Edging Boards at the Sawmill

      Lightly edge your own lumber on the mill, then re-edge after drying you'll produce more wood that way. January 27, 2007

I have a small one man M14 Foley Bellsaw sawmill which I have been working to bring online. What could I use to size my boards, 4, 6, or 8 inches wide, once they are cut? My goal is about 2000 board feet a week of white or red oak.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Hardwoods, like red oak, are sold random width in most cases, which will give you more footage than sawing to a specific size. To help in proper edging, Joe Denig and I wrote a book about sawing and edging called "Sawing, Edging and Trimming Hardwood Lumber: Putting Theory Into Practice."

From contributor A:
If you are planning on drying the wood yourself, I would edge lightly and then trim them down after drying. You will gain more lumber even though you waste some drying space in the kiln.

On an old Bellsaw, we used to take an opening cut, then rotate 90 degrees so we were cutting flitches with at least one trimmed side. We would then put them back on the carriage with the flattened side to the back and an oak 4x4 on top to run them back through to edge. The edger man can kill a mill's profits.

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