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Author Topic: how to square a log  (Read 3238 times)

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Offline boots

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how to square a log
« on: February 08, 2010, 09:09:57 am »
I am a novice sawyer with a new LT 15 ,any suggestions on how to square a log?How do you start?How much do you saw to get a flat surface before you turn the log? ???

Offline J_T

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Re: how to square a log
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2010, 09:37:19 am »
Someone long while back posted a drawing on this ??? If you got some round stock like paper plates or those rounds pizzas come on you can sit in the house and draw it out  8)
Jim Holloway

Offline ladylake

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Re: how to square a log
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2010, 09:49:49 am »
 Most times the slab then 1 edging board, then turn unless your shooting for a certain width and the log is a little too big then you might want to take off abother edging boar or 2.   Steve
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Offline Tom

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Re: how to square a log
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2010, 09:56:42 am »
Boots,
It's more about what you leave than what you saw off.  

Level the pith of the log to the bed of the mill. (This is just one way called-split taper sawing)

Next you "open a face".  This face will be the determination of the width of the first board. Usually it is 4"-6".

Next, make a drop of one or two inches and take off a flitch.  It will be trimmed to make your first 2x4 or 1x4.

Turn the cant, 180° and make sure that the first face is lying flat on the bed of the mill.  (note that this will determine the width of your squared cant.

Open another face, just as you did above.

Turn the log (cant) 90°, level the pith and open another face. (be careful to make sure it is square against the squaring dogs)

Turn the log 180°, lay the cant flat on the deck and open another face.

Depending on what you want for a target, this may provide you with a cant that can be cut through and through, turning only to relieve stress.

Check this out too, and see if it helps.

Clicking on Forum Extras at the top of the page will show you the link to the knowledge base.  There's some sawing info in there, as well as some links.  There are also many forum posts on grade sawing, quarter sawing, taper sawing, sawing to a target, eliminating stress, etc.

extinct

Offline ARKANSAWYER

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Re: how to square a log
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2010, 09:58:56 am »
  If you throw a log on a LT15 and dog it down and saw down it you will have a flat face.  Flip it all the way over and then you will have to faces flat to each other.  It is a very simple thing to do with a good mill.  The key is there are a thousand faces on a log and which one to open up  on is the differance.  Most of the time it does not really matter much but when sawing grade lumber or for structural purposes knot placement gets to be an issue.
  For your first couple of logs I would just roll them up on there and saw them how they land.  Once you start seeing the grain patterns and how the knots come out in the boards these other things will start making sense.  Learn to run the mill then lean how to saw lumber.  It's alot of fun to open logs and see what the Good LORD has tucked away in there.

 

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Online Magicman

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Re: how to square a log
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2010, 11:27:08 am »
First.....Welcome to The Forestry Forum

This is a bit ahead of your question, but look at reply #37 on the link below.  I was addressing another question concerning setup.

http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,41594.20.html
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: how to square a log
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2010, 02:21:15 pm »
Welcome Boots,I can't add much to whats been said except don't get up tight and worry wile your learning,don't rush enjoy yourself,don't have a crowd around.Think and double check before you make a cut so you won't run into parts of the mill.Like riding a bicycle it will come to you.Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline woodmills1

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Re: how to square a log
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2010, 07:37:12 pm »
cut some logs and see what you get, you will learn quite quick what is good and what is not.   still makin opening mistakes here, been at it awhile.  If it is your own logs you can afford to learn. 

If it is customers logs....well most of the time you have them right there so they can say yes or no

welcome, cut some, havusomefun
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Re: how to square a log
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2010, 08:30:12 pm »
Soon after I bought my mill, I went to a WM demonstration show.  I asked the representative "when I have a log with sweep (bent) which way do I lay it on the deck for the initial cut"?

His suggestion was "on it's side with the hump to my left".  That means that when I turn it 90o, the ends will be off of the deck.  (sticking up)

Sometimes other defects dictate that another face be opened, but as a general rule, I still follow this suggestion.
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Offline LOGDOG

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Re: how to square a log
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2010, 09:59:18 pm »
Welcome to the Forum boots.

  In the case of a log with sweep in it like Magicman was referencing I do it a little different.  I knock the "horns" off first. What I mean by that is I put both end of the sweep "up". When you do that, edging the boards 90 degrees to that first face will be much easier because they won't sit like rocking chairs on your bed. It's just my personal preference. Ideally if the log had the length to spare I'd cut it in half to take the sweep out.

   As far as canting up a log it may help in the beginning to make yourself a large compass for drawing circles. You can draw different circles and then take a framing square and hold it against them to see the different configurations of cants that can come out. You could maybe make some notes in a little pocket notebook getting started. I think we've all probably been there in the beginning.

   Tom made a good point that it's more about what you "leave". There's much truth in that  especially when you open that third and fourth face. One of those faces will likely determine the width of your lumber coming out of a cant (if you're just sawing for size and not grade) and the other face will determine the number of boards (thick) you will yield from the cant. Be sure to allow for board thickness plus blade kerf. I'm not sure if your LT15 has the 4/4, 5/4, 6/4, 8/4 scale on it next to the inch rule. If it does spend time getting familiar with it. You can even take the end of a cant and just score it with your blade as you move down through the increments of board thickness you'd like to take. Just score the face of the cant maybe an 1/8" and then you can visualize it. This will help you develop trust and faith in your mills ruler / setworks. That trust and faith is what will help you gain time and production because you won't keep second guessing yourself.

   If you have the 4/4, 5/4 ...scale next to your inch ruler - (mine slides) Say you have a 12" log and you want to end up with an 8" thick cant. On the way there you'd like to take 4/4 jacket lumber off the sides plus the slabs. You can slide your 4/4 scale so it lines up with the 8" mark on your fixed "inch ruler" or yard stick on your mill. Then just move the head up until the line on your sight guide (over the rulers) lines up with the first 4/4 mark below the 12" mark. This will be your first slab. Take it off and then move down to your next 4/4 mark. This will be your first board. Remove it and flip the log 180 degrees. Clamp and move down to your next 4/4 mark. This will remove your second slab and open the second face. Then drop down to the next 4/4 mark which after you remove that board should leave you with an 8 in thick cant with two round sides.

Is this making sense so far? The one thing you need to be sure to do when using this method is to reset your "1/4 scale" back to its original position before running down through your three sided cant. That way your last board will come out the right thickness.

Holler if you get hung up. You'll do fine.  ;)

LOGDOG

Offline thecfarm

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Re: how to square a log
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2010, 07:43:21 am »
Boots with a brand new LT15.  8)  Just find us or been lurking? Welcome to the forum. What's all the lumber going to used for? Keep, asking questions.We all will gladly help.
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Re: how to square a log
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2010, 08:02:26 am »
LOGDOG and I are not really disagreeing about knocking the horns off.  I take them off on the second cut because when I roll them up, I now have a flat surface against the side supports.

The thing to remember is that when you actually saw the boards, the cant should be in the "horns up"(top) or "horns down"(bottom) position.  This will minimize the lumber crowning.  Logs with sweep generally have stress in them.  If the boards are removed from the side of the sweep, this stress will either try to straighten or increase the sweep, causing "crowned" lumber.

Now, when the boards are removed from the "top" or "bottom", the cant usually must be turned as the boards are removed, because the cant is now raising up on the ends or in the middle.

As LOGDOG said, the shorter the log, the less grief sweep causes.
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Offline boots

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Re: how to square a log
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2010, 08:39:14 am »
Gentlemen-Thank you guys so much for your suggestions.I will be cranking up this morning and hope to at least get a couple of 2x4's!I am going to have to saw quickly as we have another storm moving in this aftrenoon.Things here in Va. Beach,Va. are mighty soggy.Thanks Again-Boots

Offline John Bartley

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Re: how to square a log
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2010, 09:32:05 am »
My $0.02 worth....

For a log with enough sweep, I always remove the horns first. I find it makes the rest of the job easier - not a criticism of anyone else, it's just how I like to do it.

As for squaring, it depends on what I'm cutting. For construction material I saw parallel to pith because I'm not looking for figure, I'm looking for production. For other wood I try to open up parallel to the bark where it's economical. That way if I get a nice clean board with nice grain I can keep taking those and avoid having cathedral grain patterns. Also, if it looks like I'll be quartering, I always open parallel to the bark. That gives me the option of having the widest possible quartered boards without having to saw thru' too much bark.

I'm sure there are better ways, but that's my way.

cheers

John
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