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Author Topic: sawing split logs  (Read 2090 times)

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Offline Qweaver

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sawing split logs
« on: July 31, 2016, 11:53:42 AM »
We were just given many oak and hickory logs blown down in a storm.  One of the bigger  logs is split both ways but I think I can quarter saw it on the Peterson with acceptable loss.  The log is 12' long and the split is somewhat spiral.  Should I cut it into 6' lengths...or a waste of time?
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Offline WellandportRob

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Re: sawing split logs
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2016, 12:17:53 PM »
Depending on the degree of the spiral I would cut it in half, especially if you are going to quarter saw it.  Not only will the pieces be more manageable, the waste should be minimal.  With that being said I'm not sure you will get the fleck of normal quartersawn with the twisted grain.
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Offline Brad_S.

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Re: sawing split logs
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2016, 04:50:29 PM »
My experience with storm shattered logs is that it often has micro fractures throughout it. Certainly not always but keep an eye out. More prevelant when a tree snaps.
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Offline 5quarter

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Re: sawing split logs
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2016, 11:43:46 PM »
If its just that log and maybe a couple others, I'd probably break it down for firewood and move on to the better stuff. boards with too much run out tend to split more along the edges. I've tossed more than a few in the burn pile... >:(
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: sawing split logs
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2016, 01:58:43 AM »
Most of the storm blow-down logs that I have milled have been full of shake.  I don't mill them anymore unless the tree was fully uprooted with the root ball still attached.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: sawing split logs
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2016, 05:31:06 AM »
I've sawn split logs quite a few times.  Sometimes the split comes from logging, and some are from blowdown.  As long as it isn't shattered, you should come out with some lumber.  You'll have to decide whether its worthwhile or not. 

When I position a log for sawing, I'll put the split so it looks like an X on the end.  As you saw, you'll cut to the edge of the split.  You'll be able to take the split part out in the edging.  It may be harder to do on the Peterson.  You'll have a lot of trash in by the heart.  For me, I simply threw that part in the chipper.  I also could turn the log.  In your case, quartering might be an option, if the log is big enough.  Your best lumber will be in the outside part where you have the widest cut. 

You could cut 6' logs if it clears up the split and you have a market for the lumber.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: sawing split logs
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2016, 09:09:22 AM »
Most of the storm blow-down logs that I have milled have been full of shake.  I don't mill them anymore unless the tree was fully uprooted with the root ball still attached.
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   I sawed a big white oak that Sandy took down 4 years ago. Was 8' long and over 40" at small end. I had to split it with the chain saw to get it to fit on the mill and was very hard on all my support equipment. Should have yielded over 750 bf. I hardly got 100 bf and that included boards as short as 4'. I'd have been way ahead to cut it into firewood.
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Offline LittleJohn

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Re: sawing split logs
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2016, 09:50:28 AM »
My experience with storm shattered logs is that it often has micro fractures throughout it. Certainly not always but keep an eye out. More prevelant when a tree snaps.
I agree, the quality of boards from a storm damage are highly suspicious!!!
IMO, probably 99 out of 100 times, storm/wind damage trees so right to firewood pile; the other one goes straight thru the chipper  ;)

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: sawing split logs
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2016, 10:44:26 AM »
Shake is caused by bacteria.  If the log had shake, it was in there before it blew down.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: sawing split logs
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2016, 12:53:21 PM »
Shake is caused by bacteria.  If the log had shake, it was in there before it blew down.

   I don't know if what I encountered was shake or not. The boards just split at every turn. I don't remember a lot of discoloration which I have seen in shake before. They just splintered I assume because of the twisting action of the tree in the wind. I went down to help clean up after and saw trees after Hurricane Hugo near Charleston SC that were just twisted off about 20' above the ground. I suspect they were better for pulp than lumber.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: sawing split logs
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2016, 03:58:08 PM »
I sawed some that came out of Hurrican Sandy in Newark, NJ.  There wasn't any problem with them.  Mostly were sycamore.  I don't remember seeing too much that was shattered.  That may be due to all the buildings, but you would think they would funnel winds onto the street.

I've also had a few that were twisted off by tornadoes.  We don't get too many of those and cutting that type of timber is rare in our area.  That had more splintering due to the twisting and very high winds.  Those were mostly tulip poplar. 

I've cut bunches of blowdown, but they tend to have their rootball in tact.  If you're getting stuff that snapped off, its due to a tree that has a bunch of defect, or tornadic types of winds.  I had a bunch of locust get blown over by Hurricane Louise.  None of the other trees were effected by the storm.  There were walnuts and ash next to them.  Locust has a shallower root system. 
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Offline woodmills1

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Re: sawing split logs
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2016, 07:55:48 PM »
Wow, Newark, went to NCE there 1969 to 1973, BSCE,  Kappa Xi Kappa, lived at 109 central ave.  Have seen big sycamores there and also large English Plane trees along the Charles in Cambridge Ma.
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Offline 5quarter

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Re: sawing split logs
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2016, 10:25:03 PM »
woodmills...is there a difference between the english plane tree and sycamore?
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Offline Ianab

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Re: sawing split logs
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2016, 12:46:48 AM »
woodmills...is there a difference between the english plane tree and sycamore?

London Plane trees are a hybrid of American Sycamore and Asian Plane. Recognised as a separate species, but of course closely related.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platanus_%C3%97_acerifolia
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