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Author Topic: Size does matter  (Read 3986 times)

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Offline Cedarman

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Re: Size does matter
« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2013, 08:03:54 AM »
Brucer, would you might getting another cup of coffee and think it through if you were sawing 1" lumber.  We saw a tremendous amount of 3/4".  I am thinking the thinner the pieces, the more critical controlling thickness is. We used to saw a lot of 5/8".  We would set the resaw at 1/32" over 5/8". We used to ship it all off, but now make T&G with it. After drying, planing to .60 to .61 to clean up worst face, then run it for T&G at .54".  We get 98% clean up.  And after sanding, most of the skip cleans up.  We get a lot more reject from blown knots, then skips.

Back in the late 80's when we started sawing cedar for Cedarworks, they would not take any lumber.  I was getting clogged with all the jacket boards from sawing the 3 1/2 squares for mailbox posts.    I decided to visit their plant and see what all they did.  During the tour I noticed that they used a lot of lumber that was made in house from cants from other mills.  I asked why they didn't buy lumber and they said the mills were not accurate and it didn't fit their system.  I said we could do it by planing the worst face to the thickness they need and provide the 3 widths that worked in their system.  It was a lot of work to plane a tractor trailer load of lumber, but we got rid of a bunch of lumber and got paid for it.  After they got the lumber and used it, they said to just saw to the final thickness, 5/8", and send it on the truck with posts.  So we would have 1/2 mailbox posts and 1/2 lumber.  They were surprised we could keep the tolerances with the two WM mills that we were using.  Our window was exact thickness to 1/16" over.    At this point they said you saw it and we will buy it.  Onward and upward we went for 20 years until they were bought out and a whole new world order developed (another story).
My point in this is that you can make consistent thickness lumber in volume in a production mode with bandmills.

I find these thinking exercises very enlightening. I have done many of them over the years. After the mental work,  the next step is log on the mill to see if chalkboard meets the true board.  Then you adjust the thinking and do it again until it works for you.
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.

Offline isawlogs

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Re: Size does matter
« Reply #41 on: March 05, 2013, 08:41:08 AM »
 I'm switching to milk in the mornin'   ;D
A man does not always grow wise as he grows old , but he always grows old as he grows wise .

   Marcel

Offline Brucer

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Re: Size does matter
« Reply #42 on: March 05, 2013, 03:59:12 PM »
The coffee just got the mind in gear. There's only a few things I'm competent to do before I have my morning coffee. One of them is to light the fire, another is to make coffee :D. I did the actual math with the computer later in the day.

For the 1" stuff, I always saw it at 7/8" unless the customer asks for the full inch. Basically drop the head one inch each time and the kerf is close to 1/8". No setworks required. This makes it easy to pull off side lumber as I work down to the timber I'm aiming for. It's thick enough that a customer can plane it on a small thickness planer to 3/4". Good enough for fencing and board and batten siding if used rough.

I was asked to cut bevel siding last year but didn't have the equipment. I suggested 5/8" x 8" boards that could be lapped. The customer tried it and loved it. That one's easy to saw, too, because I'm just dropping the saw head 3/4" to get a board. That 1/4" less thickness often made the difference between a piece of nominal 1x6 or a piece of 8" siding.

Sawing accuracy is important when you're trying to get that extra 3 or 4% of recovery. Some woods move a lot when they're being cut (e.g., WRC) and you have to know how to deal with that before you start shaving off that extra 1/16".

Blade alignment and blade condition are critical, as well. My sharpening guy has been buying more equipment to meet the growing demand for his services ... and his quality has gotten very erratic. I ruined a lot of wood last year because I'd never know if his blades would cut true or not. That's getting fixed right now.

Like Cedarman, I do a lot of thinking about how to generate more income from a log without spending more time or money doing it. Then I try it out and see what happens. They thing I found important is to always step back and look at the whole picture. My goal is nearly always one or more timbers in the heart of the log so I aim for lumber thicknesses that I can easily add to my target height with little chance of making an error.

Gene, the coffee is ground from a special mix of different beans that are sold at a local shop. No one will divulge the mix but you can buy it if you're in town. You just have to ask for the "Robinson" blend  ;D.
Bruce    LT40HDG28 bandsaw with two 6' extensions.
"Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers."

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Size does matter
« Reply #43 on: March 05, 2013, 04:40:00 PM »
Is that the one they use the bat droppings in? :D
Move'n on.

Offline RynSmith

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Re: Size does matter
« Reply #44 on: March 05, 2013, 05:25:17 PM »
More importantly, does the mention of coffee count as bringing this thread around to food?   ;D

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Size does matter
« Reply #45 on: March 05, 2013, 06:19:41 PM »
I had a customer in VA that made bevel siding from a 2x6 that he re-sawed diagonally, corner to corner.  Lots of people liked the small reveal, but others wanted more so he also did 2x8s, but sales were not as good. He used syp, treated and untreated.  the neat thing is that he doubled the square footage.

I had another client that made siding by taking a dry 1-1/2" thick actual size, and 6" wide (no certain of exact size), with the two faces planed smooth.  Then re-sawed with a band down the middle to make two pieces about 5/8" thick.  In addition to doubling the square footage, the user had the option of rough side out or smooth side.  Some was interior paneling and even had four different colored stains.  Some was for exterior.  Cedar was the main species.

Maybe one of these approaches is an opportunity for you.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more


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