Logs to Lumber #1: Blog Post #2: Milling Cypress and Sycamore Logs

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Blog entry by HerbC posted 07-31-2010 04:56 AM 15541 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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About three and a half years ago I got the opportunity to acquire several cypress logs that were being removed from a building site near my regular job. At first I planned to mill them into lumber myself using a chainsaw mill but I soon reconsidered that plan and they just sat in my yard waiting for me to decide what to do.

Here they are, waiting…
Cypress logs staged for milling.

About the same time I also acquired several logs from three sycamore trees that were taken down in the neighborhood. Initially I had them on the ground under some shade trees but after a couple of years I staged them up off the ground also.

Sycamore logs staged for milling.

Early this spring I contacted a sawyer who owns and operates a portable sawmill and got him to come to my location and mill the logs into lumber.

Here’s sawyer Olen Barfield sawing into the first cypress log.
Olen Barfield operating his portable bandsaw mill.

Most of the cypress was milled into 5/4 boards which I plan to use for decking and outdoor furniture. But some of it was milled into thicker slabs because of the special character of the logs.

Milling a 10/4 slab of special cypress.

At the end of the first day there was a good sized stack of cypress lumber.

The results of a day's work milling cypress.

The second day we finished milling the cypress and began milling the sycamore. There was quite a bit of spalting in some of the sycamore. This is a poor picture but you can see some of the spalting.

Sycamore lumber with spalting.

Some of the sycamore shows good ray flecks when it is quartersawn.

Quartersawn sycamore.

The end result of the milling is approximately 2000 BF of cypress, most of it 5/4 in widths from 4” to 12”.

Cypress stickered and stacked for air drying.

And more than 1000 BF of sycamore, much of it spalted.

Sycamore stickered and stacked for air drying.

Now I just have to have the patience to wait for it to dry properly.


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

8 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4710 days

#1 posted 07-31-2010 05:01 AM

those are some nice stacks! and the spalting is fantastic

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 3942 days

#2 posted 07-31-2010 05:41 AM

Did you treat the ends with anything? Wax?

Know anything about the saw? It looks like a band saw on a track?

Also, curious, what does it cost to have a sawyer cut wood?

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View HerbC's profile


1820 posts in 3921 days

#3 posted 07-31-2010 06:02 AM


I should have end-sealed the logs immediately after they were felled but failed to do so. I considered trimming the ends off and sealing the fresh-cut end but decided not to do so since it would be guessing on how much to trim. I do have some checking but not nearly as bad as I anticipated.

The saw is a Wood-Mizer bandsaw sawmill. I believe it’s a LT-30. If my memory is holding up I believe Olan said it is a 1995 model. And yes, it’s a gasoline powered bandsaw on a track system.

It was about 30 cents a BF…


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

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 4126 days

#4 posted 07-31-2010 11:13 AM

Wow!!! Looks like you are going to be a busy person, with all of this wood. Where did you say you live at? I hopw you sleep sound. I’m sure I can get a few outher LJ’s to travel down there and take care of it for you..

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View HerbC's profile


1820 posts in 3921 days

#5 posted 07-31-2010 04:31 PM


My house is easy to find. Just follow the blood trail back from the Emergency Room <grin>


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

View RWJones's profile


127 posts in 3938 days

#6 posted 08-19-2010 10:04 PM

Thanks for adding me as a buddy. I know that sawyer very well. I have been close friends with Olen for more than 20 years. Our families spend a lot of time together, he lives about 30 minutes from me. If fact he and his family were at our house this past weekend. He helped me hang a porch swing that I finally finished. I will be posting pictures of it soon. He is a gem of a fellow, works hard and is HONEST!!

View Layton's profile


31 posts in 4521 days

#7 posted 09-07-2011 06:38 PM

Hi Herb,I’m looking to purchase some spalted sycamore with lots of ray figuire? Is your sycamore dried yet?
Please contact me ASAP as my project is almost due, I will pay shipping and of coarse the value of the lumber.
Take a look at some of my projects on here and at Thanks Herb hope to hear from you soon. Layton

View HerbC's profile


1820 posts in 3921 days

#8 posted 09-08-2011 12:41 AM


I’ve responded via the email address listed on your website.


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

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