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Author Topic: Old cedar log pile found - tips for figuring out if they're worth milling?  (Read 1227 times)

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Offline Ken K

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Hi Everyone,
I've resurrected a long neglected account here asking some advice about whether some old cedar logs I've found in the bush would be salvageable.

Long story short I work for a small mining exploration company at the moment and one of the geologists showed me a pile of old cedar logs behind the abandoned minesite we're working around.

As far as I can tell, they've been there for years, judging by the alder growth in the clear cut around them, and there are definitely some that seem like they're past saving, but they'd be worth the effort for me if I could salvage even a fraction of the wood rather than leave it to rot.

I've attached some photos of the pile, and this morning I probed a bit with a knife and found that after the first inch of soft, rotted wood they seemed solid, but it's hard to tell.

I'm looking for ways to check/test to see if there's good lumber waiting in some of these, what to look for to determine if a log is a total write off etc.

Retrieving them would only cost me fuel and time and provide an excuse for some fun so it wouldn't need to be super lucrative or anything, just enough for me to get a trailer of boards.

Let me know if anyone has any advice.

Thanks,
-Ken



 

 

 





 

 

Offline WV Sawmiller

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   Take a chain saw and cut a few cookies off the ends. That will quickly tell you if they are worth sawing or not. Good luck.
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Offline barbender

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I'm guessing by the looks of them in the pictures you would find some beautiful lumber inside.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline donbj

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With the way the price of cedar lumber is right now that may be a little gold mine if you can economically get it done.
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Offline thecfarm

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I have cedar on mine land. The ends, heart rot wise, looks better than what I cut!! I would not be concerned about the rot in the middle of the logs. That heart rot most times will go away in 4-6 feet of the log, or did in my trees. I cut down some good size cedar, but could barely get a 4x4 out of a log. But did not have a hard time making one inch lumber.
I had my land logged and told them any cedar that gets cut, I want brought out and piled up. I hate to say, it sat there for 10 years before I sawed it. That pile that you showed looked like mine. But that is good news for you.
I would saw them!!!
Whatcha got for a mill?
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Offline terrifictimbersllc

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I sawed part of a pile like that once.  Beautiful.  The rest is still there probably still beautiful. 
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Offline moodnacreek

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Shorten the logs to get rid of the bad ends and take a slab off with the chainsaw.

Offline Ken K

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Shorten the logs to get rid of the bad ends and take a slab off with the chainsaw.


That's what I was thinking of trying. These logs are mostly like 30 feet long so I would have to cut them up anyway. Thanks

I have cedar on mine land. The ends, heart rot wise, looks better than what I cut!! I would not be concerned about the rot in the middle of the logs. That heart rot most times will go away in 4-6 feet of the log, or did in my trees. I cut down some good size cedar, but could barely get a 4x4 out of a log. But did not have a hard time making one inch lumber.
I had my land logged and told them any cedar that gets cut, I want brought out and piled up. I hate to say, it sat there for 10 years before I sawed it. That pile that you showed looked like mine. But that is good news for you.
I would saw them!!!
Whatcha got for a mill?
Seems like that bit of rot in the heart is pretty much unavoidable in cedar eh? Once I go back I'm going to cut them up into a few manageable pieces and see if the tops are still good too. Maybe I'll manage to get some 4x4s out of that end while the bottoms become boards. 

As for a mill, I've got an old Clarke Model #50. It's a bit beat up but I like that it's solidly welded together, and was a pretty good deal. I haven't done it justice in the years I've owned it, with only a few dozen logs cut so far, but aiming to change that. 



Thanks everyone, I'm feeling pretty encouraged to go and get these logs now. I just have to recruit a friend of mine and his ATV (the logs just HAD to be a little too far from the road to be truck accessible) and get a trailer close by and away I go. 



Offline Crossroads

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I milled a pile of cedar that looked just like that on Friday and the customer ended up with quite a stack of beautiful 1x4s and 1x6s. Get them while the gettens good. 
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Offline Chuck White

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I think I would just saw a couple and see what was in them!

I believe you will get some good stuff out of them!

Post some "After Pictures"!
~Chuck~
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Offline Jeff

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Those may very well not be "bad ends" in places in Northern Michigan, some sites simply grow northern white cedar with nasty centers.  Saw them up. I bet you get some beautiful lumber. 
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Ezekiel 22:30

Offline Ken K

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I think I would just saw a couple and see what was in them!

I believe you will get some good stuff out of them!

Post some "After Pictures"!
They're a couple hours drive from home so I think I'll grab the choicest bits and cut them, and go back for the rest if they look good.
Will definitely get pictures of both the removal and the end results

Offline florida

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I just bought  84 LF of RS cedar 2 X 12. $1600.00. Like gold.
General contractor and carpenter for 50 years.

Offline LongLogSmith

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Bought a couple of loads of cedar with a lot of similar end this winter. Spread them out on stickers and got some firewood trimming all of the ends off; so far the milling around the heart rot is making some beautiful wood. Cedar is up in value here in Western Montana as well right now. Cut it!

Offline handhewn

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When I found an abandoned pile of cedar logs I milled the best and split the rest. All things considered, I made more money per hour selling split rails. Split them as they lay. Only need one steel wedge and a couple long steel pry bars.


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