lumber from tree #1: From tree-to-boards, a journey of sawdust fun

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Blog entry by ChrisMc45 posted 909 days ago 1134 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of lumber from tree series no next part

First “post” as a LJ. I have more shop-time than online-time, please don’t cut me slack but offer any how-to-do-better on HTML or posting as you will.

A director at work had a big oak tree in his yard DIE (as in about a month) and have to come down. When he asked if I was interested, of course I leaped at the option. He had the arborist keep log-length 8-10 feet. His contacts were able to pull the four ~2-foot thick logs from his front yard…longer story, lesson: getting chain around log on ground takes ingenuity.

Logs at yard:

Found a local sawmill(, finally, halleluiah! Basically Van Pendleton saved my whole deal. Great sawyer, super nice guy to work with. Big (to me) horizontal bandsaw that made all four logs into lumber in a weekend.

Got the milled lumber back onto the borrowed trailer attached to the borrowed truck (Thanks, Van and Jeff!) and brought to the spread. I was lucky to have a fairly flat place to have the steel-beam-braced-flat frame to place:

Not the best picture (still not in the habit to capture step-by-step). Not the whole thing, just the green frame. I figured it would make a flat stable base to put a bunch of wood on top of.

Unloading was it’s own challenge (“don’t try this at home, use professionals” said my shoulders).

The next part is to USE the wood!

Notes for later, or lessons learned:
-getting a chain under a ton of tree almost requires digging under it
-Chainsaws are still scary
-having a lot of contacts, associations, references helped. Make as many friends as possible. This would never have happened without my manager knowing persons with trucks, hoists, cranes, big yards, etc.
-Don’t use “water-proof” or deck-treatment on board ends and expect no checking. Next time I will use some kind of thick (maybe oil-based?) paint for the end grain.

7 comments so far

View cabmaker's profile


1305 posts in 1435 days

#1 posted 909 days ago

Nice haul. Are you taking to the kiln or air drying ?

View RussellAP's profile


2944 posts in 913 days

#2 posted 909 days ago

That’s what my garage looks like now. Too bad it’s not oak though.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View chrisstef's profile (online now)


10645 posts in 1632 days

#3 posted 909 days ago

if you’re air drying make sure to paint up the ends to avoid checking and splitting. Nice haul .. did you flat saw it, quater saw?

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View stefang's profile


12874 posts in 1960 days

#4 posted 909 days ago

Quite a project, but a lot of good wood out of it. Congrats on such a fine stash.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View jtbinvalrico's profile


34 posts in 997 days

#5 posted 908 days ago

Nicely done, sir.

View HerbC's profile


1161 posts in 1485 days

#6 posted 907 days ago


What you need to use is AnchorSeal. It is specifically designed to endcoat logs/lumber to minimize checking.

Do not leave your stack of stickered wood exposed to direct sunlight. Old metal roofing makes good covers for the top of your stack.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View NormG's profile


4088 posts in 1630 days

#7 posted 907 days ago

Congrats and post those end projects

-- Norman

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