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Discussion Starter #1
I'm clearing about a half an acre of woodland and would like to plank some of the timber. The oak and maple worth saving has been cut into 9' lengths. Most of it has no more than 8" trunks. I have one pine that is maybe 20". I plan on either building some type of bed to process the lumber on my bandsaw or having a portable saw mill come in and plank it for me. My question is this, how long do you dry the logs prior to planking them and further drying the planks?

I have had cedar planked before but the logs were pretty dry prior to my getting them.
 

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Saw them into lumber the day they hit the ground. Especially the maple. You are in better shape since it is winter, but never let a log lay any longer than you have to before you mill it. It does not "age" or dry in the log...it degrades (rots).

Rule of thumb is 1 year per inch of thickness to air dry (but it is actually less in most areas) Having said that unless you are in the arid south west or something, air dry is not the best for furniture making. It should be dried to 7% moisture or below. Most parts of the country requires further kiln drying.

You mentioned cedar, that is a rare exception to the rule. I do not kiln dry cedar, even for interior use.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've never tried to plank logs before. I have had a guy bring in a portable saw mill in the past but I don't have enough logs for him to bother this time.

I don't have a chainsaw jig for planking, but do have a decent bandsaw with enough umph to cut the logs I have. Any suggestions for constructing a bandsaw jig. The logs I would like to cut are manageable weight wise with two people. The main problem seems to be getting the first two perpendicular cuts right. Any suggestions or resources?
 

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You may want to check this thing out http://www.beammachine.com/. They sell similar devises on eBay, search "chainsaw mill".

Why won't the sawmill mess with them? Can you haul them to him ? I custom saw one or two logs at a time, if they are dropped off. I won't go fetch them, but if they are brought over I will saw them up. That is the bulk of my custom milling, just a few at a time from guys who have a couple logs and want some lumber. I am not even set up to go portable, all the logs get brought here.

From what I know about running a chainsaw and ripping logs...you are money and time way ahead to find a sawmill that will let you deliver. Just my $.02.
 

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Here is a chain saw mill I made from alumnum tubeing for less than $100 bucks. It is made to fit a 27" bar. Measure from the inside of the bar tip bearing to about 2" from the motor. This will give you the size for any bar length, and it is 6" wide. Joe
 

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Air Force 1 do you mind giving a little more info. on how you made it. I would like to make me one. Thank you Andrew
 

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If you have atleast 10 logs over 12" across, then it would be worth getting a mill out to your house. The guy that cuts my logs charges $40 per hour and has a $160 minum charge. I had close to 500 bdft of aspen and 100 bdft of pine cut and it took him 3-1/2 hours icluding setup.
 

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The people with the mills in my area charge 20 to 30 cents a bdft. Only a few will know how to quarter saw a log or know if the log is a wind stressed tree. Find a mill that knows what he is doing and not one that just slices your wood up.
 

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If you have a small trailer or a friend with one I would think that taking the wood to the guy with the mill would be your best bet. I have done it both ways. My neighbor had a small portable and I had him cut up around 700 bdft of ash around 10 years ago. Im still using on that pile even after using it to trim out my house. He moved about 5 years ago and I haven't had enough to bring him back to the farm to cut so I load the trailer with 4-5 logs and take them to him when I need to get some cut. He saves the small pieces that nobody else wants because he knows I can use them for my scrollsaw projects.
 
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