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Author Topic: Trash in logs  (Read 2186 times)

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Offline vfauto

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Trash in logs
« on: April 26, 2012, 10:18:51 AM »
Hi all, I was wondering what you all do to avoid hitting nails ect in logs. I have a fairly good metal detector but the issue is pin pointing the location of the nail. Even if it gets me close to the nail I still have to try and get to it. I have taken a hatchet and dug them out but the last one I hit was at least six inches into the log and my inexperience cost me three blades >:(.So what methods are you all using to avoid trashing blades?
The definition of insanity is to do the same things over and over and expect a different result!

Offline Magicman

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Re: Trash in logs
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2012, 11:48:50 AM »
If I see a log that has suspected bark growth such as horizontal lines or a large growth on the butt log, I may check it.  Also, large Cedar and Walnut trees generally come from a house site and probably will contain metal.

Other than that, I load them up and saw them.  Spending my time checking every log is very counter-productive in my instance.

If the customer wants to check them to avoid damaged blade cost, then I hand them the wand.  I avoid checking a customer's log for metal because doing so might transfer the responsibility of metal from him to me.  It's his log and his metal and every blade that hits metal cost the customer $25.

The fact is, a very small percentage of the logs that I saw have metal.  I would say 1% or less.  We tend to talk about the metal logs, but not the clear ones. 
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Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Re: Trash in logs
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2012, 12:31:06 PM »
I get all my personal logs from tree trimmers and a bunch of them. Which means they came from someone's yard. When I separate them into piles, I put all the logs that came off of the bottom of the tree in a pile and all the rest in a separate pile.

I'll generally saw all the logs that came from 10 foot and up first. Very and I mean very seldom do I hit metal from that far up.
Now when I saw the bottom logs, I look for imperfections as Magicman stated. Sometimes beetles or disease will give the illusion there is metal in a Pine log. So I do look as close as I can and even run a metal detector over it once or twice.

Even a load of logs from a customer, I saw the larger logs last. It probably doesn't matter....this is just how I do it. Because if I do run into metal, it'll be at the end of my job.

I have hit metal in a log 5 times before I got the log finished. I call the customer after the second hit and ask him / her if they want me to keep sawing. Sometimes a particular log is worth more than a box of blades to a customer. I try to have good communications with who ever brought me the log.

After hitting metal.....just taked a deep breath, get your tools and dig it out.

If it's my logs and I hit metal twice.... :D I charge myself $50.00 a blade for not communicating with myself! :D :D :D

You're gonna hit metal.....there's NO WAY AROUND IT! Just keep a sharp eye out and another sharp blade on stand-by.  :)
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Offline Ga Mtn Man

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Re: Trash in logs
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2012, 12:38:32 PM »
I get all my personal logs from tree trimmers and a bunch of them. Which means they came from someones yard. When I separate them into piles, I put all the logs that came off of the bottom of the tree in a pile and all the rest in a separate pile.

I'l generally saw all the logs that came from 10 foot and up first. Very and I mean very seldom do I hit metal from that far up.
Now when I saw the bottom logs, I look for imperfections as Magicman stated. Sometimes beetles will give the illusion there is metal in a Pine log. So I do look as close as I can and even run a metal detector over it once or twice.

Even a load of logs from a customer, I saw the larger logs last. It probably doesn't matter....this is just how I do it. Because if I do run into metal, it'll be at the end of my job.

I have hit metal in a log 5 times before I got the log finished. I call the customer after the second hit and ask him / her if they want me to keep sawing. Sometimes a particular log is work more than a box of blades to a customer. I try to have good communications with who ever brought me the log.

After hitting metal.....just taked a deep breath, get your tools and dig it out.

If it's my logs and I hit metal twice.... :D I charge myself $50.00 a blade for not communicating with myself! :D :D :D

You're gonna hit metal.....there's NO WAY AROUND IT! Just keep a sharp eye out and another sharp blade on stand-by.  :)

He saves the "metal" logs to frighten away wannabe sawyers.  :D :D
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Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: Trash in logs
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2012, 10:50:23 PM »
why worry about something that may or may not be in there? for me its full speed, a new blade is only $30 bucks how much lost production eats up $ 30.?
the experts think i do things wrong
 over 18 million b.f. processed and 7341 happy customers i disagree

Offline MHineman

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Re: Trash in logs
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2012, 11:43:22 PM »
  It depends on the species, but many show a blue stain on the cut ends when steel is in the log.  If the end has weathered, make a fresh cut with the chain saw of about 1 to 2 inches to look for stain and to better see how to saw the log.
  I'll mill the sides of the log without stain.  As you approach the metal, you'll start to see stain on the surface.  STOP sawing and either cut off an end with the chain saw or make firewood out of it.
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Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Trash in logs
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2012, 11:54:41 PM »
I have hit metal several times and have never had it cost me a blade yet. They can usually be resharpened. But I have never hit anything bigger than a 16 penny nail. Hit a horse shoe or something like that, and the blade may be kaput.
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Offline vfauto

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Re: Trash in logs
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2012, 12:38:25 AM »
What do you guys consider a trashed blade? When I have hit nails it takes a few teeth off the blade.
The definition of insanity is to do the same things over and over and expect a different result!

Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Trash in logs
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2012, 02:31:40 AM »
I consider it a trashed blade when the guy I send the blades to refuses to sharpen them. So far he hasn't (except the one blade I broke).  I'm not sure whether a few teeth missing (all in one place) would constitute a trashed blade or not, as I said, mine have cut right through the 16 penny nails and kept going. My first instinct would be to say, if about 95% or more of the teeth can be given a serviceable edge, than do it. But I'm a user, not a sharpener, and I've never had to use a blade like that yet.
No matter how conventional wisdom may fly in the face of radical thought, it's still the most popular type.

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Offline opticsguy

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Re: Trash in logs
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2012, 09:55:36 AM »
I am only a hobby sawyer and have come up with my own rules

All the trees on my property grow in a forest so i doubt that any have metal.
By only cutting MY trees i feel safe from metal.
The only metal encountered so far have been on the ground, parts from a vintage 20's car, an old two-man cross cut saw and parts from that UFO that crashed back in 1947 . . . . . . . .

Of course when driving the roads, I am always picking out trees I would to haul home.
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Offline MHineman

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Re: Trash in logs
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2012, 11:58:13 PM »
What do you guys consider a trashed blade? When I have hit nails it takes a few teeth off the blade.
  If a blade hits metal and teeth are damaged, I only use that blade for "farm lumber".  By that I mean lumber that will only be used rough and is expected to be somewhat rough in appearance. 
  For people that expect a realitively smooth surface that can be planed smooth with minimal passes, I'm sure to use better blades.
  Whenever I'm in doubt, I use better blades so others that see the end result of my work, sometimes months or years later, are pleased with the quality of the lumber and would like to hire me.
  For the most part, I only use the damaged blades my own logs for my own use.  I may build a shed or some other farm use where the texture can actually be better.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Trash in logs
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2012, 08:43:38 AM »
It puts a "non-skid" texture on flooring.   :D
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Trash in logs
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2012, 09:12:47 AM »
All of the logs I get that come from my logger. He has a full service tree service business. And some of these logs are yard trees. But some of the logs are from cutting new house lots or other land clearing projects. So I have no way of knowing where a log in the pile actually comes from.

As mentioned metal will usually stains the end of the log. So that you can see that the log has metal in it; by looking at the end.

When I see that a log has metal in it, by the stain on the end, I get out my metal detector and scan the log.

To find the metal; I first start on the side where the stain is. I sweep my metal detector left and right over the log going from end to end searching for the spot.

When the metal detector beeps that there is metal there, I slow down my left to right sweep to shorter strokes until I get a good idea where the metal is and I draw a line on the log with my lumber crayon. Right across the log where it beeps.
Next, I turn 90 to this line and sweep left and right again going from side to side over the log.
When the metal detector beeps again, I again shorten my stroke and identify a new line and draw it with my lumber crayon. This puts a + sign on my log. This is where I chop with my axe. Either side of the line.

That way I hope to not chop off the head of the nail.

Sometimes it isn't a nail:



But sometimes that is all it is:



If I chop off the head of the nail I use a pair of vice grips to clip onto the nail and then I get my cat's paw or crow bar under the vice grips and pull it out.

As mentioned, if these logs are customer's logs and I am doing some custom sawing, I ask them whether or not if they want me to scan their logs for nails.
If they say yes, then I charge them for my time doing that by the hour.
But I do it; and I don't release them from the fact that there still could be nails in their logs. And if I hit a nail even after I have scanned the log, I still charge them for the blade.
No one has ever called me on the "transfer" of responsibility for hitting the trash.
It's still their log and their nail.

I do also ask them up front, that if I hit a nail do they want me to pull it and continue or to throw the log away. And stop cutting it. Their answer depends on whether or not if they have lots of logs or only one or two. What type of wood it is. And whether or not if they have enough lumber yet for their project.

I have just a regular off the shelf Radio shack metal detector that has a round sending and receiving disc like you see people using to find things in the ground or at the beach. Nothing special and it works for me.

Jim Rogers
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Offline dboyt

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Re: Trash in logs
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2012, 03:25:39 PM »
I've had good luck with cobalt (bi-metal) blades.  They don't cut as fast or smooth, but they'll go through nails and wire without even slowing down.
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Offline DRB

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Re: Trash in logs
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2012, 04:17:28 PM »
Best metal detector in the world is a nice new sharp blade.  Murphy says as soon as you put a new blade on the next cut will find metal.  Never used a band mill but with a circle mill most any metal meant you had to at least stop and sharpen unless it was a copper or aluminum nail those were no problem.  Sometimes you need to replace all the teeth. Worst was a Porcelain Insulator in a walnut log. Ruined a whole set of teeth. Lag bolts could be pretty bad did have some bend the blade and have to get the blade hammered that is really bad.


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