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Resawing Logs - Green vs. Dry

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Forum topic by MOJOE posted 09-10-2011 04:18 PM 1739 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MOJOE

547 posts in 1956 days


09-10-2011 04:18 PM

I’ve been doing some research, and it appears there is an even split between those who resaw mostly dried found wood and those who resaw it green…...I assume green wood would cut easier, but what are some other differences?
joe

-- Measuring twice and cutting once only works if you read the tape correctly!


6 replies so far

View Barbara Gill's profile

Barbara Gill

153 posts in 1347 days


#1 posted 09-10-2011 06:00 PM

I have been operating my sawmill ever since 1985 and I have yet to see a log that has been allowed to “dry” yield better than one which is sawn right away. Logs just don’t dry. The outside will dry out, loose the bark, develop cracks while the inside remains moist or just rots. These logs develop stress by having uneven moisture and will move when sawn.
Maybe I am not understanding your statement because you do say resawing. Here again, if a log is cut into large dimension pieces with the intent to resaw later, unless the piece is allowed to dry so that the MC is equal throughout the whole piece there will be movement as the dry boards are removed from the outside.
You can rotate the large piece for each cut but you will still have movement.

-- Barbara

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MOJOE

547 posts in 1956 days


#2 posted 09-10-2011 06:32 PM

Barbara,
Thanks for the insight….here is the history of my situation….I have about a dozen logs taken from a large limb that feel at my in-laws. The logs are all about 10 inches in diameter and about 24 inches long. Currently, the ends are anchorsealed and they are sitting in my garage (about 2 weeks now)....guess I’m just wondering if it would be better to resaw them into planks right away, or if there is no rush…...I will say, your statement about a log never really drying is very true….had one sitting in the garage for over a year, and when I opening it up, you could feel the moisture in the center simply by touching the newly sawn face.
Thanks again!

-- Measuring twice and cutting once only works if you read the tape correctly!

View Newage Neanderthal's profile

Newage Neanderthal

190 posts in 1237 days


#3 posted 09-10-2011 07:35 PM

Keep in mind that all the effort may be for naught. Limbs normally aren’t used for milling into lumber, most simply will not work. It is a reaction wood issue with the top side of the limb having much more stress than the bottom. The boards will normally, twist, bow, and/or break apart. The bole of the tree is really the only place to get lumber from, but other parts can be turned nicely.

-- www.newageneanderthal.blogspot.com . @NANeanderthal on twitter

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3032 posts in 1174 days


#4 posted 09-10-2011 07:52 PM

Joe, I’m with Barbra on that…........ IF you are sawing log length hardwood or even SYP. I use to be the sawyer at a nice Wood Mizer sawmill that we would take from place to place and when it wasn’t traveling we would buy logs in Southern Indiana and cut them up for lumber. We also had 6- 40’ kilns and would dry anything we could put into them.

Be that as it may, with your short pieces I wouldn’t worry about warp and waft too much. I’ve been harvesting a few trees here in East Texas for the last several years. Mostly standing dead for under a year or at times downed branches of Oak, Walnut, Osage Orange, Chinaberry, Cherry, Pear and a few I’m not sure of.
None of it that is salvageable is more than 30” and I usually slice it into 5/4 or 6/4 with my Craftsman Band saw then put it in an old electric oven I have set at 170°F for about 8 hours. Then turn the heat off and open the door until I get up in the morning. If the wood feels damp the next morning, I turn the heat on for another 8 hours. I repeat this as needed.
This may not be the best way to do it, but since I’m disabled it’s what I can do. Most of my wood comes out at about 6 to 12% MC and if there is splitting or warp, it’s easy enough to trim out or plane down.

The nice thing about the short pieces is that you end up with more wood when you salvage like I do.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Barbara Gill's profile

Barbara Gill

153 posts in 1347 days


#5 posted 09-10-2011 08:17 PM

Saw them right away and sticker the boards correctly. If you want, it would not hurt to make a press to keep pressure evenly on the boards while they dry.

I know the common line of thought is that branch wood will warp badly but this is not always true. We have a round walnut dining room table that was made from boards I sawed from a large curved branch. It is 14+ years old now and there has been no unusual movement. Since the wood is very figured there are several places where the grain has separated slightly but it is minor.

-- Barbara

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MOJOE

547 posts in 1956 days


#6 posted 09-10-2011 08:31 PM

Thanks everyone…...

-- Measuring twice and cutting once only works if you read the tape correctly!

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