Sawing square timbers

      Producing square timbers on the sawmill. November 15, 2000

I am sawing pine for a timber frame and having trouble getting the timbers square. I'm using a wood-mizer and can get maybe 10% of the cants close but often they are up to 1/6 out on a 10x10. Am I asking too much or is there a trick that I am missing?

Forum Responses
Try to level your saw head to a bed rest/bunk. It is easy with a 4 post machine, but I don't know with a Woodmissizer.

Your logs are probably moving on you while you're sawing them. Taking too much wood from one side tends to relieve the pressure on that side and not the other so it bows a little. Here's what I do if I need timbers that are held to tight dimensions. Start by cutting oversized cants or beams or whatever, go over by at least a 1/4" - 3/8" if not more if the log has a lot of spring to it. Once it's down close then you can cut the extra 1/4" or so off. If this does not work, check your mill alignment.

I have a woodmizer HD-40. Check the actual distance from bed rail to sawblade to see if it is as the scale reads. Check it on all bed rails and close to post and then away. If you don't have a manual from woodmizer get one to find out the necessary corrections. It's not easy, but very straight forward. Also, I find that a dull blade or too fast speed will pull the blade up or down.

Yes, first try to level your saw head to a bed rest/bunk. If that is okay, make sure the log is not rolling on you and the saw is not running up or down in the cut. As others have pointed out, feed rate may well be a big issue here. Too little can cause you problems as well as too much.

I was having the same problem and found my mill to be out of spec--log stops, blade level, etc. I now make it a point to check it every week or month. Don't assume your mill is perfect from week to week. Stress in the wood will also play its part as the guys have pointed out.

Wait and see what will happen as they dry.

Try turning a cut beam end for end on the mill, same fresh cut side up. Lower your band to the cut surface--if the band is parallel to the cut surface then your problem lies in your uprights (not being 90 degrees). If the cut is different, the band is not parallel to the bed. 1/16 in ten inches--that's what they make jointers for.

I have had that problem. Don't take too much wood off at one time and turn the cant more often.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor A:
I have a Hudson 228 and have had the same problem. It has always ended up being a leveling problem. Let your jacks down on concrete blocks and check the level of the mill regularly, especially when sawing big logs.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Sawmilling

  • KnowledgeBase: Solid Wood Machining: Setup and Maintenance

  • KnowledgeBase: Woodworking Miscellaneous: Tool Maintenance

  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article