Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: East Peoria, IL
Ok, keep in mind that I've just started chain saw milling (or milling period) this past summer. We live on a wooded lot so we have trees die occasionally or fall over in a storm.
My first job was an 18" red oak that had been slowly dying over a period of 4 or 5 years (due to the contractor for our home piling up dirt and smothering the base). The bark had started falling off in the past year or two but I thought, hey why not test out the new mill and see what happens. I did and even though the sap wood was rotten the heartwood, with the exception of being a little wormy in spots, was in perfect shape. I ended up cutting four 8-foot sections out of it and sliced up 1 by, 2 by and 6 by material. The 6x6s I ended up using as the base for my wood stack with 1x1x18" strips used as stickers (the wood had about 6 months of air drying in my garage before using it). I still have several 2 bys (resawn to 1 by material due to not thinking ahead of time) in my garage that I'm using to build a plant table for my wife.
A guy at work, tired of it dropping crap in his yard, wanted his black walnut taken down. It ended up being a pretty young tree with quite a bit of light sapwood. However, if you think about it what do you think of when you think of walnut? Dark heartwood. The light/dark mix is a unique look and it should look unique when I use it for trim for my workbench.
The sugar maple was right in my front yard. With the exception of a small stand of silver maples, most of our maples are sugar maples and we have an overpopulation of them that are shading out a lot of other hardwood seedlings. I figured we wouldn't miss one 14" tree. I had to break out the lights but it took one weekend to mill (estimated) $800 worth of lumber (based on local wood shop cost of $5.75/BF) for my bench top.
My wood drying hut isn't finished yet. I will enclose it on the ends with some ventilation at both ends and a fan to circulate air. The 3 cattle panels are arched between 2x6s at the base and a 20 mil clear pvc tarp covers it. I put down 4 mil vapor barrier under the 3-4 inches of pea gravel. It should heat up pretty well on sunny spring and summer days.
I know there are faster more efficient ways to mill lumber but for about $200 (plus a few extra chains to rotate thru) for a hobby woodworker like myself the Granberg mill works really well.
If anyone has any tips on cutting/drying lumber let me know.