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Author Topic: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .  (Read 4703 times)

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Offline rasorbackQ

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 From what I have read its best ASAP after the tree is down.
 Last week I harvested a 18 " across the  butt spruce tree.  Right to the band saw mill. First cut as soon as the blade exited the log the slab  bowed . Almost jumped off the mill. Needed 2x4s for a bracing job  ....... All the pieces bowed bad not one straight board from the tree. I thought maybe it was because it was toooooooo fresh and that the trees needed to age before they were cut. I have read about tree STRESS.  So any ideas.
 Steven
NS Canada

Thanks for reading, Steven

Offline Ianab

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2013, 05:38:38 PM »
Sometimes you come across trees like that....  >:(

Internal stress in the log, although it looks straight, think about it being a bundle of rubber bands and springs. When you cut a board free from the rest of the log, the board moves.

Sometimes you can let a log "age" and this seems to relax some of that tension. Other thing is to take the bowed boards and put them on the  bottom of the drying stack with a ton or 2 of weight (more wood) on top. If you can hold it straight as it dries it will probably stay straight(ish)  once dry.

But either way, it's just one of "those" logs.

Ian
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Offline clww

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2013, 06:12:37 PM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum. :)
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Offline highleadtimber16

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2013, 06:49:07 PM »
Spruce can be bad for stress. Especially the butts! A lot of weight has to be held by the butt and this makes it difficult to deal with sometimes.
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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2013, 07:58:13 PM »
Welcome to the forum mate ;)

A lot of times it depends where you take your timber from, boards closer to the outside/bark/sapwood of the tree bend more and boards closer to the heart bend less.
Always willing to help - Allan

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2013, 09:38:26 PM »
rasorbackQ.welcome to the forum. What kind of mill you got? I'm not a big fan of spruce. Good thing I have very little on my land.   ;D  Today I cut down a hemlock. Probably an hour later it,was peeled and I was sawing.It was a very nice butt log. Tommorrow the 2nd log will be sawed and than the third one. What the lumber going to be used for?
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Offline rasorbackQ

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2013, 05:42:43 AM »
Thanks guys for the welcome  but I thought a would receive a dozen beer with a membership.
 Guess will just have to go with some great advice.
 Most of the wood  bowed on 2 planes  so all the kings men  could never get this wood to be usable.
 My mill is a homemade one. But the guy that built  it 15 years ago he really know what he was doing. Hydraulic cut and lift, tow-able, power with a 20 hp Honda. All the right things in the right spot.   Will cut a stick over 23 '. That looks strange a 23 ' 2x4.  Think its based on a Baker mill.
 So getting back to the sawing. Seems milling is hit and miss when I hear "some trees just are like that".
 Last year I cut down an old big dead pine 24" butt cut after it was cut into lumber and dried to 11 percent I cut a pice on the table saw . Couldn't cut it. 2 or 3 " past the blade it pinched so hard it stopped the saw. I thought maybe a new shape blade would do the trick. Nope!! I tried several other pieces from the same tree and in the end I planed it all into shavings for the hen house.  It wasn't very nice wood as was full of worm holes. I was told with that tree "some trees are just odd
 I have cut very few live trees from my property , just old down or dieing ones has been through he mill.

 
Thanks for reading, Steven

Offline m wood

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2013, 06:26:18 AM »
hey and welcome razor.  I am cutting a lot of spruce right now and I try to keep it at 8 1/2 max length, just for that reason.  I incorporate the bowed boards where I can by cutting short braces, somewhat flexible battons etc. out of them.  I hate waste but it happens and the scrap pile grows anyway.  good luck, the mill sounds like a doozy
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Offline Gasawyer

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2013, 07:13:57 AM »
Welcome to the forum rasorbackq.
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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2013, 08:18:37 AM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum,    rasorbackQ.   :)
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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2013, 08:27:55 AM »
welcome aboard!

Offline Jeff

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2013, 08:29:17 AM »
Sounds like both logs you describe are kinda worse case scenario. Old and dry, which is not a good combination for milling, and an ornery spruce.

I'm not in the camp that believes you can relax a log by letting it age. I think that is horse puckey. The log is never going to saw better than it will than when it is fresh cut and green.  I'm not sure where those that think a log saws better with age get their data. If you didn't saw it to begin with, how can you know it sawed better later?  If you did start to saw it, then quit, then went back to it later on, If it then sawed better, its because you released some of the stress from opening it up the first time.  Aging logs to get better sawing to me is an old wives tale.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2013, 10:25:00 AM »
Very well said there Jeff.  8)

I just don't know about any association with horse puckey and old wives tho.   ::) ::)
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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2013, 06:09:14 PM »
 Is there any truth to cutting a pine tree and leaving all the branches attached so they will draw the sap out   Or is there a better time to cut down trees .
 Spring fall when ever?
 I build furniture and have a couple nice big oak that I want to harvest   Would rather just harvest a few to get a few years worth of wood to dry rather then screw them up and have to burn them.
 What do others do with the slab wood. I tried to sell some last year and this year I ended up cutting it all up to burn.  I piled on pallets with walls and now have 9 done with maybe 5 more to clean up the slab pile. Once the area is cleaned up then I can maybe manage the slab pile better this season.

Thanks for reading, Steven

Offline sigidi

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2013, 07:06:47 PM »
I'm with you Jeff - Horse Puckey!!!

Rasor - yer mate some logs do that - but experience gives you ways to combat it, one of the easiest ways is to cut the board over size, then re-saw it to get the original size you wanted.
Down here longer smaller logs have more tension (and you don't have as much room to move in them) also the butt logs seem to exhibit the most tension, heart orientation plays a big part too, maybe the log grew on a slope and has 'messed' with the internal stress of the log. its all about the amount of sawdust you've made mate  ;)

stick with it - as your sawdust pile grows the amount of bad logs you get seems to decrease ;D
Always willing to help - Allan

Offline GAB

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2013, 08:34:26 PM »
rasorbackQ:
I sawed some Red Spruce for a customer and the results were very good.
I sawed some Colorado Blue Spruce for another customer and I ran out of things to try to get a decent cut.  I do not ever want to see CBS again.  Gerald
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Offline drobertson

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2013, 09:17:34 PM »
RasorbackQ, been reading, thinking and waiting, as mentioned, time in many logs will be the best you can do for learning, not well versed with that kind of timber, but many are, pay attention to sweep of the logs and the intended cuts desired. take notes, (at least lots of mental notes) and keep on cutting. Take the limbs off leaving no nubs, at all!  cut when you can and just keep on cutting.  not much else to say, there will be hiccups along the way with plenty of set backs,  wood moves and always will, just some more than others.  david
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline customsawyer

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2013, 03:15:51 AM »
Welcome to the forum.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2013, 08:40:40 AM »
Some of the log problems relate to genetics in the trees as well as site conditions.  In my area, a lot of the past logging practices included taking out the best trees, and leaving the stunted ones for the next forest.  That amounted to getting a lower quality of genetics, and trees that are stressed to take over the stand.

I've noticed that I would have problems with certain species that came from certain logging jobs.  It had nothing to do with how long the limbs were left on, or how long they aged.  But, our business plan was to mill them as quickly as possible for a known market.   I've always suspected it came from where they were grown, and not so much how long its been laying.  The older logs are definitely harder to saw.  That will affect how well your saw tracks, and how quickly it dulls. 

I've only sawn a few spruce.  It rapidly became one of my least favorite woods to saw.  The only spruce we get are Norway and a few Colorado blue.   
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Offline dboyt

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2013, 09:53:37 AM »
Razorack, welcome to the forum.  Spruce, pecan, and hickory seem to be the three least-liked species for millers.  If it pinches a band saw blade, you've got some serious tension.  I keep a couple of wedges handy to open up the cut for times when I have to back the blade out.  Wedges would also work for keeping the wood from pinching the blade.  How about some photos of the mill?
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Offline ST Ranch

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2013, 11:32:52 AM »
RBQ - I mill a lot of spruce [engleman spruce] that grows naturally on my ranch. About 75% of the time the logs and lumber work out fine - the more open grown one [usually lots of limbs and often twist from blowing in the wind] and ones that grow on the edge of a clump or edge of an opening [this is usually a result of uneven growth rings on the branchy side of the tree], cause me trouble.
I usually only cut a 8 - 10 foot butt log to reduce twist issues. From second and third cut logs I can get nice 12 -16 footers and the top log I usually cut into a small cant [4x4 for posts or dun age]
I find it best to mill when freshly logged. Partially dry is tough to mill, sawdust sort of sticky and stringy, and if log is quite dry, knots are hard and can cause blade to dip.
Lumber from the dry logs is usually more stable and less likely to warp.
The other trick for the green saw lumber is lots of stickers [every 2 feet] and an even foundation to stack on [ make sure the bottom foundation stickers are a 2 feet too].
Big issue is to have good sharp blades, I have a debarker and I only get 5 - 600 BF of cutting when logs are dry [10 - 20 inch dia logs], but 1000 BF + with green logs.
Good luck
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Offline rasorbackQ

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2013, 07:41:20 PM »
--Photos MUST be in the Forestry Forum gallery!!!!!--.com/user/rasorbackq/media/HPIM3061_zps616021ba.jpg.html[/img]
Thanks for reading, Steven

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2013, 07:27:14 AM »
Putter miller is not taking the bait on this one. Frank C.
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Offline rasorbackQ

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2013, 06:29:39 PM »
Thanks for reading, Steven

Offline rasorbackQ

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2013, 06:34:29 PM »
How does one attach a pic to a post
Thanks for reading, Steven

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2013, 06:52:14 PM »
 

 
Thanks for reading, Steven

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Re: Been reading and looking for info on cutting logs into lumber .
« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2013, 06:54:23 PM »
 

  

  

 
Thanks for reading, Steven


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