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293 Posts
I am reposting this as the pictures in the original post got lost during Marc (thewoodwhisperer's) website reshuffle, and some have asked for details of the Alaskan Jig I used in this process.


Sometimes, while chatting to woodworkers, I mention that I have rescued a few (metric) tons of wood of various species from going to waste. This is usually in log form, and most woodworkers ask how I make it usable. Well, I mill it myself, with my self-built Alaskan mill.

Several people off-forum have expressed an interest in how I do it, so here is the first installment. I have done a few logs before now, but this is the first time I have recorded the process rather than the final result on camera.

We are moving house to a small farm / large smallholding, and I had to cut some of my logs to make them transportable. Rather than cutting final thickness planks as I've done in the past, I have just taken large slices which I will resaw later, sometime after the move.

This first log is the bottom piece of a Norfolk Pine that was felled for development in November or December 2006. I had previously spoken to the local tree feller, and asked him to let me know when he had I job I might be interested in helping him remove. We cut the trunk into sections that his six laborers could manhandle onto our pickup.

This piece has been stored unprotected like this for the last two years or so. I put the helmet on it for visual scale.

Step 1:
Fix guide rail to log with screws.

Step 2:
Run Alaskan and chainsaw through log (oops no picture of the process) and open it to reveal the beauty inside. Looking at the outside of the log, and knowing how it was stored, I fully expected the inside to be ugly.

Step 3:
Rotate log 90 degrees and refix guide rail. Unfortunately, my chainsaw is too short to go through this log at its thickest point, so I have to have slabs with one cut edge instead of two live edges like I would prefer.

Step 4:
Remove the guide rail and run the Alaskan on the newly cut face to get a slab. (sorry no picture) Keep cutting slabs until you're done.

This is the detail revealed when I opened the third cut.

This log was stored under less than ideal (or even advisable) conditions, as proven by the growing mushrooms on the central slab.

So I have a couple of slabs 22cm thick by 49cm wide, and 3 hefty slabs with a flat face and a curved face.

Later I'll load some pics of the Wild Plum I also did on the same day. There is also a picture of the saw and jig in action.

It was not a fun day because it was raining the whole time, but the result made it rewarding.

293 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Yup - still too wet to use. I've read somewhere that if the log is stored out of the rain, you can count on a drying rate of 6 months per inch of thickness, so this would take at least 15 years to get air dry. !!!!

I actually resawed one of these slabs a few days ago, and the planks are telling me that they would like to become my new router table, a bandswaw box, and a couple of valet-type boxes.
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