When you are doing woodworking or homesteading or DIYing you are probably going to use some wood. What is interesting is learning where your wood comes from, and how you get what you buy.
If you have ever been interested in some of the basics around a sawmill and milling wood. What some of the terms are or even some of the tools. As well as a little bit of the processes then I go over what I have learned in this episode.
Next year we will start a bandsaw build so it is imperative to actually understand something about this part of the industry so I am sharing what I have learned so far. I hope it not only helps you in your woodworking to understand what is going on before you, but also to have a greater appreciation for the things you create.
One of the interesting things about milling would is it can help give your work more of a story. This is not only more fun to show it off, but if you sell the work you can command a higher price for it.
So join me in this episode as we start the process of learning about sawmills and milling.
Don’t worry about the terminology too much, in that each sawyer/logger/woodworker ends up with their own vernacular. If I used some of those terms I’d get a look as if I had a second head or ‘we are not going to the moon’
‘Bole wood’ isn’t a term I hear at all. Butt or log encompass the term.
‘Buck’ into what lengths 18″ 32″ 8’3″ 10’3″ generally don’t use the term
‘Cant’ once a square reference is established
‘Cat Face’ never heard of
‘Cord’ how to earn money from your waste steam if you can get customers that don’t mind the lower btus of the bark. (It is a time sink but saves having a bonfire every night in the hollow.) Mathematically it is by volume but density of stacking does come into play. With short and long cords.
A rick can also be roughed with a full sized pickup bed, and if cutting to standard 18″ there are three rick in a cord.
Flitches go to firewood rarely do we use the term though. Trunks with staples, nails, bullets, often go that direction as well. I’ve never heard slabwood called a flitch. Maybe because they were running a bandsawmill rather than a circular and the term was too close they borrowed another term. All that really matters is that both parties understand. Our mill much of our communication is done by an improvised sign language, gestures, and charades.
Sapwood is where the bugs live.
We do a lot of edging on the circular mill’s carriage. I have a Yates G-2 straightline ripsaw that comes into play when dimensioning lumber out of the kiln. We do have a corley gang rip saw (heavily modified) to give us 4″ and 6″ mostly for pallet wood that we will attach an trucks rear axle to. But largely not worth the time until clear the yard before the wood decays.
Cant hooks work better for us when rolling logs on the logdeck or the carriage. They also work for locking up a cant/tie ‘partial cuts/tab holding the tail of the log together’ when backing them out of the circular saw to/toward the log deck. Peavey’s are more of a logger’s tool
An electric winch makes a jib crane if you don’t have log rolling hydraulics.
You can start Alaskain milling for as little as $400 use pretty much all of it anyway (ignoring the gimmicky specialty gigs.) You don’t need a 36″ bar or fancy guide extrusions.
I don’t generally worry about terminology beyond giving me a starting point to google stuff. Interestingly most of those terms I have heard in watching sawmill stuff on Youtube, so I knew to look them up. Bole specifically was hard because I didn’t know how to spell it lol.
One of the annoying parts about terminology at times is that there may be a technical term, but it is outdated so no one knows what you are saying anymore. Yeah at the end of they day I don’t doubt it just turns into gestures and charades. I mean it seems fairly straight forward, and with loud machinery you can’t have detailed conversations.
Something interesting I saw in one video is the guy grabbed the cant hook when it was on the sawmill. If the log was anywhere else he used a peavy. Then another guy used the cant hook everywhere, that said most people seem to use the cant hook. It was interesting to learn there was a difference between the two. I am curious why not call it a pointy cant hook, maybe someone just got peaved at it 😂.
I had to google “jib crane”. That seems similar to what I have seen people do with log arches on trailers to help load up their sawmill. That said a jib crane does seem like a good idea when you are in tight areas.
I think I need to spend sometime this week researching chainsaws. I have gone down that rabbit hole before, but there is a lot of analysis paralysis one what to buy since they can be expensive and I don’t want to waste money.
from Norse bolr “tree trunk” pre 14th century
J(ohn/oseph) Peavey invented it in 18(72/58)
I figure the peavey has a point so it can be stabbed into the ground and save bending over as a secondary function. Old timers get creative with their tool usage.
Jib crane might be a bit of a misnomer. As there are no real degrees of freedom beyond the hoist, but the direction of lift needs to be centered on the carriage.
Really it is a telephone pole sunken to the ground below the cartridge a oak 2×10 cross member braced into the pole with a stay wire sunk into the ground. A 6 ton winch with remote and the old hook off a cant. The crane allows logs to be rolled 30″ 10′ logs without breaking our backs.
Every sawyer I know seems to collect chainsaws. A light 16″ works well for limbing and cleaning up shade or limb and a midsize felling saw. I’ve seen true beast used by professional loggers but unless you are spending days on end clearing land the professional saws are too much weight and money.
Makes sense. Yeah I don’t plan to spending days cutting.