Reply by JBrow

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Posted on I have opportunity to take down a black walnut tree, but don't know what I'm doing.

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1368 posts in 1841 days

#1 posted 08-08-2016 03:06 PM

Dan Wolfgang,

It seems that the first step is to determine the cost of hiring a portable band mill to slice the logs. I would think an experienced band mill operator would also be able to estimate the amount of lumber that each log could yield. From that info, a calculation could reveal whether the savings that result from milling the logs makes it worthwhile.

Trying to slab the logs yourself would be hard on the new bandsaw and on you. Even a 12” diameter log is going to be quite heavy and therefore very difficult to send through a bandsaw. Yielding slabs of a consistent thickness would also be difficult.

One major advantage to milling the logs is that you can have them milled in whatever way you would like. My preference, assuming you can find a band mill operator, is to harvest the lumber as a flitch. I suspect that it would save some milling money since there is no cant rotation required by the mill operator; the job would be faster and easier. A flitch, if the slabs are persevered in their natural order, could produce some really nice looking projects. Additionally, since the live edges would remain, that bandsaw is needed when project time arrives; to saw off those live edges.

An additional consideration is storing and air drying the slabs. It would be best to sticker and store out of the weather for at least a year, maybe longer.

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