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Author Topic: Measuring saw logs.  (Read 731 times)

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Offline welderskelter

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Measuring saw logs.
« on: July 27, 2021, 10:37:58 PM »
Was thinking about buying some saw logs in the near future. My problem is I know nothing about talling logs. I will check you tube in a minute but was curious how you guys do it. I have heard of talling the whole load and nI have heard of going by the small end of the log. How about it?

Online Southside

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Re: Measuring saw logs.
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2021, 10:52:16 PM »
You need to find a log buyer who will show you what to look for.  It's not only how wide the diameter is, there are so many other factors.  When I was simply an owner of timber ground I thought I knew what a good tree was, then I started to log and realized that what I thought was so good was really not very good at all, eventually I knew what a good log was, then I bought a sawmill and my perspective changed again.  Once I started to dry lumber and owned a moulder my opinion of a good log evolved once more.  

I don't think you could type all the info that you need to learn to be sure you are getting what you are paying for.  Of course there are always the hidden gems that you don't see on the outside....Logs are like a box of chocolates...
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Online mike_belben

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Re: Measuring saw logs.
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2021, 11:22:14 PM »
It seems regional. In middle TN hardwoods the standard is small end diameter inside bark or sometimes with one half bark. 

So a 14" small end DIB x 8ft long should have sufficient trim (excess length) to make 8ft lumber with clean ends.  3 to 6 inch trim is pretty standard on grade logs.  More on fancy stuff. 
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Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Measuring saw logs.
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2021, 04:32:43 AM »
You need to find a log buyer who will show you what to look for.  It's not only how wide the diameter is, there are so many other factors.  When I was simply an owner of timber ground I thought I knew what a good tree was, then I started to log and realized that what I thought was so good was really not very good at all, eventually I knew what a good log was, then I bought a sawmill and my perspective changed again.  Once I started to dry lumber and owned a moulder my opinion of a good log evolved once more.  

I don't think you could type all the info that you need to learn to be sure you are getting what you are paying for.  Of course there are always the hidden gems that you don't see on the outside....Logs are like a box of chocolates...
You pretty well summed up the log end of it. Take it one step further to correctly grade standing trees; when you don't have the benefit of seeing the ends. You need multiple years of following the process through from beginning to end to be an accurate judge. Some people think because they didn't saw off a limb that the veneer buyer is fabricating defects. People that think they know sure outnumber the ones that truly do. 

Offline DMcCoy

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Re: Measuring saw logs.
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2021, 07:49:32 AM »
I'm not sure about your area out west we use Scribner scale for volume on the small end.  Simply a square drawn on the small end x length.  There are other scales. Defects figured separately.  The current domestic douglas fir price sheet I have makes no distinction between #1 and #4.
There is a calculator here;
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Sawmill overrun(production above scale) is expected and figured into the price per Mbf.

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Measuring saw logs.
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2021, 08:06:16 AM »
On logs that are not straight,symmetrical and smooth sided the beginner has to perceive a cylinder inside the log and scale that. Then you would need to learn the defects that show the log to be unsound on the inside, as in rot, holes, shake, broken grain and cracks. This takes time and practice. The third part would be the cosmetic defect grading for the high grade hardwood. Don't even go there.

Offline welderskelter

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Re: Measuring saw logs.
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2021, 10:08:25 AM »
Thanks for the schooling. I also got on Google and the first thing that came up is a lot of answers on the forestry forum. So I went to the right place in the first place. Imagine that I did. :)

Online mike_belben

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Re: Measuring saw logs.
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2021, 10:22:26 AM »
. You need multiple years of following the process through from beginning to end to be an accurate judge. Some people think because they didn't saw off a limb that the veneer buyer is fabricating defects. People that think they know sure outnumber the ones that truly do.
There is a flip side too. When youre new at logging, it shows.  There are mills that will not give you better than tie money for logs that the stave mill would compliment and pay triple for.   Im sure the defects are real in the veener game.  but in hindsight i sure was mad at what was invented to keep my logs in a lower class,  once i broke out of that tight stick rut.  
I guess its buyer beware and seller better know what hes got.  I gave away a lot of gas money. 
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Offline Tom the Sawyer

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Re: Measuring saw logs.
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2021, 10:39:44 AM »
There are several log related resources available on the internet, mostly from USDA/FS.  

Search for "National Forest Log Scaling Handbook", "A Guide to Hardwood Log Grading", and "Log and Tree Scaling Techniques" (Purdue University).  There is also a "Hardwood Log Defect Photographic Database" available with actual photos to help define the defects.  You'll probably run across several more that I didn't list.
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Measuring saw logs.
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2021, 12:43:37 PM »
. You need multiple years of following the process through from beginning to end to be an accurate judge. Some people think because they didn't saw off a limb that the veneer buyer is fabricating defects. People that think they know sure outnumber the ones that truly do.
There is a flip side too. When youre new at logging, it shows.  There are mills that will not give you better than tie money for logs that the stave mill would compliment and pay triple for.   Im sure the defects are real in the veener game.  but in hindsight i sure was mad at what was invented to keep my logs in a lower class,  once i broke out of that tight stick rut.  
I guess its buyer beware and seller better know what hes got.  I gave away a lot of gas
If you have really high grade logs to sell you have to find a buyer who buys high grade logs everyday and also has a good reputation.  When I first had a log truck on the road the local buyer was where I went and no matter how big and nice r. oak I took in it never graded veneer. When that guy disappeared and I found another buyer I had veneer all the time. Sad part is that buyer , the first one, just got glorified in a logging magazine.


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