Backyard Alder Milling #1: Cut it down

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Blog entry by damnHippie posted 02-01-2008 06:49 AM 1014 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Backyard Alder Milling series Part 2: Divide and conquer »

December of 2006 brought, among other things like holiday cheer and a trip to the north east, a massive rain storm followed by record high winds to Seattle. The winds brought down many trees in the area, and our neighbors had 7 fall from the greenbelt in their back yard into their house and property. Our trees and yard survived without issue.

During the cleanup of their yard, a rather sketchy “tree service” indicated a couple cedars were threatening our house. I didn’t trust the guy, but I did trust the arborist that came out a week later and said the cedars were fine but that an old 80 foot alder was a real danger.

They came out a few months ago and cut down the majority of the tree. I had them cut the main trunk into 8-foot segments, with the idea that I’d be able to rent a mobile band saw mill and get some good furniture lumber from it.

I couldn’t find a mobile band saw mill, but I did find LumberJock Dorje! He is willing to help me get this stuff cut, with his chain saw and milling attachment. I will document the process with text and images (once I take some) here.

You guys have no idea how stoked I am that this site exists, and brings a community of woodworkers together.

-- 10 fingers, 2 eyes, and healthy lungs. for now. :P

9 comments so far

View Pete Santos's profile

Pete Santos

172 posts in 3095 days

#1 posted 02-01-2008 07:25 AM

I get my logs cut down at NW Woods in Puyallup. They have mill service and kiln service too, but you have to bring it to them. I Dropped a truck load of Port Orford Cedar and picked it up 3 days later.

There is a guy on Craigslist that travels all over washington with his mill. He was in Hood Canal and the Kitsap area recently. I think he also offers tree falling services too.

-- Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and love.

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3083 days

#2 posted 02-01-2008 08:54 AM

Hippie – Looking forward to it! The wind and the rain bring (down) blessings in disguise.

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 2961 days

#3 posted 02-01-2008 11:04 AM

Can’t wait to see the milling, then a project or two from this lumber.

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3026 days

#4 posted 02-01-2008 01:04 PM

Ooooooo fresh cut lumber. The only problem being you now have to wait for it to dry and it will sit there and taunt you. Happy cutting.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2908 days

#5 posted 02-01-2008 01:58 PM

That is a wonderful re-use of materials. You could have easily cut up the tree for firewood and let it go at that. But generating your own lumber is a rewarding experience. Two years ago I tried the same route. I had two large ashes and a large cherry that had to be cut. I tried without success to find a sawyier to convert them to lumber but there wasn’t anyone willing to do this. I can say without a doubt seeing the cherry go for firewood really hurt.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3247 days

#6 posted 02-01-2008 03:01 PM

way to go LumberJocks!! :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Karson's profile (online now)


34994 posts in 3487 days

#7 posted 02-01-2008 04:07 PM

Gtreat that you are/were able to make contact. It’s a good thing to get some great wood for a reasonable price., and sweat equity.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View rpmurphy509's profile


288 posts in 2941 days

#8 posted 02-01-2008 05:36 PM

I’d be suspect about this ‘supposed’ tree until we all see some pictures ;)

Have any project in mind for the planks once they’re cut and dry?

-- Still learning everything

View damnHippie's profile


35 posts in 2862 days

#9 posted 02-01-2008 11:52 PM

I don’t have anything specific in mind. I want to see how much wood, what it looks like, etc, before I start thinking about projects for it. But I do have a lot of furniture ideas in general for my house, so it will probably be used there. And, I have a friend who makes electric guitars and is interested in some of the wood…

-- 10 fingers, 2 eyes, and healthy lungs. for now. :P

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