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Author Topic: Milling timbers for log home style building  (Read 2492 times)

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Offline Whitetail_Addict

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Milling timbers for log home style building
« on: April 28, 2011, 08:28:11 PM »
Good evening fellas.  I've got a gentleman that wants me to saw 40 Red Pine logs for him.  He plans to build a couple of small sheds with a log home appearance.  Basically I'll be sawing one flat side on the log, turning 180 degrees and saw a second parallel flat side leaving me with an 8" wide timber with the live edge on two sides.  This is per the customer's request.  I was wondering if it would be a good idea to saw three flat sides and only have the outside of the timber with the live edge.  Anybody have experience with this type of thing? 

I quoted the guy $45/hr for the sawing and I'm figuring I can mill 3-4 timbers per hour depending on what we work out for loading and off-loading.  I can supply the FEL to do that but that may put my cost higher than what this guy is hoping to spend.  I suppose I can always throw the idea out there and see if he bites at another $20/hr for the tractor. 

I've been beating myself up all winter wondering whether I should upgrade my LT28 to something with hydraulics.  With all the handling these logs are going to require how much time would I actually save do you think if I had a LT35 or TK 1600?  Since starting a small "portable custom sawing" business last year (mostly for tax benefits) I've been receiving an ever-increasing number of phone calls asking for me to saw logs for people.  I've got loading ramps and a 4,000lb electric winch setup on the mill to load logs which actually is fairly quick but not as quick as the FEL.... or hydraulics I bet. 

I meet with the guy Saturday to look over his logs and discuss the details.  I'll take pictures and keep you guys posted.  Thanks
2010 WoodMizer LT28, John Deere 4520 w/ FEL, 2003 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Duramax Diesel, 2007 Polaris Ranger XP 700, 127 Acres of Northeast hardwoods in New York's Whitetail country

Offline spencerhenry

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Re: Milling timbers for log home style building
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2011, 08:33:42 PM »
they are called 'D' logs, very common, but so are logs flat only on two opposite faces. if it were me i would do 'D' logs for sure. tough day moving all that wood by hand only to make 2 or 3 cuts per log. my hydraulics and setworks make that an easy job.

Offline dovetails

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Re: Milling timbers for log home style building
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2011, 04:30:35 AM »
Basically I'll be sawing one flat side on the log, turning 180 degrees and saw a second parallel flat side leaving me with an 8" wide timber with the live edge on two sides.  This is per the customer's request.  I was wondering if it would be a good idea to saw three flat sides and only have the outside of the timber with the live edge.

Then you end up with flat inside walls,instead of walls that "look" like they are logs!
Why bother using logs to build with,then cut off the best part of the looks?
I just used full round logs on my house, no two alike in the whole house.A bit more work cutting the notches to fit them,but worth it for the finnished looks IMO
1984 wm lt30,ford 3000 w/frt lift,several chain saws, 1953 model 30 Vermeer stump grinder,full wood working shop, log home in the woods what more ya need?

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Milling timbers for log home style building
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2011, 05:39:22 AM »
Basically I'll be sawing one flat side on the log, turning 180 degrees and saw a second parallel flat side leaving me with an 8" wide timber with the live edge on two sides.  This is per the customer's request.  I was wondering if it would be a good idea to saw three flat sides and only have the outside of the timber with the live edge.  Anybody have experience with this type of thing? 
I quoted the guy $45/hr for the sawing and I'm figuring I can mill 3-4 timbers per hour depending on what we work out for loading and off-loading. 


I've got a job coming up this summer for "D" logs!

These will be Red Pine and will be 8x8 with one live edge!

The agreement was made they will have the manpower/equip to do the loading/off-loading!

I quoted the guy $35.00-$40.00/hr a year ago.  Right now it looks like it'll be $40.00!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF 1989, Retired School Bus Driver 2012, now semi-retired Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG25 Kohler - Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer

Offline Whitetail_Addict

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Re: Milling timbers for log home style building
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2011, 10:42:49 AM »
When sawing these "D Logs" should I use the toeboards to level the hearts at both ends of the log or doesn't it make much difference?  The logs are 8ft and 12ft long Red Pine.  There's some taper in them but not a whole lot from what I've seen.
2010 WoodMizer LT28, John Deere 4520 w/ FEL, 2003 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Duramax Diesel, 2007 Polaris Ranger XP 700, 127 Acres of Northeast hardwoods in New York's Whitetail country

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Milling timbers for log home style building
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2011, 04:17:12 PM »
Here's the way I figure on cutting!

1. Level the pith and cut to the desired final thickness.
    That is "if you want 8" final thickness, cut to 4 inches above the pith" sawing whatever "side-lumber" you can get on the way!

2.  Flip 180° and cut to 8", again, sawing whatever side-lumber you can get!

3.  Flip 90° and leave the bark edge on the deck (do not level) and saw whatever side lumber you can get, until you get to the overall "wall thickness" you desire.

I think I explained that right, It's how I plan on sawing my upcoming job!

Good Luck

EDIT:  On step 3, double check and make sure you don't have a knot or anything else holding the log up, make sure the bark edge is as flat on the deck as possible!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF 1989, Retired School Bus Driver 2012, now semi-retired Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG25 Kohler - Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer

Offline Whitetail_Addict

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Re: Milling timbers for log home style building
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2011, 07:57:56 PM »
Thanks Chuck.  The job is scheduled for June 4th.  Hurry up and wait.....
2010 WoodMizer LT28, John Deere 4520 w/ FEL, 2003 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Duramax Diesel, 2007 Polaris Ranger XP 700, 127 Acres of Northeast hardwoods in New York's Whitetail country


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