Milling Logs into Lumber
Let’s get into the good stuff, Now, turning your logs into a dimensional lumber product you can say, ” I made all the wood in this piece of……….. From a tree that I dragged to a little mill and helped them cut it into boards and brought it home to become THIS.
From your Truck or loaded trailer Knot farm will move your logs onto our saw deck, outside the sawmill building and set, small end towards the mills control station. The sawmill is made by Timberking and is an all hydraulic bandsaw mill with a 14′-6″ long blade and gasoline powered Koehler 27 hp engine. It has a tank for dripping a cutting solution on the blade just before it enters the wood, to keep it clean and cool. The saw head is computer controlled for the depth of the saw cut, and the blade loses just over 1/16th of an inch to dust in every cut.
The sawmill will lift your log off the ground and place it on the saw deck. We will then roll the log around mechanically to determine the opening saw cut. You will be on the opposite side of the mill from the logs laying on the ground, while the first cut is made. At the completion of the first cut, with the mill head at the end of the track, it is your job to remove the bark slab, off the top and put it in the slab pile. Here we get the first glimpse of the beauty and potential of the lumber inside this log. It is The Best Part…… of this one log. We may pause a moment and I can tell you how I think we should proceed to get the most out of the rest of the log.
I want to back up a bit, however, and discuss the Rules of the Knot Farm Mill operation. Safety of all the equipment will be discussed, and PPE (personnel protection equipment) requirements will be discussed. Hearing and eye protection are required 100% of the time, as well as respiration protection for certain known hazardous woods (walnut, cedar etc) and if the wind is not cooperative. You will be shown all the steps of the milling operation before the saw blade is ever started, and we will review what your part is in feeding and harvesting off the mill, to keep the saw blade cutting. I hope you will find it an exciting experience, like I do, and are rewarded with a great product, you had a hand in making from Harvest to Finish.
OK, back to the next cut on the first Log. If we are cutting for grade hardwood boards, and the opening face is good, we may make a pass or two more, leaving the boards on the mill…..
If we are cutting dimensional softwood, we will flip the flat sided log 90 degrees, clamp it hard vertical and flatten another side….
If we want good slabs and a final thick structural beam out of either a hard or softwood log we will flip it 180 degrees and cut an opposite flat face, to the opening cut…..
There are likely hundreds of decisions to be made while we process every log, to make your lumber. Within 3 cuts every cut will be yielding a board or stud or joist or rafter or slab or beam…… And about 20 minutes from the start, you will need to get all your lumber out of the way as we will be lifting the next log onto the deck, of another go at it!
On the far side of the mill, for off loading it is best if we have your trailer, or truck, and as the material comes off the mill it is loaded into your vehicle. The less handling the better, and keeping the fresh cut out of the dirt makes for brighter lumber.