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Author Topic: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm  (Read 4827 times)

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Offline 123maxbars

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Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« on: March 22, 2015, 08:50:26 PM »
I had a very large red oak cut down by the power company. It was near the end of its life and  near their lines. The tree produced three very clear logs. All 3 are 37in diam and 9ft feet long.  These are way to big for my lt35. I hate the thought of hauling them to a larger mill. My goal is to quarter saw everything. Any ideas? Was thinking maybe get all the steel and wooden wedges I have and try and to do a radial quarter split. I figured will be a lot of work but better than paying someone else to saw it. Thanks for any advice.
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Offline customsawyer

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2015, 08:55:52 PM »
What is the largest chain saw you have? Can you get black powder?
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Offline 123maxbars

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2015, 08:57:59 PM »
Chainsaw is 22in bar. No black powder on hand.
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2015, 09:00:51 PM »
When I get a log too big for my mill, I quarter it with a chainsaw. If it's that big, I am usually going to quarter saw anyway. I use a level to put a plumb and level line on each end, with the "crosshairs" centered on the pith. Then snap a chalkline to connect the two lines on top of the log. Start the saw cut by putting the bar on the plumb line on the end of one log, and then try to freehand it the best you can down the log. Flip it over to finish, then flip the halves so the sawn side is down, and repeat.
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2015, 09:03:22 PM »
This is a big sycamore I did a few years ago. You can't really make out the crosshairs. I had a big saw, 94cc, so it went pretty fast. I don't think the whole operation took an hour.



 
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Offline JohnW

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2015, 09:04:18 PM »
I'd bet it could be split in half.  Read what Roy Underhill says about splitting logs.  You can start the split on the end with your steel wedges, then you can cut some big wood wedges, maybe 18" long and 6" thick, or something like that.  I tried this before with a pine log for a science experiment, and it did okay.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2015, 09:05:28 PM »
I agree with your plans, 123maxbars.  Go for it.
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Offline shakebone

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2015, 09:09:28 PM »
 

   :o 45 min and she will cut it !
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Offline 123maxbars

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2015, 09:15:26 PM »
Kind of chain is needed for that operation?
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2015, 09:18:16 PM »
I used a square ground chain, which does well at ripping due to it's low angle. I've also ripped with regular round chisel chain. It doesn't leave a great finish, but you are going to true it up on the mill anyway.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2015, 09:18:24 PM »
Whatever you have that is sharp will do the job.
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2015, 09:38:09 PM »
I use just a good sharp chisel chain ,we saw oak and poplar in half regularly its a whole lot less time consuming and safer to me just pull a chalk line and cut away
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Offline sandsawmill14

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2015, 09:49:52 PM »
 

 

this is a 48" poplar we split down 1 side and used wooden wedges made out of 4x6s  ;D
the hook as a 42" handle to compare  i did have to take another thick slab off the top with chainsaw to clear the mill
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2015, 09:54:04 PM »
Here is a Pecan log that was 50"+ before whittling.
 

 
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Offline Dudaks

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2015, 10:21:01 PM »
  Red oak should be able to be split with wedges. Haven't split anything as big as what you are talking about but when making Windsor chair parts out of red oak logs some 20" in diameter, wedges and a sledge hammer were my friends.

Offline ncsawyer

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2015, 10:31:58 PM »
Here is a Pecan log that was 50"+ before whittling.
No, I did not do it and it ain't pretty, but it worked.   :)

From the looks of that Pecan, I can bet whoever did the whittling probably had some swearing to go along with it.  I would hate to know I had to split that big and that hard of a log with a chainsaw.
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Offline 4x4American

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2015, 10:44:53 PM »
I used a square ground chain, which does well at ripping due to it's low angle. I've also ripped with regular round chisel chain. It doesn't leave a great finish, but you are going to true it up on the mill anyway.

You don't happen to have a square grinder do you? 
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Offline Tom the Sawyer

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2015, 11:05:54 PM »
Haven't ever split a big one myself but once in awhile a client can get someone to split it for them.  I will mill them but they are no fun.  A half-round log with a 40" wide flat side is a challenge to move with a cant hook.

This was Monday's challenge, both halves of a Siberian Elm.
 

 
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2015, 07:25:43 AM »
Haven't ever split a big one myself but once in awhile a client can get someone to split it for them.
I have never split one either......and have no plans to.  I just saws um and leaves um.   :)
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2015, 07:53:51 AM »
i have to split 5 or 6 a week usually but we have gotten pretty good at it now it takes about 30 min to saw and split 1. tom is right about handling though ,we use a forklift to place on mill and you have put flat side to backstops and hold with log turner but once the first cut is done you got it made smiley_thumbsup   
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Offline chief613

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2015, 06:59:01 PM »
once you get a split started cut a hydraulic jack into one end to help split 

  

 

 
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Offline kelLOGg

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2015, 07:58:51 PM »
Here's a 37" water oak that took 2.5 hours to halve with a 20" chainsaw. Don't want to do that again w/o a bigger saw.
Bob

 

 
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2015, 08:08:27 PM »
I have  no idea how many I have split with a chainsaw but I am willing to do it again. ;D
I did these for a customer a while back.

 

 

I do mine a little different. I don't put the flat side against the side supports. I put it up at a 45 angle. This gives me more quartersawn lumber and the fact that I use a edger helps me to get the best lumber.

 

 

This one has already been cut on the first side and then it is turned 90 in this pic.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2015, 08:44:59 PM »
 

 
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2015, 09:03:41 PM »
If you're running a Stihl it's not too bad....if you're running a Husky well...yea then it's a job
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2015, 09:05:28 PM »
My 394/395s love ripping. 8)
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2015, 09:14:03 PM »
My next saw is proberly gonna be a 395 one of these years.  I have a few huskys.  Waiting to find one that impresses me!  I have a few Stihls that will start first pull in cold weather even when been sitting for weeks on end, and then other Stihls that start after 2-3 pulls.  Then there's the Huskies, and they like foreplay...
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2015, 09:17:41 PM »
My new 395 likes it cold. 1 pull choke, 1pull unchoked and away you go. Take it out of the warm garage and it likes an extra pull on choke.
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2015, 09:36:47 PM »
My boss got a bad batch of 372 xtorqs.  He got 4 of them, and they were a pain.  The one designated to me would die when I turned it on its side..  Full tank of fuel, new filter, good gas.  It'd take 30 pulls to start it some days.  Had to make sure to put it on high idle if engine was warm but it was cold out.  Didn't have enough power cutting hardwoods with a 24" bar.  My 372xpw I have now is an x torq wearing a 28" bar that is way too big for it once it wears out I plan on going to a 24" with it.  The thing that makes me pick up the 372 is the way it drives.  It rides like a cadillac.  So smooth.  I have a 461r that is a beast I love that saw.  One of the first ones that came out, still has tunable carb.  When I got it they still had 460s on the shelf the guys over at AS convinced me to go 461. 
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2015, 09:46:23 PM »
The old timers used to drill a hole to the center pith and stuff the hole with black powder and rags (I guess rags or ate least some kind of stuffing.) They would light a long fuse and RUN RUN RUN---FAST AND FAR!!!!!!!!!!!!  Go to You Tube and put in "Splitting Logs Black Powder".  Pretty interesting.  I have a buddy that his father used to run a 8" band mill and they cut a lot of huge swamp logs that were too large for their 8' band headrig!!!!!!!!! (That would be huge!!!!)  He told me they would always split them with black powder and then saw them.

Offline fishpharmer

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #30 on: March 23, 2015, 10:03:04 PM »
DonK and I split this big red oak with his Husky and my Stihl and the bottle jack.


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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #31 on: March 23, 2015, 10:24:33 PM »
Not all bottle jacks will operate in the horizontal position.
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #32 on: March 24, 2015, 01:09:09 AM »
After watching these guys split a log by hand, using a chainsaw seems like the hard way of doing things.

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #33 on: March 24, 2015, 08:51:05 AM »


 (Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
Love to see a video of you doing this Jake, ever made one?   

Once you get that cut started does it still feel like you are holding the saw horizontal to keep going straight, or does it feel more like that weight is off and  you are just pushing it along?
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #34 on: March 24, 2015, 07:18:45 PM »


 (Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
Love to see a video of you doing this Jake, ever made one?   

Once you get that cut started does it still feel like you are holding the saw horizontal to keep going straight, or does it feel more like that weight is off and  you are just pushing it along?

I am assuming you are talking to me. ;D There is getting to be a few Jake's on this place and I am not sure where I rate. :D If it is me you are talking to then the answer is no. I have never made a video while splitting a log.  If someone brings one large enough for the next project maybe we will get a video of it on here. Of course that will be the time that I really mess up. :D
Before I get the cut started I walk around the log and look at the far end. To see where I want to come our at. Pick a place in the bark that you can remember, while you are sawing. Go back to the other end and stick the saw in the wood. Aim for the mark on the bark that you picked at the other end and start sawing. I have tried to use chalk line and it don't work. It is like trying to drive while looking at the white line beside the truck. ;) You will have to lift the weight of the saw head off of the bar or the far end will want to crawl up on you. Try not to look at where the saw is cutting but where you want the saw to cut. I know it is easier said than done but I hope this clears it up a bit.
This is one of those things that are like trying to tell someone what a banana taste like. I don't know how to explain how I do it, I just do it. :D I hope this helps in some way.
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #35 on: March 24, 2015, 07:48:51 PM »
After watching these guys split a log by hand, using a chainsaw seems like the hard way of doing things.



That was the way I was shown how the build boats. That is a lost art. It breaks my heart that no one in my family build boats anymore. I'm the last one as far as big boats. BUT, in the last couple years, I been pasting on how to build a pirogue. Been having some free classes at my house that takes a weekend and everybody goes home with one.

 

 

Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #36 on: March 24, 2015, 08:39:16 PM »


 (Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
Love to see a video of you doing this Jake, ever made one?   

Once you get that cut started does it still feel like you are holding the saw horizontal to keep going straight, or does it feel more like that weight is off and  you are just pushing it along?

I am assuming you are talking to me. ;D There is getting to be a few Jake's on this place and I am not sure where I rate. :D If it is me you are talking to then the answer is no. I have never made a video while splitting a log.  If someone brings one large enough for the next project maybe we will get a video of it on here. Of course that will be the time that I really mess up. :D
Before I get the cut started I walk around the log and look at the far end. To see where I want to come our at. Pick a place in the bark that you can remember, while you are sawing. Go back to the other end and stick the saw in the wood. Aim for the mark on the bark that you picked at the other end and start sawing. I have tried to use chalk line and it don't work. It is like trying to drive while looking at the white line beside the truck. ;) You will have to lift the weight of the saw head off of the bar or the far end will want to crawl up on you. Try not to look at where the saw is cutting but where you want the saw to cut. I know it is easier said than done but I hope this clears it up a bit.
This is one of those things that are like trying to tell someone what a banana taste like. I don't know how to explain how I do it, I just do it. :D I hope this helps in some way.
Yes referring to you in WDHs pic. Thanks.  I remember you saying some of this before somewhere.  Probably going to try this sometime in the next month or so but with an 880 with either a 41" or 59" bar.  Can't imagine holding that saw up though horizontal for very long, and was wondering how much you really have to hold it up once you get it into the wood (compared to when you're starting the cut.  I guess I have to see what happens.  thanks again
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT  2001 WM LT40SHDD (42HP Kubota, Accuset2, FAO's, Lubemizer, debarker), Peterson WPF 10-30 with chain slabber. Logrite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.  2001 F350 7.3L PSD 6 spd manual ZF 4x4 Crew Cab Long Bed

Offline WDH

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2015, 08:55:24 PM »
@customsawyer (Jake) and a 115 year old southern red oak (Quercus falcata).  He split that log near perfect.  I had some chalk and went to mark on the log before he started, and he just scowled at me.   I backed off with the chalk and kept quiet. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am a man that knows his limitations  :).
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #38 on: March 25, 2015, 05:10:08 AM »
@terrifictimbersllc You don't have to hold very much of the weight like you do at the start of the cut. You have to hold a little but not much.
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #39 on: March 25, 2015, 06:57:07 AM »
That sure is a fine cut on that log. That is a very good eye. I am not hijacking, but that sure is a fine pirogue also.
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #40 on: March 25, 2015, 07:24:34 AM »
Why thanks on the pirogue. It was a special built. Not a single nail was used. All glue and wood dowels. I had built it to raffle off to help raise moneys for my brother that is fighting cancer.

And yes, one heck of a job tackling a big log like that. That is something I know I wouldn't take on.   

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #41 on: March 25, 2015, 08:00:43 AM »
DanG Jake nailed that! 

Nice pirogue too! Ready to pole her down the bayou?
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #42 on: March 25, 2015, 08:15:08 AM »
Thought I would throw in that I've been to the site shown in the video with the guys splitting logs by hand and building viking longships.  It's in Roskilde Denmark and an absolutely awesome place.  Here are a few of my pictures from the visit. The quartered pieces in the last picture were bandsawed somehow.  You could tell by the saw marks on the log and a guy there confirmed thats how it was sawed but couldn't explain how as his english was limited and I speak no Danish at all.

Matt




  

  

  

 

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #43 on: March 25, 2015, 08:49:53 AM »
Bandsawn!  :-X   Why that's cheating!!


That was a cool video, thanks for the pictures!  Good to know that there are still folks out there doing things old school.
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #44 on: March 25, 2015, 09:16:23 AM »
Do you guys find that full comp is better than skip chain for ripping?  I dislike sharpening a full comp chain on a 36" bar!  I have a grinder but prefer to file.  I will grind them to 10 degrees for rip chain and then file to touch up. 
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #45 on: March 25, 2015, 09:31:33 AM »
@fishfighter  - Good looking pirogue. I had an old buddy (like an adopted Grandfather) who built a few boats in NW Fl.  He started with a couple of wide cypress or juniper boards for sides, used brass nails, etc. Last he built had removable seats and catwalks to keep it light as he was getting up in years. I always regret I never got him to build me one when I was in my late teens or early 20's.

I worked several projects in west/central Africa and was amazed at the craftsmanship they exhibited building big heavy boats out of planks. They'd use 7 planks, angle each perfectly from bow to stern, joined with wide staples and filled the seams with caulk and sisal twine (one used melted Styrofoam). They use these heavy boats for fishing, hauling sand/gravel they dig/dive for in the mangroves, hauling lumber they cut in the forest and as water taxies/buses. They'd load the boats to within 2" of the gunnels with sand or gravel. Looked like a light chop would have sunk them. I've seen them poling down those dark muddy jungle rivers stark naked heading to a landing to unload. All boats were built with just hand tools as all they had.

I watched them there in Africa and Indians on the Amazon cutting boards in the forest with just a chainsaw. They'd cut very accurate boards about 1-1/4" thick and never chalk a line. I watched one guy in Guinea a few years ago. When I split a log I start at one end back up with it. He started on one end and walked to the other cutting as he went and were darned accurate. Those guys amazed me with their skills.

@MattJ  - I saw a documentary once where they said one of the reasons the Viking longboats were so strong was they had split the boards out of the Scandinavian hardwoods which meant they ran with the grain and gave stronger building materials than if they had cut them with a saw. Evidently the split boards had more strength and flex than sawn boards.
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #46 on: March 25, 2015, 10:00:34 AM »
Pardon the obvious, but dont any of you guys have access to a swingblade mill or a slabber for those big logs? Ive spent entire days just chunking up large logs for a customer to resaw on a Woodmizer. I can do multiple logs in the time it takes you to just split one with a chainsaw.

 
I like Lucas Mills and big wood.  www.logboy.com

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #47 on: March 25, 2015, 10:04:02 AM »
Vw. the way we did big skiffs was hand split cypress sinker logs for planks. Now with fiberglass, one doesn't see people down here building them the old way. Kind of been that way the last 30 years.

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #48 on: March 25, 2015, 10:50:23 AM »
logboy, I don't know of anybody with a slabber around here. I know one guy had a Lucas swinger and a WM, but he sold the WM to a local timber framer and moved to MO. I don't know what he did with the swinger. I'd like a slabber some day, but it wouldn't be anytime soon.
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #49 on: March 25, 2015, 10:59:15 AM »
Those Scandinavians do make splitting a log look easy. I can't help but notice that they are working with some pretty nice logs, too! Compare that with the mess of a log that Magicman posted earlier and somewhere between those two there must be a cut-off in quality where wedges work well and where a saw of some sort has to take over. Both methods are interesting and both have their limits. Figurin' out those limits might be more of an education than any of us think!

Clark
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #50 on: March 25, 2015, 11:03:57 AM »
Then there is option C. Just looking for the right I beam for this guy:

 

 
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #51 on: March 25, 2015, 11:53:08 AM »
logboy, I don't know of anybody with a slabber around here. I know one guy had a Lucas swinger and a WM, but he sold the WM to a local timber framer and moved to MO. I don't know what he did with the swinger. I'd like a slabber some day, but it wouldn't be anytime soon.
I have one but all my work is portable and I don't go to MA.  People cant bring me logs and I don't carry along a skid steer.  Truck and sawmill, either WoodMizer or Peterson.  Sometimes I have taken both but that is an ordeal which requires loading the Peterson in the back of the truck.  Take a day off before and after such a job. 

I'm interested in splitting more logs with a chainsaw to add flexibility and capability to my operation.   

Sometimes I'm at a big red oak job with the Wood-Mizer where I could saw everything if I could quarter the big log by chain saw.   Or for a different situation,  another job which is waiting the customer has a 45" dbh trunk cut into 4 logs about 4 feet elevation above the driveway and wants 1-1/8" flooring from it.    Rolling those down to the driveway for swing milling isn't an option for several reasons.  But sliding the quarters down to the bandsaw will work.
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT  2001 WM LT40SHDD (42HP Kubota, Accuset2, FAO's, Lubemizer, debarker), Peterson WPF 10-30 with chain slabber. Logrite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.  2001 F350 7.3L PSD 6 spd manual ZF 4x4 Crew Cab Long Bed

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #52 on: March 25, 2015, 06:34:35 PM »
Bandsawn!  :-X   Why that's cheating!!
Wife, kids and I have been watching MASH on netflix lately and as I read your comment 4x4 I heard it in Frank Burns voice.  Cracked me up. :D 

That longboat vid was great!
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #53 on: March 25, 2015, 06:48:48 PM »
It really don't take that long to split a log in half with a chain saw. If it is 16' or shorter than  I can usually get it done with less than a tank of gas. How long does it take you to cut a 40+inch log in half with the slabber?
Two LT70s and to much other support equipment to mention.
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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #54 on: March 25, 2015, 06:51:12 PM »
Bandsawn!  :-X   Why that's cheating!!
Wife, kids and I have been watching MASH on netflix lately and as I read your comment 4x4 I heard it in Frank Burns voice.  Cracked me up. :D 

That longboat vid was great!

I own all eleven seasons. I'll be starting season ten tonight.  :D
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Offline GAmillworker

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #55 on: March 26, 2015, 08:56:04 PM »
Jake the big oak you helped me take down we made each 22' cut in 15 min With the slabber.
Thank the Lord for second chances

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #56 on: March 27, 2015, 01:59:30 AM »
How long did it take to set up the frame and all that goes with it?
Two LT70s and to much other support equipment to mention.
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Offline GAmillworker

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #57 on: March 27, 2015, 08:12:27 PM »
An hour or so setup and hour or so tear down.  It also took longer to move the slabs than to cut them.
Thank the Lord for second chances

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #58 on: March 27, 2015, 08:25:06 PM »
Setup only takes a few minutes, nowhere near an hour. I can slab in an hour what normally takes a chainsaw mill a full day.
I like Lucas Mills and big wood.  www.logboy.com

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #59 on: March 27, 2015, 09:29:26 PM »
Logboy
Our particular log was to large to fit between the guide rails and it was dark when we were taking it apart so this was just on our setup that I was telling Jake about.
Thank the Lord for second chances

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #60 on: March 28, 2015, 12:21:47 AM »
No worries. I know how those big ones take a bit longer.  ;D

 

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Re: Huge red oaks. Too big for wm
« Reply #61 on: June 30, 2017, 10:11:54 PM »
How do you like your Lucas mill ? I've been itching to buy a swingblade mill for a long time but I'm afraid of buying the wrong one.

No worries. I know how those big ones take a bit longer.  ;D

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