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Author Topic: Small logs VS. big logs  (Read 836 times)

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Offline cutterboy

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Small logs VS. big logs
« on: October 13, 2020, 07:24:25 PM »
Hi all. I love sawing small logs....the blade goes through fast, they are easy to turn, and you're done before you know it. However, when you are done there is not a lot of lumber and there is a lot of slabs. On the other hand with big logs the blade goes through slow, they are difficult to turn(on a manual mill)and it seems to take forever to finish. But, when you are done you have a lot of lumber and not too many slabs and there is more clear lumber.
Last week I was sawing white pine and one morning I sawed three small logs that I think were around 12 or 13" small end. I got 118bf. The next morning I sawed one big log that was 20" small end and 23" large end. I got 146bf. These were all 8' logs. It took me about the same amount of time to saw the three small logs as it did to saw the big log.
This is what it looked like. First the three small logs.


 

 

 
And the big log.


 

 

 
I know that you guys with hydraulic mills have little problems with turning a 20" log and I know a 20" log is not huge but it is a hand full for me on my manual mill. I must admit that I really enjoyed sawing 12 inch wide boards off the cant, one after the other. ;D


 
   All the best and happy sawing.....Cutter

Online moodnacreek

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Re: Small logs VS. big logs
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2020, 07:35:23 PM »
The log size is one thing but the log age can be an issue.  Many times big old logs are harder to handle and saw and full of defects. The best size for me is 14 to 20" in pine or oak.  Larger than that and the  problems start.

Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Small logs VS. big logs
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2020, 07:47:35 PM »
If you are sawing specific size boards and a big log
Wont make 3 cants....on a band mill you are going to generate a lot of waste.  Tim
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Offline RobS

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Re: Small logs VS. big logs
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2020, 08:03:42 PM »
Without an edger there is more work and time involved.  But those slabs look alittle heavy.  Guesstimating from the pics--looks like almost 30bdft left in the slab pile of the 3 small logs and almost 20bdft in the large log slab pile.  You might get a little more yield, but more work, taking more jacket boards.

Did you time the 3 logs verses the 1 big log?
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Offline cutterboy

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Re: Small logs VS. big logs
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2020, 08:49:07 PM »
Without an edger there is more work and time involved.  But those slabs look alittle heavy.  Guesstimating from the pics--looks like almost 30bdft left in the slab pile of the 3 small logs and almost 20bdft in the large log slab pile.  You might get a little more yield, but more work, taking more jacket boards.

Did you time the 3 logs verses the 1 big log?
Rob, first of all, you can't see the whole slab. You can't see where it gets narrow in the middle and the other end goes down to nothing. But having said that, I did slab the small logs heavy so to have few flitches to edge. It's not worth the time and effort to edge a narrow flitch to get a 4" board.
It took me about the same amount of time to saw the three as it did to saw the one.

Offline Wudman

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Re: Small logs VS. big logs
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2020, 09:06:17 AM »
Yep.  You need to hit that sweet spot with a totally manual mill.  I have some 3 foot long 3x3 box tubing that will fit over my backstops when turning large logs.  It keeps the log from wanting to climb the backstop.  I also have an old cant hook with a steel 8 foot handle.  That old girl bites almost as good as my Log Rite and the extra handle certainly helps.  If I can't turn it by hand, I'll get an assist from the tractor.  For 16 foot stuff, about 16"  diameter is all I want to turn by myself.  When I first built my mill, I cut a lot of 16 foot stuff......then my brain kicked in and I cut 8s for hobby work now.

Wudman  
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Small logs VS. big logs
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2020, 11:37:06 AM »
I agree with you that I find sawing the smaller logs easier/more enjoyable. For me and my mostly hydraulic mill I consider anything under 24-26" max diameter to be a smaller log. That lets the carriage and blade guides easily pass by with no worries about trimming and it's pretty easy to turn the log and cant with the turner.

Over 30" (especially over 34") and things get a little more interesting and I'm always surprised how much time I spend doing things other than sawing. Like chainsawing/positioning the log to clear to carriage, removing heavy slabs/lumber, and rolling the log/cant. My mill head doesn't go as high as I'd like so if I have a 35" log on the mill the initial slab might be 6" thick, which I then need to carefully remove with the skidloader (and then put back on the mill to finish sawing later). Once a big cant is 3 sided I find it quicker and safer to remove it from the mill with the skidloader, flip it, and then put it back on rather than trying to turn it on the mill.

Last night I milled a couple logs that were 18-20" small end and I couldn't believe how fast they were sawn up.

But big logs and big cants do look sexy sitting on the mill.

Alan
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Online Magicman

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Re: Small logs VS. big logs
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2020, 12:23:08 PM »
It depends upon the cut list.  If I am sawing 2X6's I would rather see 26" top end logs.  If I am sawing 2X4's it's 18" top end.  "Pecker poles" less than 16" top end waste time.  Sure I saw them on virtually every job but production falls off.  To make production you need meat on the table.
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Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Small logs VS. big logs
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2020, 05:55:15 AM »
Yep, I just finished a job sawing hickory, and the target board was 1x6.  He is going to use it for flooring.  There was only one log big enough to get what I needed to get the 3 cants out of.  Thats somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 1/4 inches.  That way the pith is in the middle cant and the ones on the outside have no heart.  I cut some nice boards, but most of the logs were just right to be wrong.  I tried @yellowhammer s eight sided cut, and that worked alright just not something I was use to.  Old dogs need to learn a new trick everynow and then.  Tim
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Small logs VS. big logs
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2020, 06:48:30 AM »
Big logs are where a swing blade mill really shines, but unless you are mobile you have to have the log handling equipment.



 
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Online WV Sawmiller

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Re: Small logs VS. big logs
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2020, 07:14:55 AM »
   My cut list on my current job included 10- 5/4X12"X12' boards. The only log on the site with a SED over 13" is an old Maple Road warrior maybe 10' long and 20-21 inches and every time we look at it with all and knots and just generally gnarly appearance my band keeps wanting to crawl back in the box.

   Anybody got a board stretcher they aren't using the next few days they can loan me? ::)
Howard Green
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