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Wavy cuts

Started by crosswind, August 24, 2023, 01:37:00 PM

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I'm not new to milling but I have never cut any pine logs. I'm running a WM LT 40 with a Yanmar diesel. 
It cut perfectly flat hard boards. I can cut an 1/8 inch of a board with no issues.
I use 4 degree blades from WM.

These red pine logs are giving me fits. LOL
Tried two different blades both new, same results both blades, with two different pine logs. 
4 degree and turbo 7s blades.

Any advice is appreciated. 


Is blade tension dropping as you are sawing?   If so it may be from heat expanding the blade.  Heat causes pitch buildup which causes waves too.  

What lube "recipe" do you use?   Pine requires aggressive pitch cutting recipes to keep the blade clean. I have used supplementary shot of diesel from a spray bottle, others use a minimal diesel lube all the time. 

When switching from hardwood to pine it can be easy to saw too fast.  If drive belt tension and blade tension are perfect, sawing speed or pitch build up are likely the culprits. 
Woodmizer LT50, WM BMS 250, WM BMT 250, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher


I know @chet has sawn a boat load of Red Pine. I'd bet with 10° blades
Just call me the midget doctor.
Forestry Forum Founder and Chief Cook and Bottle Washer.

Commercial circle sawmill sawyer in a past life for 25yrs.
Ezekiel 22:30


I saw a lot of ponderosa and with big knots there are some things key to keeping it flat:

The obvious:
- Drive belt tension
- Band tension
-Good fresh band (I use 10's, 7's, 4's -- all work find, I like the 7's the best but wide stuff I prefer 4's).

The maybe not as obvious:
- sawing speed.  In the softwoods you can rip but once you hit a big hard knot you have to dial it back fast!  SLOW down is the key I find.  Let the saw do it's thing and don't push it.

Thanks to folks here, I learned that lesson ;)  So if I'm sawing and see waves it's band change, then drop 1/4" and take a pass, if still wavy it's time to tighten the drive belt.  99% of the time that solves it all but I'm used to the rock hard knots so I just mill slower when I get into them.

2016 LT40HD26 and Mahindra 5010 W/FEL WM Hundred Thousand BF Club Member


 Red Pine can be a little pernicious, second only to Spruce😊 If it has big limbs, it's tough to not get any waves. One thing I've noticed is that the waves occur more on the opening cuts, where the width of the cut, and the moisture content, can vary a lot. Especially with big knots, the surface of the log is irregular. So sometimes, I just don't worry about the waves too much on the opening cuts, but I really pay attention once I'm getting down to where I'm cutting the can't. Get that straight, then all of the boards that come out of the can't will be straight. 

 I saw more Red Pine than everything else combined.
Too many irons in the fire


 You cant get by with light set in pine .  Steve
Timberking B20  18000  hours +  Case75xt grapple + forks+8" snow bucket + dirt bucket   770 Oliver   Lots(too many) of chainsaws, Like the Echo saws and the Stihl and Husky     W5  Case loader   1  trailers  Wright sharpener     Suffolk  setter Volvo MCT125c skid loader


I seem to notice that if I cut from the small end, against the angle of the knot, the waves are minimized.
Change is hard....
Especially when a jar full of it falls off the top shelf and hits your head!


2016 LT40HD26 and Mahindra 5010 W/FEL WM Hundred Thousand BF Club Member


GOLDEN RULE : The guy with the gold, makes the rules.


Another option that is not available to our non glaciated friends is saw it when frozen.  ;D
I am a true TREE HUGGER, if I didnt I would fall out!  chet the RETIRED arborist


Crosswind, I have sawn more red pine than nearly anything else on y LT40, but with the 38hp gas. Here's a couple pointers that I can offer:

Blade tension at 2800-3000psi. I like to run my drive belt at about 20lbs@7/16" deflection. 

Diesel is all I use for blade lube. A few drops goes a long way. No doubt there is a variety of opinions on that, but it works for me. I have no plans of using anything else. 

I have found red pine to saw pretty easy with standard WM 9* blades (.042x1.25). However I have switched to running WM carbide nearly exclusively these days and will likely continue with them. 

If you are having trouble with waves, double check your blade alignment and drive belt tension. Best of luck. I'm a big fan of red's what my house is covered in inside. 


We saw almost ALL Red Pine (Norway) with no problems now..... but I agree that it can be a handful when the pitch builds up.

We use water/windshield washer mixture with a good squirt of Dawn dishwashing liquid. We just cut a whack of logs yesterday and every board was spot on. I also agree with the slower is better... I tend to walk the head down the rail "feeling" for resistance on the knots. We also keep the tension very high.... not quite to the peg but close. We are running a LT-40 but my buddy is running a LT-10 and he cuts more than I do (he's younger! HA!) and most of it Red Pine but again he runs his just like we do and with great success.

Hope this helps,

LT-40, LT-10, EG-50, Bobcat T750 CTL, Ford 1910 tractor, tree farmer


Jmoore and I sawed a good whack of slash and longleaf pine Thursday after work.  One of the logs was giving me a fit and getting a bit wavy.  The blade was sharp, the tension was north of where most would run it and I had a good drip of offroad lube going onto the body of the blade but we were getting waves on some of the boards coming out of that log.  

After taking off the blade, we noticed that the blade teeth were coated with sap even though the body of the blade was clean.  We do not have the Lubemizer.  I did notice when installing another blade that the short piece of rubber hose that I have zip tied to the tube where the lube comes out had spun on the tube and was not applying lube to the teeth but rather to the body of the blade.  After adjusting the tube, we were able to saw flat and fast.  These logs had 8"-10" of heart wood and the one that gave us fits had a few knots.


I sawed a wack of red pine on Friday. Drive belt tension is Key. It is almost always my go to check with wavey cuts in Pine, red or white.  Then a sharp blade and as BB says about initial cut, it  can be wavey but the next cut with lots of meat can be okay. 
IDRY Vacum Kiln, LT40HDWide, BMS250 sharpener/setter 742b Bobcat, TCM forklift, Sthil 026,038, 461. 1952 TEA Fergusan Tractor

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