Reply by Scsmith42

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Posted on Saw Milling advise

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125 posts in 2702 days

#1 posted 02-27-2013 04:24 AM

RJ, your best use for that log will be to quartersaw it. From a 34” log you should be able to get some finished quartersawn planks that are around 12” – 14” wide, with no pith or sap wood in them.

You need to take into account the amount of shrinkage that your boards will experience as they dry. Typically flatsawn oak shrinks around 6% from green down to 8%, and quartersawn shrinks around 12%.

The most common finished thicknesses for white oak are 3/4” and 1”. To net these thicknesses in quartersawn boards after drying and planing, mill at least 1-1/4” thick (or 5/4 as we call it in the industry). This will dry down to 1-1/8”, which will allow you 5/16” for clean up to arrive at a 3/4” finished thickness.

For 1” thick finished quartersawn boards, I would suggest that you mill at 1-7/16”. It will dry down to 5/4 and allow you to joint/plane about 1/8” off of each side of the boards.

I would suggest that you trim your log down below 20’, as 20’ green boards will weigh a lot. Look for defects in the log (limbs, etc), and try to trim the 20 footer into a couple of shorter logs w/o any defects in them. You will net out much higher quality lumber by doing this, not to mention the time saving from having to try to chainsaw mill through the included end grain inside the log.

Definitely quartersaw that bad boy – you’ll be glad that you did down the road.

-- Scott, North Carolina,

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