Ron Peterson

...and that's OK.

LITS's very own Beth Johnson lost a very beautiful cherry tree to the crazy storm we had just before Halloween. She didn't want to see such nice wood go to waste so, knowing I had a milling attachment for my giant chainsaw (who doesn't), she graciously invited me over to help mill it up. I took a few pictures, because I have a hard time explaining to people exactly what I'm talking about when I tell them about my little hobby.

The first cut with the chainsaw mill is performed by running it over two parallel tracks fastened to the log. The bar of the chainsaw is fastened to the milling attachment on either end, as you can see in the picture below.

The mill runs over the plane made by the first cut for subsequent cuts. There are wedges driven into the cut behind the saw to keep the saw from binding. The slab in this picture is about 5 1/2 inches thick.

I'll mill the rest on a big band saw. The kerf of the bandsaw blade is much thinner than a chainsaw, so less wood is wasted. I won't cut these down too much more though until I know what I want to use them for. I can always cut it later, but I can't uncut it. In the meantime, I'll paint the ends with polyurethane. Wood contracts as it cures. If the end grain is left unprotected, it will dry faster than the interior wood, and the differential contraction will cause the wood to check.

If you're like my wife, you are perhaps wondering what I plan to do with all the wood I'm collecting this way. That's a good question; maybe I'll post an answer here some day. The thickest pieces here will take a couple of years to dry properly, so I have some time to think about it.


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