Bill's Wood Creations
  Mouse Bank

How To Make Quartersawn Lumber With a Chainsaw

Page 1

First of all, why is Quartersawn lumber necessary for the hobbyist? Well if you have a chainsaw and want to make your own lumber you probably want lumber that seldom splits, cracks, or warps. From my own experience quarter-sawing is the only way a hobbyist can have success. Early on, I flat sawed logs and ended up with piles of firewood. The flat sawn wood I cut cracked badly on those boards that contained the pith. All warped and show end grain checking and splitting. Now I seldom get lumber that air dries with even end grain checking. Very seldom does a board warp and only occasionally will I have a board that twists. I use the old "rule of thumb" that the wood needs to air dry one year for each inch of thickness. This works for me in making furniture and toys (I must admit I am a turner and a lumber maker first and sometime furniture maker 2nd and 3rd).

Here is a list of the equipment I use for making Quartersawn Lumber followed by the steps to saw, store and air dry the lumber.

Chainsaw, Stihl 076 (1980s model) with rip chain. A homemade remote trigger attachment makes sawing even easier. I have both 36" and 25" bars and rip chains. (Wish I had 2 large saws so I would not have to stop and change bars.)

Pickup truck or trailer able to haul 8' logs up to 30" or 36" in diameter. For larger logs I cut the logs into quarters where they are felled for easier handling to an area where final sawing can be done without upsetting neighbors.

Personal Safety
Steel toed boots, hearing, eye and head protection, gloves and chaps.

Alaskan Mini Mill and a 10', 2x6, with the Mini Mill guide tracks.

Modifications to the Mini Mill are necessary unless you already own one of the original models which have adjustable guides for board thickness.

Log Lifting Device (tripod or engine hoist) with a 1½ ton lifting capability.

2 Sawing Horses shown left. My sawing horses are 24" high with a 6" wide slot to allow the chainsaw bar to pass without damage. The top bar of the sawing horse is 30" wide with the 6" opening in the middle. Each side of the top bar has adjustable wedges that can be locked in place with ½" hex head bolts to prevent the "cut" log halves from rolling off the sawing horses. The base of the sawing horse is 24" X 18".

2 Quarter log stands shown on the right. These stands are 20" high with a 3" angle iron "V" welded to the top. The legs of the stand form a triangle with 20" sides.

Shaded Storage Area for lumber that must prevent rain and direct sun exposure to the lumber.

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