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Thread: Virtual Small Scale Logging

  1. #1

    Virtual Small Scale Logging

    I realize this is supposed to be for Shop Tours, but I thought since this forum is new on the web, and the membership small right now, no one would be upset if I bent the rules a bit.

    I know there are plenty of guys on here who own their own woodlots and harvest their own lumber, but for those of you that don't, I thought you might like to see what kind of work, effort and skills goes into turning a living growing tree into usable boards.

    This virtual harvest was done about a year ago using a small Kubota Tractor, on a small woodlot here in Thorndike, Maine and ended up being a 2500 board foot harvest of Spruce logs. You will have to follow the links along the bottom of the page to navigate around, but hopefully some of you will enjoy this small diviation from a normal shop tour.

    Thanks for your interest in my family's woodlot.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Thanks for the tour, Travis. It may not have four walls and a roof, but it's still your shop in one way or another. I'm envious of you guys who have a forest of harvestable trees on your own property.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
    Thanks for the tour. It would appear that you have the biggest woodworking facility that we have seen here so far.
    Cheers, Frank

  4. #4
    I might have some acreage, but I probably have the smallest shop. At 12 feet by 24 feet, its pretty darn small. I need to do a real shop tour and put it on my website so I can share it on here. Time is precious right now with a little baby in the house, but I hope to get that done soon.

    Like my wood harvesting, I am pretty proud of my little shop. I worked hard designing it so that while it is small in size, it is effecient. It sounds like an oxy-morron, but its not. I look forward to putting it up on here and hearing your comments on it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
    Great Travis, I look forward to the tour of your more confined woodworking location. I really enjoy seeing how folks make creative use of the space available to them.
    Cheers, Frank

  6. #6
    Well lets see Frank, here are a few of the things I have done to make my small shop look bigger.

    1. First and foremost, I placed a casement window at the rear of my shop and just in front of my radial arm saw. Outside the window I placed some feed rolls. In a nutshell I can cut a 20 foot long board anywhere I need to. Its neat because I can pull a board out of my solar kiln, run it across the feed rolls and right onto my RAS to be cross cut

    2. My planer shares these same feed rolls, but it has a crank system that lets me draw the planer up and out of the way when not needed...or I can just crank the planer up and slide my boards through the planer to cross cut them.

    3. I have a drawer on drawer slides that holds a piece of glass (locomotive windshield 3/4 thick) that pulls out under my bench so I can use the scary sharp system. Pull it out for some sharpening, push it bacj when done. Slick and easy.

    4. I used heavy duty drawer slides to hook up a small router table. This is not designed for super heavy work, but I use a lot of round overs. This allows me to pull my router table out from under the bench for quick use, then slide it right back.

    5. My dust collection system is built right into my concrete floor. No more empting the dust collector. It gets taken from the RAS and other tools, and blown right into a sump underneath the floor, then outside. This same sump also has a trap door. When I sweep my fllor, into the sump it goes. No need for a dust pan. Again slick and easy.

    6. My Drill Press is mounted to rails in the floor. Since the DP is top heavy, it moves rather hard. On rails it rolls out effortlessly from the wall when I need to drill long boards...and pushes back easily when done.

    7. I have yet to do this, but soon I am going to mount my table saw on rails for the same reason. Casters are a real pain to steer. Rails are predictable and easy.

    Thanks a tease for now, but I will get my shop tour done soon so you can see exactly what I am talking about in terms of small effeciency shop.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Houston, Texas
    Thank you for starting out and sharing this wonderful part of your life.
    You are dealing very well with limited space, and your creativity is great.
    Push on, best wishes.
    I am a registered voter and you can be too. We ( registered voters ) select the moderators for this forum by voting every six months for the people we want to watch over this family forum.
    Please join me. Register now.
    Here is how

  8. #8
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    I have a piece of property that has some live oaks that I need to cut down to build, and would like to havest them into lumber if possible.

    Did you use an Alaskan Mill with your chainsaw, use a bandmill, or how you slab'd the logs up? Unfortunately I don't have a tractor. That looks like a nice setup.

  9. #9
    We have three sawmills in the family as of right now, and looking to buy another one. Of those three, we have a 1902 52" rotary saw, a Thomas Bandsaw, and finally a chainsaw rig that we cobbled up on our own which is similiar to an Alaskan Mill.

    The problem with the Chainsaw mill was how slow it was. We joked that you could saw one side of the board to day and finish it tomorrow. It was pretty slow, but granted it was only being driven by a 046 Stihl. A bigger saw would have been better, but by the time you bought a bigger saw, you were going to have some serious money tied up into it, and still you were going to take a 3/8 cut into you log everytime you sawed a board. That equates to losing one board to sawdust for every three you saw.

    As for the Lane Sawmill, nothing beats that thing, but in this case the engine was blown and I did not want to conjure up another engine for it. That left the Thomas Mill, which we adore. In fact we are buying another one this winter just because its so great. Still the saw is slow and at the time of this harvest I really did not have the time to saw out this lumber, so I exercised another option. I had a custom sawyer come in and saw the lumber.

    This worked out well. He had a nice new portable mill, came in and sawed 2500 board feet in about 5 hours, and cut real nice lumber. My cost was .18 cents a board foot. (21 cents a board foot for hardwood) with a 1500 board foot minimum. Considering how much money he has in his machine, this is very reasonable I thought. In fact he has sawn on three seperate occassions for me, just because its easy and cheap.

    I know this is more information than you asked, but I thought I would explain some of the options you have a bit throughly. In a nutshell, the Alaskan mill is not really a good option. It is good for cutting small quantities of wood, but the saw chain wastes a lot of wood in sawdust that would otherwise go into boards. The rotary sawmill is great, but it too has a 1/4 inch kerf and are getting harder and harder to find these days. Finally the last and best option is a bandsaw mill. It's kerf is only 1/16 of an inch, so you only lose one board for every 16 you cut, and its semi-fast and saws good lumber with a good sharp blade.

    If I was you, I would look for a local sawyer and have them come in and saw your lumber if possible, that is unless you have enough lumber to justify buying your own small bandsaw mill. (3000-4000 bucks). If I have a lot to saw, I use a sawyer just to get it done, but still nothing beats being able to go out and saw a few trees for lumber now and then, and use it in your project. You will be able to share in the same pride after your Live Oak is sawn into boards.

    I hope that helps you, if not feel free to email me at:

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