Timberking 1220 Sawmill #2: Black Walnut log, sawn into 4/4 lumber with a live edge.

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Blog entry by HalDougherty posted 04-14-2011 05:48 AM 11294 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Candidates for my Timberking 1220 Part 2 of Timberking 1220 Sawmill series no next part

I picked up a great looking walnut log today. The widest place was over 29” at the crotch and it just fit my TimberKing 1220 sawmill. I had to cut the limbs slightly shorter so I could slice it into flitches.

I don’t have a bobcat or a backhoe to load logs… so, I had to wrestle them on the trailer. One item I did get to help load logs was a 3000 lb electric winch. Only one problem with it today. The battery was discharged! I had to use my back up plan. A manual winch. I used two 4” X 5” maple beams as loading ramps. The Y shaped crotch of walnut wouldn’t roll up the ramps so I wrapped a line from the trailer, under the log, and over the top. A few hand cranks with the manual winch and the log was loaded! I rolled the smaller logs up the ramp using a cant hook.

I’ve only got a single axel trailer, so I limited my load to 3 logs, 12” long.

Look at the grain in this board! I love opening a log, it’s like digging for buried treasure! Some logs have rotten centers or metal in them. This one was clean! After all it costs a new blade anytime there is a problem with the sawmill.

The black walnut in the log, looks great. Here’s a photo where the wood is still wet after sawing. Look close and the grain almost moves like wind through a wheat field.

Another closeup so you can see just how beautiful this log is and how wide the plank is:

One more photo showing the next log in the stack. I keep the flitch stacked and stickered so that later when the wood is dry, I can use the lumber to make custom gunstocks.

-- Hal, Tennessee

11 comments so far

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 2888 days

#1 posted 04-14-2011 06:21 AM

That is a beaut. How long before you can work it?
I am going to search for some live edge wood for some frames and for a mirror soon.

Thanks for the advice about outdoor photos and gimp.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3290 days

#2 posted 04-14-2011 12:42 PM

All three logs are cut, stacked and stickered. Today I’ll seal the ends of the boards so the wood doesn’t split any more as it dries. Usually I put my fresh lumber in a covered area with good air flow. (my shop is in an old 2 story farm house and the porch is covered on 3 sides). After about a year, I move it to my attic and keep it stacked and stickered there till it dries. It takes 30 days in the Summer and 90 days in the Winter to finish drying. I can dry a little over 1000 bft without too much weight. After it’s dry I move it to a room I use for wood storage and put more green wood in the heat. An old farmhouse that’s not insulated is a great solar kiln. The attic heats up in the day and cools off at night, plus the heat pump pulls out moisture all the time. I need more capacity now, so I’ll be building my own solar kiln in the next few weeks. Since I only have a few hundred bft of walnut ready to build into gunstocks, I have to move most of this walnut to the attic today. It should be ready sometime in May or June. To determine the moisture content, I take some sacrificial boards and cut a small section of wood at least a foot away from the end of the board, weigh it, dry it till it’s bone dry in the oven, weigh it again and calculate the amount of moisture in the sample.

Right now it’s all hand labor! I can’t wait till I make enough money to buy a bobcat or backhoe to move lumber around without doing it a board at a time. A lumber shed to air dry 1000 bft stacks of lumber and a 2000 bft solar kiln are also in my Spring building plan. Here’s a photo of a red oak log that’s down on my property and ready to saw. It’s 35” in diameter and 30’ long. The butt log, cut to 16’ length will weigh more than 3500 lbs. The chainsaw on the end of the log has a 20” bar to give perspective to the photo.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View GaryD's profile


623 posts in 3422 days

#3 posted 04-14-2011 02:40 PM

WOW!!!!! That is some beautiful wood

-- Gary, Little River,SC I've Learned that the Lord didn't do it all in one day and neither can I

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3154 days

#4 posted 04-14-2011 03:04 PM

Man, that walnut is to kill for. Nice work…....

-- mike...............

View STL's profile


68 posts in 2884 days

#5 posted 04-14-2011 03:33 PM

Beautiful wood! Glad to see you’re putting that 1220 to good use!

-- Dan Siggers, Alabama,

View TreeBones's profile


1827 posts in 4076 days

#6 posted 04-14-2011 04:16 PM

Nice. After all these years I still get excited like a little kid when I open up a walnut. There one of my favorites.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3243 posts in 3765 days

#7 posted 04-15-2011 06:13 AM


That’s some beautiful lumber! But I’ll try to just keep quoting 1 Timothy 6:6 and my paraphrase of Exodus 20:17—“You shall not covet your neighbor’s wood.”


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View ous's profile


64 posts in 2707 days

#8 posted 04-15-2011 07:58 PM

That is a beautiful log Hal, and I am happy for you. I know the feelings you express about cutting into a log. You are so young and just starting. What a great time I see for your future.

-- Roy Montana

View mmccoy1951's profile


27 posts in 2722 days

#9 posted 04-17-2011 06:39 PM

I am jealous great looking log.

-- Mike

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1132 posts in 2259 days

#10 posted 05-24-2012 12:22 PM

Your a lucky man to have such beautiful wood! and to be able to cut it up the way you want it. Awesome! I’m alittle jealous:)


-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View Grower's profile


13 posts in 2127 days

#11 posted 09-20-2012 05:55 AM

Beautiful bit of timber there! We planted 2 Black Walnuts last weekend here. Remember the old saying, ‘We dont inherit what we have from your parents we borrow it from our children’.

-- Its better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

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