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View Mark Shultz's profile

huge red oak coming down

by Mark Shultz
posted 06-09-2012 05:46 PM


35 replies so far

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1166 posts in 1512 days


#1 posted 06-09-2012 10:59 PM

Mark,

You will find that the tree service people will not have what it takes to “slab” out a large log.

You might be able to get someone who owns a portable sawmill to mill the log up for you on site if the owner and tree service agree. Some tree services will not give up the log because they deal in firewood as a byproduct of their primary business.

Good Luck and

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View thedude50's profile

thedude50

3515 posts in 1130 days


#2 posted 06-09-2012 11:29 PM

look for a sawyer in your area thay are not that pricy also the landscapers will not be used to dropping a hole tree the way you are going to want them to so put the breaks on and see if the sawyer can educate them on the right way to down the tree do this quick dont let the prize wood go to waste where is the tree also post a request on the web for a sawyer you will never regret the wood you saveed from the firewood pile

-- when I am not on Lumberjocks I am on @ http://thisoldworkshop.com where we allow free speech

View Mark Shultz's profile

Mark Shultz

62 posts in 1042 days


#3 posted 06-20-2012 08:26 PM

So my neighbor is all good with this. I spoke with the company he contracted and they were Luke warm on the idea. The excuse I was given was that the chains in their saws were designed for cross cutting logs not rippin them. I don’t know about chain saws but would expect any cross cut chain would do a rip cut fine enough though maybe not as clean. Anyone have experience here? Tume to cut was also an excuse Would it take them that much longer with the cross cut chain vs a rippin chain?

Many thanks.

View RRBOU's profile

RRBOU

69 posts in 945 days


#4 posted 06-20-2012 08:30 PM

Would it take them that much longer with the cross cut chain vs a rippin chain?

With a log that big YES!!

-- If guns cause crime all of mine are defective Randy

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1721 days


#5 posted 06-20-2012 09:08 PM

Is there even such a thing as a “ripping chain” for a chain saw? I’ve used chainsaws for over 40 years and don’t think that I’ve ever seen, or heard of, a “ripping chain”.

I suspect that the landscaping company is reluctant to log it out because they seldom do that. They just whack it down into manageable chunks and haul it away.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View RRBOU's profile

RRBOU

69 posts in 945 days


#6 posted 06-20-2012 11:48 PM

Yes there are ripping chains, Just like saw blades with different pitch and larger gullets.

From Carlton Chains

Ripping chain is specifically designed to cut efficiently with the grain of the wood, unlike standard saw chain. It is most commonly used to slab logs, burls and stumps. Most people use it with chainsaw powered sawmills such as the Alaskan Sawmill or Beam Machine. Ripping chain gives you a smooth, consistent surface when cutting parallel to the grain of a log. On the contrary, standard saw chain is designed to sever wood across the grain, and when you saw parallel to the grain, your cutting speed falls dramatically, and your sawn surface becomes very rough.

-- If guns cause crime all of mine are defective Randy

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2833 posts in 901 days


#7 posted 06-22-2012 01:02 PM

Also, unlike table saw blades, ripping with a chainsaw equipped with a cross cut blade is inefficienct AND can be very dangerous.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Mark Shultz's profile

Mark Shultz

62 posts in 1042 days


#8 posted 06-22-2012 02:00 PM

Sounds like a tip to grease the wheels is in order.

View HalDougherty's profile

HalDougherty

1820 posts in 1890 days


#9 posted 06-27-2012 01:29 PM

It’s oak, so why rip it, just split it. I sawed up a big red oak that wouldn’t fit on my sawmill. (not very many people own a portable sawmill that will saw a 48” log) To saw it, I split it down the center with a maple splitting wedge. I spent the better part of a day banging in 8” wedges that opened an existing crack just a tiny amount. So, back to the shop and I cut a maple wedge 8” wide at the thick end and 3’ long. I sledge hammered that wedge in and I was able to open the crack enough to put in a car jack that finished splitting the log. Here’s a blog post I made about splitting a 48” diameter red oak log.

http://lumberjocks.com/HalDougherty/blog/24794

I ended up with a lot of quartersawn red oak that will be ready to make into furniture soon. One issue is rolling a 1/2 or 1/4 section of log. They only roll on the round side. You can’t roll one with a cant hook.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3990 posts in 981 days


#10 posted 06-27-2012 01:44 PM

Not many operations have the equipment to process a tree like that… certainly not the landscapers… They very likely will not even be able to lift a section of the trunk of any length, do to it’s weight… leaving them no choice but to cut it up into stove length with a large chainsaw on site.

Attempting to process a large log without the right equipment will be very arduous as well as potentially dangerous.

When I built my timber frame, I had a 4WD tractor with a bucket to lift and skid the logs I cut on site, and had a guy with a top end Woodmizer… the 20’ model that had all the hydraulics for loading and leveling the logs. So even with that equipment, it was very arduous work to move 36” dia. pine logs and get them onto the mill. They exceeded the lift capacity of the tractor and had to be skidded with chains, debarked by hand with a spud and rolled onto the mills hyd. lift by two men and with peavies. After that experience, I’d say there’s no way we could have processed a 4’ dia. Oak.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3990 posts in 981 days


#11 posted 06-27-2012 02:03 PM

I think the landscapers know their business and their limitations….

in my many years of harvesting firewood off of my own property, I can definately say that ripping with a normal chainsaw blade saw takes forever…. easilly 3X the time to make the same size cut… and these are cuts that they would never make, since cross cutting to stove length and splitting is the norm.

Don’t expect the landscaper to have a chain saw mill, or to special order ripping blades….. not unless there’s some $$ in it for him.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 917 days


#12 posted 06-28-2012 08:20 PM

As a guy who cuts 50” wide slabs from red oak, I’m going to go ahead and say that most landscape/tree cutters aren’t going to want to do that. For one, they can’t. A 4’ diameter cut is going to require they have a huge saw (like my Stihl MS880 and a huge bar (I have a 66” bar)... neither of these are what anyone would call “cheap” or “affordable” and definitely not “practical”). They are also not common for even log companies to have. They are specialty saws, bars, and chains. Most people have, at the most, of the “smaller” big saws MS660 or MS440, but even they are few and far between. Second, most guys are going to say milling is saw abuse… and it definitely can be if they’re not set up properly. You’re running a saw wide open for long periods of time. Most guys only do that for a couple of minutes to cut down a tree. To mill a log, that can be a half hour or longer.

On chains, I run ripping chains and they actually cut slower than a chisel or house chain, but much smoother. Normally, I’ll switch to a chisel chain if my ripping chain dulls. Another thing, asking them to buy ripping chain is probably not an option. Most stores don’t carry it and it’s expensive. Also, be prepared to pay for new chain when they end up hitting a piece of metal. City trees have lots of it normally.

To cut a 40”+ wide log about 10’ long, it’ll take a mill jig (like an Alaskan-type) to make a reasonably flat, level slab and 30-45 minutes of time per cut. Slabs = 2 cuts to start, then 1 cut for each additional slab. Do the math.

You also need to know how to cut a log. You can just flat saw it, but good luck on the top and bottom pieces drying flat. Quarter sawing on site probably isn’t going to be possible.

These slabs are going to be heavy. I cut mine from 1.5-5” thick depending on what I’m using it for. At 2” thick and 6’ long x 40” wide, I can lift and load a slab by myself (I’m 6’ tall x 200 lbs and still somewhat of an athlete). Any bigger and they start getting cumbersome and heavy. Any larger and you’re going to need some extra hands or power equipment.

Air drying can take years. Keep that in mind.

Just dropping some information in for you. Feel free to ask me any questions you want.

For a scale reference, the ones that are “above” me are 51-54” in diameter.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Mark Shultz's profile

Mark Shultz

62 posts in 1042 days


#13 posted 06-28-2012 09:09 PM

doss, thanks for the advice. that will come in very handy.
i have been preparing the wife for life with a few slabs in the garage for a while but we shall keep the mulit-year requirement to ourselves for a while.

Regarding equipment and getting the landscaper to do it. turns out the landscaping company is actually a full fledged tree removal company. i know that’s not a sawyer but better than guys with a lawnmower and chainsaw in their truck. Their boss has told me he will leave the decision to the crew boss, to which i assume a good amount of harassment, a few beers, and a few dollars will be meaningful persuasion. I did find a place to rent a ripping blade equipped saw nearby – $60/day – so i am prepared with their excuses on that front. the same bribes should help get the beefy slabs into the garage across the street.

re cutting techniques, i’m guessing they have no jigs available. I was thinking that once they cut the upper portion and all the trunk down to the last 10’ or so, then they could vertically cut down the middle a few time then cross cut the bottom edges. sort of like pealing a banana standing on its end. ie the slab would be standing vertically alone on the base prior to the last cut. i just figured it would be easier that way, but i see in your photo that you did it horizontally. any thoughts on this??

re drying, and not warping.. my plan was put the slab(s) on 2×4s in the garage. if i can get two, then sticker them. any advice would be appreciated. i am guessing it to be very rough/uneven. to flatten, i was going to make one of the router jigs that i’ve seen on LJ to level a slab. and do this in somewhat near term so that it dries afterwards. being realistic with myself it will take me a month or so to get prepared to do that with all the other things i have going on. hopefully it wont warp before then. i assume its critical to do both sides concurrently?

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 917 days


#14 posted 06-28-2012 09:44 PM

To my knowledge, it would not be recommended to rip a log in a vertical orientation. You cannot control one of these 3-8000 lbs logs very easily (even if it’s still rooted, it can still contain very high levels of energy due to stress in twists) and a slab you’re peeling off may still weigh several hundred pounds. Never underestimate what a seemingly harmless tree can do when you relieve the stresses it’s under. I would definitely not want to be running the saw for this amount of time while standing on a ladder either. That does not seem safe.

Keeping a straight cut is not easy. There is a reason why we use even simple mill kits to keep a saw going straight. It’s also a pain to flatten a slab a lot after it’s cut. You want it pretty close to done (it’ll have plenty of teeth marks in it) when it’s cut.

$60 a day for a saw capable of ripping? I’d find out what saw that is and what it comes with. There is no way I’d let someone use my saw for $60 a day knowing how easy it is to abuse or destroy it. Now, $150 a day and I’d be willing to part with it to the right person. Find out what you’re responsible for as well. If that’s what they want and the set up is good, I’d jump on it.

On drying, it probably won’t move much the first month or so unless it’s subjected to heat and moisture in high amounts. You’ll want to flatten it as soon as you could. It helps to dry it and is way easier when it’s still “wet.”

Store it out of the sun where it gets good air flow (but not a constant heavy breeze) and make sure it’s covered (has a roof over it… not a tarp on top of it). Once you sticker/stack it (about 12-20” off the ground), put some heavy weights on it above the stickers and cross your fingers.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Mark Shultz's profile

Mark Shultz

62 posts in 1042 days


#15 posted 07-03-2012 01:56 PM

took the day off the drink bloody mary’s and watch the tree come down w/ my neighbor. The crane came late so they didn’t have time to get it all down. hence i’m not their today to pester live and in person to get the oak flitch. Luckily however there was a second tree coming down in the neighborhood, this one a 3 1/2 foot diameter maple. the crew taking the logs away said they would happily cut me a slab or two. crossing my fingers on this…

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 917 days


#16 posted 07-03-2012 02:58 PM

Ah… so no red oak? That’s a bummer. I’ve told people before to just leave a section and I’ll come pick it up. I have a big truck and usually enough man power around to load up big sections. If not, I’ll cut it on the spot if I’m allowed and haul it away.

That maple should be nice. If they cut it for you, even better. When you get it home, coat the ends with Anchor Seal or paint so they don’t start splitting.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Post_Oakie's profile

Post_Oakie

84 posts in 806 days


#17 posted 07-03-2012 06:53 PM

Sounds like there are enough big trees in your area to make a mill a worthwhile investment. Pretty soon your yard will look like Doss’s (and mine). I paid for my mill (Granberg Alaska mill), bar, and chain with one log, but it was a 42” diameter by 10’ long walnut. I don’t use it often, since my Norwood band mill handles up to 34” diameter, but it comes in handy once in a while. The 44” diameter black oak log in this photo is my next victim. It came down in last year’s tornado that hit Joplin, MO. I’m figuring on three 2-1/2” thick slabs from the center with the chain saw mill, then quarter sawing down to 6” with the band mill.

I’ve got an old Husq 2100 just for the purpose. Setting the carb a little on the rich side helps keep it cool, and I use a second oiler for the tip. On occasion, I have put a second powerhead on the other end of the bar, but it takes two people who know what they’re doing to use it.

-- Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

View Mark Shultz's profile

Mark Shultz

62 posts in 1042 days


#18 posted 07-03-2012 08:50 PM

There are some huge trees around here for sure. Trouble is the sit in the front lawns of my neighbors. Getting to know these tree guys may prove better than knowing my neighbors. Setting up a mill in my town is a non starter.
I spoke with them this afternoon and he told me that the big log was cut into 4’ chunks bc the truck/machine had a hard time lifting it. I suppose that will be better than nothing. How would an end over end book matched table look?

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 917 days


#19 posted 07-05-2012 04:44 AM

I don’t understand why you can’t still set up a chainsaw mill. It’s not like you need to put up a brick and mortar building to use it. I even carried it in my car (with the 66” bar) at times. You just need to make sure you put a tarp on the ground to collect the mountain of sawdust it’s going to produce. If you’re only cutting a few logs, it’ll be fine.

Also, yes, big logs weigh a lot. The ones in my pic above ranged from about 1500 lbs to roughly 10,000 lbs. When the log truck came to move them for me, the arm on the crane was struggling to lift a few of them even fully retracted (working limit of the crane was 12,000 lbs).

Post_Oakie, did you roll that log up on the trailer with that cant hook? If you did, that’s pretty impressive. LOL

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Post_Oakie's profile

Post_Oakie

84 posts in 806 days


#20 posted 07-05-2012 10:06 AM

[Post_Oakie, did you roll that log up on the trailer with that cant hook? If you did, that’s pretty impressive. LOL]

I’d love to be able to tell you that I used a cant hook, but I used a Lewis winch and parbuckled it up a ramp. The Lewis winch is a chain saw powered cable winch. I’d be out of business without it. A parbuckle is running the winch line over the log and back to the trailer so that it rolls the log up the ramp. Safe and effective. Here’s a photo of the technique on a sweet gum log that came down in Joplin tornado.

I visited your web site. Looks like you keep yourself pretty busy. Did you get logs from Katrina?

-- Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 917 days


#21 posted 07-05-2012 04:10 PM

Post_Oakie, actually, I got them from the same series of tornadoes that hit Tuscaloosa last year (about a month before the Joplin tornadoes). The Gulf Coast (where I was during Katrina) lost mainly pine trees. I didn’t get any of those.

That system you have set up looks pretty good. I would worry about the clutch too much on my saw to do that plus I hate taking the bar off of mine. I’m going to try to use a small electric winch in the future and some crafty rigging (like your parbuckle set up). I’ve just relied on logging trucks to do the heavy lifting and transport of logs for me. I can then cut and haul the slabs in my my truck.

Our site is about to get some new posts… so keep up please. We’ve taken about a 2 month break from posting, but are ready to get our new projects up and on there. We stay really busy like you said and that takes a toll after a while.

Keep your posts up. I think the two of us are part of a select group of people on here that actually get our own logs. There are usually people on here asking what to do in this regard, so it’s nice having one more person who does it to give advice.

Mark, what’s the word on the logs?

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Mark Shultz's profile

Mark Shultz

62 posts in 1042 days


#22 posted 07-07-2012 04:40 PM

I just spoke with the guys who hauled it away. seems they cut the big pieces down a little to get into the truck, but they think there is a 5’ section of the base there to work with. I hope to go to check it out tomorrow a.m. Fingers are crossed. even if this one doesn’t work out for some reason, i’m excited to have found a connection to someone who comes across these types of logs on a semi regular basis and willing to work with me.

doss, what site are you referring to?

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 917 days


#23 posted 07-09-2012 12:38 AM

I’m referring to my personal site that really is my wife’s site Southern Sprout.

If you skim through, you’ll find some of what I do for fun on there. I’m about to start putting more up as we’ve been busy doing projects and haven’t had nearly enough time or energy to post up.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Mark Shultz's profile

Mark Shultz

62 posts in 1042 days


#24 posted 07-11-2012 01:25 AM

Guys,
i’m out of luck on the maple. the guy’s coworkers cut it up for firewood. damn shame. it does seem like these guys get a steady amount of large trees to haul away so i’m still hopeful. went to their storage yard to discuss future opportunities and it seems like we are on the same page now. fingers crossed.

they did have a couple of 2 yr old logs that were interesting. Advice as to if these are at all salvageable? They have been sitting uncovered for 2 years without painted ends. Neither are long enough for my kitchen table project but could be coffee tables or something else.


this is an elm log. 6+ ft long and about 35 inches wide at center. any guess as to how deep cracks like this go?


this is an walnut log. about 4ft long and 45 inches wide at center. has been at the bottom of a stack for 2 years. didn’t appear to have much if any cracks on the ends.

View Scsmith42's profile

Scsmith42

125 posts in 1329 days


#25 posted 07-11-2012 08:00 PM

The walnut should be fine. The elm may be ok, and probably has some beautiful spalted wood inside. I would mill them both.

-- Scott, North Carolina, www.quartersawnoak.com

View OnlyJustME's profile

OnlyJustME

1562 posts in 1029 days


#26 posted 07-11-2012 08:28 PM

Can you use the larger cracks to your advantage? Split the log at the crack and then mill it from there. that way the crack wont split your slab in half. Might get a twisted split though that would have to be flattened. Would the slabs tend to not warp while drying if done that way?

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View Post_Oakie's profile

Post_Oakie

84 posts in 806 days


#27 posted 07-12-2012 12:53 PM

Good looking logs. Walnut good for sure, though it will probably take a chain saw mill to handle it because of its diameter and short length. The small cracks in the elm probably only go in a couple of inches. The larger one, 6” at the most. Saw parallel to the split, and you’ll end up with more lumber. I’ve never seen spalting in elm. Could be interesting. Red elm is beautiful wood and works nicely. American elm doesn’t have much color or character. You’ll know which you have when you cut into it.

Elm has an interlocking grain. Tough to split. I usually keep a piece next to the woodpile for people who want to help. The splitting maul just bounces off it. Very entertaining (for me, anyway), and it makes me look like superman when I split oak while they struggle with the elm.

-- Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4138 posts in 1604 days


#28 posted 07-12-2012 12:59 PM

Haha, Post_Oakie, you’re evil.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Post_Oakie's profile

Post_Oakie

84 posts in 806 days


#29 posted 07-12-2012 02:16 PM

Like it says on my signature at the bottom. I’ve had the experience of trying to split elm, and think others should have the benefit of the same.

-- Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

View OnlyJustME's profile

OnlyJustME

1562 posts in 1029 days


#30 posted 07-12-2012 02:25 PM

that’s too funny. thanks for the experience. lol

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 917 days


#31 posted 07-13-2012 04:39 PM

Mill ‘em all. What do you have to lose besides time and money?

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Post_Oakie's profile

Post_Oakie

84 posts in 806 days


#32 posted 07-13-2012 04:56 PM

Yeh, what he said. Mill ‘em all. Learn something. Worst is that could wind up with experience AND firewood… maybe.

-- Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2364 posts in 1614 days


#33 posted 07-13-2012 05:07 PM

“Is there even such a thing as a “ripping chain” for a chain saw?”
RRbou, I never heard of this until now. I’ve been around since dirt was built. This must be a specialty item as I have never seen a ripping chain anywhere I have seen chainsaws. Learn something new every day!

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1166 posts in 1512 days


#34 posted 07-13-2012 05:15 PM

Yes, they make ripping chain. It’s a specialty item. One place to get it is Bailey's=

It produces a smoother cut than the standard crosscut chain.

HTH

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 917 days


#35 posted 07-13-2012 05:15 PM

Knothead, ripping chain is a specialty chain and a somewhat pricey one at that. I really don’t recommend it unless you’re cutting large diameter logs (30-35”+) into slabs. It’s a slightly slower cutting chain, but the finish is usually a little better than a house or chisel chain. In the end, it depends on your technique, cutter sharpness, jig accuracy and setting, and the wood itself to determine how the product turns out.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

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