Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 36

Thread: Getting logs sawmilled

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Midlands of South Carolina
    Posts
    271

    Getting logs sawmilled

    Did not want to hijack the Big'uns thread, but it reminded me of something else. (no, not that )

    I have a number of trees that were cut due to power lines and road construction. I have found someone with a sawmill that charges $170 for 1000 bf. I don't want to waste the wood, so I am considering having some of the trees milled, but I have never done it before and don't know what to ask for.

    I have mostly Oak, but also Southern Pine, Hickory, and Wild Cherry.

    I have no immediate need for the wood, but am looking to future use.

    What is minimum diameter that I should bother with?
    What size/type of cuts should I request?

    Will I need a special place to store the lumber?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    583
    I haven't done this yet, but have looked into a few aspects of it.
    As far as the cut goes, you might consider having at least some of the oak, hickory and cherry quarter sawn if you're thinking of using it for any furniture or cabinetry.
    You can air dry it - typically takes about a year for every 1" of rough cut thickness. For this, you'd need some sort of covering to put the wood under, and you'll need to spend some time stickering the rough cut wood right after it's cut so that air can properly circulate around the wood. If you've got figured wood or pieces thicker than an inch and a half, you might consider sealing the ends of the wood to help it dry more evenly, reducing any checking or warping. You can buy products especially made for this, but my Dad has found that aluminum paint works quite well for less money. Simply paint the ends of the boards where the cells are open and prone to drying much faster than the reast of the board.
    People have different opinions on this, but wood generally isn't too stable / ready for very accurate work (furniture, cabinetry, etc.) until it's down to about 10 or 12% moisture content. You might want to invest in a moisture meter so you have a handle on this as you go.
    Once the wood is stickered and covered (just the top, not the sides or ends - need to allow good air flow through the stack), forget about it. Mother henning a stack of drying lumber would make watching water boil seem like A.D.D. activity.

    Travis may have some good input on this one. He's been drying his own wood for years.

    Good luck with it.

    Paul Hubbman

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Floydada, Tx
    Posts
    1,941
    Anything under 10" is not worth the hassle. Oak over 20" make great qs if it is white oak. The rest, straigth saw. 4/4" is the most common. What do you plan on building w/it? This will determine the thickness you need.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Waxhaw NC
    Posts
    71
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Prosser View Post
    Did not want to hijack the Big'uns thread, but it reminded me of something else. (no, not that )

    I have a number of trees that were cut due to power lines and road construction. I have found someone with a sawmill that charges $170 for 1000 bf. I don't want to waste the wood, so I am considering having some of the trees milled, but I have never done it before and don't know what to ask for.

    I have mostly Oak, but also Southern Pine, Hickory, and Wild Cherry.

    I have no immediate need for the wood, but am looking to future use.

    What is minimum diameter that I should bother with?
    What size/type of cuts should I request?

    Will I need a special place to store the lumber?
    Hey Rick, I agree with everyone else here. But in MHO,... I've sawn way more 4/4 material than anything else. I wouldn't cut this in too wide of a board, as wide boards will cup. I've sawn thousands of 4/4 x 6 & 8"s. And I don't have any laying around , somebody will buy them. I won't even put a log on the mill thats less than 12" at the small end. I would also advise to get an end sealer on them asap, either that or cut the about 2 foot too long. LOL
    Last edited by Randy Wynn; 10-12-2009 at 11:47 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Waxhaw NC
    Posts
    71
    Quote Originally Posted by Al killian View Post
    Anything under 10" is not worth the hassle. Oak over 20" make great qs if it is white oak. The rest, straigth saw. 4/4" is the most common. What do you plan on building w/it? This will determine the thickness you need.
    Hey Al Killian, I won't Qsaw a log that is under 28". Too much flipping and turning. When I Qsaw a log. I take out about 5, 4/4 slabs right out of the middle of the log. Then I use the overhead hoist to remove the heavy top slab. Then I remove the 5 4/4 slabs off the mill till later. Then I stand the bottom piece and replace the top of the cant and cut Qsawn lumber. There are a few pieces that dont make the grade but most has tons of ray and fleck. Then I put those slabs back on the mill edge ways and cut the pith wood out and edge the boards. I would say 80 to 90% of the logs yield, is Qsawn using this technique.
    Last edited by Randy Wynn; 10-13-2009 at 12:02 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Midlands of South Carolina
    Posts
    271
    I don't have any real plans for what to do with the wood - except that the pine would be for framing lumber. Got plenty for turning, but will need boards when I get the shop built and start getting into flat work.

    I do have end sealer on the wood - usually the first thing I do after cutting. They are cut about 8-9 feet long.

    Some logs are up to around 20", maybe some larger pine - still cutting tress. I won't bother with anything less than 10"

    The tent in the background is for storing turning wood.

    Does not look like anything will be big enough for QS for now.

    Guess I will take a pickup load to the sawmill and see how the 4/4 works out.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Waxhaw NC
    Posts
    71
    Wow Rick, I hate to be the bearer of bad news,... I see alot of logs there that I wouldn't mess with. I am quite certin you will find that logs that are bent, bowed or warped will yield very little lumber, leaving you saying,.... all that money for that little bit of lumber?????? Thats because it takes all most all the same stuff & time to mill a small bowed log as it does to mill a straight big one. Also if you are spending more time loading than sawing,... it's coming out of your pocket. I charge by the hour and that pile of logs would cost you way more to mill, than the lumber that came from it would ever be worth. Maybe I'm seeing it wrong, but I am just trying to be a straight shooter with you. God Bless You.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Midlands of South Carolina
    Posts
    271
    I should have mentioned that there are maybe 4-5 logs in that pile that are large enough to mess with. The big ones are mostly straight, but most of the others are too small. The pine trees are in another pile, and they are mostly bigger sizes.

    I should also ask if there is any prep work that I can do before taking logs to the sawmill?

  9. #9
    Randy has some sound advice.

    I mill my own lumber and can't stress the importance of coating the ends as fast as you can.

    One thing I do that seems to speed the drying is rather than stickering the rough lumber, I plane it down to a 1/8" of desired thickness and then sticker and dry....just seems to go a little faster for me.

    I don't have a meter to check moisture content, but what I've found is that if I will lay my palm on the board and I don't feel any coolness beyond the ambient temp, it's ready...has worked so far for me and haven't had any trouble yet....

    Randy, I'm relatively new to milling and my operation/equipment is on the novice level and would welcome any advice you have to offer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,807
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Prosser View Post
    I should have mentioned that there are maybe 4-5 logs in that pile that are large enough to mess with. The big ones are mostly straight, but most of the others are too small. The pine trees are in another pile, and they are mostly bigger sizes.

    I should also ask if there is any prep work that I can do before taking logs to the sawmill?
    Prep work?

    Move the logs to the area that you want the mill to be at, and maybe pressure wash them if they are really dirty

    If you have a metal detector, you might run it over the logs ahead of time to find any nails and such on the outside of the logs, if there is a nail or such on the inside the best tool to find it is a brand new sharp blade......... DAMHIKT

    Also, make sure that the place you want to stack the lumber is ready to go, have enough stickers cut ahead of time...... charge the battery on the camera, cause we all want to see the pics
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

Similar Threads

  1. Mileage logs
    By Carol Reed in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-10-2012, 09:07 PM
  2. Look at these logs!
    By Jonathan Shively in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-07-2011, 10:17 PM
  3. Handling logs
    By Cynthia White in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 11-10-2010, 02:26 PM
  4. Free Logs
    By Steve Southwood in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-01-2010, 04:18 PM
  5. Walnut Logs Pt 2
    By Bernie Weishapl in forum General Woodturning Q&A
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-31-2009, 11:14 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •