Saw milling large hemlock logs.
Uncategorized

You should see what I saw

Hey, Jim here. The fall season is a time of the year I look forward to. Cooler weather, and things slow down a little bit allowing us to get at a few other things that have been on the back burner all year long. This past week I have been trying to get into a pile of pine and hemlock.

A lot of folks would probably look at this pile of logs and not consider it of any value whatsoever. But there is gold in that pile, a lot of it. It just takes some work to pull it out of there.

Pile of large diameter pine logs, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia.
Pile of large diameter pine logs.

Taking the first slab off of this 19 inch diameter log shows the heart wood, a nice pure white colour. White gold!

Pile of large diameter pine logs, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia.
Opening up a large diameter pine log.

Working our way through taking off the slabs, we get to see more of the heart wood of the log.

Pile of large diameter pine logs, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia.
Slabbing a large pine log.

With all four sides milled off of the log, we have a decent size cant, measuring 12-1/4 inches by 12-1/4 inches. Time now to move it aside for storage and grab another log. Notice the pile of 1 inch thick boards at the end of the mill are accumulating. Once a few logs are milled into cants, it will be time to edge the boards into useable lumber.

Large pine log cants, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia.
Large pine log cants, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia.

This pine log is probably the ugliest one I have placed on the mill, like ever! But, its big enough that it should yield a decent sized cant of nice heart wood.

Large diameter nasty looking pine log.
Large diameter nasty looking pine log.

After some milling, we end up with a good sized cant. It ended up as a 16-3/4 inch by 16-3/4 inch timber but it still had some wane on it, so a bit more sawing and a few more turns over we end up with a 14-1/2 inch x 12-1/4 inch cant. Time to move that over to storage.

Milling a pine log into a good size cant.
Milling a pine log into a good size cant.
Rough cut pine and hemlock lumber, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia.
Rough cut pine and hemlock lumber, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia.

The boards after being edged are put into the racks for future use.

Rough cut pine and hemlock lumber, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia.
Rough cut spruce, pine and hemlock lumber, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia.

I milled a third log, it was as big as the first one. But, it held a surprise in the center, a big pocket of rot… and a nest. No critter, long gone I say. Here’s a video.


Next up, a really, REALLY BIG hemlock log. Measuring in a 14ft long and 24 inch diameter. My estimate is it weighs in at over 3,000 lbs.

24 inch diameter hemlock log on the sawmill, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia.
24 inch diameter hemlock log on the sawmill.

First up, cutting the first slab off the log.

Slabbing a 24 inch diameter hemlock log on the sawmill.
Slabbing a 24 inch diameter hemlock log on the sawmill.
Slabbing a 24 inch diameter hemlock log on the sawmill.
Slabbing a 24 inch diameter hemlock log on the sawmill.

A log like this is simply too large to try and rotate with just a peavey and me. Since the mill has no hydraulics, it is time to use the grapple to pinch and roll.

Rolling a a 24 inch diameter hemlock log on the sawmill with skidsteer and grapple.
Rolling a a 24 inch diameter hemlock log on the sawmill with skidsteer and grapple.

It’s a bit of a dance, and definitely is easier with two sets of eyes. I am in the skidsteer and Gina is monitoring the sightline for rotating the log 90º. It’s a little bit of lifting, a bit of back and forth to rotate while lifting and when necessary a very small amount of side to side with the skidsteer to coax the log into position.

Rotating a 24 inch diameter hemlock log on the sawmill with skidsteer and grapple.
Rotating a 24 inch diameter hemlock log on the sawmill with skidsteer and grapple.

The cant ended up being a good size, a little over 18 x 18 inches, including a little bit of wane. Best guess, it would yield forty eight 1x6x14ft boards.

Saw milling large hemlock log cants.
Saw milling large hemlock log cants.

And to round off the day, I finally got time (with help from an electrician) to get our sawmill bandsaw blade welder hooked up. The initial test went off without a hitch. Now you might look at these test result and thing, “WOW, it’s all bent out of shape.” Well, that’s the test after welding two pieces together. It’s to test the weld and see if it will hold. After welding and annealing, we bent it on purpose to try and break it.

Broken sawmill blade welding repairs, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia.
Broken sawmill blade welding repairs, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia.

There’s still some learning to do, as I am pretty sure it was beginner’s luck that this one worked so well.

Broken sawmill blade welding repairs, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia.
Broken sawmill blade welding repairs, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia.

You can see here that the weld held just great.

Broken sawmill blade welding repairs, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia.
Broken sawmill blade welding repairs, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia.

So there will be plenty of practice time ahead, to get it all figured out but we’re at least moving forward with offering the services fo sawmill bandsaw blade repairs for the region.

Thanks for stopping by.

A Newfoundland born Canadian with a life long interest in woodworking, baking and anything else that peaks my curiosity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.