log or all are long, I agree a higher rate would be appropriate since you can't make it up elsewhere. JMHO.
Howard Green
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Offline Stuart Caruk

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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2018, 03:50:44 AM »
The real question is... so what if the logs are 20' 8" long. 

Does the customer really need 20' 8" long boards? If not, cut the sucker in 2 and save both of you a ton of work. You'll get more boards to boot.

It's kind of like having 42' logs but needing a bunch of 2" x 4" x 8'. No sane person would cut 40' and trim them later...
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2018, 11:02:58 AM »
I don't custom saw over 16'.  Some people have a good reason for 16's, and the board footage adds up pretty fast, so its good money, but most just want it because its more convenient to them. With a dragback, 16's are not too bad, but definitely not fun.

I've even had people who want longer cuts call me out on it and say they know my mill will cut longer and I tell them maybe it can - but I can't, and send them down the road to a buddy who has an LT-15 and is hungrier than I.   ;D
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2018, 09:15:44 PM »
Ted,

   I know some sawyers add an extra fee for real long, real big or short logs but I'd try to keep the billing system as simple as you can unless it is a significant amount involved. if they just want one log out of the whack cut long for a header I would probably not charge extra. Same as I do for short log, where I bill by the hour, but if they just have 1 or 2 I just bill same as the others.

   If they are just bringing you one long log or all are long, I agree a higher rate would be appropriate since you can't make it up elsewhere. JMHO.
I agree.  One or two 16' logs out of a 15 or 20 log job is okay.  It's when the entire job is long logs and lumber it really works a tail gunner and I have to help.  The alternative is two customer provided tail gunners. 
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Offline E-Tex

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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2018, 10:24:46 PM »
Here's the "Rest of the Story"......

The customer is building a Timber Frame house.  He ordered a "kit" from someone that specializes in timbers.  He received the first load of roughly 80 White Oak timbers ranging from 12' 6" to 20' 8" +/-)  Sizes were to be 8x8, 8x10, 8x12.  HOWEVER, almost every single one was cut WAY OFF. 

One end would be 9"x9" and the other was 7.5"x 7.5" (they all varied in size).  No where close to the 8x8's needed (the 8x10's and 8x12's were the same way).  At first the "Timber Specialist" told him they were off due to drying, moving, bowing, etc......  some of which is true, however the reality is he had a production issue.  (to me it was like he left a toe-board up or something.....? - they were not consistent in size or or square).  That is when the customer found me and I thought I could help him.

Today he had the framing crew there, loading and unloading Timers on my mill and I did my best to "Clean them up".....get them close to their intended size.

Customer was happy, the job went well, and I got paid!.  And now, I know for sure I can fit a 20' 8" log or timber on my mill......(which is what started this whole thing!!!!)

Thanks for the input!


PS.......Customer is "working it out" with the Timber Frame Specialist......the next loads should be right! 

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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2018, 11:50:38 PM »
Doesn't sound like any kind of "specialist".  If the sticks are that bad, he knew it going out the door.  Not someone to do business with.  He should fix the problem, but good luck with that.  The owner should give honest reviews on the web about this guy.  How would you even mill stuff that bad unless you didn't care and were scamming?!  

Glad you got your tasks done.  Being timbers they probably weren't that bad to handle.  If they were logs, I'd definitely tell you that you need to up charge for the long length.  Last week I wrestled a 25 foot Ash that went from 22 to 26 dia.  It was not a totally symmetric log  and because of that I had a hard time loading it on the mill.  Also to roll it, I had to take it off the mill with the skid loader, roll it on bunks on the ground and reload it on the mill.  Sometimes it would roll as I'm putting it on and scoot the mill.  It was a lot of on and off and a day and a half to mill that one log (into a 12x18 tie beam).  I tackled another one today 23 feet long 20-26 dia.  First two sides were fine but rolling on the third side it kept rolling just as I got it up to the mill.  8 times I had to take it off , re-roll it, and try to get it back on, scooting the mill several times in the process and having to lift and reset the mill.  Long logs take a lot more time, and a lot more handling, period.  (Lt15go with 2 extensions).
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2018, 12:58:37 PM »
brad...... yes, the 20+ foot timbers were easy to handle (3 helpers and 1 bobcat to load and unload - great crew), but I know 20 foot logs would be another story. 

I knew going in what would be at hand and it was billed by the hour, plus travel......good money making day.

every job is a learning experience.




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Offline rjwoelk

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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2018, 01:28:10 PM »
It's this guy going to cut the 20's in half to get two 10's?   :D A false economy if ever there was one.
That is like this winter. Engineered lumber. Can get any length they want. But they asked for a 60 ft. So needed a triple axle trailer. Then permits for over length. Could not haul at night in N Dakota. No beacons on the tractor unit. Coming out of Ontario no night travel. Got it to Oregon and the guy was grumpy because he had to cut it up into shorter lengths .
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2018, 02:27:34 AM »
The worst thing would be for someone to ask you to cut your max log length, then after you're done, they start cutting the lumber into 8 foot lengths! Don't get rjwoelk started on that one!
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2018, 09:37:29 PM »
Dave_Shepard: is that sawmill for real? If so, how do you haul behind your truck? Seems like the turning radius might be a little big? And backing up? Ouch.

So when I was building my sawmill shed, I needed two beams longer than my sawmill (wanted to have openings on both sides to bring in logs at the maximum length). Anyway, I'd read somewhere (on here?) that you could use your roller boards if you were careful. How, you might ask? It's tricky.

First you load the overlength log onto the deck, one end up against the band on that end, the other end sticking out past the end of the mill. Now raise the roller boards (mine are hydraulic so that's no problem). Hard part is getting the two roller boards to exactly the same height. Measure, re-measure, put a level on it (if your mill is sitting flat), whatever it takes. Now start your first cut, go all the way to the end, stop and pull back the length of the uncut log sticking out plus a foot or so.

Did I mention that you need a pretty flat face on the bottom side to keep it from turning? Or you just rely on grace on dumb luck (which is my usual approach).

Ok, now you slide the whole log back toward the now-stationary blade till it is just short of the cut. The end of the log should be inside your black tape marks now. If not, move everything some more. The next part works best if you have a helper behind you holding onto the log for dear life to keep it aligned with the blade in the cut you've already made. Start your blade turning, finish your cut: now the hard parts done.

Once you have a flat face, the rest is easy. I only cut two faces, top and bottom, since I wasn't going for a finished look on my beams or roof. Slide the log back down, flip it over 180 degrees and cut the other side the same way. Did this for two logs that became the two beams for the shed I built on the slab I poured to anchor the mill to. It all worked out, although cutting those two beams was time consuming and somewhat chancey: think about what would have happened had the log turned a little and bound up the blade. Better yet, don't think about it; just be really careful and have a good helper (although I actually didn't- managed the whole thing with dumb luck and a FEL).

LJ
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2018, 10:00:34 PM »
You don't move a mill with the extensions like that. LT40+BX24+BX12=57' capacity. 
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #33 on: June 14, 2018, 09:14:07 AM »
Wasn't sure if it was even possible, Dave, thanks. Reason i asked is the prom limos around here keep getting longer, although not quite up to 57' yet : ) . And of course, semis have trailers that long, don't they?

Now the real questions: how did you make the bed that long and how much need to you have for wood cut that long?

LJ
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #34 on: June 14, 2018, 10:23:58 AM »
Wood Mizer offers three bed extensions, 6', 12', and 24'. We had a 12' and a 24' extension. A lot of timber framing projects require long timbers. That's a 52' 12"x12" white pine plate. I've done a bunch of timbers in the 40' to 52' range. 
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #35 on: June 14, 2018, 12:29:06 PM »
Dave - How big of a stick did it take to make a 52' 12x12?
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #36 on: June 14, 2018, 02:26:34 PM »
You need about an 18" tip. 

This was one of the loads of logs to make the 12x12s.



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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #37 on: June 14, 2018, 04:06:23 PM »
Dave - How big of a stick did it take to make a 52' 12x12?
I call that the "half again" rule.
If you want 12" then half again is 18".


 


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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #38 on: June 14, 2018, 04:11:06 PM »
 . . . and a side note.
The snow HAS melted up here!
We hit a high of 77 degrees today.

 
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #39 on: June 14, 2018, 05:21:13 PM »
To be precise, it's the 1.414213562 to 1 rule.  ;D
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #40 on: June 14, 2018, 05:29:13 PM »
To be precise, it's the 1.414213562 to 1 rule.  ;D
Oh go on!   :D ;D :D :D ;D
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #41 on: June 14, 2018, 08:42:55 PM »
To be precise, it's the 1.414213562 to 1 rule.  ;D
Tell me what about a log is precise !!! lol lol lol
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #42 on: June 14, 2018, 08:58:00 PM »
What I should have asked was how big was the butt end?
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #43 on: June 14, 2018, 09:05:37 PM »
These were not too bad, less than three feet. Some of the 47 foot logs were big. Had one that was 24" small end, and about 45" on the butt. Made a 15x15 out of it and split it into two 7.5x15s.
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Re: WM - "Max" log length.....?
« Reply #44 on: June 14, 2018, 09:34:07 PM »
I've spent some time breaking down big Western Red cedar logs.
<br

I try to do all the right things: support the whole log with toe boards, centre the pith both ends and have that big old butt end at the front of the mill.
Usually went well, but some fooled me.
Out of about 65-70 logs, some six or ten logs had pith that wandered way far from centre.
I'd try to get those used for roof decking.  :D



I called it 'wandering pith', which is problem if you're trying to mill long pieces with centred or no-heart timbers.
D'you run into that with your logs @Dave Shepard ?
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