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Author Topic: Cutting 4x4 stock to maximize yield?  (Read 714 times)

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Offline OffGrid973

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Cutting 4x4 stock to maximize yield?
« on: October 11, 2018, 01:11:49 PM »
Does it make sense to split down the middle on first cut if the species is light enough to make and move equal halves?

Or stick to the top down approach until you reach your width?  (~8 inches in this example, which would allow two beams from each half.)

Curious the pros and cons and assume all 20 diameter and manual moving log.

Thanks,
Off Grid 973
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Cutting 4x4 stock to maximize yield?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2018, 02:05:23 PM »
    I would never want to just arbitrarily split the pith on any log. I think most of us cut to a desired face width then flip and cut down to desired finish width then flip again and start cutting boards. I think you will cut a lot of banana shaped boards cutting as you describe.
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Offline Mad Professor

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Re: Cutting 4x4 stock to maximize yield?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2018, 03:07:52 PM »
I'd look over the log to see how many 4 X 4s you could get from a cant.  Then I'd take off outer cuts, flipping it, perhaps taking a 2nd cut to get some grade (4/4 5/4).  When you have a squared up cant, then cut into 4" slabs.  Then rip the slabs.  Depending on the mill you might be able to rip several slabs at once.  Don't forget to allow for kerf when making the cant.

Offline kelLOGg

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Re: Cutting 4x4 stock to maximize yield?
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2018, 04:06:51 PM »
Maximizing beam quality should take precedent over yield. I would center a 4 x 4 square around the pith and try to get the max no. of additional 4 x 4s around that. If you can't get a 4 x 4 with a centered pith then throw away the center of the log. It's the worst part of the log. You didn't say what kind of wood - I am assuming pine.
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Cutting 4x4 stock to maximize yield?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2018, 07:20:18 PM »
Length and species are everything here.  In white pine, 8 or 10', nice logs, you could do almost anything. Go to harder wood and long length and you will have skies. Center the heart and when dry it may be all splits and or twisted. Cut off the side of the heart and it bows but is better wood. Squares are a problem, rectangles a little better and planks and boards much more successful.

Online Ianab

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Re: Cutting 4x4 stock to maximize yield?
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2018, 07:29:03 PM »
Splitting the pith is likely result in some reject "banana" posts. No good sawing out 2 extra posts, if you have to throw 4 away.  Best to plan your cuts from the pith outwards, so you are going through the log 2" above and below the pith. This then gives you a central 4" slab, that you stand on edge and can made 4 or 5 4x4s from, depending if the log is 19 or 21". If you can't get 5, then leave the waste in the pith as it's the lowest grade. (Knotty / unstable / likely to check, depending on the species) 
Your next slabs above and below should make 3 or 4 posts, and the top and bottom slabs might make 1 or 2, depending on the exact log size and if any wane is acceptable. 

Drawing 4x4 boxes on the small end of the logs is allowed while you are figuring out the best patterns.  ;) ;D
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Offline OffGrid973

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Re: Cutting 4x4 stock to maximize yield?
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2018, 08:23:51 PM »
Thanks guys, much appreciated. 

Making jump posts for horse fences, and will definitely stay away from the bananas and work down to 2 above pith in ~4 lengths.

Thanks,
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Offline OffGrid973

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Re: Cutting 4x4 stock to maximize yield?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2018, 02:30:18 PM »
 

 

 Started at the pith, went up 2.25 and cut first cedar, then put the cutoff to the side, flipped log 180, and sawed up from the bottom making 4.5 posts since the stops are just shy of that height.

Went to resaw the cutoffs next day and as you can imagine the wood had flexed quite a bit, but still got 20 posts out of the pile.

Thanks again team, good info.
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