Portable mill sawing up a local Cherry tree
A neighbor of mine had a 16 inch diameter Cherry tree come down in his yard during a recent storm. It was going to be cut up for firewood, but he said he would be glad if it could be put to better use, so I called a local sawyer with a portable mill.
On a crisp, but sunny December day, the sawyer pulled up next to the tree and set up the mill. He charged a certain amount per hour, which was very reasonable, and I was the “helper” for the day.
The best part of the log was about 14 feet long and 16 inches in diameter. It was straight for 8 feet and then took a little turn for the other 6. We cut it at the 8 foot point and I decided to have that section cut at 4/4 thick. I had the 6 foot section cut thicker for legs and such, at 10/4.
There were also a few shorter 3 foot long pieces that I had squared up. One a full 16 inches square, and the second 11 inches square. I’ll turn these into solid breakfast bar stools or maybe end tables.
To start sawing we first moved the logs up to the mill with peavy’s. Once the log was at the side of the mill, two hydraulic “arms” pick up the log and place it on the bed of the mill. Then a little spiked “hand” helps to roll the log into place up against a system of movable fences that adjust in height along the back. The whole system worked very smoothly, and the bandsaw itself cut through the log much faster than I thought it would.
What a great way to spend a saturday afternoon. The sawyer was a downright pleasant guy and a lot of fun to work with. And being there to see the wood exposed, thinking about how you want to use the wood, and deciding how to cut it up in real time, was real fun.
Here's a photo of the 8 foot section being squared up.
This was the largest diameter piece of the tree.
The largest diameter piece was short (about 3 feet long) but ended up being 16 inches square.
The best boards came from the 8 foot long section. I had one edge ripped straight and the other edge left natural. This let the boards be as wide as possible about 14 inches) while still having a straight edge to join. I'll use these for table tops - two boards joined with a natural outside edge.
Here are the two large blocks and some of the thick pieces from the 6 foot section.
Check out the grain in the 16 inch square block.