From firewood to project lumber

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Blog entry by lbmrJohn posted 11-12-2012 06:48 PM 5939 reads 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My parents had a couple of sugar maples get diseased and had to come down. I begged them to let the local sawyer take it down, but they were afraid it was rotten inside. They had a local tree service come and saw them down, leaving the wood behind. I grabbed a truck load of the logs to attempt to make my own project lumber out of it.

I started out by taking a chainsaw and removing one edge to give me a working surface for later.

I then split the log into sections that I can work with on the table saw. This section is roughly 4.5”.

Once I have sections I can work with, I screw in a 2×4 to give me a flat edge that I can use with the fence.

After a few passes, I get the full 3” of the table saw blade through the log. This has only made a dent in removing the first piece.

Using my jigsaw, I make a notch in each end so I can mark with a chalk line. This isn’t really helpful, but I’m compelled to do it anyways.

The reason the chalk line isn’t useful is because the jigsaw naturally follows the cut made by the table saw. I let the jigsaw do all the work, and it follows the cut on the bottom from the table saw.

I’m now ready to take off my first piece. You all should know how to do this part.

Next, I throw it through the planer to clean it up.

The jointer makes quick work of the sides.

Here’s the finished product, ready to dry out. This one sure looks like curly maple to me!

7 comments so far

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2802 days

#1 posted 11-12-2012 06:57 PM

Lots of work there..
But it looks like you could be coming up gold on the
finished product !!

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3137 days

#2 posted 11-12-2012 07:59 PM

what you do with fresh cut wood is to seal the ends with vax , latexpaint .. etc
to prevent it from spliting since the moistier will first leeve the wood from the ends
then you can resaw to the thickness you want
stack the wood with sticks between right over each other and be sure to make a toplayer
with some waight on to prevent the wood from warping

be aware that it will take 1-1½ year pr inch of thickness before its dry enoff to get inside
and then you still have to wait a while to the wood have aclimated to your shop with
the right moistier inside the wood …. at that time you can buy a meter to control that :-)
there is people on L J that can explain it better to you if you want but its the best I cuold do
with my toture of English :-)

none the less congrats with your score :-)


View lbmrJohn's profile


8 posts in 2053 days

#3 posted 11-12-2012 08:39 PM

Glen, it is quite a bit of work, but this is the tree that I used to make maple syrup from as a kid. There was no way I could let the whole thing burn. Plus it gives me something to do at night when the kids are sleeping and my wife is working.

Dennis, thanks for the info. I was thinking of asking a local sawyer to stick these in his kiln once they are all cut.

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 3100 days

#4 posted 11-13-2012 01:45 AM

I respect you for your love of good wood. However, the work is done, for now. I would suggest that you follow Dennis’ advice and forget it for a couple of years. If you rush into making something, you’d most likely regret it as the wood change shape in your new project.

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View Cellulosespinner's profile


63 posts in 2057 days

#5 posted 11-13-2012 03:20 AM

This is where a band saw really shines ….But nice work with the table saw.
Drying will take a long time….

-- Once in a man's life you should have a good dog, a good horse and a good woman. The trick is to get them all together at the same time

View NormG's profile


6134 posts in 3025 days

#6 posted 11-13-2012 04:40 AM

Very interesting/productive way to make blanks/boards and free wood great idea

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2712 days

#7 posted 11-13-2012 03:02 PM

I too do “lumber the hard way” but it is so rewarding to build something from wood that you have a personal history with.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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