milling with table saw

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Forum topic by McG posted 04-10-2011 02:39 AM 5527 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 2801 days

04-10-2011 02:39 AM


I am a teacher but love the smell of wood, and making things via joinery. Just came across a huge felled (by wind) eucalyptus tree that the city was chainsawing. I now have some slabs of the trunk that are up to a foot thick and 24’’ in radius as they cut the circular trunk in half for me. What can I do with this? I have a table saw, block plane, router, hand saw.

My itchy fingers want to try to cut into it to get some smaller pieces. But I know the wood is still uncured (moist).

Thanks for any suggestions.

7 replies so far

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3039 days

#1 posted 04-10-2011 03:09 AM

I hope some people with more experience with green wood can help you more than I. From my personal expererience with green wood though, my impatience made things not end so well. I tried cutting green wood down on my table saw once, and it kicked back so much and so bad that I’ll never try that again. If I was to just have to cut it now, I’d use the hand saw if I were you. At least with that it’s less chance of injury.


View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3844 days

#2 posted 04-10-2011 03:32 AM

When cutting green wood with a power saw, you want to use a blade
with fewer teeth and more “set”. I’m not aware of carbide saw blades
with sufficient set to do this. A steel ripping blade can have the teeth
reset though.

A safer and more common way to do this if you don’t have a mill is
to use a bandsaw.

The wood will check (crack) fast if you don’t seal the ends with wax
or glue. It’s best to mill it to rough size while still fairly moist to control

You can rip it to size with a chainsaw of with a lot of muscle and patience
using an old fashioned muscle-powered rip or bowsaw. Another option
is splitting the wood. Roy Underhill wrote about riving (splitting) techniques
in his books.

View rance's profile


4266 posts in 3357 days

#3 posted 04-10-2011 04:00 AM

Seal the endgrain, and do it before you go to sleep tonight. Old latex paint, wax, anything. This is to reduce the checking as it dries out.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Richard's profile


1922 posts in 2887 days

#4 posted 04-10-2011 05:55 AM

As Rance said seal the ends ASAP ,Then after you seal the ends, put it on a shelf at the top of your garage or workshop (where it is warm) and forget about it for at least 8 to 10 months. Then think about cutting it after it has had a chance to dry. Might want to find a mostiure meter to check it until it gets down to a workable level, about 6 or 8 % I think but others can tell you better. Good luck and a great find.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3844 days

#5 posted 04-10-2011 06:06 PM

btw, eucalyptus makes nice veneer, but it tends to be unstable as
a cabinet wood due to twisting. They planted it all over California
hoping to use it for telephone poles and found out it wouldn’t
work for that. It may grow straighter in other areas.

I’ve fussed with it a lot as firewood. It’s very tough stuff.

View McG's profile


3 posts in 2801 days

#6 posted 04-12-2011 07:39 AM

Thanks to all who returned my request for advice and ideas about the eucalyptus. I will heed it. Unfortunatley, the log piece I have is like a giant wheel in ciircumference with only a 12” height (running vertical) I wonder as I cut today if cutting it in pieces laterally would work as I could get longer pieces ? Or will it bend and crack with drying. In this case it’s easy to lose track of which way is up and what’s the end grain (so I can seal it with latex). Thanks again.

View McG's profile


3 posts in 2801 days

#7 posted 09-04-2011 12:37 AM

Thanks for the advice all. I have yet to do much with the wood as it is too heavy and large to cut on a bandsaw. But so far some pieces have maintained without cracking in the garage these 6 months. I have a new question though.

My plane does not have a hollow edge. I have ground it on coarse grit to even up the edge. I have then honed it on medium and fine waterstone. The plane however seems to be picking up tiny bits and dust as much as shavings which clogs the throat. I then started to try honing the cap iron at 30 degrees. Am not sure if this is advisable and can’t seem to find much on the internet and cap iron help. ??? Any ideas?

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