More Log Milling
#11
  
As I said in the prior post, I mostly mill lumber.  Here's a "little" 16" ash log (yet another killed by the EAB) that we rolled by hand up onto the mill.  It seemed almost tiny after milling two 29" ones.  




You'll see the left end has a shim under it.  That's to get the center of the log at both ends parallel with the bunks so that the saw cuts parallel with the pith.  If you don't do that any plain sawn grain will look wonky.  

When cutting lumber I typically slice off the top bark, roll the log 90 deg. do the same, then once more so that you have a clean cant from which to slice boards.  This works fine for logs up to about 20" in diameter.  The cant in this case was 11" wide which makes for easy milling.  It only took 3 minutes to cut the 7' length.  





We got 8 boards out of that cant at about 1-1/8" thick.  And no nails.  Nice.  




Not perfect wood, but not bad either.  We finished this log in about an hour total.  I have two more logs ready to mill.  One of them looks to have very clear wood in it.  We'll see.  That's the fun of milling your own lumber.  It's sort of like opening a present.  You never know what's inside until you open it up.  

Thanks for looking.  

John
Reply
#12
  Re: More Log Milling by jteneyck (As I said in the pri...)
Some know how to get the best figure out of logs and I bet you’re one of them.
Reply
#13
  Re: More Log Milling by jteneyck (As I said in the pri...)
Nice looking work, John - BTW, what is "EAB?" Do you ever do any quartersawn material?

Thanks,

Doug
Reply
#14
  Re: More Log Milling by jteneyck (As I said in the pri...)
Emerald Ash Borer
Reply
#15
  Re: RE: More Log Milling by Tapper (Nice looking work, J...)
(11-08-2018, 01:07 AM)Tapper Wrote: Nice looking work, John - BTW, what is "EAB?" Do you ever do any quartersawn material?

Thanks,

Doug

Yes, Emerald Ash Borer.  They are killing just about every ash tree from the East of the Mississippi, maybe beyond.  They girdle the tree just under the bark and it dies in a couple of years.  The adults move on after depositing their eggs and float with the wind.  There are restrictions on moving logs and firewood now to try to prevent their spread, via the larvae, but the migration continues nevertheless.  Something like 20% of all trees in NY are white, green, or brown ash, and all make a nice dinner plate for the EAB.  You can drive along the roads here and see vast areas of dead trees where ash was the dominate species in a particular forest.  It's a lot like looking at all the dead conifers in the West.  

The good news is the EAB does not attack the useable wood of the ash tree, so if you cut it down before it starts to rot you will get lumber as nice as cutting down an uninfected tree.  I could be the ash lumber king of WNY if I wanted to mill all the ash logs my arborist friend has cut down in the past two years, and all the ones he will cut over the next few years until the ash trees are all gone.  

I try to mill as much QS material as possible out of any large white oak logs I get.  But they have to be at least 18 - 20" in diameter to get much usable width.  Here's a WO log around 24" or so.  You can see I've already removed the bark on two sides and am about to split it on the centerline.




After that cut I put a ratchet strap at both ends.




And using brute strength and awkwardness we got it rolled one more time.




The first couple of cuts give you plain saw wood, the next few rift sawn, and then you start getting more and more QS character as you approach and leave the centerline. 







If you want to really maximize the amount of QS out of a log you need to actually quarter it, sort of obvious, and then you need to rotate that quarter 90 deg after each cut.  That's not hard with a hydraulic log loader/turner on the automated mills, but a lot of work manually, so I rarely do it.  I could rotate the quarters on the mill w/o too much trouble, but getting the 3 quarters I would need to remove from mill back onto it would be pretty hard.  But if I get another batch of nice WO logs I will have to give that some more thought.  Personally, I like rift sawn WO more than I do QS except for something like an Arts and Crafts type piece.  Rift sawn WO has a nice, quite, linear grain that I really like for modern pieces with simple lines which is my favored style.  With other woods like walnut and cherry I really prefer plain sawn over QS, so milling those is much easier, although you still have to rotate the log if you want to maximize the amount of plain sawn wood you get, and/or if you are sawing for grade.  When sawing for grade you cut on one face until you get a board that doesn't look good, has a bunch of knots, etc., then you rotate the log  and start sawing on a fresh face, and repeat the process every time the quality falls off.  

So there's a little bit about how I go about quarter sawing.  Oh yeah, to remove the bark off the plain sawn boards I put them back on the mill in groups of 3 or 4.





John
Reply
#16
  Re: More Log Milling by jteneyck (As I said in the pri...)
Thanks John - quite an operation! Is that mill on your property?

Doug
Reply
#17
  Re: More Log Milling by jteneyck (As I said in the pri...)
Great stuff John.  Thanks for sharing.
Reply
#18
  Re: More Log Milling by jteneyck (As I said in the pri...)
Neat little mill. A bit more engineering and you could make it into a small bandmill?
Reply
#19
  Re: RE: More Log Milling by Tapper (Thanks John - quite ...)
(11-08-2018, 01:04 PM)Tapper Wrote: Thanks John - quite an operation! Is that mill on your property?

Doug

The mill is completely portable.  I've put all the components including the mill itself, in a small trailer and taken it to friends' houses to mill logs.  At home I often set it up in my driveway, as in the quarter sawing photos, or out near my garden as I did this time for the ash logs.  Unless I'm going to use it I break it down and store it in the brush row along the edge of my property.  It takes about an hour to set up the base of the mill, 10 minutes to break it down.  The whole idea of this mill was to make it simple, cheap, and easily moved when and where needed. 


John
Reply
#20
  Re: RE: More Log Milling by ianab (Neat little mill. A ...)
(11-08-2018, 02:57 PM)ianab Wrote: Neat little mill. A bit more engineering and you could make it into a small bandmill?

I used 1" square tubing to make the mill knowing that was pretty light, but I wanted it to be easily transportable.  I guess I could reconfigure the frame into a small bandsaw, but if I spend the time to build a BS mill I'm going to make it big enough to handle a 30" log and this frame is going to be too light to handle the 4 cycle motor required to do that, likely 20+ HP.  Alternatively, I might look into building a swing mill, about which you are far more knowledgeable than I.  Those things look very versatile - and fast.  Any insights you might have about building one would be most welcome.

In any case, I think I'll start with a fresh design if I decide to build a new mill.  But before I build another mill I'm pretty sure I'm going to build a solar kiln to dry lumber in.  My dehumidification kiln has served me well but with a solar kiln I can start with green lumber and have KD lumber much faster than air drying lumber first and then moving it to the dehumidification kiln to KD it.  I ain't getting younger and waiting is getting harder.   

John
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 2 Guest(s)