Sawing Western red cedar

      Participants offer their experiences in sawing Western red cedar. July 4, 2000

I have three fairly large red cedar logs to saw. Are there special precautions? Is this wood dryer and thus harder to saw, requiring more lube or water on the blade? I have not sawn red cedar before.

You haven't mentioned how long the logs have been down. I have found that cutting dry cedar is a bit easier than cutting green.

The only thing to watch for are large knots! Try to slow the saw down a bit when going through them, as they are hard! Otherwise, you should not encounter any problems. Proper lube and a sharp blade at a reasonable speed will see you through.

We cut Western red 99 percent of the time. A VERY sharp band or blade is a must. If it is dead and down wood you are cutting, water with a couple shots of dishwashing soap to help remove the "mud" from the log. If the wood is green, just use water.

We use a .024 set on our bands (1-1/2-inch wide) and we get fantastic cuts. As for small to big end, cut logs to length before you put them on the mill to get the most out of them. We saw from the butt because you can see the rot or twist better than looking at a top.

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