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I recently got a good size crotch log from a white oak. It was cut down this past saturday 11/16/13. When is a good time to cut it into planks and can anyone recommend a good hand rip saw?
 

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What do you mean by "pretty good size"? If it is 12" or less, you could do it with a hand rip saw. If you're talking about 24" wide cuts, you could use a two-man crosscut saw and cut vertically like an old fashioned pit saw. I agree with Fish Factory, though. Between the expense of the saw and the time it would take, it would be far more practical to find someone with a portable sawmill or a large chain saw with a ripping chain. In some cases, you could bring the log to the mill, have it cut into whatever you want, and take it home with you in one trip. I do that sort of thing all the time. Here are a couple of photos of a walnut crotch on my Norwood band sawmill.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/memb...lbums/sawmill-album/18848-wlnt-crotch-02m.jpg
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/memb...lbums/sawmill-album/18849-wlnt-crotch-15m.jpg
 

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However you get it cut, do it soon.
Best to get somebody to cut it who operates adequate machinery.
Some days, DIY isn't safe enough.

From a wood carver's pespective, many woods that carve & cut easily when green/wet
really tighten up as they dry. PacNW Alder for example is a very popular wood for dishes and masks. It goes from easy to ebony when it dries.
 
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