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My biggest tree to tackle yet - monster white oak

Discussion in 'Milling & Saw Mills' started by Yellowbeard, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. Yellowbeard

    Yellowbeard ArboristSite Operative

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    Well, I'm ready to tackle this fellow. It's pretty big. May have to get a 6' bar to do it justice. Shame it's rotten in the middle. As always, any advice is quite welcome.

    My Stihl 028 (made in West Germany) and car (made in Japan, or maybe Ohio) in there for scale.

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  2. Gixxerjoe04

    Gixxerjoe04 ArboristSite Member

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    That is one big old tree, there are some oaks at the farm I work on that are that big but solid just asking to be cut up, I just don't like oak haha. Thought about cutting a couple cookies from it whenever I get a saw, which will hopefully be next week.
     
  3. Yellowbeard

    Yellowbeard ArboristSite Operative

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    Adding some pictures after I got some work done getting this thing down to a carcass I can mill. Even the branches are worth milling. Hoping to make stair treads out of them so I am cutting them at 3.5' and sealing the ends. Bit heavy to move, though.

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    Gonna have to get some big logs on this side somehow to chock this bad boy before I cut that branch loose. Better make damn sure they're chocked solidly because if that thing were to roll over on me it would probably be a pretty bad day.

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    moondoggie likes this.
  4. Quietfly

    Quietfly ArboristSite Operative

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    Careful one wrong move and it'll crush your car. Lol... good luck with that monster
     
  5. Yellowbeard

    Yellowbeard ArboristSite Operative

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    I can live without my car. ;)
     
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  6. Czech_Made

    Czech_Made ArboristSite Operative

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    Following.
     
  7. rarefish383

    rarefish383 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Somewhere, I think on this site, a few years ago, there was a video of a guy free hand milling a big log like that in half. I'm guessing he was trying to get it down to a size he could handle. I'm also guessing he was planning on putting wedges in it to finish halving it, since the blade was not going all the way through. When he got to the end of the log it opened up and rolled over on him, pinning his leg. I remember thinking, wow, that was a close call. So, I don't think he got hurt. But, unless you are one of those guys that still carry a sharp pocket knife, and don't mind cutting off your pinned and crushed leg, be careful, them big round things are heavy and can move on their own, Joe.
     
  8. Dave Boyt

    Dave Boyt ArboristSite Guru

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    There are some good YouTube videos of splitting logs with black powder. Fun to watch even if you don't plan to do it yourself.
     
  9. Yellowbeard

    Yellowbeard ArboristSite Operative

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    I've seen them. And I thought about it (though not too seriously). But with that hollow in the middle I'm not sure it would work anyway.
     
  10. Yellowbeard

    Yellowbeard ArboristSite Operative

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    Got to do some more work today, finally. It's just been too hot. This thing is in full sun all day. It was really too hot today but I am running out of summer break.

    I lag bolted the first slab so it wouldn't slide on me. It's that way now - no tractor available to get the slab off and, well, I'm not quite strong enough to handle 1000 lbs on muscle alone. First time I've milled standing straight up the whole time and that wasn't enough. I had to climb up on stuff to reach the saw easily.

    Let me know what you think.

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  11. Czech_Made

    Czech_Made ArboristSite Operative

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    Impressive!
     
  12. J & L Creations

    J & L Creations ArboristSite Member

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    Awesome, I hope to acquire a few logs of that size. I do have some 24 " diameters. Expect to have my band sawmill up and running by the end of the weekend, so I guess we'll see how my slabbing skills are. Nice work by the way.
     
  13. Franny K

    Franny K xyz

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    "Let me know what you think."
    I only see the one end however that looks like quarter sawing might work out best. Not sure how one would do it with a chainsaw.

    Again from only seeing one end I would put the crack at 7 o'clock in the nine or three o'clock position to do what you have marked out.

    Is the side with the radial shrinkage cracks the side that was towards the sun? Perhaps should use the least of those radial cracks in deciding how to rotate it before starting.
     
  14. Yellowbeard

    Yellowbeard ArboristSite Operative

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    Unfortunately there's no rotating it. I'm planning to try and get as big of slabs that I can out of most of it just because, well, I'm probably never going to get any bigger than this. The parts that run down past the rotten part may get turned into posts. I can't wait to see what it looks like on the crown end - should be a lot of good grain in there.
     
  15. Yellowbeard

    Yellowbeard ArboristSite Operative

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    Cut a slice today. This thing isn't going as far as I had hoped. Guess I should cut them a bit thinner.

    I found out that the tree stood dead for maybe 5 years or so and then was on the ground for a couple. It's still really wet inside when I cut it. I am going to need advice about drying. I already have a potential sale on one of these slabs but obviously need it seasoned first.

    Can anyone point me to a solid reference for figuring out how I need to dry this? I assume it must air dry for a time before being kiln dried. If so, how long? I have been told that if I don't kiln dry it that it will never totally dry properly (but I was told that by someone who, while a contractor, is not a milling specialist by any means).

    Advice? I would love some help on these issues.

    Thanks in advance!

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    amberg likes this.
  16. Yellowbeard

    Yellowbeard ArboristSite Operative

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    Also: Anyone have any idea how much I should charge for one of these? At 6-7$/board foot it's $900 in wood alone. Factor in that you just can't get slabs this size. Not sure if I will deliver a finished piece or just a slab. Any ideas? I know that it's market dependent, but would love any advice available.

    Thanks!
     
  17. J & L Creations

    J & L Creations ArboristSite Member

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    Well, temperature and thickness have much to do with it. I have a friend here in Texas, gets very hot here, who has milled and dried many oak logs, makes and builds flooring and cabinetry, for many years. All he does to dry slabs of wood, is to stack them neatly, with small boards in between to allow airflow around each board. He stacks them in a metal building with the roof and two walls ventilated. This seems to work fine for him. Kiln drying I think might be to quick in some cases, causing some woods to curve, but for other woods it seems to work fine. Actually letting the heat of summer in a metal building do it's job I like best because there is little cost involved and more money to be made. I bet your local lumber yard or a specialty lumber yard could tell you a cost, just ask them what it would cost you to buy a slab like the one you have, just don't tell them you have one, just that you are checking into it. It's what ever the market will bare. I've seen one like yours go for as much as $1200.00.
     
  18. Yellowbeard

    Yellowbeard ArboristSite Operative

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    It's funny you say that about metal buildings. One of the things I have considered is putting this wood into my storage unit which is metal and gets really hot but isn't exactly air tight.
     
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  19. J & L Creations

    J & L Creations ArboristSite Member

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    That should work fairly well, wouldn't hurt to try it out.
     
  20. Yellowbeard

    Yellowbeard ArboristSite Operative

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    Now that's a big slab. Getting ready to get into the rotten part now, unfortunately. Blew up a saw today. It just up and died in the cut. I think the technical diagnosis is "blowd up." I looked in the exhaust port and the piston was all scored. Going to be looking to get it re-built so if someone has a spare cylinder and piston kit for an 084 then please PM me with a price. I may actually have someone go through the whole saw, so if there is someone on the forum particularly recommended for that I would love to know. I will be going through some old PMs that people have sent with offers of such services, so let me know if you've written before. The question is: what did I do wrong? Or does that just happen?


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