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Milling Lumber (grudgingly)

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Blog series by MoshupTrail updated 01-23-2012 04:34 AM 8 parts 27006 reads 62 comments total

Part 1: What would you do?

09-01-2011 12:12 PM by MoshupTrail | 14 comments »

It is interesting that the storm knocked over almost exclusively the red oaks. I lost 6-10 large (60-80 yr old) trees, 18-24” in diameter. So the question is, what do you do with vast quantities of red oak? It’s not the most popular wood, but it has some good qualities. These are just a few of the trees I lost. It’s a mess in there.

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Part 2: Inventory

09-07-2011 12:10 AM by MoshupTrail | 5 comments »

I got a lot of good advice – most of which I’m taking in one way or another – from the first in this series. Thanks to all who put in their two cents. Now, on to the next task… In order to estimate how much it will take to gather the logs and mill them I needed to take some kind of inventory. So I took some blue field marking paint and went out and labeled trees showing where I wanted them cut, and also giving each log a number. I recorded the diameter of each l...

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Part 3: The work begins - buck and stage the logs

09-20-2011 03:17 AM by MoshupTrail | 5 comments »

With the inventory complete I engaged the services of a local excavator. To keep cost low all he’s doing is cutting the logs from the trees and placing them in a staging area for the miller. All the branches and collateral damage trees will just be left in the woods for me to cut up later. My goal then will simply be to get the stuff on the ground so it will rot. Pretty bad, huh? But you can’t mill branches I’m told – they contain too much residual stress and will...

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Part 4: Gathering Downed Trees

10-08-2011 12:34 PM by MoshupTrail | 7 comments »

I just realized I went through a whole phase, and forgot to post anything. I hired I guy with a track-hoe (aka excavator) to come in and make a mess of the forest floor (to compliment what Irene did to the forest canopy). His equipment is BIG and expensive. So he is not cheap. But wow! huge logs weighing 2000 lbs are easily moved from here to there as if they were match sticks. At the end of two and half days I have 36 logs. More red oak than I thought and less other. I have pai...

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Part 5: Milling Day(s)

10-10-2011 11:56 AM by MoshupTrail | 12 comments »

Finally the day has arrived. It’s time to mill the fallen trees from hurricane Irene! I have 36 logs lined up although 4 are little short ones (about 4 ft). The other logs are all 8 1/2 feet in length. By design. More on that in the next post. The miller came with a Woodmizer T40. Trust me, this is a fantastic machine. It has full hydraulics. You can lift the log, rotate it, and even level it so your cut is always parallel to the pith. I also had a guy with a larg...

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Part 6: Lessons Learned

10-12-2011 02:50 AM by MoshupTrail | 7 comments »

Lessons Learned – Milling Logs Safety First. You will want to wear good leather gloves, eye protection, and steel toed shoes. If the shoes have a metatarsal guard they will be better. You probably WILL drop at least one board on your toes during the day. Also, I highly recommend wearing a respirator. The mill makes a lot of fine dust, and certain woods can be very irritating. I used a good quality paper respirator and it made a big difference. Don’t wear really loose clothing t...

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Part 7: Now what?

10-27-2011 02:54 AM by MoshupTrail | 6 comments »

So now I have a fairly large quantity of red oak. Most of it is probably FAS equivalent. No knots, nice straight grain, and some is quarter-sawn with excellent ray flecking. I’ll probably separate that out and set it aside for hobbyists – furniture. But the bulk of the wood seems like a good candidate for some flooring. If I were to sell it as flooring, I could unload large quantities, like 100-400 bf at a time. It wouldn’t take too many of those to recover the cost of...

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Part 8: When mistakes are made...

01-23-2012 04:34 AM by MoshupTrail | 6 comments »

There was one mistake made. The miller was pushing a little too hard (milling too fast) and the blade was getting dull. When you do that, the blade will tend to wander resulting in a wavy cut. Unfortunately he was right in the middle of quarter sawing a beautiful piece of wood and the ruined boards would have been the best from that particular log. So recently, (the wood is still pretty wet) I thought I would see if I could get any useful wood from the two way boards. Take a look: Sta...

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