old growth challenge

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Forum topic by nmoussal posted 11-21-2012 03:48 AM 1343 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2209 days

11-21-2012 03:48 AM

A massive second or old growth sugar maple fell on my neighbor’s property here in vermont. 5 or 6 ft diameter butt, straight and clear for a good 15 feet. I want to make it into some tables, maybe even a bar. it has been on the ground for maybe two months, and it was not dead standing, so it’s still pretty green. protected down in a steep hollow near a stream, it is in an impossible location to bring a portable mill, or even a skidder. i’ve seen chainsaws with a handheld framework for milling onsite like this, but i’m thinking of staying old school with this project. what i’ve seen in history books are pit-saws dug under such trees, i was thinking maybe i could dig a pit under it, start my cut under the butt end, then support the butt, and continue digging and cutting from there. however, i figure digging out all of that ground enough to fit a sawing partner is going to be many many times more time and effort spent. so i’m thinking of using a two handled rip-saw and wedges to cut and support my boards horizontally. what i’m looking for is a two person rip-saw with the handle configuation of a crosscut saw or felling saw. any ideas where to find one of these? or better ideas on how to go about getting some use out of this giant log?

17 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30046 posts in 2534 days

#1 posted 11-21-2012 04:42 AM

I personally would use my mill. I admire you for even considering hand sawing that beast. You must be in a lot better shape than most of us. Good luck and keep us posted.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View WDHLT15's profile


1792 posts in 2672 days

#2 posted 11-21-2012 04:45 AM

Good luck. You are a braver man than I am.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3773 days

#3 posted 11-21-2012 04:56 AM

I would do it the easiest way possible,but if you have blue tights and a big “S” on your chest go for it. :))

Check antique stores in Oregon and northern California for the saw.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4090 days

#4 posted 11-21-2012 05:38 AM

I need a vacation and will come and watch for free

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Wdwerker's profile


333 posts in 2430 days

#5 posted 11-21-2012 06:02 AM

Cut it into lengths , use a winch to drag logs up, out, whatever.

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3355 days

#6 posted 11-21-2012 06:20 AM

I would use dynamite and I would hope that it comes out as a bunch of nice boards. If not, then at least I had fun with dynamite. :)

-- jay,

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4090 days

#7 posted 11-21-2012 06:32 AM


its like catchn a frog ?

fun stuff

great challenge ?

I’m in

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View nmoussal's profile


2 posts in 2209 days

#8 posted 11-21-2012 03:14 PM

I could winch say a 10 or 12 foot length out of the hollow up the hill, but then its still just in the woods, far from roads. does anyone know if any of the oldtimer ripsaw designs were made with a crosscut saw’s handle format? its looking like i will have to modify a pit saw.

View Swyftfeet's profile


170 posts in 2368 days

#9 posted 11-21-2012 03:46 PM

Know anyone with a tractor? I’ve dragged more than my fair share of trees out of some serious terrain with an old 1948-8n ford…

-- Brian

View langski93's profile


111 posts in 3629 days

#10 posted 11-21-2012 05:05 PM

You’d be surprised what a team of horses can pull.

-- Langski, New Hampshire

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 3154 days

#11 posted 11-21-2012 05:21 PM

First, a ten foot section of a tree that size will weigh around 13,000 pounds; if you dig under it, make sure you leave plenty of support. Maples figure heavily when they get that big, you may have a small gold mine on your hands; locate a guitar (or similar) manufacturer, they like blanks that are cut small enough to carry out. I sure wish I was close to you, my 72” bandsaw would make beautiful slabs from such a beast. Whatever you do, be careful and best of luck.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3281 days

#12 posted 11-21-2012 08:41 PM

If you want info on those saws, or want to buy one, go to If you want some free
info on the saws and sharpening the US Forest Service has a Crosscut Saw Manual available they revised Dec 2003. the publication number is 7771-2508-MTDC. Electronic copies of this are available at Or you can call 406-329-3978 and request a copy from the Missoula Technology and
Development Center. I have both a two man misery whip and a one man saw with the extra handle hanging in
my workshop. I have put in a few hours on them with my sons and many boy scouts, and have sharpened
them a few times, but I admit my saw of choice for logs is now a chainsaw.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2250 days

#13 posted 11-21-2012 08:45 PM

we want pics!!!!

-- Joel

View Don W's profile

Don W

19003 posts in 2764 days

#14 posted 11-21-2012 09:12 PM

A pit saw. Man… back aches just thinking about it. I just stumbled on a white oak and am discovering I’m to old for this crap, but I keep doing it anyhow.

However you decide, we’d like to follow your journey.

I’ve used an alaskian mill in the past (see note about being to old for this crap) and have upraded to a small bandsaw mill.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3165 days

#15 posted 11-21-2012 09:16 PM

Do you know anyone with a Chinook helicopter?

showing 1 through 15 of 17 replies

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