lumber from tree #1: From tree-to-boards, a journey of sawdust fun

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Blog entry by ChrisMc45 posted 02-25-2012 03:10 AM 2541 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of lumber from tree series no next part

First “post” as a LJ. I have more shop-time than online-time, please don’t cut me slack but offer any how-to-do-better on HTML or posting as you will.

A director at work had a big oak tree in his yard DIE (as in about a month) and have to come down. When he asked if I was interested, of course I leaped at the option. He had the arborist keep log-length 8-10 feet. His contacts were able to pull the four ~2-foot thick logs from his front yard…longer story, lesson: getting chain around log on ground takes ingenuity.

Logs at yard:

Found a local sawmill(, finally, halleluiah! Basically Van Pendleton saved my whole deal. Great sawyer, super nice guy to work with. Big (to me) horizontal bandsaw that made all four logs into lumber in a weekend.

Got the milled lumber back onto the borrowed trailer attached to the borrowed truck (Thanks, Van and Jeff!) and brought to the spread. I was lucky to have a fairly flat place to have the steel-beam-braced-flat frame to place:

Not the best picture (still not in the habit to capture step-by-step). Not the whole thing, just the green frame. I figured it would make a flat stable base to put a bunch of wood on top of.

Unloading was it’s own challenge (“don’t try this at home, use professionals” said my shoulders).

The next part is to USE the wood!

Notes for later, or lessons learned:
-getting a chain under a ton of tree almost requires digging under it
-Chainsaws are still scary
-having a lot of contacts, associations, references helped. Make as many friends as possible. This would never have happened without my manager knowing persons with trucks, hoists, cranes, big yards, etc.
-Don’t use “water-proof” or deck-treatment on board ends and expect no checking. Next time I will use some kind of thick (maybe oil-based?) paint for the end grain.

7 comments so far

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3825 days

#1 posted 02-25-2012 03:29 AM

Nice haul. Are you taking to the kiln or air drying ?

View RussellAP's profile


3105 posts in 3302 days

#2 posted 02-25-2012 04:21 AM

That’s what my garage looks like now. Too bad it’s not oak though.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View chrisstef's profile


18129 posts in 4022 days

#3 posted 02-25-2012 01:20 PM

if you’re air drying make sure to paint up the ends to avoid checking and splitting. Nice haul .. did you flat saw it, quater saw?

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4350 days

#4 posted 02-25-2012 01:56 PM

Quite a project, but a lot of good wood out of it. Congrats on such a fine stash.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View jtbinvalrico's profile


37 posts in 3387 days

#5 posted 02-26-2012 04:47 AM

Nicely done, sir.

View HerbC's profile


1819 posts in 3875 days

#6 posted 02-26-2012 10:38 PM


What you need to use is AnchorSeal. It is specifically designed to endcoat logs/lumber to minimize checking.

Do not leave your stack of stickered wood exposed to direct sunlight. Old metal roofing makes good covers for the top of your stack.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 4020 days

#7 posted 02-26-2012 10:47 PM

Congrats and post those end projects

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

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