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Author Topic: On site milling for a future timber frame  (Read 6822 times)

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Offline Jim_Rogers

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On site milling for a future timber frame
« on: April 05, 2012, 09:59:06 AM »
I builder remodeler company project manager called me a couple of weeks ago, asking me to come back to a job site where I milled up some pine logs for sheathing for repairing a barn again.

I went over there and did a log inventory as best I could of their pile of red pine and white pine logs.

There were more in the pile that I couldn't measure being that the shorter ones were on the bottom and the long ones on top.

They had some 18', 20' and 22' red pine logs on top.

I asked what were they going to need for lumber out of the pile. He told me all boards.

I explained to him that I couldn't cut boards, on site, out of 22' logs as the mill is only 16' long. And that we'd have to cut these long logs in half or so, in order to make them shorter to mill on site and get some nice boards out of them.

The timber framer saw the log pile and as they are going to frame up an addition or porch or both for the old farm house they decided that I should mill these into timbers for the future timber frame.

The provided me with a stock list. It included 7x7 post, 7x7 girts, 7x7 plates, 7x9 tie beams, 3x4 studs, and 3x5 braces. What the stock list didn't have was any lengths to any of these frame parts. I explained to the project manager that I needed to know the lengths they needed.

They didn't have the lengths, and wanted me to bring my bed extension and just saw up what was there full length and make boards out of the rest of the lumber.

When I arrived last Friday with my bed extension on my flat bed trailer, I met with the owner who I knew, and asked her: "who made up this stock list?"
She said: "why?" I said because I needed to talk to him as it was incomplete.
She introduced me to the guy as he was there on site as they just tore down the old addition from the side of the farm house.

I explained to him that I needed the lengths of the timbers in order to fill his order.

He explained to me that the addition had not be designed yet. And that they didn't have the lengths. They didn't know if the gable end was going this way or that way. I questioned him repeatedly that I needed lengths. We did narrow down the lengths of the braces and the studs but that was it.
As the studs were 10' I suggested that the post could also be 10' as they should be the length of the studs.
He wanted long posts as they didn't know the design, yet, and they wanted to get the most out of the logs that were there.

So, Monday morning I set up the mill and bed extension and started sawing.

I explained to the project manager that I was going to need some heavy equipment to be on site while I was there to lift off the timbers from the mill as I couldn't carry them away by hand.
The owner said she had a set of forks for one of her tractors and that she'd put them on and make it available for me to use.
I asked her if she wasn't on site would I be able to use her tractor to lift them off, and she said yes.

Here is a picture of the nice tractor they left me to use:



Here is the farm and the barn that they have already rebuilt and restored:



The rebuilt and restored the carriage shed also shown in the picture.

Here is my set up for milling long logs on site:



And some of the long timbers and boards:



I had marked the ends of the logs with red lumber crayon as I did the log inventory and then they painted the ends of the logs with red paint.
I don't completely understand why the painted the ends of the logs with different color paint but the painted the red pine logs red and the white pine logs black.
I believe she wants to stack the boards on stickers by type and I think she thought this would make it easier for them to sort.

Sawing long logs from a pile can be a challenge if you don't get them rolled up to the loader arms on center.



Here you can see as I was trying to load a 22' log the weight was off center and the butt end rose up and it was a problem.
I had my logging choker cable with me and a chain so I hooked it up to the front of my truck and pulled it to balance so that I could load it.

While loading a long one yesterday, I saw this:



Four nails head, colored red with my lumber crayon.

It was great for me to find this up front, as I have already sawn off two nails on this job.

I just thought I'd share this with you.
Thanks for reading it.

Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: On site milling for a future timber frame
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2012, 11:43:26 AM »
Thanks for posting Jim. Did they remove the addition recently, or was it already off when we were all there last spring?
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Offline Woodchuck53

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Re: On site milling for a future timber frame
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2012, 12:13:51 PM »
Hey Jim. Well you handled that cool headed. It would have been nice to have a driver for the tractor for things just like loading that log. But my hat is off to you. Nice clean line timbers. The tractor wouldn't load the logs directly to the mill?
Sure says me time. Stay safe. Chuck
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Re: On site milling for a future timber frame
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2012, 12:55:49 PM »
Looks like a very nice job even with the obstacles.  It will be interesting to follow your progress.   :)
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: On site milling for a future timber frame
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2012, 07:39:26 PM »
Well, MM you saved the day again today.

I had this large white pine with big stub branches sticking out of it and I couldn't roll it over to the mill loader arms.

So, I used the MM chain hooked to the clamp trick. I attached my choker cable and rolled the hitch point around to the back side underneath and then hooked the chain onto the clamp. Moved the clamp to the full closed position and rolled the log over.

Shortened up the chain and did it again. I had visions of the mill sliding sideways towards the pile but that bit old knobby pine log rolled right up to the loader arms and away she went.

What a great trick. I'm sure I'll use it again.

I suppose I could have parked the mill on the other side of the yard and then used the forks to move each log onto the arms but I didn't so I have to deal with it they way I have it.

Here is a picture of the slab pile, much larger after today:



And here is my work bench for my tools and clip board:



I don't know how the weather has been in your area, but it's been windy here for a week or more.
It's so windy when I stand up a board to edge it the wind blows it over.

I spread out some sawdust to make a nice soft carpet to walk on and the wind blew it all away. I hate when that happens.

I sawed without my white bucket hanging on the hook to make up a new carpet layer and the wind was blowing the sawdust away so fast I couldn't build up another layer.

I had a great day sawing today. No nails.... Yea.....

Thanks for all your comments.

They tore down the porch or addition last Friday when I was there they were just finishing up loading up the dumpster.

The owner and her chore boy were suppose to be there while I was working to help move the beams and stack the lumber.
The project manger told me Tuesday morning that she's out of town. I guess her mother is near death and she has gone to be with her for a while.

That's a tough thing to have to go through.

It's kind of nice working alone, you don't have to worry about anyone else.

There were two workers at the farm house today, making more repairs. So they can see me and I can see them but we haven't spoken since last Friday.
Oh, yea, one day I guess it was Monday, he drove over to ask if I wanted coffee as he was going out to get some. I don't drink coffee so I told him thanks but no thanks.

Yesterday there wasn't anyone there but me. And the wind......

Jim Rogers.

PS. I'll take some more pictures tomorrow so you can see how the timber pile has grown and the log pile has shrank.
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension

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Re: On site milling for a future timber frame
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2012, 07:47:40 PM »
Jim...the coffee question was just his way of being curious about you and your mill.
I would have done the same thing.
Might not ever seen a good mill and operator before.
He will probably come back with a soda next time.
Who knows, he might become another good customer.
Nice looking job there.
 Regards Chris
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Re: On site milling for a future timber frame
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2012, 08:58:23 PM »
Jim, you are very welcome.  I hope that some day we can meet and maybe eat some Roasted Pig together.   digin_2 digin_2
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Re: On site milling for a future timber frame
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2012, 09:21:00 PM »
Looks like you'll be busy for a couple days.  Where did you get that blue water jug?  Do you have the old style attachment for your extension?  I had the old style with my old mill but when I got my new mill I got the new style (I guess it's still the new style), it sure makes alignment a lot easier. 
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Re: On site milling for a future timber frame
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2012, 09:30:48 PM »
Jim, I looked back at our conversation about the end tongs.  You catch on fast because it was only two weeks ago.   :D

Seriously, I use the Magichook on virtually every job that I saw.  Sometimes even to move a log after it is on the sawmill.  I'll raise the roller toe boards and use the side support to roll it one way or the other.
 

 
This is a 20, and they have to be just right.
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Offline WDH

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Re: On site milling for a future timber frame
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2012, 11:07:37 PM »
Jim,

Looks like you are set up nice.
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Re: On site milling for a future timber frame
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2012, 11:18:05 PM »
Hi Jim,

Love the tractor, were you able to use it? Was it as good as it looks?



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Re: On site milling for a future timber frame
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2012, 11:25:31 PM »
Where can I learn some of these hook tricks for moving logs . Jim please keep posting your progress for this job . I have a timber frame job I want to build at my place . The boards your cutting now are you kiln or air drying your timber .
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Re: On site milling for a future timber frame
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2012, 11:59:02 PM »
Jim asked the question in Reply #48 in this topic.  LINK and also look at THIS.
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Re: On site milling for a future timber frame
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2012, 07:23:57 AM »
Jim, It looks like a nice job to be on, It also looks just like the job we are doing right now,down to the same color and style of tractor.(sawing for a timber frame garage). Tim

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: On site milling for a future timber frame
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2012, 09:05:18 AM »
MM you never stop amazing me with your methods.

I would call it Yankee ingenuity but I wouldn't want to insult you and call you a "Yankee".... being from the south and all  :D

I bent my tie rod doing things like that and I wouldn't want to bend it again.

With my older mill the hydraulic box has the handles on the side. I'll take a picture today, and post it later on.

But I use a peavy from Logrite to move my logs down the mill to get them into a position so that the blade can drop down behind the log or exit the log on the other end.

On the end near the hitch, I put the point of the peavy into the slot where the handle are and use that to pry against to move the log.
As I said I'll take a picture later today.

Jim Rogers
PS. I'll answer the other questions later.
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
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Re: On site milling for a future timber frame
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2012, 07:38:07 PM »
Here is the timber pile before todays milling.



Here is the log pile before today's milling:



The growing slab pile:



Here is a picture of a log on the table but way to far down towards the hitch.
I had to load it here to make it balance on the loader arms.



Here it is from the other side:



The mill head is backed up as far back as it will go. The blade about lines up with the right hand end of the hydraulic box, and/or the bolt that holds the cover on.
There used to be a black strip on the bed but it got rubbed off many years ago.

So this is how I move it forward.
First I lift it up with the bed's toe board rollers.

Then I get "big blue" and hook onto the handle:



It usually rolls pretty easily.
Then I move the point up a few notches:



And pretty soon I can hook onto the back side of the hydraulic box and then lower it down.

When I'm done it like this:



Now to answer some questions.

The blue water jug I got from my partner in the timber framing tools business. He got it from where he used to work before he retired.

Yes, I have the old style attachment for the bed extension. What a pain to get it to line up every time you set it up.

Mike, I have used that tractor with the forks to move every timber off the mill. It is a nice machine except that the roll back function of the bucket control doesn't seem to work quite right. I took the cover off to see if I could adjust it to make it work better but there is no adjustment in the linkage. So I have to deal with it as I can.

These aren't my logs or lumber. The customer will be sticking the lumber to be air dried for their future projects. I don't believe they will kiln dry anything, but I'm not sure. There is one oak log in the pile and a couple of older maple logs and I don't know what they're going to do with them yet. I haven't heard. The customer is suppose to be returning from PA today. But I didn't see her.

I walked up to the farm house to talk to the carpenters and see what they were up to.

The were working on taking some boards off the back side of the farm house so that they could but some tyvek paper on the open wall:



While I was up there, I stepped into the barn to get some shots of the wood that I milled up for them last time I was there.

They used some of the lumber for sheathing but the photo is really dark.
They used some of the lumber to make sides for the stairway going up to the hay loft:



Someone cut out a nice profile of the farmer on her tractor:



I have a very slow day today.
I did hit two nails in two different logs.

I am scanning all logs now for nails and other hardware.
Sawed through something that I thought was a white insulator but it was white plastic. Probably the back end of a reflector or something like that.

Jim Rogers



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Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension

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Re: On site milling for a future timber frame
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2012, 10:51:51 PM »
Those are some handy dandy pry points.  I stick my peavey point into every crevice that I can find.

I see heart check in the log end.  It would be highly unusual to see that in our SYP.
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: On site milling for a future timber frame
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2012, 08:18:22 AM »
MM:
I don't know how long these have been down but most of them have some end checks for sure. The red pine that is.
The white pines look better on the ends.

Jim Rogers
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: On site milling for a future timber frame
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2012, 07:59:53 PM »
Here is a picture of the white plastic thing I sawed in half:



Here is some more:

 

The horizontal board is the one that I pulled four nails out of. The vertical board is one that I hit one nail in the same day I cut the white plastic thing in half.

Here are the last nine logs of the pile:



Here is the last timber from today, on the roller toe boards ready to be picked up by the forks on the front of the tractor:



Here I am lifting it off with the forks:



Here it is on the forks:



Here is the mill ready for rain at the end of the day today.



The customer showed up today, back from PA. And was pleased with my progress.
She and her helper will start stacking and sticking lumber on Monday, pending rain....

Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension

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Re: On site milling for a future timber frame
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2012, 08:39:58 PM »
I am getting down to the bottom or back of the pile now.

And found this treasure in middle of it:



Complete with big branch nubs sticking out to make it impossible to roll over.

I had to use the tractor and lift it up enough to chain saw them off.

The problem is there isn't enough room for the tractor to turn in behind the mill.
So once again I had to use the Magicman chain on clamp method to get it rolled up enough to flip it on with my "big blue" peavy.





But once I got it flipped over and on the loader arms I could get it up and onto the bed rails.

And I have sawn it up.



How do you guys handle such a treasure?

I made boards out of all of it. And some of them weren't the best for sure.

Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension


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