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Author Topic: Why does everyone hate short logs so much?  (Read 1525 times)

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Offline Crusarius

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Why does everyone hate short logs so much?
« on: June 19, 2017, 08:16:45 am »
I am getting ready to start building a mill I am wondering why does everyone hate the short logs so much?

If you take the handling out and just talk about the milling operation. Why does everyone hate the short logs so much?

Is it because of the backstop/side support locations? The bed rail locations? The lifting arm width?

The more I can learn from you guys before I start building the better my mill will be.

Thanx...

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Offline btulloh

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Re: Why does everyone hate short logs so much?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2017, 08:25:27 am »
Short logs take just about as much work as long longs but you don't get much out them.  Also true with small diameter logs.  Short logs can require different handling too.  For instance, they don't work well on my log deck and I have to load them individually from the other side.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Why does everyone hate short logs so much?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2017, 08:39:37 am »
Quote
Is it because of the backstop/side support locations? The bed rail locations? The lifting arm width?

Add turning to that and you have it about covered.  btulloh is also correct in that it takes at least as long and most times longer to saw short as it does long with much less yield.

A case in point; Because of the setup and toe board locations, I can saw 16' logs in about the same amount of time as 8' logs with twice the yield.  Dealing with a 4' log would probably take twice as long.
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Offline red

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Re: Why does everyone hate short logs so much?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2017, 08:55:32 am »
What size sawmill are you building ? How much HP ? Etc. . what ever size mill you build you will find a sweet spot as in the length and diameter log.  Then you will look for that size log .
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Why does everyone hate short logs so much?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2017, 10:17:36 am »
Looking at starting with the Linn Lumber 1900 36" basic kit. using 22 hp predator engine from HF and doing 24' track since that is the length steel comes. Means no seams for my track.

I been reading all the threads I can on everything on this forum. Really hoping to be very well educated and make all the right decisions before I start. Right now I am at the scary part. Getting ready to pull the trigger on the kit. Kinda dragging my feet because I hate parting with money.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Why does everyone hate short logs so much?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2017, 10:21:31 am »
Another reason I was kinda curious is because I have a bunch of real nice maple that was cut to roughly 20-30 long. I was thinking of making slabs out of those for plaques and other stuff like that. So I am thinking I want to set my mill up for long and short logs.

Could make some pretty amazing picture frames out of them as well.
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Offline Klicker

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Re: Why does everyone hate short logs so much?
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2017, 10:24:42 am »
Like short logs if they belong to someone else I charge buy the hour for short ones. I tell them it cost more to do the short ones but it is there money and they can spend it any way they want. :)
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Offline Ox

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Re: Why does everyone hate short logs so much?
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2017, 11:07:10 am »
For any added mental support I might add for your benefit, I built the Linn Lumber 1900 mill several years ago.  It comes with pretty good plans.  I'm dyslexic at some of the most inopportune times so I had quite a bit of trouble building things backwards.  Imagine welding a whole sawframe assembly together with nicely beveled corners for good weld penetration and taking extreme care for straight, plumb and square and being real proud of a real nice job that hardly anyone will ever see, just to have it backwards the next morning when you head out to the shop.  And then cutting it all apart, cleaning and dressing the weld points and again welding carefully and then being satisfied it's perfect.  Then coming out the third day just to find it's backwards again.  It's enough to make a feller burn down his own shop.

I built my mill so I can mill 16'6" without having to mess around too much to get a last inch in somewhere to be able to mill it.  I can't remember if the track plans that come with the kit places the bunks for it, but two of my bunks are spaced to be able to mill 4' logs.  If you have any shorter ones you're interested in it's as easy as making an extra bunk assembly.  It'll help strengthen things up.  I think the original plans use something kinda chincy like 3x3 angle iron for the track rails but I used some heavy 1/2" thick 6x6 and made mine portable with a cut down mobile home axle under it.

I use a 13 hp Predator engine and it's done everything I need it to do, but just barely sometimes.  The one thing I would change is to put a bigger engine on.  It'll really help in keeping the RPMs constant in the cut.

I've had no problems with bearings or hardware that comes with the kit.  I've milled quite a lot over these last several years.  No idea how much.  I haven't had to realign anything on the mill since a careful setup the very first time.

Hope some of this helps.  If you have any specific questions, don't hesitate to ask and I'll see what I can do to help ya.
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Offline caveman

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Re: Why does everyone hate short logs so much?
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2017, 11:18:55 am »
If I were building a mill for my personal use, I would put two back stops and two bedrails closer together than all of the others just to facilitate easily supporting and clamping short logs for short projects such as end tables, benches and wall decorations.  A lot of what we saw is short and it is sometimes a challenge to get the logs clamped and supported properly.

Offline Skip

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Re: Why does everyone hate short logs so much?
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2017, 11:44:11 am »
short logs =short bdf= short $

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Re: Why does everyone hate short logs so much?
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2017, 11:45:54 am »
I should have added that when I saw shorts, it is billed "hourly rate".
 

 
 

 
 

 
But the reward can be quite nice for the customer.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Why does everyone hate short logs so much?
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2017, 12:07:42 pm »
Ox, thank you so much. That information is extremely helpful. Can you tell me what package you started with?

Caveman, that was actually some of my thought pattern for asking this question. I think I am going to set it up for 30" as my shortest logs then maybe at 6' or 8' after that. That would put the stops 24" apart at the front of the mill and then anther one 6' from that. I think that will have me pretty well covered.

Right now I am planning on building the mill for my own use. But if I ever do get into milling for other ppl I will definitely think about the hourly rate for shorts.

Thanks everyone for your help. I am getting really excited wanting to build this. To bad I like to over analyze most everything I do. Definitely makes the process take a lot longer. Usually I find it is worth it in the end.
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Offline DDW_OR

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Re: Why does everyone hate short logs so much?
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2017, 12:16:48 pm »
I been reading all the threads I can on everything on this forum. Really hoping to be very well educated and make all the right decisions before I start. .......

have you seen these Useful sawmill mods
http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,7789.msg1397352/topicseen.html#msg1397352
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Why does everyone hate short logs so much?
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2017, 01:09:01 pm »
yes, I read that entire thread. I need to reread it mostly because there was so much information I probably only retained 5% of what I read.
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Offline Ox

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Re: Why does everyone hate short logs so much?
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2017, 01:11:45 pm »
Crusarius - I started with the 1900 weld your own complete saw head kit.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Why does everyone hate short logs so much?
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2017, 01:39:31 pm »
That was originally what I thought about starting with but am now leaning more towards getting the basic kit with the raise lower kit.
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Offline JRWoodchuck

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Re: Why does everyone hate short logs so much?
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2017, 01:58:49 pm »
When I built mine I built backstop pockets that I could drop a backstop into every 6'6" (that was every other bunk support) I quickly added pockets on every bunk 3'3". I would put 2 clamps on there. 1 centered where you'll spend the most time milling and an extra for long stuff.
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Re: Why does everyone hate short logs so much?
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2017, 02:22:25 pm »
I found that seams on the bed rail give no problems.
But I do have 6 guide wheels.

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Re: Why does everyone hate short logs so much?
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2017, 03:52:11 pm »
Cru,

   I think it has been pretty well addressed here. I guess the bottom line is most mills are not really designed for short logs. We get by but if I were modifying my mill for short log usage I would add another arm between my current lifting arms, a couple of rails near the center of the mill, a couple more side supports and an additional movable and an additional stationary stationary clamp and add toeboard near the center of the mill to level short logs and a second claw or a chain turner to rotate the log.

   I probably cut more 6' and under stuff than most miller and get useful pieces for benches, crotches for wood workers, etc.

   I guess the only thing I hate worse than sawing short logs is seeing them rot or turned into firewood.
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Offline rasman57

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Re: Why does everyone hate short logs so much?
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2017, 04:41:45 pm »
I have a manual mill, the Boardwalk 40 and can cut bigger logs and up to 16 foot long.  I am a hobby sawyer that does not saw for others except friends who may have a small project log.  Me and my back love logs in the less than 8 foot length that I use for slabs and other hobby proects.  I have several big oak and ash logs in 24-30 inch diameter size but thankfully around 8 feet long only as they are capable of putting a whoopin on me for my small stash of slabs and stock.     If I was cutting lumber or for others, I would want long and fully-featured hydraulic help.

I love my Boardwalk 40 and based my purchase decision on much of what I learned here BUT I KNEW what I was going to primarily use it for......bigger heavy midwest hardwood slab logs and just a handful a year.     Your use and intent is as important as any other aspect of your plan and always factor in the future.  Of course if money was not a concern then fully-featured would be the obvious choice for versatility and no wrestling or swearing with either the logs or the wife. smiley_love