Timberking 1220 Sawmill #1: Candidates for my Timberking 1220

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Blog entry by HalDougherty posted 01-03-2011 11:30 PM 4433 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Timberking 1220 Sawmill series Part 2: Black Walnut log, sawn into 4/4 lumber with a live edge. »

I’ve been walking around our tree line today. Looking for some likely prospects for sawlogs. Here’s what I’ve got to work with. 6 big maples that are over 100 years old and starting to die. One of them is too decayed and hollow to cut for lumber, but it might give a bunch of turning blanks.

Look how gnarly this one is. The log isn’t tall, but it’s thick. About 35” in diameter. It’s the smallest of the 6 trees. Here are three more on the other side of the yard.

This walnut isn’t sick or dying. It’s in it’s prime and would make a great sawlog, it’s huge and will be the last to cut because it adds so much to the yard.

Here’s what the back of the property looks like, the ridge has at least 50 trees from on end to the other. Poplar, red oak, white oak, walnut, black cherry, pine and a few other species are present.

Here’s a close up of one of the bigger poplar trees in the picture above.

If you look close at the base of the tree you can see my .22 squirrel rifle. I put it there for a size comparison.

Now you can get an idea of how big these trees are. I’ll have to split or quarter most of them to get them on my sawmill. Several of them have 3 – 16’ sawlogs in them.

This double sycamore is in the middle of the hay field. And next to it is this huge walnut.

I’m going to be taking down a few of these trees. The gnarly, bent, dying and sick ones. The strong, healthy, beautiful ones will get more light and produce more seeds. I’ll have lumber pictures soon and a review of my Timberking 1220

-- Hal, Tennessee

10 comments so far

View TreeBones's profile


1828 posts in 5307 days

#1 posted 01-04-2011 12:21 AM

Nice. I like cutting Maple but we just don’t have any around here that are larger than about 12’ diameter. The logs that are hollow can still make some nice lumber from the solid material around the outer edges. It just takes more time to process it. I will do this for myself but it can be cost prohibitive if you are doing it as a paying job for someone else.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 4324 days

#2 posted 01-04-2011 12:29 AM

Won’t be long & all the trees will be gone !!!! ;)

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4521 days

#3 posted 01-04-2011 01:06 AM

And new, young, strong trees will be planted to replace them. The old trees will become gunstocks, tables, benches, flooring and siding for my house, rolling pins, bowls, and anything else I can think of to make from the wood. Over in the small woods we have, taking a few of the larger trees will let the younger ones have more light and nutrients.

The maples are already dying. I had 9 and 3 came down in a storm 8 or 10 years ago before I had any woodworking equipment to do anything with the logs. I saved some seedlings from the other maples and the new trees are about 15’ now and they are growing like weeds. I’m going to use the other maples before they become rotten inside. Here’s the only maple that I plan to take down this year. The house is just out of sight to the right of the photo.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View STL's profile


68 posts in 4116 days

#4 posted 01-04-2011 02:43 AM

Beautiful trees and property; you are really blessed! Fired the mill up yet?

-- Dan Siggers, Alabama,

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4521 days

#5 posted 01-04-2011 02:50 AM

I finished putting everything together, checked the alignment, and run the mill, but I’ve not cut any lumber yet. I need walnut, either crotch or stump for gunstocks. And I need 1000bft of poplar and 1000 bft of white oak to build a couple of yard barns for sale.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 5071 days

#6 posted 01-04-2011 03:30 AM

I agree on harvesting the maples. They grow fast, are renewable, and not particularly long lived, especially in disease-prone areas. The more diseased trees, the faster it affects them. Ditto on poplars (tulip trees) and sycamores as fast growers

However, if that walnut is healthy, you may want to hold off. With the spread of thousand cankers disease ( ) the value of black walnut may go much higher in the near future. Large trees may soon be non-existent. As you have the means to harvest it if it gets infected, you will still be able to harvest all the heartwood.

I have seen at least one report where TCD has already been verified in parts of Tenn.

As for the black cherry, you may want to make sure you have a good sheltered drying area before milling. My experience (albeit I do my slabbing with a chainsaw mill) has been that it is among the worst for checking and splitting if it dries too fast initially.

I have also found that anchorseal is much better than latex paint for end sealing after cutting to prevent splitting. I apply it as soon as possible after felling the tree (i.e. as soon as it quits seeping out liquid water). Bought in larger quantities its more economical as well. A quart is about $23. 5 gal is about $60. A gallon will cover about 100 sf. Better price yet for 55 gal (about $5 a gal), and as far as I can tell, it doesn’t go bad.

Good luck to you. Winter is the best time for milling logs (lower temps means slower drying, not to mention the bugs ans sweat that come with the summer heat), so hope you really enjoy that new mill.

(I’m not jealous, really I’m not….grrr!)


-- Go

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 4224 days

#7 posted 01-04-2011 10:25 PM

Waiting to hear that sawmill fire up! :^)

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View okwoodshop's profile


448 posts in 4459 days

#8 posted 01-20-2011 12:08 AM

Hal, don’t be to quik to get rid of what you think is rotten and useless. This rocker came from a stump seven feet tall in my brothers yard. If some of it is soft you can harden it with super glue and fill any small to medium voids with soft stone and super glue. Add a lttle copper or aluminum file shavings in small cracks to make interesting veins of color.

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4521 days

#9 posted 01-20-2011 05:41 AM


Your rocker is beautiful. The best hardner I’ve found for punky wood is marine grade epoxy thinned with 15% acetone. It’s as thin as water and penetrates at least 1/4” in punky wood. It hardens the soft spots right up.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View llwynog's profile


288 posts in 3862 days

#10 posted 07-12-2012 06:33 AM

Gorgeous looking trees Hal, thanks a lot for the link.

-- Fabrice - "On est bien bĂȘte mais on sent bien quand on se fait mal" - my grandfather

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