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OtleyLad

How to make boards out of sections of tree trunks?

We've pieces of tree trunk of pear, ash and apple. It would be great to make serving boards from them.
Trouble is how do you cut them up? I've a number of hand saws but I suspect not the stamina (the pear in particular is very hard). I've a circular saw but the 10inch blade isn't big enough (only about 5ins stands proud).
I've a chain saw but I would imagine that would leave the wood pretty badly scarred.

Any ideas?
gregotyn

The only right way to do the job is to get someone with a mobile saw to come and do the job for you or take it to a sawmill and ask them to plank it for you to the thicknesses you want. Once you have planks then your circular saw will deal with the sizing to width and to the lengths you want. Planing up may take a bit of time and even more stamina!
tahir

Yep take it in to a timber merchants
tahir

Yep take it in to a timber merchants


Having said that the guy who did our shakes had just finished 300 sq Mtrs of hand hewn oak floorboards for cressing temple when he did ours. He gave us a little demo, just split and then an axe
Treacodactyl

The right chain on a chainsaw mill can produce some good quality boards, but it's probably not worth the investment if you've only got a few trunks.

If they're not huge you might be able to find someone with a bandsaw with a good depth of cut.

I would have thought the cost of taking them to a sawmill would also be too much but I'd be interested to hear the cost.
Mistress Rose

There are probably a number of people near you with mobile saw mills of one sort or another. The National Coppice Federation may be able to help you with one or two names, but unfortunately their web site is down at the moment as it got hacked.

If you want to go this route, PM me and I will see if I can get some contacts for you.

At the least you will need an Alaskan sawmill, which fits on a chainsaw. Son did cut some oak into boards once using just a chainsaw, but it wasn't easy. You need to mark the depth of the board on the tree, then run the saw along the line with someone spotting for you on the other side to make sure you are sticking to the line. Wouldn't suggest doing much less than 3" thick.

The board may crack at the ends after being cut. This can be minimised by painting the ends with wax to allow slow seasoning. You will need to finish the boards after seasoning as the sawn surface will be too rough whatever sort of saw you use.
Bodrighy

How long have the trunks been down? If only a short time then I would leave them or cut them into thick boards as the chances are they will split, especially the fruit woods. The best way is to cut or get them quarter sawn.

Pete
OtleyLad

How long have the trunks been down? If only a short time then I would leave them or cut them into thick boards as the chances are they will split, especially the fruit woods. The best way is to cut or get them quarter sawn.

Pete


The pear has been sat in the garage for about 5 years, the apple in the polytunnel for 2 and the ash was cut down last summer.
OtleyLad

I'll ask around - a quick search shows there are a few sawmills relatively close.

Thanks for all your info.
RichardW

I'm going to guess that these are fairly short logs?

You could do them on a band saw or large table saw.

Failing that do them with the chainsaw roughly to size & then plain them to the thickness you want. It might be labour intensive but if your just doing a few then does it matter?

If your ever in the area I can get them done for you.
Hairyloon

The right chain on a chainsaw mill can produce some good quality boards, but it's probably not worth the investment if you've only got a few trunks.
I have one you can borrow, but I'd suggest you talk to the sawmills first.
Hairyloon

If your ever in the area I can get them done for you.
If they're not urgent, I could probably run them over sometime: I do Leeds-Bangor fairly often.
wellington womble

There are probably a number of people near you with mobile saw mills of one sort or another.

Do you know (very roughly) what sort of cost that might be? I was thinking of making some planks from the oaks when I get them down, but if it's hundreds of pounds it's probably not worth it. I doubt it worth taking them to a sawmill, although I'm sure it would for smaller trees like yours OtleyLad.
dpack

iirc oak will split to give traditional planks which then need smoothing (side axe,adze,plane)

it can also be sawn and thicknessed by machine during a multi stage seasoning process

or it used in the semi rough and green state for traditional building

considering the price of english oak the cost of processing is probably worth it .(the russian/chinese stuff is cheaper)

the strait bits make planks ,the branchy bendy bits make bendy bracket bits ,the twigs and offcuts make fuel.

ace trees but they do come in a variety of types so proper advice as to the best use for an "oak" need full id of the species,age,shapes condition etc etc .

re fruit woods machines are good ,the ones i have used were a nightmare with hand tools
Hairyloon

There are probably a number of people near you with mobile saw mills of one sort or another.

Do you know (very roughly) what sort of cost that might be?
Last I looked there were a selection of mobile sawmillers advertising on ebay. I forget what they were asking... 2-300/day I think.
RichardW

I think you will get a chainsaw mill for 200+ per day & a band saw at around 300+. I think my local one charges 380 per day within the local area & then plus traveling on top of that. His mill is one of the bigger ones & can do about 6m long & nearly 1m dia logs. If you then add in plenty of helping hands & a lifter of some sort you can get through a lot in a day.

A band mill will produce more per hour, to a better quality & with less wastage. A chain mill can break down logs that are too large to move or fit on a band mill. IE cut it up in a garden so it will come out down an alley.
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