John’s Heirloom Log

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Duration: 11:18

My friend John brought an oak log to my shop, and it’s what I’d call heirloom wood. It belonged to a good friend of his, and had been in the yard of their family home. Unfortunately the tree had to be cut down, and she asked John to make some for them from the tree.

When to cut the wood

Trees should be converted to lumber while the wood is still green (wet). If you allow the log to dry it’ll crack. Additionally, it’s a lot easier to cut wood when it’s green than when it’s dry.

The sawmill

John’s log is being cut on a Logosol Woodworkers Mill. I’ve had the mill for a long time, and love it. This particular model is no longer made, but it’s similar to Logosol’s F2 mill. The chainsaw being used is a Husqvarna 385XP equipped with a 24” bar and ripping chain.

Once you have cookies…

…you have to let them dry. Air drying works fine, as long as you’re patient. Allow about one year per inch of thickness for drying, but get a moisture meter so you’re not guessing.

Cookies love to crack

Cookies, also called log rounds, almost always develop cracks as they dry. This is because of the pressure that’s created as the center of the cookie dries differently than the outer parts of the cookie. Even with stickers and slow drying, you’ll probably get cracks. The best way to avoid cracking is by chemically treating the log round.

Milling your own material

Converting logs to lumber is very fun, and a great way to access material you can’t otherwise get, AND convert those heirloom logs into lumber you can use. There are many different ways you can do this, from using a bandsaw to using a chainsaw.

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