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Author Topic: Cutting live edge slabs questions  (Read 1807 times)

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Offline burdman_22

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Cutting live edge slabs questions
« on: February 26, 2021, 11:34:50 PM »
I cut live edge slabs with a chainsaw mill....hopefully to sell one day. Problem is, I dont know how thick to cut them. I've been doing 3 inches, based purely on the fact that I saw somewhere online that sawing 50% over your planned finished thickness was a good rule of thumb. Most of them have been 2 feet wide, some 3 feet, and coming up I'm going to be cutting some 50 inches wide.

The main issue is, as you all know, that drying 3 inch thick slabs is going to take a million years. Is 2.5 inches thick enough to get a finished 2 inch thick slab out of (after drying/warping/whatever else is going to happen while drying). Or should I stick with 3 inches (or even less than 2.5)? Are thicker slabs more or less stable than thinner slabs (I've always assumed they were more stable/resistant to checking and/or warping). And how much air drying time will half an inch less of thickness cut off?

Thanks to anyone with any advice/experience/opinions! :) (sorry if this has already been discussed a million times)

Offline dogbo2013

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2021, 07:17:41 AM »
I have been sawing all of my larger slabs at 3" as well. So far, all have remained flat and show little signs of movement. If they do move, it gives me plenty of material to work with. I do think leaving a little more mass helps prevent some warping/twisting, but I have experienced more checking and cracking with larger slabs and cants. The slower they dry the better end product
GMB

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2021, 08:01:58 AM »
There is much to consider drying green lumber.  Some species are almost impossible to dry and at the same time have it not all split and twisted.  Thicker may stay flat longer and give you time to stack more on top of it at the same time end checks running in because the center can't dry as fast as the ends. I would suggest 2 1/2". Try to stay away from oak, hickory and elm.  Pine, walnut, cedar and cherry air dry quite well.  The platform you stack on wants to be flat and the weight on top can never be enough. And pay no attention to all the pictures you see and stick to the ends , this makes a huge difference. Saw alot more than wanted. Good luck.

Offline burdman_22

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2021, 11:17:32 PM »
Hopefully I get some bites posting another question on this thread. Lately I've been milling about 2.5" thick, and most of my slabs were 2-3' wide. What if I am milling something 7' wide? Should I still go with 2.5" thick?

Offline customsawyer

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2021, 04:51:25 AM »
The wider the slab is the thicker I cut them. A little cup in a 24" wide slab might equal a quarter of a inch. That same cup in a 48" wide slab is more than double. You have to have enough meat on the bone to get them flattened when planed.
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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2021, 08:50:37 AM »
This is going to take a lot of consideration on my part I suppose....if I've got something like 15 ft long and 6 feet wide, cutting it 4 inches thick is going to be VERY heavy. Also going to take 8 years to dry, and I'll never be able to sell it :/

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2021, 08:54:51 AM »
it may take 2 weeks to cut it.   :)
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline Larry

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2021, 12:08:13 PM »
My friend has a WM Slabmizer.  He does custom work along with surfacing his own slabs.  Most are kiln dried.  A lot of the wide "character" slabs will require 1" to be removed to get them flat on both sides.  Plan Jane slabs maybe less. 
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 reride82

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2021, 12:31:19 PM »
My go-to for live edge slabs is 1.25" thick per 1' width. So a 2' wide slab would be cut to 2.5", 3' = 3.75" thick. I've never cut over 4' width so I don't know about the really big slabs. preventing warp helps alot, so stack on a flat surface well stickered with lots of weight to keep them flat as they dry. Once dry, they'll stay flat for the most part.

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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2021, 06:50:26 PM »
My go-to for live edge slabs is 1.25" thick per 1' width. So a 2' wide slab would be cut to 2.5", 3' = 3.75" thick. I've never cut over 4' width so I don't know about the really big slabs. preventing warp helps alot, so stack on a flat surface well stickered with lots of weight to keep them flat as they dry. Once dry, they'll stay flat for the most part.

Levi
Thatís good advice above and from Jake.
I mill my 72Ē slabs at 4Ē. How flat they stay depends upon the log quality.
Usually 4Ē oak requires 3-4 years of air drying before it goes into a kiln for finish off and sterilizing.
Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
Smith - Gallagher dedicated slabber
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and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.

Offline pezrock

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2021, 10:08:59 PM »
This is going to take a lot of consideration on my part I suppose....if I've got something like 15 ft long and 6 feet wide, cutting it 4 inches thick is going to be VERY heavy. Also going to take 8 years to dry, and I'll never be able to sell it :/
Please post pics. That is nuts to CSM!!! 

Offline Ianab

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2021, 11:57:36 PM »
This is going to take a lot of consideration on my part I suppose....if I've got something like 15 ft long and 6 feet wide, cutting it 4 inches thick is going to be VERY heavy. Also going to take 8 years to dry, and I'll never be able to sell it :/
This is a table that's now in a museum in Northland, NZ.  It's a single piece of Kauri pine ( Agathis australis). The table top weighs over a ton, plus the base which I think are 12x12" timbers.  I think Scsmith has access to a large crane when needed, but make sure you factor the delivery cost (and possible building alterations  :D ) when you try and sell them. The museum has a large roller door and machinery access for a reason. They have various steam engines and complete sawmills on display, and a big old bulldozer in there as well. 

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Offline customsawyer

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2021, 07:15:53 AM »
Yup, I have a customer that hired one of my regular table builders to build them a table. It was sawed at 4x46x10. It planed out to 3x46x10 but is still very heavy. They are removing a wall in the house to be able to get the table in there. The customers grandfather planted the tree when he was a child. You might say they have a connection to it.
Two LT70s, Nyle L200 kiln, 4 head planer, 30" double surface planer, Lucus dedicated slaber, Slabmizer, and enough rolling stock and chainsaws to keep it all running.
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Offline Ohioian

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2021, 11:36:21 AM »
Getting ready to cut a 24" x 4 ' black walnut, first two cuts will be at 1 3/4 to hopefully finish at 1 1/2 then two cuts at 3" then back to 1 3 /4. 
  What I have found is that in my area(market) is that the majority want 1 1/2 live edge for shelves. I would suggest that you do some research to see what people want to buy in your area. No sense cutting stuff nobody wants to purchase.

Offline burdman_22

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2021, 12:05:40 AM »
@Ohioian These will not be sold "in my area" as I'm in the military and will be moving next May-June (no idea where yet). These slabs will likely be moved to my farm in Kentucky where they will be stacked and covered and forgotten about for the next 5 years while they dry, haha. Also, I doubt there is going to be a huge market for these other than for conference room tables or something, as the plan is to mill them about 16 ft long (the log is about 5 ft wide at the base and closer to 7 ft wide where the branches start growing)

For sure going to post pictures once the work begins. My new bar and chainsaw mill should be here tomorrow (84 inches). I'm still going to have to figure out a trailer and tractor or something huge to load the slabs with. Also probably cant move more than one at a time with my truck, which is going to be a pain. I considered stacking them on the property where I am milling them and then maybe hiring someone with a huge truck and flatbed and maybe coming back to get all of them in 1-2 trips...might still do that...lots to consider.

I'll consider 4 inch slabs, though at 4 inches, these things will end up weighing over 2000 pounds :/


Offline doc henderson

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2021, 05:31:39 AM »
I just went to your gallery.  glad to see all the large slabs you have made.  I was afraid you were jumping in over most peoples heads.  thanks for you and your wifes' service to our country.  I now have little concerns for you ability to pull this off.  @burdman_22 
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline scsmith42

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2021, 07:52:29 AM »
This is going to take a lot of consideration on my part I suppose....if I've got something like 15 ft long and 6 feet wide, cutting it 4 inches thick is going to be VERY heavy. Also going to take 8 years to dry, and I'll never be able to sell it :/
Please post pics. That is nuts to CSM!!!
The widest slabs in this stack were 72Ē wide, 4Ē thick and 14í long. They were around 1000 pounds each as I recall.


 


 


 
We slab quite a lot; nowadays mostly on customer owned logs. The 72Ē black oak in the pix is still the largest one that weíve done though.
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and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.

Offline Ohioian

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2021, 08:24:31 AM »
Thank you for your service

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2021, 12:59:57 PM »
Scsmith
Thatís some serious twist in that last log. Grain runout is going to be an issue to deal with in those slabs, you think?
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline charles mann

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2021, 03:57:14 PM »
@burdman_22 
Can you get a truck and trailer to the logs? If so, you could use a log arch and a nylon choker to load ea slab. If you have a standard height bumper pull trailer with loading ramps, secure the ramps to the trailer, use a couple 4-6Ē fence posts secured to the ramps and an atv winch and just winch them onto the trailer. As your stack get taller, use a couple more fence posts or 2x6s/4x4s to lay on the stack and drag the slabs onto the stack. 
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2021, 04:24:35 PM »
does not the Military move you guys?  just have several headboards...I can see them suspended under a huge heli and dropping them on the farm.   :D :D :D
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline charles mann

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2021, 06:39:36 PM »
does not the Military move you guys?  just have several headboards...I can see them suspended under a huge heli and dropping them on the farm.   :D :D :D
 They pay the person to move themselves (dity, do it yourself) or they have a moving company do it, or a combo of the twp, partial dity. 
Only time i had movers do it for me was from korea to ft. campbell, ky.,  then a redirect during mid-shipping to ft. hood, tx., since i was only in ky for 1.5 months and was lucky enough to get in the company moving to hood. 
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Offline burdman_22

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2021, 11:18:18 PM »
I just went to your gallery.  glad to see all the large slabs you have made.  I was afraid you were jumping in over most peoples heads.  thanks for you and your wifes' service to our country.  I now have little concerns for you ability to pull this off.  @burdman_22
Don't give me too much credit doc, I'm 100% sure I'm in way over my head with this tree...but...can't learn to swim without getting your head wet, so we'll see what happens, haha.
As far as the military moving us, there is a weight limit when they move us, and we would exceed that with like two slabs, haha. I think what I may end up having to do is find someone with a tractor trailer, load them all onto it and move them all to Kentucky in one go (since KY is going to be their home for the next 4-8 years).

Offline scsmith42

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2021, 08:06:31 AM »
Scsmith
Thatís some serious twist in that last log. Grain runout is going to be an issue to deal with in those slabs, you think?
I thought the same but Surprisingly most stayed fairly flat during drying.
Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
Smith - Gallagher dedicated slabber
Tom's 3638D Baker band mill
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Offline metalspinner

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2021, 11:41:41 AM »
Thatís good to hear. 
Iíve got a 60 incher buried deep, deep in a hand stacked pile. One day, when Iím dead and gone and my wife auctions off all my junk, someone will be really happy to see that slab. 

That brings up a good point actually. Whatís the point of milling all this stuff if I canít even access it? I have no equipment to handle stuff. So once itís stacked -it ainít moving!

Hereís the log 


 

BTW, both of those boys are in their 20ís now. 
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline charles mann

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2021, 03:18:33 PM »
I just went to your gallery.  glad to see all the large slabs you have made.  I was afraid you were jumping in over most peoples heads.  thanks for you and your wifes' service to our country.  I now have little concerns for you ability to pull this off.  @burdman_22

As far as the military moving us, there is a weight limit when they move us, and we would exceed that with like two slabs, haha. I think what I may end up having to do is find someone with a tractor trailer, load them all onto it and move them all to Kentucky in one go (since KY is going to be their home for the next 4-8 years).
Where are you currently stationed at, rucker, if your location in your is correct? 
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2021, 02:31:32 AM »
Thatís good to hear.
Iíve got a 60 incher buried deep, deep in a hand stacked pile. One day, when Iím dead and gone and my wife auctions off all my junk, someone will be really happy to see that slab.

That brings up a good point actually. Whatís the point of milling all this stuff if I canít even access it? I have no equipment to handle stuff. So once itís stacked -it ainít moving!

Hereís the log

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
 

BTW, both of those boys are in their 20ís now.
Thatís a great pic! It would be really cool to take a couple of the slabs from the log in the pic  that are around 42Ē wide and make dining room tables from them for your two sons in the pic!
Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
Smith - Gallagher dedicated slabber
Tom's 3638D Baker band mill
and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2021, 08:13:04 AM »
 8) 8)
What a great idea, Scott! Thanks!
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

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Re: Cutting live edge slabs questions
« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2021, 10:59:31 PM »
I just went to your gallery.  glad to see all the large slabs you have made.  I was afraid you were jumping in over most peoples heads.  thanks for you and your wifes' service to our country.  I now have little concerns for you ability to pull this off.  @burdman_22

As far as the military moving us, there is a weight limit when they move us, and we would exceed that with like two slabs, haha. I think what I may end up having to do is find someone with a tractor trailer, load them all onto it and move them all to Kentucky in one go (since KY is going to be their home for the next 4-8 years).
Where are you currently stationed at, rucker, if your location in your is correct?
@charles mann We are at Redstone Arsenal.


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