Just getting into rough lumber from sawlogs. Need advice about milling

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Forum topic by Tmax posted 04-02-2019 01:04 PM 913 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 111 days

04-02-2019 01:04 PM

I recently harvested some saw logs, mainly cherry, a couple of walnut, a couple of white oak and a couple of black oak. I just getting started in woodworking. I have a planer, a jointer, a couple of table saws and a Jet 18 inch band saw for possible re-sawing.

What should I tell the mill man about how to mill my logs. Thanks

9 replies so far

View them700project's profile


170 posts in 1438 days

#1 posted 04-02-2019 01:10 PM

It depends on your plans for it. The smaller its cut down the faster it will dry, but more he will charge for additional cuts. But with an 18 ” bandsaw and some good outfeed/infeed rollers you can further cut it down later.

View Lazyman's profile


3544 posts in 1807 days

#2 posted 04-02-2019 01:21 PM

It may also depend a bit on the size of the logs. For example, if the white oak logs are fairly large, you might ask them how much more to quarter saw those at least, that is assuming he knows how to do it efficiently. It is a lot more work so it might not be something he wants or is even able to do.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Robert's profile


3436 posts in 1900 days

#3 posted 04-02-2019 02:30 PM

Not a big fan of sawing green lumber. I’ve had huge issues sawing green cherry but maybe that was just the log. Talk to your sawyer about this.

I’ve got a fair bit of experience dealing with sawyers. I can tell you they are not all created equal. Communication is the key. Be sure you specify what you consider 4/4. For green wood, I would saw it strong, like 1/16 -1/8 over.

Plan ahead for how you’re going to dry the wood. If you’re air drying, a planar and level platform is very important. If on a concrete pad, be sure the boards are at least 8” off the ground I use concrete blocks and 4×4 posts every 4 feet. If outside, depending on your locale, you will need to address insect control.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Tmax's profile


2 posts in 111 days

#4 posted 04-02-2019 03:20 PM

Thanks for the Info. I plan on air drying. I will have a substantial inventory, so I am wondering what thickness or combination of thicknesses anyone would recommend.

View CaptainKlutz's profile


1496 posts in 1914 days

#5 posted 04-02-2019 03:51 PM

Projects and/or trees should dictate your lumber plan?

IME Normal project wood usage is about 80% 4/4 and 20% 8/4 lumber.
Except for tables and chairs, which need mostly 6/4 and 8/4.

If you find any of the tree sections are wide enough for table tops; with slow growth, tight grain, and/or figure; cut some 2-3” thick table slabs. They can be worth 3-4X normal lumber value.

+1 If QS option is available in your sawyer budget, all oak possible should QS.
QSWO has much higher demand, higher price, and much more stable than flat/rift sawn.

+1 Define your cut thicknesses properly with sawyer. Green thickness is more than post drying thickness. Some folks want max number of boards, not best quality full thickness dimensions.

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

452 posts in 1498 days

#6 posted 04-02-2019 03:52 PM

You should also consider the uses you intend to make of the lumber!

-- "PLUMBER'S BUTT! Get over it, everybody has one"

View farmfromkansas's profile


49 posts in 34 days

#7 posted 06-18-2019 03:07 AM

I like some 5/4, and make my door frames at least 7/8 thick. That way I can run cabinet doors through my sander after assembled.

View TungOil's profile


1273 posts in 915 days

#8 posted 06-18-2019 06:06 PM

Lately I have had everything cut 8/4 QS. This gets me a mix of QS and rift, and I resaw as needed for things like cabinet doors, which allows me to bookmatch door panels and match rails and stiles as well.

Be sure to coat the ends of the logs with Anchorseal. Easier to do before the boards are milled.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View Lazyman's profile


3544 posts in 1807 days

#9 posted 06-18-2019 08:56 PM

+1 on the Anchorseal.

BTW, the gallon size of Rockler’s house brand of green wood end grain sealer is much cheaper than the Anchorseal brand and appears to actually be made by Anchorseal. When you view the SDS on the Rockler site, it actually displays the Anchorseal SDS and the wording on the Rockler container is almost identical to the Anchorseal can’s label.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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