Tomorrow's project

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by Scsmith42 posted 07-16-2011 04:55 AM 2935 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Scsmith42's profile


125 posts in 3596 days

07-16-2011 04:55 AM

Topic tags/keywords: oak

Earlier this week I received an e-mail from a hay customer referring me to a large red oak tree that recently fell at a local equestrian farm. I drove out yesterday to look at it before incurring the cost to transport my equipment.

Whoa….. 208” circumference at breast height! Looks like I can get two 8’ long, 5’6” diameter logs out of it / 24,000 lbs total. That ought to produce some nice quartersawn red oak! Hopefully it won’t have much metal or rot, but I’ll know more Saturday when I go up to retrieve it.

Looks like Saturday morning is going to be busy…

-- Scott, North Carolina,

15 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4632 days

#1 posted 07-16-2011 05:41 AM

What a great ‘weekend’ project!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 4825 days

#2 posted 07-16-2011 04:20 PM

Be careful and have fun, that’s a biggin’.

View Bluepine38's profile


3387 posts in 4005 days

#3 posted 07-16-2011 07:00 PM

Had to check your website, just wished you were closer, that is just a little far to drive for a lumber pickup.
I do like your selection and price.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4505 days

#4 posted 07-16-2011 08:03 PM

I saw it first or second I can’t remember but it’s mine thieving hands of please or I’ll send round the mother in law to sort you out big time.LOL wow I am jealous though,seriously mother in law aside you do well from this brother really well or I’ll never talk to you again. .Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Scsmith42's profile


125 posts in 3596 days

#5 posted 07-18-2011 05:30 AM

Thanks Guys!

Update: We made good progress on Saturday, but did not wrap things up. Part of the problem was that I had a previous commitment at 1pm, so we only had 4-1/2 hours on site. We were able to assist with other volunteers and get a lot of the canopy removed and loaded onto trailers / hauled into the woods.

The plan is to complete things next weekend.

Unfortunately, we discovered some rot in the base of the tree, so it looks like we may be able to net one log out of the trunk w/o rot. Won’t know for sure until next weekend though.

Start of day, before canopy removal.

4 hours later:

-- Scott, North Carolina,

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4593 days

#6 posted 07-18-2011 03:48 PM

Thats a lot of lumber.

View Sawmillnc's profile


150 posts in 3974 days

#7 posted 07-19-2011 03:36 AM

That tiny thing? After the Peterson gets a hold of it, it will be nice, square and portable.

-- Kyle Edwards,, Iron Station , NC (near Charlotte)

View Scsmith42's profile


125 posts in 3596 days

#8 posted 07-25-2011 05:15 AM

UPDATE. Yesterday we went back to the log site to complete the removal. Volunteers had cleared most of the remaining canopy the previous weekend, which made our job much easier.

Here is a view of the upper end of the log after we made our initial cuts.

In order to load the log I had to take both my backhoe as well as the skid steer loader from the farm. We placed a machine on each side of the lot and used both to raise it, and then back it up about 15’ so we could back a trailer underneath it. Here is a photo of the log up in the air with the trailer backed under it.

Once we got back to the farm, we borrowed a 25 ton crane to unload the log. After the weather cools down we will place it in the sawmill to mill it into quartersawn boards. There is minimal rot on one end, but the bottom end shows tell-tale signs of metal which we will need to be on the lookout for when we mill it.

A lot of work went into retrieving this log, but I think that it will be worthwhile in the long run. The log scales out to approximately 2,400 bd ft of lumber. Depending upon how much we lose due to metal staining, I hope to yield 1,400 bd ft or so of quartersawn lumber from it, plus another few hundred feet of rift sawn.

-- Scott, North Carolina,

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4157 days

#9 posted 09-05-2011 03:40 PM


Here’s a couple of oak logs that are on the ground at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Johnson City. They are much more impressive in person than these photos show. I wish I had a swing mill and a big chainsaw! There’s a lot of beautiful lumber just waiting to be released from those logs. Every time there is a wind storm, they lose trees. Some of the maple stumps show beautiful figured wood.

I’ve got several big red and white oak trees on my property this big. If I had a chainsaw big enough to fell them and split them, my sawmill would cut the quarters just fine. The biggest log I’ve processed so far was 38” in diameter at the big end. If I took a quarter of the log and trimmed the apex of the triangle and cut a flat at the bottom of the curve below the bark and sapwood, I could cut a 28 or 29” board at the widest part of the quarter. That would use most of the wood in a tree 6 or 7’ in diameter. Makes me happier with my little manual sawmill.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Scsmith42's profile


125 posts in 3596 days

#10 posted 09-06-2011 10:08 PM

Hal, that’s a respectable white oak log; thanks for posting! Wish that I was closer and able to grab and mill it, but the fuel costs alone to R/T from Raleigh to Johnson City would be prohibitive.

It hurts to see the giants felled by age, disease or storms, but to me it’s even worse to see the wood go to waste afterwards.

For some reason, I sense that there may be a big chainsaw in your future! Your other option it to go the dynamite or black powder route (there are some postings on youtube about using black powder to split giant logs).

There is nothing like yielding an extra-wide QS board from a nice oak log.

-- Scott, North Carolina,

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4157 days

#11 posted 09-06-2011 11:36 PM


I’ve looked at the videos too… Some of the people making them are idiots. Who’s last words must have been: “Hold my beer and watch this!” I’m going to make a plunge cut with my chainsaw in the center of the log and place the charge half way between the bark and the pith. Then I’m going to use 2 oz of black powder with some cornmeal as a filler that will compress and hold in the pressure for just a tiny instant so the tree can crack. I don’t want to bounce pieces everywhere, just split it a little bit where I can get in a wedge and then a jack to split it. If 2 oz isn’t enough I’ll try a little more next time. If you do it right, there shouldn’t be very much to see. Just a pop and the log open up.

Hal Dougherty

-- Hal, Tennessee

View MOJOE's profile


571 posts in 4188 days

#12 posted 09-07-2011 04:15 AM

Gonna need alot of anchorseal for that beast!

-- Measuring twice and cutting once only works if you read the tape correctly!

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3845 days

#13 posted 09-07-2011 05:14 AM

That is an amazing tree!

You have some serious equipment there.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Scsmith42's profile


125 posts in 3596 days

#14 posted 09-10-2011 02:57 AM

Jusfine – thanks!

Hal, I though of you today… brough a nice, 40” white oak log back to the farm, along with a multi-crotch from the upper portion of the tree.

Ought to produce some nice, wide quartersawn boards as well as crotchwood from this haul.

All in all, about 25,000 lbs on the trailer. Will have to use the crane tomorrow to unload it.

-- Scott, North Carolina,

View WDHLT15's profile


1819 posts in 3396 days

#15 posted 09-10-2011 03:45 AM

I am anxious to see that quarter-crotch figure!

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics