Flattening short logs for resawing

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Forum topic by Elizabeth posted 11-27-2012 06:09 PM 1870 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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814 posts in 2566 days

11-27-2012 06:09 PM

I’ve got a handful of logs in the 12 to 18 inch long range, and I want to experiment with resawing them on my Grizzly bandsaw. They’re not huge logs but I also don’t have the riser kit, so it should work out.

My biggest hurdle so far is finding a good way to flatten one side to start with. I’ve read about various log-holding jigs that people make, and I tried one, but I couldn’t get it to a satisfactory stability – and I also had the problem of keeping the JIG stable as it neared the edge of the table at the end of a cut.

In the latest Woodcraft magazine (I think it was), they had an article about resawing and they suggested using a handheld planer to flatten one side. How practical is this? How flat can you get something, handheld, going through bark? Would the blades last very long on that sort of application?

What would you do, if you wanted to get a log flattened for resawing? If you use a jig, could you post a picture?

9 replies so far

View ward63's profile


344 posts in 2509 days

#1 posted 11-27-2012 06:49 PM

I often get persimmon logs from my my neighbors, there about 2 feet long, and around 10”~15” in diameter.
I use a Makita 1805B hand planer, it’s cut is a little over 6” wide, and does a really nice job of flattening 2 sides of the log. The blades usually last for about 15 or 20 logs before they start to dull, and if they get nicked, then I’ll re-sharpen them and use them as scrapers.
I usually de-bark them before planing. Winter is the best time to do this.
The logs have been sitting out in the open for 3~5 years or more.
I like them somewhat dry and well spalted.

View Elizabeth's profile


814 posts in 2566 days

#2 posted 11-27-2012 06:53 PM

That’s another thing – how do you debark them?

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 1569 days

#3 posted 11-27-2012 06:55 PM

I made a simple little jig out of 2 pieces of ~2ft 1×4 butted together in an L. In one side, I put a line of 1” drywall screws. I put the log in this jig with the “straightest” side facing out and screw the log in wherever I can. Then I run that along my fence and take about a 1/2” cut off. Works pretty well for me.


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5839 posts in 3007 days

#4 posted 11-27-2012 07:01 PM

What you need ideally is what engineers call v blocks these could easily be made in the shape of a vactually an X see ebay unde v blocks for ideas then make one out of scrap wood.Aalso you could simply hold the log with a woodworking claMP TO MAKE THE FIRST CUT KEEPING YOUR HANDS WELL AWAY FROM THE BLADE CUTTING ALONG THE LENGTH OF A LOG WILL NOT CONJURE UP THE TENDENCY TO ROLL THE WAY Cutting a slice would definitely do not do this on a bench saw etc. excuse typing Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 1909 days

#5 posted 11-27-2012 07:11 PM

I use a chain saw to make the first flat cut. You could use electric, gas, a pole saw or an electric hand planer.
The first cut doesn’t need to be that accurate, just good enough to give you a chance to make a second “Flat cut”.

I’ve even used a Milwaukee Sawzall to make the first cut, and it works good.
As long as you have a pretty level side to side cut for the length of the log, you’ll be fine.

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

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

289 posts in 1884 days

#6 posted 11-27-2012 07:15 PM

depending on how straight the log is, theoretically the Jointer flattens a face…. ride it along the fence nice and steady, set the depth of cut to take of 1/8 of an inch… a few passes you would have a stable, flat place in which to use to resaw… you’d might have to have a decent sized jointer bed….

again, in theory.. lol… I would probably suggest a bandsaw jig that has been proven…

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 1898 days

#7 posted 11-27-2012 11:19 PM

Elizabeth, you might want to check out this post and his blog link found there

it might answer a lot of your questions. Any bandsaw jig you decide to use needs to be able to securely hold the log in position and travel a straight line relative to the blade and likely would need additional infeed / outfeed support. Good luck with your resawing. a different jig

View gfadvm's profile


14929 posts in 2112 days

#8 posted 11-28-2012 03:20 AM

I saw most of my wood from firewood using my Grizz bandsaw. I use several methods depending on the size of the log. For smaller logs the hand held power planer works fine (I just plane through the bark until I have a flat surface). You can also screw one side of the log to an L shaped jig. For bigger(longer) logs, I built a sled that runs in the miter slot and use a pipe clamp to hold the log tight in the jig. This jig will handle logs up to 6’ long using an outfeed table and roller stands. Others use their jointer to flatten 1 side but I haven’t tried this method. Screwing one side to the L is the simplest method for small logs. Hope this helps. I can post a pic of the big sled if you need it.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View higtron's profile


207 posts in 2099 days

#9 posted 11-28-2012 03:34 AM

I made a long sled out of plywood that rides in the miter slot of my 14” bandsaw with riser block I put a cleat on the end of the sled I made the sled a little oversized so I could cut it off flush to the blade. I set the log on the sled and run one edge through the blade that gives me one flat surface, I than lay the log on the sled flat edge down than slice off another face this gives me a 90% corner now I can use the fence and make slices of the log or just square it up.

-- A friend will help you move, a good friend will help you move a body

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