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Author Topic: approach to large oak log, medium mill, and cat 277c that appears to have shrunk  (Read 1287 times)

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Offline doc henderson

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Ok so I got a call from a tree service friend.  he always saves the big ones for me.  he called while I was at work with a nice oak log.  the last one I picked up was a 4 foot diam elm that was 14 feet long, and had to trim 6 feet off to pick it up.  This oak is big for here at 42 on the flare and 37 inches at the small end.  and just over 13 feet long.  he was able to slide it onto his tilt trailer but could not lift it.  He was sure my MTL would.  I originally estimated it at 5 k pounds, but with onsite measurement It is approaching 7 K.  I was able to lift the back end with my grapple and slide it off the tilt trailer from behind.  my mill will fit a 36 inch diameter straight log up to 21 feet and rated for 5k.  not sure what this will be used for but prob. 4/4 lumber, and some thicker slabs 8/4.  
so  shall I split it down the pith, or bibby the sides?  could cut some length to get slabs, but not full width.  



 

 

 

 

 

nice solid log.  most trees here grow in the open, so limby, but a nice clear "ish" butt log.  is it a red or whit oak?  can you tell from the bark.  no leaves.  what is the best way to tell.  "I think we're goin to need a bigger boat"!
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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I'm about to deal with great big butternut of similar size.  I calculated an 8' log 36" diameter at 3000lbs.  Twice what I can lift and way too big to fit thru the mill.  I will probably trim off the sides to fit it.  To know whether it is white oak, look real close at the end grain if you can make a nice clean cut with a knife.  White oak will have closed pores, while red oak will have open pores that look like straws.  I would guess something like pin oak, just looking at bark.  You could get some great quarter sawn stuff out of there if so inclined.  I like using the modified method that I learned from Woodmizer site.  Danny has eluded to it in a post.
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Offline richhiway

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the pores in the growth rings on red oak are open.

Now that is a Log!
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Offline KenMac

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Looks like water oak to me. That's the most common oak around here- especially in yards. They make really good shade then at about 50 years old they start shedding limbs at an ever increasing rate and become a nuisance. It's a good looking log though. Water oak is in the red oak family I'm pretty sure even though I've heard differently.
Might be a good candidate for QSing. Good luck with it!
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Online mike_belben

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Park the log and rig up an alaskan mill. Break it down to a manageable cant with 4 fat slabs that youll finish on the mill.  Be pretty easy to pull some quarter or rift saw out of it in the process. 
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Offline Nebraska

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I would dig out my "beam machine" and a 2x6 and split it on the pith so I could handle it.  7k is an awful lot to handle in one piece.

Offline lazyflee

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I'm jealous of your problem!

Offline doc henderson

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yes, I was thinking quarter-sawing, so should i split down the center, or slight offset, like we did in Georgia @customsawyer .  about a 1/3, 2/3rds split?.  
@YellowHammer , @Southside , @WDH .  I will get a pic of some end grain, and plan to post pics when sawn.
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline firefighter ontheside

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For the modified/easy quarter saw method is roughly thirds.  You get q sawn and rift sawn boards.
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Offline Brad_bb

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I had a heavy white oak logs that my machine would not lift, so I dragged it into my pole barn and let it sit for two years so water can evaporate. It was then light enough that I could pick it up.

Is that log is clear and straight pretty much, Id want to split it down the pith with a chainsaw, and  RRQS The pieces.

To get boards and slabs Id want the slabs out of the middle. So for practicality I would bibby the flared end to 36.  Then lay it on the mill in your slab orientation pith leveled end to end, and then take boards off the top, then your slabs out of the middle capturing the pith in one, and then flip whats left to take boards off that bottom.  I want my slabs out of the middle because I want my live edge preferably perpendicular to my slab faces, And capturing the pith in one slab potentially does not waste that material. 

Id prefer the white oak material to be quartersawn or a beam. A white oak slab can be nice, but walnut slabs are much nicer.  If I wanted a white oak slab, I prefer to then use a log with a lot of branch knots.  There would be more character, and a better use of a lower grade log.
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Offline SawyerTed

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I agree that it looks like water oak. Leaves would help. The bark doesnt look like any white oaks Ive ever seen but Ive not seen everything.  White oaks that big often have a shaggy very light gray bark on the upper part of the stem (at least here).  The lower section of white oak has more furrowed bark than what the photos show. 

I would split the pith in two directions (quarter the log) and quarter saw for 4/4 and 5/4. For 8/4 live edge I think I would do book matched live edge on one side.  I would be tempted to cut the length of the log to 7 and 6 but I dont have many customers wanting 4/4 and 5/4 in lengths more than 7 or 8.  Your market might be different. 
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Offline farmfromkansas

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If that was not a yard tree, bought at a nursery, probably is burr oak.  Burr oak is native to Kansas.  I have sawn a few, they have a nice tan color, but are a white oak variety. Be interesting to see how you cut it down to fit through your mill.
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Online btulloh

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Looks like post oak. Nice log. Looks like a chore to break down but worth it.
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Offline Tom the Sawyer

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Sure looks like a pin oak from the photos, very common in Kansas.  At 37"x13.5' should scale at 8100 pounds, 919 Doyle.
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Offline doc henderson

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thanks Tom.  I scaled it as red oak.
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Online stavebuyer

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Its is pin oak and will likely have knots in the middle you won't see until you open it up. I mention this not to down grade your log but to help you evaluate how to dice it up for possible intended uses.


Offline doc henderson

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thanks!  Stave and all!
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline scsmith42

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I concur that it's a red oak - most likely pin oak.

Typically with large oak logs I prefer to quartersaw them.  Sometimes we will put 3 full width slabs out of the middle and then RRQS the remaining sections.  I'll almost always try to mill the widest possible QS boards.

Doc, your challenge is log handling and manipulation.  If you trim it down to 12'6" and end seal, you'll save a few hundred pounds.  Using Bibby's method to turn it into an octagon will also shave some more weight, but you're still looking at a 6000 lb cant, give or take.  Turning it will be a major pain and you will lose some yield going this route.

For that reason, you may want to consider a more traditional QS method of cutting into quarters and then using Robert's RRQS method on the quarters.

Usually when you have a long log with a lot of taper, if you cut it into two shorter logs your QS yield will increase by around 15%.  But that would leave you with 6' long boards - give or take. If you plan on making furniture 6' isn't necessarily a bad things, and it will make the log sections much more manageable.  Plus you will have maximum yield.

You probably already know this, but QS shrinks around 12% in thickness as it dries, so if you want a 4/4 board you'll need to mill green at at least 1-1/8" (and I use 1-3/16" green thickness).  

Personally I recommend QS milling any boards wider than 8" to make 5/4 lumber.  That way if you get any wood movement in the drying process you can still net a 3/4" S2S board (if it doesn't make 1" S2S)(and with pin oak you typically get more distortion around the knots than with other species that have more clear lumber).  We mill our QS 5/4 at 1-7/16" green.

The problem with cutting the log down the center is that most of us lack the skill to make a straight cut like Jake can, and you end up losing some of the prettiest QS yield due to the need to trim the chainsaw marks off of the half cants.  But, considering the size of the log and your equipment limitations you gotta do what you gotta do.



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Offline Larry

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I think pin oak also.  How many rings to the inch?

Most of the pin oak yard trees I have sawn made very poor lumber.  I think the combination of lots of water and fertilizer.  Look very closely for signs of shake as it is common in pin oak yard trees.  Sometimes I don't see any shake but when I start sawing I can smell rotten eggs which is another positive sign of shake.  As the lumber dries you will see ring separation.

With a log that size, I chainsaw the excess on two opposite sides than bibby it down the rest of the way on the mill.  I don't much care for sapwood with quarter sawed, so it works out ok.
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Offline YellowHammer

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It's a red oak form what I can see, and I would quarter saw the absolute poop out of it.

Use your chainsaw and halve it and see if you can handle it on the mill.  A red oak will saw pretty easy with a chainsaw.  Freehand it and enjoy the experience. 

That's were the RRQS really shines, on half logs.  If you can't get the half to the mill then quarter it with the chainsaw, and hammer it out.

Logs like this was the main reason to use the RRQS technique.
   
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If it wont roll, its not a log; its still a piece of tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not pieces of trees.

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