Wood Milling

The first project has been pushed back slightly but will soon have a post taking us to the next step. I had four black walnut trees that needed to come down because they were infested with dry termites. Well the work is done, but I’ve been busy finishing stacking and cleaning up waste wood.
In the first photo the last tree is already half way down, but you get a pretty good feel for how massive and beautiful these trees were. Once all the branches were down, we used a machete and chainsaw to to clean off all the thin stuff and took it to the compost section at the dump. After that, I came back and fell the trunks and then used a tractor to drag the logs away ready to be milled.
When the logs to be milled were out of the way, we rented a stump grinder and ground down the stumps. This took a couple days work and left quite the hole. The second photo is a stump that’s about a third of the way done.
Then Robert Randles, owner of The Wood Works, did the milling. He has a portable mill, which can be thought of as a large bandsaw, and comes to you on location. For those of you in the greater Sacramento area I would highly recommend him.
Since the trees were large a bit of cleanup had to happen. The mill could cut trunks up to 24 inches wide, so what you see is Robert making the log the right size for the mill. Once the excess is cut away you can see it passes through the blade with no problem.
The waste wood is usually used for firewood, but due to the termites it will be burnt ASAP (currently drying in a burn pile). The pieces that are too large will be taken to the dump instead. This pile tripled in size after this photo was taken.
Since these trees are old, on a farm, and were once surrounded by trailers they had nails, bolts, rebar, and wire within the actual trunk. PG&E even had implanted a metal rod in one tree. These all caused blades to break, so changing the blade was a common and unwelcome site. This hurt the wallet, and in a couple instances actually ruined otherwise usable lumber.
Once you start stacking and looking at nice figured pieces all the hard work becomes something in the past. I stack all my wood so that everything is book matched. For those of you that do not know what that means, I basically keep the log together in the same stack so later I can match the grain easier when building furniture. This takes a little extra work but worth it when a piece requires it. I still have one trunk and limb to add to this pile. As you can see even with the loss of the termite infested wood the milling produced a large amount of lumber.

About sean favero

Designer with furniture as a medium. Seeking to create long lasting good quality designs.
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2 Responses to Wood Milling

  1. Pingback: Wood Milling | TECHtop

  2. Jared says:

    Impressive, you are a true farmer and wood worker. Nice!

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