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Milling Timber

February 23, 2013

I've had this log (white pine) laying in the yard since June of 2011 when we had our new concrete driveway put in. I had to cut a tree down so that the roots wouldn't go under the drive way (you can see the log laying in the yard in the photos). I've wanted to get a chainsaw mill and saw this log up ever since I cut it down. Today, I finally got started cutting it into boards.

First I had to put a new ripping chain on my saw. A lot of cleaning was in order during the chain installation.

The venerable McCulloch 605 power head (chain and bar removed). I've had this saw since 1988.

Sideplate and chain guide laying in the sink waiting to be cleaned. Hot water and a brush did the trick.

10' white ash board on top used as a guide. Ready to start cutting. The saw and mill in the foreground. The little saw on laying on the board was used to trim the log so that the board could lay flat. The white ash board came from my previous logging work.

The first cut is done. It turned out to be easier than I expected. It only took about 4 or 5 minutes to saw the 10 foot length or this log. Of course that was with a brand new chain. As the day wore on and the chain dulled, the cutting took a little longer.

The first 1" thick board is cut. It was about 6PM and I was pooped.

February 25, 2013

Today I milled most of the rest of the log, and then used my table saw to rip the edges of the planks, So now I have 3 planks and 3 beams drying in the garage. The wood was very wet, I guess from laying out in the weather. I didn't expect it to be that wet. I think it will dry out ok though.
The boards on the bottom with the black ends are the new ones. The black is just from the sap that leaked out and then discolored.

The sawing went OK. I sharpened the chain before I started, but it wasn't as good as new. This chain has a smaller tooth clearance so it's harder to sharpen and the depth guage is more critical.  I suspect I need to grind those down a bit.  After the first board the chain was noticably duller.  By the time I got the last cut made, the chain was painfully dull. The cutting was really slow. I can't imagine cutting hardwood.

The wood has more knots in it than I'd like. We'll see what use I find for it.

Here is the piece that is left. It has the side timmings laying on top in hopes of keeping the wet out. Probably won't work though.

I've thought about just using this piece for a bench and not cutting anymore.