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Author Topic: Edging against a cant - modified the process  (Read 2829 times)

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Offline VB-Milling

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Re: Edging against a cant - modified the process
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2021, 09:04:33 AM »
Questioning if I did the process correctly for someone with a manual mill.  I'm a visual learner  :)









If so, I really like it.

Edging the boards while taking the next board off the cant is something I can really get onboard with  8)

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Edging against a cant - modified the process
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2021, 09:26:38 AM »
Looks like you have the method figured out.  I often will do exactly as you are illustrating, cutting a board on the cant while simultaneously edging some flitches.  I only do this if my cant is relatively tall on the top where I can remove some boards without tension causing the cant to move.
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Offline VB-Milling

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Re: Edging against a cant - modified the process
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2021, 09:31:09 AM »
Thanks Ted.  I'll admit, I was having a hard time following this thread without pics as a newbie.

... without tension causing the cant to move.

This has been discussed in this thread a couple times and I'm not understanding.  The cant moves side to side or springs up off the bunks?  Please someone explain.

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Edging against a cant - modified the process
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2021, 10:58:54 AM »
The problem is when the cant springs up off the bunks, due to tension in the cant, when the cant is unclamped.  

WV Sawmiller's approach is not to unclamp the cant, thus, holding it from springing up.  That way he can saw the cant into boards and not have a top board and bottom board which varies in thickness end to end.  The alternative is let the cant spring up and take a trim cut to flatten the cant and keep sawing.  

In the end, the tension in the cant turns into either crooked or bowed boards.  The end use of the lumber should determine what you saw for either crook or bow.

Some of the springing due to tension can be minimized by sawing technique, rotating the cant 180 when sawing so the tension doesn't cause the cant to spring as much in one direction.  The tension can be created by too much sapwood left on one side of the cant during sawing, by a tree that grew next to an open area or by the log having a sweep to it among other issues. 

Sawing hardwood for crook rather than bow is another method to minimize the thick and thin boards when the cant moves.  It does take some experience and seeing the wood move as you saw it to get a first hand understanding.  Most of my hardwood customers prefer straight boards but if they have to choose between crook and bow, they prefer crook.  They can joint or saw the crook out.  This method turns the cant 90 when tension is showing the cant is springing up off the bunks.  

Sometimes it just doesn't matter what you do, the cant is going to move.  When they move in multiple directions at the same time can be infuriating.   
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Edging against a cant - modified the process
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2021, 11:10:54 AM »
Note that tension within the cant can/will cause not only the center of the cant to bow up or down but it also can/will cause either or both  end(s) to bow upward or downward.  

If your sawmill has movable bed rails, it is very important to have them fully supporting the cant from end to end with very minimum overhang.
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Offline VB-Milling

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Re: Edging against a cant - modified the process
« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2021, 11:44:35 AM »
@SawyerTed
@Magicman

You guys just gave me the "aha" moment I've been waiting for regarding cant bow.

Up until now, I've been frustrated that no matter how many times I adjust everything, the bunks never seem to be aligned with each other.  Embarrassingly enough, I never thought such a large chunk of wood could have a bow and not touch the bunks.  Now I see that my bunks are fine and the cant is springing when unclamped.  Thank you so much for the explanation and walking me through. 

I do not have moveable bunks, but I am pretty diligent about minimizing the overhang.  When I just cannot minimize it as much as I want, I get crappy lumber.  Makes sense.

Thank you gentlemen  8)
HM126

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Re: Edging against a cant - modified the process
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2021, 03:47:57 PM »
Eventually, if you haven't already, you will see a slab curl up as you cut it off the log.  Sometimes it may curl up a fraction of an inch and other times it will curl up several inches in extreme cases.  


 
That is tension in the log.  In a log like that the cant may move a considerable amount as you saw. That tension will show up in the lumber.  If I continued to saw this log into lumber, the boards would likely bow reflecting the curl of the slab.  If I rotate it 90 the boards will likely crook.  If I recall this sawing adventure correctly, I was sawing 4x4 or 4x6 dunnage out of firewood logs.  I suspect the ends of this cant curled up as Magicman mentioned. 

The best thing to do is stop and think about what's happening and how sawing releases that tension.  Don't do like I did the first few times and say, "Wow that's amazing!" and keep sawing as usual.  
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Offline APope

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Re: Edging against a cant - modified the process
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2021, 07:41:21 PM »
Some woods are extra special. I have seen sweet gum that displayed crook and bow at the same time... Kinda like a propeller. I edged it against the wedge of my splitter and dried it into firewood. It burned like it cut... poorly.
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Re: Edging against a cant - modified the process
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2021, 07:43:49 PM »
 

 
Or it might do just the opposite and bow up in the center.  They will also lay flat and move to the side.  I have had them to pinch the band on the far end and actually stop it.  When this happens, the drive belt will squall and blue smoke rise.   :o
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Offline VB-Milling

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Re: Edging against a cant - modified the process
« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2021, 08:02:27 PM »
The best thing to do is stop and think about what's happening and how sawing releases that tension.  Don't do like I did the first few times and say, "Wow that's amazing!" and keep sawing as usual. 


Guilty!  Today as a matter of fact!

Appreciate the pictures.  Really drives the point home.
HM126

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Edging against a cant - modified the process
« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2021, 09:47:52 PM »
  I think you're getting/have gotten the hang of it and Ted was spot on in explaining my suggestion is once I make the final turn I clamp lower than the last board I will cut and I do not release the clamp until I have sawed the cant completely into finished boards. I leave a stack of those board on the mill as a "backbone" to edge against, move the side support up against them and stand the flitches up against the other side and saw the bark off the flitches to the width I want/they will provide. As I saw narrower and narrower boards from the flitches closest to the outside of the original log, I remove and stack the boards previously on the cant to adjust the height downward - i.e. I move the finished board out of the way as needed. I still keep enough at all times to provide solid support for the flitches standing on edge. I hope that helps. 

   Thanks guys for the photos and explanations of the wonky things springy cants can and will do. 

    I fully admit my technique will often result in a couple of springy finished boards but they are consistent thickness using this process. Placing the bow up and plenty of weight on top while drying will help straighten them but there is no promise they will ever lay completely flat.
Howard Green
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Offline VB-Milling

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Re: Edging against a cant - modified the process
« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2021, 06:32:22 AM »
I leave a stack of those board on the mill as a "backbone" to edge against, move the side support up against them and stand the flitches up against the other side and saw the bark off the flitches to the width I want/they will provide.

I really like this approach and I think that was the last piece of the puzzle I was lacking the understanding of so thank you Howard for clearing that up.  Unfortunately for my little HM126, it only has a 7in depth of cut, so the stack I can leave on there is somewhat small compared to your setup.  It sure beats the way I was doing edging though...one board at a time against tall backstops and constantly adjusting them every cut.  Really glad I understand this process now.
HM126

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Edging against a cant - modified the process
« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2021, 09:39:23 AM »
   I only have a little over an 8" depth of cut so you should be fine. A 6" stack of boards is plenty of support to edge 12-14 inch tall flitches. Good luck. Keep us posted.
Howard Green
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Offline GAB

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Re: Edging against a cant - modified the process
« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2021, 10:11:35 AM »
Eventually, if you haven't already, you will see a slab curl up as you cut it off the log.  Sometimes it may curl up a fraction of an inch and other times it will curl up several inches in extreme cases.  

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
 
That is tension in the log.  In a log like that the cant may move a considerable amount as you saw. That tension will show up in the lumber.  If I continued to saw this log into lumber, the boards would likely bow reflecting the curl of the slab.  If I rotate it 90 the boards will likely crook.  If I recall this sawing adventure correctly, I was sawing 4x4 or 4x6 dunnage out of firewood logs.  I suspect the ends of this cant curled up as Magicman mentioned.

The best thing to do is stop and think about what's happening and how sawing releases that tension.  Don't do like I did the first few times and say, "Wow that's amazing!" and keep sawing as usual.  
@SawyerTed thanks for allowing me to use your photo.
Many times when flipping to the last side there will be a gap between the bed rail and the cant.  ie log stress.
If you take a cut 1/2" higher than Sawyer Ted is showing (1/4" or 3/8" might be enough depending on the gap judgement call), frequently the gap between the bed rails and the cant shrinks, then if you saw down the ends will be thicker than they would have been which results in the ends to middle difference being less.  Note: sometimes it does not work to your advantage.
GAB
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Edging against a cant - modified the process
« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2021, 10:46:29 AM »
Gerald,

  Thanks for the comment. My proposed technique only works if the cant lays flat on the rails when you make your final turn. If it does not touch all the rails you need to make the trim cuts till it does.

   And as to stress I have had slabs and flitches literally jump off the cant when you make the cut. You know you're in trouble then.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Edging against a cant - modified the process
« Reply #35 on: November 02, 2021, 10:55:46 AM »
I leave a stack of those board on the mill as a "backbone" to edge against, move the side support up against them and stand the flitches up against the other side and saw the bark off the flitches to the width I want/they will provide.

I really like this approach and I think that was the last piece of the puzzle I was lacking the understanding of so thank you Howard for clearing that up.  Unfortunately for my little HM126, it only has a 7in depth of cut, so the stack I can leave on there is somewhat small compared to your setup.  It sure beats the way I was doing edging though...one board at a time against tall backstops and constantly adjusting them every cut.  Really glad I understand this process now.
 On further thought here about the depth of cut issue, if you are edging really wide flitches (say 20"+) you can go ahead and still use the intact cant while it is still 12-14 inches tall, edge the wide flitches, then re-clamp the cant as originally described here. At that stage the cant should have enough weight to lay flat.

  I rarely cut boards over 12" wide for most customers (because of their planer width constraints) so edging really wide flitches is not a common occurrence.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline GAB

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Re: Edging against a cant - modified the process
« Reply #36 on: November 02, 2021, 12:00:01 PM »
Unless a customer asks me to not saw over a particular width then I shoot for the max. I can get.
For one customer this year I sawed some 15, 16, 18, and 20 inch wide boards.  His pine logs were huge.
Customers comment was do you know how much those would cost me at the lumber yard?

Mr. Green:
I have on occasion edged boards like you describe, however I find that it is very time consuming.
I prefer that the off bearers stack the boards to be edged in 3 stacks. Narrow, medium, and wide.
Then load them up to 20 (for 1" material) at a time on the millbed and start trimming.
If there is a piece of equipment with forks available stack on skids to reduce handling time with pieces to be edged.
GAB
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Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Edging against a cant - modified the process
« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2021, 12:26:34 PM »
@GAB no problem on the use of the photo. 

If I had been sawing usable lumber the technique "may?" have been different on the log in the photo, I don't know.  I was cutting dunnage from firewood logs, so it was mainly four slabs and done.  The slab curling up like it did was a bit of a shock.  Regardless of shoddy technique for getting stable lumber (I've been a poor example before :D), the photo is certainly a good example of how sapwood can cause stress or tension.
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Re: Edging against a cant - modified the process
« Reply #38 on: November 02, 2021, 12:35:53 PM »
Thank Howard!  I finally learned something from you.  It's a good technique.   I will try it next time I saw.
hugs,  Brandi
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Offline VB-Milling

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Re: Edging against a cant - modified the process
« Reply #39 on: November 02, 2021, 12:44:03 PM »

I prefer that the off bearers stack the boards to be edged in 3 stacks. Narrow, medium, and wide.
Then load them up to 20 (for 1" material) at a time on the millbed and start trimming.


I think there are two approaches now that I understand the process.  Your process would be difficult for people without hydraulics like myself.  It would be very challenging for me to manually clamp more than, say 4 or 5 boards against the stops and sufficient "slack" be taken out of the boards to ensure no movement.  If I had hydraulic clamps, I could definitely see how your method with two people could be faster.
HM126


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