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Resawing logs into lumber

  • Ripper
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Ripper created the topic: Resawing logs into lumber

Just want to get some tips on making lumber out of logs. I have seen the video posted on the site with George from the WWGOA and plan on using his technique.

One question I have is, after cutting the log in half free hand, shouldn't you run the flat edges through the planer/jointer to get them completely flat and square to each other? Also, he doesn't show it but after cutting the log in half, I am assuming he free handed the second flat side(?)

Any other tips or things to watch for would be appreciated.

  • Posts: 486

colin replied the topic: Resawing logs into lumber

Hi Rip ... there are a few different ways of cutting logs into lumber and it depends on a few things, such as what kind of cuts you want out of the log, how big the log is etc.
What you describe would be what I would do. I hate trying to cut lump bumy wood, so I would joint as early as I could as long as if fits my jointer. The good thing about working with a bandsaw is there is no kick back to worry about so even if the log is not flat and square you can still cut it.
The reason I like your idea is that there is a better chance of getting more useable lumber from the log.

I will look forward to hear what others have done ...

  • Ripper
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Ripper replied the topic: Resawing logs into lumber

Here's my first run at it. I'm not sure if it is the official name but I have always called it a Wild Cherry tree. Anyway, it worked pretty well for me. Now all I have to do is wait a year for it to dry.. :dry:

The log was a little under 2' which is about as long as I feel comfortable cutting with the size table I have. I would like to cut longer pieces so I think I will try to come up with some kind of in feed and out feed tables for the bandsaw.
  • Posts: 486

colin replied the topic: Resawing logs into lumber

The cut looks fine and yup, now comes the agony or waiting for a year. Actually, that's not too bad, I have some 8/4 oak that takes 3 years outside and then another year or two inside before it's ready, always have to be thinking 5 years ahead of time which is not good for my impatient woodworking spirit.

Rip ... hard to tell from your pic if you end treated the boards? If you didn't best to do that if that wood is still green. It will help reduce the checking by forcing the wood to dry out sides rather than out the long grain which it wants to do naturally.

Some lovely looking wood, and you have time to think about what you want to do with it.
  • Ripper
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Ripper replied the topic: Resawing logs into lumber

Have not end treated them yet but plan on it. Ok, now you made me think of some more questions.

Do I need to let them dry for a year outside and then bring them in or can I just keep them tucked in a corner of my shop for the whole drying process?

I have heard that some people let the log dry and then cut it into lumber. Is that also an option, or is it better to cut it green then dry it out?

I have also heard that you need to weigh the boards down by putting something heavy on top of the stack to help prevent warping. I haven't really noticed that from the research I have done but, is that something I need to do?

Sorry to throw all the questions at you but if I don't do the right things now, I won't find out that I messed up until next year. And I may be cutting several logs this winter so I want to do it right the first time if I can.
  • Posts: 269

Derek replied the topic: Resawing logs into lumber

Hey gents,

some nice wood Ripper. Since the log was not too large you have a few options Ripper. Those boards will dry more quickly than you think. Get some end sealer on them and stack them using stickers between each tier as soon as you can. You don't need a great deal of weight put onto them but on the top tier put a set of stickers and a scrap board with some weight just to help stabilize the pile. make sure all of your stickers are the same thickness and that they are layered one directly over the other.
Put them outside but covered from direct sun light and rain. Depending on your climate wood stored outside will only get down to about 12 -14 percent and stabilize at that moisture content. Boards of the size in your pics will get to this point pretty quickly but leave them outside until you are confident they have stabilized and there is no doubt that they will not dry any further. Then bring them into the shop and re-stack them using stickers and let them get down to about 9 percent which is considered to be the right percentage for all purpose use.

Your question on whether to dry your wood in round or to cut it then dry it is up to you Ripper. If you want to make use of them in a timely manner, slab them up a get them drying quickly. If you are up to your armpits in ready to go wood you can treat the logs like a savings account. Thing is, depending on how they are stored you can get into another pile of trouble by not slabbing them up. That covers most of the basics Ripper. I hope it is of some use.

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