Lumber and Milling #1: Sycamores, for Free

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Blog entry by tsangell posted 06-12-2012 02:58 PM 10914 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
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Through a series of fortunate coincidences, I became the owner of three nice, free sycamore logs. As the quick-and-dirty version goes: a buddy of a buddy lined them up for me, and another buddy retrieved them. I had not even seen the logs until I showed up at the saw mill last Friday to make some lumber.

I was pleased with the quality of the logs. They weren’t incredibly long, but they were straight and clear, and a good size. I’m glad my network of buddies rescued these from the burn pile!

As we started the milling, I began to understand why someone would want a circular saw mill rather than a bandsaw mill. There is more wastage due to a wider kerf, but the cuts are fast and the final product is a board, rather than a flitch of live-edge slices.

Milling with a circular saw also lets you do things like this. Note the plunge cuts into the pith of the log, to get more quartersawn boards.

About half-way through the log, we hit purely quartersawn grain pattern. The sawyer (Taylor) and I looked at each other, and he asked me, “would you like to get a slab out of this?” Yessir.

So, how do you slab off a log without a bandsaw mill? You have to use another saw.

In the words of Taylor, “Without the guide on it, this thing’s a rodeo.” I’ll bet it is! After the two man job, we had slab number one.

Now there is a Trophy Buck. Beautiful stuff. We went back for a second slab, then finished the log with some 8/4 stuff. After three logs, I ended the day with about 350 board-feet of mixed 4/4 and 8/4 stuff and four live-edge slabs.

The gravy:

It was a great day outside, working wood in a way that I usually don’t.

And dad tagged along, just for fun.

If your eyes are good, the shirt reads, “Don’t Mess With Kansas Either.”

Many thanks to George and Taylor at Elderslie Farm. If you’re in South-central Kansas and you are looking for quality material or milling, these guys are top-shelf.

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508 posts in 3398 days

#1 posted 06-13-2012 01:40 AM

Thanks for sharing your experience. Be sure to keep us posted on what those slabs become.

-- Rick - I know I am not perfect, but I will keep pressing on toward the goal of becoming all I am called to be.

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