What Logs?

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Blog entry by sw_iowa_sawyer posted 08-10-2009 07:07 PM 1022 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a guy I know who has from time to time asked me to cut up a few logs for him. In the past I have always asked him what kind of log and diameter. I have cut some red oak for him and I cut a big walnut log that was filled with nails but, produced good lumber (minus the nails). He recently asked me to cut up some mulberry I asked him how big were the logs he said approx 20” in diameter which is a nice log size. I had never cut any mulberry so I agreed, and he said he would drop off the logs sometime, and then as often happens I forgot about it.
Well they showed up the other day. There are about 17 “logs” rough dia of about 16”- 23” there is just one little snag.

They are all a little on the short side. That makes milling them a major pain in the backside. They are hard to load, and hard to dog in, and keep from being thrown sideways by the blade. Oh well that is what makes life interesting. I would probably have had a different plan had I known this in advance. He is a good guy so I will bite the bullet and get er done!
This is the log with one side flattened

The crotch had a split in it so I knew the wood would not work as a normal crotch log like walnut.

It is ok to cut but the wood is pretty yellow as you can see by the sawdust. I think it will change color to a redish tone. It has at least on the cut log ends or should I say loglites…... I think he is going to use it to build some kitchen cabinets. Here is what it looked like after a took a few slabs.

Here is the stack so far I normally cut the live edge off but he requested I leave it on if possible. I told him leaving bark on a board is asking for a visit from every wood bug in the county and surrounding area but I am guessing he will probably remove it on his own.
It has been interesting so far and I will be curious to see if the color indeed does change.

I think I need to add, “how long are these logs” next time he calls!!!!!

4 comments so far

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 3906 days

#1 posted 08-10-2009 07:21 PM

Yes the color changes to a reddish/burnt orange as it dries and even darker when exposed to light, sorta like cherry. I think it is very pretty wood. Red mulberry is a cousin to osage orange and is just as decay resistant when dry, though not nearly as hard. Yea milling “shorts” is a pain in the hiney, but it looks like you got ‘er done.

View Will Mego's profile

Will Mego

307 posts in 3713 days

#2 posted 08-10-2009 08:37 PM

seconding what Daren said (my fellow IL’er), I’ll add that prolonged exposure to UV will make a very deep umber, more like milk chocolate color to the surface. I have a mulberry crotch and a long split from perhaps 14-15 months ago which are a deep, pretty chocolate tone…but take a little off the surface and you reveal the yellow/red color again, of course.

I keep meaning to hollow out the crotch for a long flattish bowl, but never get to it…I think I need a bowl adze for it anyway.

-- "That which has in itself the greatest use, possesses the greatest beauty." -

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3559 days

#3 posted 08-11-2009 12:35 AM

Nice looking Mulberry. Wish I had a place to get some around here.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View bandman's profile


79 posts in 3391 days

#4 posted 09-27-2009 05:29 AM

I’ve milled small pieces like this in the past, it gets really tough when the material is shorter
than the block heads on your mill. I’ve used plywood sheets on the underside and 4×4
and 6×6 sections up against the dogs to try to get a good clamp on the material for the
mill. It does get a little dicey when the sections shift or become unstable. I’d recommend
extreme caution with this.

-- Phil

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