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Author Topic: Using log scale  (Read 2493 times)

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Offline brendonv

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Using log scale
« on: May 19, 2013, 05:49:49 pm »
I am an arborist, not a logger, so bear with me.  I have people approach me asking about buying certain logs I have, and how much board feet is in them.  How do you use a log scale?  What are the markings on them?  The test I just took for my supervisory forest products harvester license says use international scale.  So base off that.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Using log scale
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2013, 06:54:56 pm »
Measure the small end average diameter inside the bark and the length in feet. Either use a scale stick or look up the board footage in a table.

For a more accurate scale of a log, then deduct portions of any log that has rot, or that has sweep such that the gross estimate of board footage can't be obtained.

That is the short answer. :)
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Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Using log scale
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2013, 07:40:22 pm »
The log scale stick has actual ruler on both sides, usually 36" long, with inches across the top. You measure log diameter with it, and then look across from the length of that log at the scale, which is the number of board feet in the log.   The "scales" on it usually are for 8, 10 and 12 foot logs on one side and 14, 16, 18 on the other.   So for a 10 foot log 30" in diameter,  you look down from 30" and across from the 10 to see the board foot content.  As said above one usually measures the narrow end of the log, inside the bark.  If the log is not round for example oval, one takes both measurements and approximates with an average of the two scale numbers (if it says 300 one way and 320 another, then call it 310).

Or you can just put your average diameter and length into an online calculator like this one: 

http://forestry.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=forestry&cdn=education&tm=17&f=10&tt=2&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//www.timberbuyer.net/sawlogbf.htm
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Offline brendonv

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Re: Using log scale
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2013, 08:04:29 pm »
Ahh I see.  So the lengths are per determined.  So for nine foot your best bet would be to average the two.  Interesting, thanks!
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Offline Ed_K

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Re: Using log scale
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2013, 08:21:24 pm »
Your 9' log would be scaled as a 8' and if you are selling to a mill they will require 4" or 6" trim,so they can cut some off the ends for the checking that will happen.So you cut them 8'6",10'6" ect.Most mills buy in even numbers,but a few hardwood mills will buy odd footage if it's veneer.Then they'll want 9'6" or 9'10".
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Offline mad murdock

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Re: Using log scale
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2013, 08:27:54 pm »
Baileys sells  the scribner scaling and grading book, which is used here in the PNW. Spencer makes a log scaling tape which is handy for estimates. You can purchase those through Bailey's as well. I have both. You might look up the local scaling bureau for your region or talk to a log buyer from a mill in your area, back east they use international or Doyle. The mills I used to sell to in the upper Midwest used scribner back in the day.
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Using log scale
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2013, 08:50:37 pm »
One important thing is to make sure both you and the buyer agree on a scale before you strike a deal. Some scales favor larger logs, and some you make out better on the smaller diameters. International 1/4" is the most common scale around here, but some bigger outfits buying around here come from out in New York aways, and they might want to use Doyle. I suspect Int. 1/4" is prevalent in your area as well. I bought one of the nice aluminum sticks from LogRite.

Softwood I always buck to even feet, with 6" of trim. Cherry, I cut to any foot plus 6" trim. It's too valuable to leave a foot in the woods, especially the way it doesn't like to grow straight around here.
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Offline Jeff

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Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Using log scale
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2013, 10:23:48 am »
Ahh I see.  So the lengths are per determined.  So for nine foot your best bet would be to average the two.  Interesting, thanks!

Yes on averaging between 8 and 10', or instead you can look at the 18' number and divide by two.  Not talking about what the rules are just about the closest volume estimate.
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Offline bill m

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Re: Using log scale
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2013, 08:19:22 pm »

Yes on averaging between 8 and 10', or instead you can look at the 18' number and divide by two.  Not talking about what the rules are just about the closest volume estimate.
[/quote]
It really doesn't work that way. The log scales take into account for a given amount of taper in a log. Using the example of an 18 ft. log the first 10 ft. may only have 1 inch of taper but the second 8 ft. log could have 2 or 3 inches of taper. So if took the bf. for an 18 ft. log and divided by 2 someone will be cheated.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Using log scale
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2013, 08:25:13 pm »
It really doesn't work that way. The log scales take into account for a given amount of taper in a log. Using the example of an 18 ft. log the first 10 ft. may only have 1 inch of taper but the second 8 ft. log could have 2 or 3 inches of taper. So if took the bf. for an 18 ft. log and divided by 2 someone will be cheated.

Exactly.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Using log scale
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2013, 06:47:21 pm »
terriffictimbers, if you think about what your suggesting and how scale works it will come to you. ;)

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline brendonv

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Re: Using log scale
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2013, 05:29:28 pm »
Anyone know of an app, say for an iPad?
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Offline mad murdock

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Re: Using log scale
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2013, 06:51:09 pm »
If you want to be on the same page as the mill or mills in your area as far as scale is concerned, contact the scaling bureau or state forester in your area, get the scaling book that they use. The scaling books have tables for log lengths and diameters and may even be species specific as to some of the tables. The best 30 bucks I spent was getting the scaling book I did from Baileys, it is the same book that the scalers in this region use if you sell raw logs to a mill, no guess work involved. The handy dandy "tool" in the forum toolbox gets you a good estimate, but the tables in the scaling book are dead "nuts" to the "T".
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Offline bill m

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Re: Using log scale
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2013, 08:08:36 pm »
mad murdock, are you saying that the mills in your area use something other then Scribner, Doyle, or International? I checked the forum calculator against my stick ( international ) and it was spot on. Most of the mills in the north east use International.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Using log scale
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2013, 08:36:14 pm »
About all the scaling handbook could add (and I don't mean to negate it) is to show how cull is calculated to subtract from gross scale and come up with net scale for a log. Gross scale should be shown for diameter small end inside bark and log length, as found in the tool box.
Unless I'm missing something.  ;) entirely possible too.
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Online Peter Drouin

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Re: Using log scale
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2013, 08:57:36 pm »
Sweep is a big thing in logs. that will kill your scale  :)
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Using log scale
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2013, 10:15:37 pm »
Right Peter, and there is a deduction procedure to deduct for sweep.
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Online Peter Drouin

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Re: Using log scale
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2013, 10:38:29 pm »
Yes there is :)
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Offline thenorthman

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Re: Using log scale
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2013, 10:41:57 pm »
I made up a card once so I could keep it in my pocket and get a rough Idea... then realized I was calculating for a cylinder down the middle instead of a square... redid the stupid thing... one side has weight guestimations, (round log) the other is international scale for the square chunk down the middle... it doesn't account for saw kerf so its a little off vs scribner or doyle, but serve me well for ball parking it.  I'll see if I can get a pic of it or something
well that didn't work