Yield from Small Logs

      Rough rules of thumb for estimating the expected yield from sawing small logs. March 14, 2006

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
I thought that some of you might be interested in the yield that can be achieved from small logs. These data are not for an operation using a small band saw. You should probably add 6 to 8% for thin bands.
A 6" diameter log yields 34% lumber, 25% sawdust, and 41% slabs.
A 10" diameter yields 53%, 21%, and 26% respectively.
A 14" diameter yields 60%, 20% and 20% respectively.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor A:
What length log are these estimates based on? Is this one inch lumber or two inch? Also, you can get a six by eight tie out of a ten inch top. It would be interesting to know the figures then.

From contributor B:
I think he means this as a general rule. I notice more work and more slabs the smaller the logs gets.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
I believe that these are based on 10' or 12', but I would have to look it up. It was 4/4. Certainly a tie will help yields, but to get a good tie out of a 10 diameter log is tough. The most common size is 7 x 9 and it would take a perfectly straight log at a bit over 11" to get a 7 x 9. For a 6 x 8, it would exactly come out of a 10" log if straight and round, not oval.

From contributor A:
I think were allowed a bit more wane on our ties in Western Canada but 10" is about the limit. I run a Lucas and do cut small wood from time to time but it just kills my production and recovery. It is good to see some hard numbers.

From contributor C:
I run a small bandsaw mill business, custom sawing and cutting and sawing from my tree farm. I cut small diameter logs of white pine and other softwoods. I saw top and bottom to make a 4 inch cant. These are great around the mill for piling lumber or log storage. If the log is a good one it will make 4 x 4 that can be sold. These small diameter logs are cut to length in the woods at 8' 5". When I saw, I figure that to get the width I want. The rule of thumb is 3 inches over on the small end of log. In other words, if I want a 6 inch width, the log has to be 9 inches on small end. This helps with the wane problem. The sawyer that taught me used to say the log will only make what it will make its up to you to figure out to get the most yield and grade.

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: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Sawmilling

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Yield Formulas

    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