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Author Topic: Cutting Rustic Hickory Trim Strips  (Read 400 times)

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Offline jbasen

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Cutting Rustic Hickory Trim Strips
« on: November 04, 2018, 12:48:19 PM »
I'm fairly new to building rustic furniture out of hickory logs.  I have some logs left over from other projects and would like to cut some trim strips of hickory bark from a few of the logs.  The strips I'm trying to cut are 1-3/4" wide.  I'm at a loss as to the best way to cut these strips.  I've marked one log using 2 strips of masking tape such that if make a cut that just touches the edge of both pieces of tape it will give me a nice piece of bark covered wood that is 1-3/4" wide.  

However, I realized, when I went to cut this on my band saw that while I could clearly see the top piece of tape to keep the cut on track; I was totally blind to the lower piece of tape.  I have very little confidence that I could guide a log through my bandsaw and keep it tracking properly to provide a consistent 1-3/4" wide piece of trim. 

Any ideas on a way to cut these trim strips would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance for the help

Offline 1938farmall

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Re: Cutting Rustic Hickory Trim Strips
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2018, 01:31:05 PM »
perhaps tack a smooth strip on the rough face & run that against a tall fence.  be sure not to saw the nails or else make your piece thicker, then rip again after you remove the guide strip.
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Re: Cutting Rustic Hickory Trim Strips
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2018, 01:48:43 PM »
Saw the logs into live edge boards and then rip the bark edges off the boards.
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Offline jbasen

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Re: Cutting Rustic Hickory Trim Strips
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2018, 01:53:49 PM »
Thanks @1938farmall .

I can't run a smooth strip against a tall fence because the logs change in diameter from one end of the log to the other.  Logs get thicker the closer you get to the trunk of the tree.  This would force the cut towards the center of the log as you got to the thicker end of the log.  One of the unique challenges of working with logs instead of milled lumber  :laugh:

However, If I tacked a strip to the bottom of the log I could keep the log from twisting as I worked it through the saw.  This would mean that I could just follow the visible piece of masking tape that marks my cut.  The log would remain inline with the blade and I think I would be able to keep to a consistent 1-3/4" wide piece of trim.  

Thanks for the idea.  I'll wait and see if there are any other suggestions before I give this a try.  Hickory is not a native specie in my part of the country so I had to ship the logs I purchased across the country from Tennessee.  I though the wood I bought was very reasonably priced but the shipping more than doubled the cost of the wood.  I'm very cautious when working with the wood I have because mistakes are so costly.   fire_smiley

Thanks again


Offline jbasen

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Re: Cutting Rustic Hickory Trim Strips
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2018, 02:03:17 PM »
Saw the logs into live edge boards and then rip the bark edges off the boards.
Thanks @LeeB .  That would certainly work and be simple if I had a stock of large logs to work with and could harvest the wood.  I expect that is exactly what the saw mills do.  Unfortunately, I'm working with a limited supply of mostly smaller work pieces (the largest logs I have are 5" diameter and I only have 2 of those left after my other projects).  And, as I said in my reply to @1938farmall , I'm trying to maximize yield I get because of the cost of shipping hickory logs across the country. 
If I use a flat strip to help guide the log through my bandsaw I can spin the log just enough to get another strip of bark off the log and maximize my yield.
Thanks again for your suggestion.  If I lived in Tennessee it would be the perfect way to accomplish this.

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Cutting Rustic Hickory Trim Strips
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2018, 02:13:57 PM »
To deal with the taper add a wedge/shim on the smaller end between your fence and the log.  Basically you want to have the center/pith of the log parallel with the blade.  Each log will require a different shim dependent upon the taper.  You will essentially create live edge slabs out of your 5" logs.
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Offline jbasen

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Re: Cutting Rustic Hickory Trim Strips
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2018, 03:16:55 PM »
To deal with the taper add a wedge/shim on the smaller end between your fence and the log.  Basically you want to have the center/pith of the log parallel with the blade.  Each log will require a different shim dependent upon the taper.  You will essentially create live edge slabs out of your 5" logs.
Thanks @SawyerTed .  That makes sense.  I think what would work best would be an L shaped carrier that would allow me to adjust for the change in width of the log both horizontally and vertically to get a consistent cut.  There would still be a slight difference between the smaller diameter end of the log vs the larger end due to the difference in the curvature but I think that would be minimal and could be fixed with a little trimming.  

Thanks again.


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