Sawing Lumber - part II
As always, you can click any of the photos for a larger view.
Here the log is in place and the first cut is being made. Getting the log positioned properly is, to me, the most tedious part of the whole thing. A log that looks straight can turn out to be surprisingly crooked when you try to line it up for cutting. All those lumps and bumps where branches used to be get in the way and have to be dealt with, too. It takes some turning and jostling to get it lined up so that your cuts go straight down the log and produce the most lumber possible.
The log has been turned so that the flat side is flush against some vertical dogs. Wooden wedges are seen holding the log in position for the second cut. These first two cuts are critical. After this cut the log always lies on a flat side and things square up pretty well. Dad said the first log he cut, it took him a couple of days just staring and turning, turning and staring. Now he does several in a day. He sees a lot when he looks at a log.
Here the wood is being cut to two inch thicknesses. In all these pictures Dad is using a 2x2 (more or less) to help push the blade mechanism forward. Lots of times he just wedges that stick between his hip and the mobile portion of the mill and walks slowly forward. He's figured out a lot of little tricks to make the sawing less strenuous on both him and his sawmill.
Pure magic! 2x4 lumber from a tree trunk.
You see how those boards are raising up? I didn't know this but trees have a lot of internal stress and as you cut them, they like to twist and turn. So when you see warped lumber it's probably not that the sawmill did a poor job cutting the lumber, it's more likely due to internal stress within the wood itself.