Reply by HalDougherty

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Posted on Minimum Log Size for Usable Lumber

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1820 posts in 3436 days

#1 posted 04-04-2012 01:24 PM

Most sawmills like 12” or larger on the small end of a log. The reason is the smaller the log, the more work per board to get any reasonable amount of lumber from them. However, a 6” log will have at least one 6” board inside. A lot of boards that include the center pith will split while drying. Some tree species are worse than others about splitting and other defects when the center is included in a board.

Here’s a website with several lumber calculators. One of them will calculate the amount of lumber in a log. You put in the length and width at both ends and you’ll see an estimate. There are 3 log scales to pick. The Doyle scale reports less lumber in a small log so the International scale might be the one you want to use to calculate your yield. Sawmills around here use the Doyle scale to buy logs…

-- Hal, Tennessee

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