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Milling live edge at home

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Forum topic by Ksirp posted 03-03-2017 02:32 PM 423 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Ksirp

13 posts in 299 days


03-03-2017 02:32 PM

Got some awesome cuts of free scavenged live edge yesterday. Wondering if anyone has any advice on milling at home?


9 replies so far

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Lazyman

1506 posts in 1226 days


#1 posted 03-03-2017 02:56 PM

Dimensions and wood type? What do you want to do with them?

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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Monte Pittman

27095 posts in 2177 days


#2 posted 03-03-2017 03:00 PM

I love live edge depending on the application. So yes, more information needed.

Welcome to Lumberjocks. Door is always open here.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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Ksirp

13 posts in 299 days


#3 posted 03-03-2017 06:10 PM

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Ksirp

13 posts in 299 days


#4 posted 03-03-2017 06:12 PM

This is a pic of a couple of them. Sorry for my lack of property terminology but they’re roughly max a foot and a half with fat and max 2 feet in width. The top roght picture is one of the cuts then tje bottom left us what i came home with.

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Ksirp

13 posts in 299 days


#5 posted 03-03-2017 06:13 PM

I love the live edge look as well. I plan on cutting them to make side tables and any other suggestions for good live edge projects would be awesome. Also a good suggestion for a chain saw would be great too. Although I am on a budget.

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Ksirp

13 posts in 299 days


#6 posted 03-03-2017 06:14 PM

I don’t know exactly what kind of wood it is, one is defiantly oak though. I’m still learning all the wood types.

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Lazyman

1506 posts in 1226 days


#7 posted 03-03-2017 08:13 PM

I would probably call these log rounds or cut offs. For the thinner ones, you could make some rustic stools or tables by simply drilling holes for legs perhaps. You could also use steel pipe with flanges. How you prep or mill them will depend upon the type of tools and machinery you have available to you. If you want the top surface smooth for example, search for examples of router planing jigs or sleds. To cut them thinner, a cheap plug-in electric chain saw is a good option on a budget. Home Depot has a couple that are well under $100. If you have never used a chain saw, do some research on safety. You need a way to hold these relatively small cutoffs still while you saw them. Make sure you know what can go wrong and be careful.

One thing to be aware of is that as they dry, they will develop cracks that radiate out from the center. Some may be pretty significant so just be prepared to “design that in” to the overall rustic look. The key is to slow down the drying process as much as possible which means keeping them out of the sun in a relatively humid place for several months at least. You can try to coat the ends with paint or wax for example to reduce the cracking but you will get cracks regardless. You may want to look at some of the examples online of filling cracks with epoxy.

For the thicker (longer) pieces, some of them would be good for turning bowls on a lathe. The prep for that usually involves either a chain saw or band saw (or brute force with a hand or bow saw) to cut them approximately in half but if you don’t have a lathe yet no point in going any further into that.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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Ksirp

13 posts in 299 days


#8 posted 03-03-2017 09:35 PM

Awesome thank you so much for the input and help!!! I seriously appreciate it, I’ve been getting into woodworking more and more and I absolutely love it! I just don’t know anyone in the field and I’m trying to educate myself as much as possible to hopefully turn this into a career. I’ve never loved a hobby as much as woodworking. I was thinking or doing some small tables and stools is a great idea too with the steel legs. I was also thinking of doing a epoxy fix for the cracks. If I do the epoxy it should prevent it from any further cracking, correct?

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Lazyman

1506 posts in 1226 days


#9 posted 03-03-2017 10:39 PM


I was also thinking of doing a epoxy fix for the cracks. If I do the epoxy it should prevent it from any further cracking, correct?

- Ksirp

Not necessarily. As long as the moisture content is still high, it may continue to develop new cracks or old cracks may widen as it loses moisture. The moisture escapes more quickly through the end grain than from the sides and as it does the wood fibers shrink causing it to split. The only way to be sure it won’t split significantly is to wait until the moisture content is low. And low may be different depending upon where you live. If you live in the desert it should probably be below 10%. In more humid locations, you may be able to get away with 15%. I am by no means an expert on that and you may get differing opinions on how low it needs to be. Once it dries to a target moisture level, filling the cracks and applying a good finish top and bottom will help prevent new cracks but it may difficult to completely prevent them.

You can buy a cheap moisture meter from Amazon and other places for under $30 that is better than nothing. Otherwise you just have to wait until the cracks seem to stabilize, then bring them into your workshop, let them sit for a while longer to make sure that the new (hopefully) dryer environment doesn’t cause it to crack more. drying them out can easily take a year or more depending upon how thick the wood is and how dry the air where you have them stored is.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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