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Author Topic: Sawing frozen wood  (Read 1884 times)

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Offline fluidpowerpro

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Sawing frozen wood
« on: November 26, 2021, 02:10:57 PM »
Even though I live in Minnesota, all of my sawing has been in temps above freezing. Are there any things I need to do different when cutting frozen wood?
Change is hard....
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2021, 03:56:32 PM »
Try to wait until its good and froze. Half frozen, or case harden wood can be a bear to saw.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2021, 06:40:54 PM »
   Make sure you are using the right blade. May have to change depending on the kind of logs you're sawing. Frozen softwoods saw more like hardwoods.
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Offline barbender

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2021, 09:43:38 PM »
I find that softwoods saw better when frozen. WM Turbo 7/39's worked great for me all last winter.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Southside

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2021, 09:55:07 PM »
What do you mean "frozen wood"? How does such a thing happen?  :D  We only get the half frozen, somewhat frozen, only the sap wood is frozen kind - yea, that's miserable.  
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Offline fluidpowerpro

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2021, 12:56:35 AM »
 I guess what  I should have said was sawing when the wood temp is below freezing. I primarily saw Red Oak, Birch and Jack (Red) Pine. Some Maple and Tamarack here an there.
Thanks to all for the guidance.
Change is hard....
Especially when a jar full of it falls off the top shelf and hits your head!

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2021, 07:24:21 AM »
Well, you know this, as I read about your background.  cold metal, oils ect.  even water is more likely to seperate from gas, the colder it gets.  plug stuff in and let it warm up well.  the engine is working hard to pump any hydraulic oil even not under load.  I have shredded belts in the winter due to the increased oil viscosity. 
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Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2021, 07:36:36 AM »
 

It's starting  ::)
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Offline Southside

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2021, 10:31:59 AM »
See Peter, no more rain and mud!
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2021, 02:40:44 PM »
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Offline barbender

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2021, 05:29:57 PM »
Now Fluidpower, what part of MN are you in that they are calling Jack Pine, Red Pine? I won't have it!😊
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Offline Andries

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2021, 05:47:59 PM »
Red Pine = Norway Pine
Jack Pine = Jack Pine
Iím with barbender on this one. 👍 
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Offline Resonator

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2021, 06:33:41 PM »
You can't burn Jack pine...slowly. ;D
Under bark there's boards and beams, somewhere in between.
Cuttin' while its green, through a steady sawdust stream.
I'm chasing the sawdust dream.

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Offline Andries

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2021, 06:48:01 PM »
The woodstove at the summer camp agrees. Itís not airtight and Jackpine is rich in resin.
Makes for an unintentional sauna! 🥵
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Offline Andries

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2021, 07:00:36 PM »
@fluidpower , get set to enjoy some cool sawdust! 
Windshield washer fluid in the blade lube tank.
My LT40 is happiest with 4 degree bands.
Pick your winter milling days for low to no wind, and not colder than -10c. (14 f.) any colder and bands will want to fail sooner.
No sweat, no mosquitoes, pine resin is frozen and no spectators - you may never go back to hot weather milling! 😎
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2021, 07:56:19 PM »
@fluidpower , get set to enjoy some cool sawdust!
Windshield washer fluid in the blade lube tank.
My LT40 is happiest with 4 degree bands.
Pick your winter milling days for low to no wind, and not colder than -10c. (14 f.) any colder and bands will want to fail sooner.
No sweat, no mosquitoes, pine resin is frozen and no spectators - you may never go back to hot weather milling! 😎
Andries, I bet you could sell refrigerators to eskimos. Just sayiin'
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I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, but almost.

Offline Andries

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2021, 08:09:52 PM »
Well OG, it just works for me because we have a dry cold. 
You mentioned the wet, cold and humid month of darkest November in one of your posts. I can relate completely.
That has to be the absolute worst of the worst working conditions that I can think of. 
I enjoy your daily diary thread - tomorrow is -5 and Iíll be milling ash and oak. 
Tomorrow will be another day. 👌
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Offline Southside

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2021, 08:17:48 PM »
I grew up in the dry cold, and I will say for sure you can feel a differnce here.  I could tell when it was zero outside because the snow on the trails would "squeak" as you walked on it, and the sleds ran awesome.  At -20F your eyelids would freeze when you blinked, so you knew it was that cold.  It got really cold at -40F.  Here it hits 25 and it's DanG cold.  It's bizarre.  
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Offline Andries

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2021, 08:24:40 PM »
I hear you SS. 
I spent 35 plus years in Canadaís Arctic on icebreakers and wildlife surveys.
If you get -40 and open ice/ocean conditions, itíll ruin you day if not longer. 🥶 
The guys just South of the Great Lakes and in the Maritimes have my never ending respect for their ability to power through weather that is just simply a health hazard.
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Offline Southside

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2021, 08:35:34 PM »
Never been on the ocean in those conditions, but on fresh water where you would hear the lake "making ice" as the wave rebounded under the frozen surface.  Your monofilamment line on a jig pole was 1/4" thick, and yet there was open water at the outlet of the lake.  Better know what a pressure ridge is and stay away from it.  Actually I have seen liquid propane in a regular bucket that was not evaporating.  Had to get a wood fire going to warm up camp and the evaporator so the lights would run eventually.  Definately appreciated the fact someone who came before me made a toilet seat donut out of 1" styrofoam insulation for the outhouse.  :D
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2021, 08:59:19 PM »
Yes, winter humidity is w whole different game. Dry cold I can work with but what we get int he northeast is never (or very rarely) dry. We can get dry cold in late January or february and I can work with that easily. Single digits or even lower with proper clothes is really grt working weather, I love it. But this time of year, for me it is miserable. I may be getting old, but remain in fairly good health and take no medications beyond vitamin "I" each morning as a prophylactic. However I do have a neuropathy in my right leg from aspial injury and it causes all kinds of funky stuff in my right foot, specifically that it feels like it is freezing off my leg when the temp gets below 40F. It is a real distraction and has ruined many a good workday for me. Today was no different. I was warm all day given the conditions, but it took two hours for that right foot to get any feeling back into it after I got home. I try to ignore it, but it's hard.

 Different anecdote. My brother was raised with me on Long Island (please don't spread that around, I am not proud of it) where the humidity is always high being only a fe miles from the ocean in any direction and the winters can be really cold when you factor in that humidity. Se ha marries a rancher gal from Colorado and moves out there for the rest of his life. One of their first few winters out there we were talking on the phone and he was telling me it was a little rough because the snow was coming pretty regular and it was so cold everyone's propane tanks were freezing. Anyway, he was outside shoveling his driveway after a snow in a sweatshirt and it was 20 below, no wind and 30% humidity. He thought it was a beautiful day with blue skies. His neighbors thought he was nuts and one of them said so. "It's too dang cold to be wearing just a sweatshirt!" My brother said "Cold? you think this is cold? Try long island in December on a 20į day. Now THAT'S cold!"


 Still another if you haven't moved to a better thread by now: My sister and I are out in Breckenridge, CO for my niece's wedding in December 35 years later and it is cold at 8,000 feet. I have an altitude headache that won't quit (only time I have ever had that) and decide a few beers might help me get some sleep and from our 6th floor condo I spy a liquor store several blocks away. SO I put on my 'warmer clothes' (read: not warm enough) as it is 10 below (F) and start hiking over there. By the time I get to the electric doors of the store I am 'pretty cold' and as the doors close behind me I shudder and say out loud to nobody in particular "DANG, it is COLD out there!" There is nobody in the store but me and the clerk behind the counter, who has his nose buried in the "Rocky Mountain News paper". He doesn't even look up at me, and in a dry monotone says "Yeah, but it's a dry cold". I laughed pretty hard and said "can you tell me just what the heck that is supposed to mean?!" He said "danged if I know, lived here all my life, everybody says it, I have no idea what it means." I laughed, got my beer, froze every brass piece off my body on the walk back and never shook that headache until we dropped back down into Denver 2 days later. It was a good wedding party though. I didn't go to her second wedding which was in Yellowstone park as I recall. I think that one was a lot 'warmer'.  ;D
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2021, 09:04:59 PM »
.... I could tell when it was zero outside because the snow on the trails would "squeak" as you walked on it, and the sleds ran awesome. ....
Squeaky Snow! I love squeaky snow! It's almost always accompanied by clear skies and great weather. Yeah it's cold out but it is the BEST cold! Nothing better. We only get it in January and February. I think that is a federal mandate or something. ;D
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I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, but almost.

Offline Jeff

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2021, 11:06:18 PM »
My mill us under that big black tarp along with my 8n. I have no intentions of being here long enough to plow!! 


 
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Offline RAYAR

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2021, 11:41:56 PM »
Even though I live in Minnesota, all of my sawing has been in temps above freezing. Are there any things I need to do different when cutting frozen wood?
Yup, dress warmer ... ;)
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2021, 08:30:14 AM »
I sawed hemlock off and on one winter. Not a problem. 
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2021, 09:24:05 AM »
I sawed hemlock off and on one winter. Not a problem.
Hemlock is not usually a problem, but half frozen knoty pine , and frozen hard maple can be a treat. 
Red oak easy peasy. 
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2021, 09:47:51 AM »
Hemlock in winter is not so wet inside as to be like ice. It is more like cedar and it's the knots that are so hard like in clusters in the top logs.  Hard maple can be so wet and frozen on the outside, like sap wood freezes on some other species but there is no sap wood [in maple],  that you are sawing ice while sawing into wet heart.  [ Did I say this right?]         This is about the worst sawing situation. It would be better if the logs where frozen solid.  On wood like w.pine only the sap [wood] freezes so the saw may wander on the slab and jacket board cuts and then the log saws fine.  The way the saw  is filed is everything here. It also helps to know your limits or what to expect.  Around here fresh cut logs in freezing weather want to be sawed in 2 weeks or until it warms up. Sometime you can pick the wood you won't have trouble with, like hemlock.

Offline barbender

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2021, 11:43:16 AM »
The red pine I sawed last winter (red pine is high moisture) those boards looked like glass. You almost needed a magnifying glass to see the tooth marks in it. I've never had my feed rate cranked as high as I did sawing that stuff. It made all of the fighting getting and keeping everything running in the cold worth it😊
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2021, 12:04:06 PM »
Warm up your blade guides.

 Last winter I did a bunch of cutting when was well below freezing but the logs were still wet inside.  The wet sawdust would build up a thick layer on the blade guides.  Like 1/2 in thick 4 feet into the first cut.  I couldn't saw with it like that.  I found that if I let the blade run while in contact with the guides to get them spinning for 10 minutes before my first cut and leave it spinning between cuts the guides would warm up and the wet sawdust wouldn't instantly freeze on to them.

Offline Andries

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2021, 12:46:13 PM »
. . . wet sawdust would build up a thick layer on the blade guides.  .   .
Joe, were you using blade lube at all?
Windshield washer fluid (-40 rated) works well at keeping the blade clean and an added bonus is that the sawdust doesn't freeze up on guides and between boards.
It aggravating to have to pry-bar the boards apart. 

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Offline Sawmill Man

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2021, 08:15:06 PM »
Could not help but wonder if you had to be careful handling frozen lumber, do not have that problem here but our pine timber does get brittle when cold.
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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #31 on: November 28, 2021, 08:22:26 PM »
I havenít noticed lumber becoming brittle when frozen. Not when building or framing with two-by lumber, or fresh frozen offa the mill.
I suspect that if it shatters when frozen then it probably wouldíve done the same when in the Southern tropic of Georgia. 
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Offline Southside

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #32 on: November 28, 2021, 09:55:04 PM »
If your lumber shatters when frozen then I think your diesel fuel is frozen too and you are now an extra in that movie from the 2000's "The Day After Tomorrow".  :D
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Offline customsawyer

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #33 on: November 29, 2021, 06:33:04 AM »
I have officially gotten old. I used to like the winters in GA. and hated the summers. It has now reversed. This has been one of the cooler Nov. I can remember and I haven't enjoyed it much. I grew up in Colorado at 7600' elevation and can remember splitting firewood with a ax or a maul in a shirt at -20į. Now in GA. I don't enjoy much below 40į and prefer over 70į. I read these stories of fighting frozen logs, sawdust freezing, slow hyd., and hard cranking equipment. Y'all can have it. I might have to research moving south for the winter. :D
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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #34 on: November 29, 2021, 06:43:17 AM »
Yup, I am not looking forward to sawing logs while "frozen" this morning.  It's in the high 30's...Yikes !!!

I built a fire in the insert so that PatD will be warm when she gets up.  fire_smiley
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #35 on: November 29, 2021, 07:32:42 AM »
Well Lynn, we al have our crosses to bear. We are projected to have a high today of 30, which it hit just after midnight and now it is about 28į. That would be great if it was sunny, but solid overcast again. I should be sawing, but I have to clean the shop chimney, seems to be restricted with little draft. As long as your lube don't freeze, you will be fine.
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
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OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, but almost.

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #36 on: November 29, 2021, 08:06:00 AM »
When I got my mill it came with all 10 deg blades from the previous owner.  I was given the advice to use 4 deg blades for hard hardwoods and for frozen logs, since they seem to saw like harder logs than they are.  That being said, I don't saw a lot when its really cold.  I have plenty of above freezing days in the winter here, so...
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #37 on: November 29, 2021, 03:36:47 PM »
We got 5.5 inches of snow Friday night.
I had shop work Saturday and Sunday.
Was cold all weekend
Went out this morning to mill skid steer started but wouldn't move , cam bearing on mill frozen with ice .
Had to clean off sawn wood piles and other stuff.
Cold enough for the blower to clean everything off.
Did I tell you I like winter  :D
Not
It's just starting
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Offline Southside

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #38 on: November 29, 2021, 07:57:12 PM »
How bad were the black flies this morning Bruno? 
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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #39 on: November 29, 2021, 08:25:50 PM »
Yup, I am not looking forward to sawing logs while "frozen" this morning. It's in the high 30's...Yikes !!!

 

 
Well, did the early morning fog make my sawmill look cold this morning??  It was 31į  Yikes !!!
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline Andries

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #40 on: November 29, 2021, 08:33:14 PM »
Woodmizer will probably contact you to use that photo in their promotional material.
You take a great photo MM, thanks for thawing out your hands long enough to capture the moment!
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #41 on: November 30, 2021, 06:45:28 AM »
How bad were the black flies this morning Bruno?
7į this morning it will keep the black flies down  :D
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Offline Southside

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #42 on: November 30, 2021, 07:20:06 AM »
We'll see, now that's an improvement and something to look forward to in winter.  :D  :D  :D
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
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White Oak Meadows

Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #43 on: December 01, 2021, 03:11:53 PM »
. . . wet sawdust would build up a thick layer on the blade guides.  .   .
Joe, were you using blade lube at all?
Windshield washer fluid (-40 rated) works well at keeping the blade clean and an added bonus is that the sawdust doesn't freeze up on guides and between boards.
It aggravating to have to pry-bar the boards apart.
I was using diesel.  However with my mill if I flood the blade with too much lube the blade likes to come off the wheels.

Offline Quebecnewf

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #44 on: December 02, 2021, 02:10:07 PM »
I donít saw in the winter months . Just too much trouble dealing with snow and ice on the logs . Plus the mess you make  with the slabs covered in ice , naw not doing it .

Now that being said I log in the winter . Best time ever in the woods is about -15C and a sunny day .too cold to sweat so your just good as you work

Quebecnewf  



Why is this wrong way up I donít know . Adm will fix Iím sure 

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #45 on: December 03, 2021, 09:22:09 AM »
Q, Iíd guess that your Yammy skidder works well. Rails, skids, orÖ?
Trying harder everyday.

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Re: Sawing frozen wood
« Reply #46 on: December 14, 2021, 08:20:12 PM »
Now Fluidpower, what part of MN are you in that they are calling Jack Pine, Red Pine? I won't have it!😊
Sorry, been away so not able to visit the forum as often as I would like.
Forgive my ignorance. I thought they were the same. I hang out most of the time near Holyoke, 30 miles south of Duluth.
A few years ago I bought 20 acres down the road that was former Potlatch land, so whatever pine they planted, thats it....
Change is hard....
Especially when a jar full of it falls off the top shelf and hits your head!


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