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Author Topic: Toe Board Users  (Read 4509 times)

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Offline bugdust

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Toe Board Users
« on: January 23, 2012, 01:11:47 PM »
I have a tendancy to forget about the toe boards when sawing a tapered log, and even worse forget to lower. Just wondering how you use your toe boards, or are you just slabbing heavy. When sawing for myself I don't pay as much attention to heavy slabs because they eventually end up as firewood, but it's a different story with a customer's log.
Since I retired I really like work: It fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.

Online Magicman

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Re: Toe Board Users
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2012, 01:28:20 PM »
Yes, I have left one up several times and I have messed up some very nice cants.  And yes, it is very embarrassing, especially with the customer standing there and watching you messing up his logs.

Slow down, be deliberate, and make sure that the sawmill is ready for each log face opening.  This will also keep the paint on the side supports and log clamp.  Proper work habits and a definite routine will reduce such instances, but not eliminate them.

Mistakes such as this will not keep me from using the toe boards.  They are vital for simplifying proper log setup on the sawmill.
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Offline Larry

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Re: Toe Board Users
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2012, 01:42:29 PM »
In hardwood logs the best grade or clearest board comes from right underneath the bark.  If your not using toeboards your loosing grade $$$, especially on the butt logs.

Pine, I might not use toeboards as much, but they normally don't have as much taper as some of the oaks.

Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Toe Board Users
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2012, 02:42:05 PM »
#1 rule with toe boards, always lower before rolling the log.

If you always lower it before you roll the log then it will be down when you make the next cut. Of course unless you move it back up on purpose.

What I do is release the clamp, and then lower the toe board, then roll the log.

Bring it back to the log rests with the clamp and then lift if needed. And sometime I forget it but you should always check your log/cant to be sure it is down on your bed rails without any bark under it before you make the first cut on a new face. Again if you need it raised up that's another thing.

Jim Rogers
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Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Re: Toe Board Users
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2012, 03:02:18 PM »
I have had my share of wedges and yes, I have also wedged in front of a customer. I replaced a customer's log with one of my logs once to make the customer feel better. I have not had a wedge since!  8)

And now with this being said.....I will forget to put my toe board down this Thursday!  >:(

P.S. I forgot to answer your question. I use my toe boards every time I quarter saw, Oak, Sycamore, Walnut, etc. Hardly ever on Pine.
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Offline sawwood

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Re: Toe Board Users
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2012, 04:07:49 PM »
I am still learning how best to cut up a log. When you have a tapered log
and you raise the toe board to make your first cut and a couple of cuts. Then
flip the log over 180degs with the toe board still up make more cuts till
you are almost to the pit. Then do you flip back over and cut to the pit and
 then lower the toe board and make a level cut  out of the center of the log?
This will give you a board with the pit centerd and then cut the pit out giving
you two narrow boards. Hope this makes sence. Sure would be great to see
a video of some one doing that as watching is sure better then reading it.

Sawwood
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: Toe Board Users
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2012, 05:11:20 PM »
I use my toe board many times per day when we're on a sawjob.

I've gotten to where I don't forget to lower the toe board 99.9% of the time, but it's that .1% when the customer is standing right there.  ::)

Now, once in a while I'll forget to lower the toe board before turning a log!   :-\

I have a cousin that has a mill and he refuses to use the toe boards because he forgets to lower them.
My reply was "use and repetition" is the only way to remember to lower them!
~Chuck~
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Offline 5quarter

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Re: Toe Board Users
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2012, 07:23:10 PM »
Sawood... If I'm reading you right, you'll ruin the lumber if you leave the toe board up on a 180  second cut. Once you level the pith to the bunks and make your opening cut, you MUST lower the toe board if your second cut is 180 to the first. If your second cut is 90 to the first, you can leave the toe board up as long as you level the pith in that plane before making the second cut. after that, toe boards are not needed as the center of your log is now perfectly parallel to the blade and bunks.

Chet
What is this leisure time of which you speak?

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Toe Board Users
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2012, 07:59:03 PM »
If you use the toe board to "level" the log, you take cuts until the log is open, it's full length.

THEN: If you flip the log 180, you would want to have the toe board down, then you will be sawing parallel with your opening cut!

Now:  When you turn the log 90 from that point, you would use the toe board to level the log again.

Once that side of the log is opened up, you would lower the toe board flip 180 and slab the other (final) side of the log so that you would have  a cant, flat on all 4 sides with no taper.
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain the Wood-Mizer.
I LOVE MY SAWMILL

Offline CalebL

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Re: Toe Board Users
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2012, 08:09:24 PM »
Sawood... If I'm reading you right, you'll ruin the lumber if you leave the toe board up on a 180  second cut. Once you level the pith to the bunks and make your opening cut, you MUST lower the toe board if your second cut is 180 to the first. If your second cut is 90 to the first, you can leave the toe board up as long as you level the pith in that plane before making the second cut. after that, toe boards are not needed as the center of your log is now perfectly parallel to the blade and bunks.

Chet

well not exactly.  Larry taught me how to taper cut for high quality boards and I have to say it produces the best lumber I have ever cut.. The key is to always cut parallel to the bark meaning that you will use the toe board on every face until you get down to the pith and then lower the toe board and cut a pie cut to continue cutting parallel with the other face.
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Offline sawwood

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Re: Toe Board Users
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2012, 10:53:29 PM »
Thanks guys for the advice. There is a sawmill close by that said he would show me how he cuts
taper logs. So when he has one he is going to call me and i will go out to see how he does it. My
take a video camera and take some shots to show.

Sawwood
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Offline 5quarter

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Re: Toe Board Users
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2012, 12:33:32 AM »
Caleb...I have cut a more than a few logs (Red Oaks) like you describe, But these logs had excessive taper. It is a great way to recover high grade from logs that would yield lots of runout and cathedral grain if cut normally. I square it up when the radius and ring count on both ends match up and saw down to the bunks. Most of my logs have an inch or two of taper over 10' on average, so fortunately I don't have to cut on a taper very often. its a time killer for me.
   Sawood...I apologise if I misunderstood you. I did not catch that you were sawing tapered logs. your technique is fine. I would add that you should mark the small end of the log where the ring count within the radius matches up, level it to the center at that point and finish it up. unless you like cathedral grain...There are some applications where cathedral grain is highly desirable. In fact, last year I cut five consecutive walnut boards for a guy who was building a tavern style table for himself and his wife. He wanted cathedral cuts, so I off set the pith by 4", Took off one heavy slab then 5 boards. Then I leveled to the center. That took half the log. I sawed the rest normally. After double edging the five boards, the customer laid them out in order on his trailer deck and it really was gorgeous. I should have taken a picture.

Chet
What is this leisure time of which you speak?

Offline Brucer

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Re: Toe Board Users
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2012, 01:36:30 AM »
#1 rule with toe boards, always lower before rolling the log.

Other rule #1. Push down BOTH toeboard levers at the same time. Make it a habit.

Since I'm sawing softwood, most of my logs are tapered. I usually don't have a problem when I'm sawing out a cant because I always follow rule #1 (both of them). Where I get into trouble is when I raise one or both toeboards to do something else (clean a piece of bark off the bed, shift the cant along the mill).

Most of the time when I cut an accidental taper, its because I got interrupted in the middle of an operation and didn't lower the toeboards before attending to the interruption. So that leads to ...

Rule #2. If you've raised the toeboards temporarily, finish whatever you were doing and lower them again before you attend to an interruption. Ignore the cellphone -- if it's important they'll call you back or leave a message. Signal the customer to wait a minute -- most of them like watching a mill in operation anyway.

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Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Toe Board Users
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2012, 07:21:02 AM »
I am still learning how best to cut up a log. When you have a tapered log
and you raise the toe board to make your first cut and a couple of cuts. Then
flip the log over 180degs with the toe board still up make more cuts till
you are almost to the pit. Then do you flip back over and cut to the pit and
 then lower the toe board and make a level cut  out of the center of the log?
This will give you a board with the pit centerd and then cut the pit out giving
you two narrow boards. Hope this makes sence. Sure would be great to see
a video of some one doing that as watching is sure better then reading it.

Sawwood
This sequence could be right for certain logs, like one with no knots and same amount of taper on the two faces 180 degrees opposite from one another, and where one wants full length flatsawn boards at the outside. But,  this description sounds like the focus on taper sawing is on placing the pith in the center boards.   In contrast, as I understand it, the focus in taper sawing usually is on cutting parallel to the outside of a tapered log, in order to get full length boards, rather than starting out by sawing off the taper with some short boards.  One of the toe boards is raised to achieve this.  Whether one uses the toe boards on another face is again, about that other face, getting the cut to be parallel to it.  Of course one can use toe boards for other reasons too.

ps. changed some emphasis above
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Toe Board Users
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2012, 07:45:13 AM »
I know we are discussing using the toe boards. But when you use them and how you saw the log depends on what type of sawing you're doing.

When sawing parallel to the bark, isn't that called "Grade sawing"?....

If so, or whatever it's called, you stop sawing this face when the quality of the face is lower then another face. Then you're suppose to rotate to the next best face. Depending on where that face is will determine if you use the toe boards or not.

And then you saw that face until it goes sour or has lots of defects. Then rotate to the next best face.
And continue this until you reach a point where all faces are bad. After that you can drop the toe boards, cut off the wedge as a slab piece and finish up with some type of blocking like a 4x4 or larger to get it off the mill and move on.

If my terms are not correct then someone should help me to understand what terms you use for this type of sawing.

But I thought the old timer taught me this is the way to get the best lumber out of a taper high quality hardwood log.

Jim Rogers
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Offline Chris Burchfield

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Re: Toe Board Users
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2012, 08:05:18 AM »
I've used my toe boards to stabilize the ends of a log that was curved or had a big knot on it, for the cut.  Yea, I've created some tapered cants as well by forgetting to lower a toe board I had raised, to deal with taper.
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Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Toe Board Users
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2012, 09:46:28 AM »
Being a clutz, I was inadvertently hitting the toe board levers by mistake occasionally.
My remedy for this was to remove the levers and replace them with 3/8" bolts substantially shorter than the levers.
The most embarrassing incident that I have seen was at the Booneville NY woodsman's show a few years ago when the WM rep sawed a wedge in front of about 50 people.
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Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Toe Board Users
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2012, 11:25:14 AM »
I know we are discussing using the toe boards. But when you use them and how you saw the log depends on what type of sawing you're doing.

When sawing parallel to the bark, isn't that called "Grade sawing"?....

If so, or whatever it's called, you stop sawing this face when the quality of the face is lower then another face. Then you're suppose to rotate to the next best face. Depending on where that face is will determine if you use the toe boards or not.

And then you saw that face until it goes sour or has lots of defects. Then rotate to the next best face.
And continue this until you reach a point where all faces are bad. After that you can drop the toe boards, cut off the wedge as a slab piece and finish up with some type of blocking like a 4x4 or larger to get it off the mill and move on.

If my terms are not correct then someone should help me to understand what terms you use for this type of sawing.

But I thought the old timer taught me this is the way to get the best lumber out of a taper high quality hardwood log.

Jim Rogers
Sawing parallel to the bark in tapered logs could be grade sawing or not. Just speaking of my understanding of the use of "taper sawing". Of course grade sawing in non-tapered logs is also cutting parallel to the bark.   ps I modified my original comment here
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Offline 5quarter

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Re: Toe Board Users
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2012, 07:22:23 PM »
Jim...My understanding of grade sawing is simply targeting the cuts that will give the highest grade (the least knots, grain runout etc...), regardless of method (ie, quarter sawing, flatsawing or plane of reference). Most of my logs have very little taper, so the plane of the bark and plane of the heart center are nearly parallel, so I don't often have to think about which plane of reference I'm going to use. but if I have a very nice Red Oak, let's say, and it has alot of taper, I will saw parallel to the bark to get the best grade. when the small end gets down to 10x or 12x cant, I usually level the cant parallel to the heart center and finish cutting. Sawing in line with the bark may in fact be called grade sawing, I just don't think of it that way.

Chet
What is this leisure time of which you speak?

Offline Bibbyman

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Re: Toe Board Users
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2012, 03:11:30 AM »
We use the toeboards on almost every log we saw.

Many, many years ago I put a tip in the Knowledge Base with some illustrations on methods of toeing a log to improve the yield or quality of the lumber.

http://www.forestryforum.com/cgi-bin/tips/tips.cgi?display:1053087496-16591.txt
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