Lumber Grading, Quality, and Small Mills
Here's an extended discussion of the public policy issues involved in lumber grading, and construction using un-graded lumber, as seen from the point of view of the small sawmill operator. May 18, 2010

Analyzing Wood Species, Grain, and Sawing Methods
Here's a long and complex (but very informative) thread that starts off with a wood identification problem, moves into a discussion of wood pore structure, and then takes off on an interesting tangent about quartersawing, flatsawing, and other methods for piecing out a log. March 22, 2013

Calculating board feet
The board footage debate rages on--Professor Wengert and others offer up methods of calculation. June 24, 2001

Should a Moulding Mill Bring Sawmill Operations In-House?
Here's a long, detailed, and authoritative examination of a moulding mill owner's proposal to invest in his own sawmill operation. April 20, 2011

Lumber Choices for Fence Posts and Rails
A discussion comparing various wood species with pressure treated lumber for use in building fences. March 28, 2012

Is It Practical to Store Logs for Long Periods?
Most logs will deteriorate quickly if not cut and dried. Here's a long debate on the practicality of pond storage and other proposed ways around the dilemma. April 19, 2006

Lumber Thickness and Sawing Tolerances
Here's a thoughtful discussion of the risks and benefits of trying to rough-saw to fine tolerances in order to get more board feet per log for a given finish lumber thickness. February 14, 2010

Pre-Surfacing Lumber Before Drying
Planed green lumber dries with significantly less checking. March 3, 2006

Five Points for Efficient Sawmilling
Gene Wengert shares his expertise on sawing economically and profitably. January 29, 2004

Causes of Shake
Bacteria is what causes shake in trees. September 24, 2003

Timber Framing: Dry or Green?
Thoughts and opinions on whether to frame with dry lumber or green, and whether to let felled logs dry before sawing. October 1, 2009

Sawing for Grade, or Sawing for Character?
A discussion comparing "grade sawing" and "flitch sawing" (one aims for highest grade lumber, the other for character). April 27, 2007

Sawing Utility Poles
Information on the wood species and treatment chemicals found in utility poles. May 11, 2005

Crowns on Band Wheels
Why do crowns exist, and do they improve band tracking? January 29, 2004

Cherry Log: Quartersaw or Flatsaw?
Appearance would argue for flatsawn, stability for quartersawn — but it's more complicated than that. October 1, 2010

A Walnut Tree on the Ground: How Long?
If a down tree sits in a wet area for a while, what are the chances of getting some decent lumber? December 6, 2012

Wood Species Useful for Shingles
A discussion of the wood varieties that work for use as exterior shingles. November 25, 2008

Quartersawing Patterns Illustrated
Here's a set of drawings from the Wood Doctor depicting various ways to saw for vertical grain. June 16, 2014

From Log to Furniture
A newcomer has logs and wants to make some furniture. The sawmill forum has advice for him. January 14, 2013

Lumber Choices for Trailer Decking
White Oak is the top choice for decking a truck or trailer, but other woods get some votes in this thread. March 4, 2009

Removing Turning Blank Pith
Techniques to prevent cracking from the pith. January 6, 2005

Calculating board footage
Professor Gene Wengert explains it all. February 18, 2003

Air-Drying Cuban Mahogany
This stable wood may dry fast indoors, but kiln-drying would also eliminate pests. September 14, 2006

Sawmill recovery rate
Does one sawmill's recovery rate make it a better choice over another mill? (From WOODWEB's Sawing and Drying Forum) February 18, 2003

Sawing and Drying: Does the Season of the Year Matter?
Here's a long thread that separates the science from the rumor around the question: "What's the best time of year to cut trees and dry lumber?" May 15, 2012

Sawdust-Fueled Boilers
Practical considerations around burning sawmill sawdust for heat. October 4, 2007

Spreading Sawdust on Trails, Fields, or Woods
Sawmill operators discuss when and where it might be okay to spread sawdust around. March 9, 2010

Troubleshooting Wobble in a 48-Inch Sawmill Blade
Detailed discussion of the factors that can make a circular sawmill blade deform enough to start wobbling. August 30, 2007

What Thickness to Saw Walnut for Furniture
4/4 is a versatile and useful dimension to saw, and it's quicker and less problematic to dry than thicker wood. December 6, 2012

Quarter-Sawing Technique on a Large Mill
Sawmillers discuss how to go about quarter-sawing logs on a large mill. August 30, 2007

Sawing High-Growth-Stress Wood
Logs will bend in the mill if you don't turn them frequently. February 26, 2005

Understanding the Sawmilling Term "Cant"
To a sawmill operator, what is a "cant"? Experts explain. September 17, 2008

Rotating Logs to Avoid Sawing Through the Bark
Sawmillers discuss ways to handle wood to avoid sawing through the bark, and other issues relating to bark and blade dulling. November 12, 2008

Old Timber Mystery: Creosote, or What?
The Woodweb detectives discuss old growth Heart Pine, younger Longleaf Pine, the hazard of creosote, and related topics. August 18, 2009

Preventing Insect Infestation in Lumber Production
Pesticides have limited usefulness and significant hazards. Good yard hygeine and application of heat are the more practical choices. February 14, 2006

Holding a Cant Down on the Bandmill
A bandmill owner gets help troubleshooting the situation when a cant seems to rise off the sawmill bed while sawing the last few boards. April 18, 2015

Manufacturing Pellet-Stove Fuel
Thoughts and information on how to process sawdust into fuel pellets. March 14, 2006

Re-Drying Southern Yellow Pine
Lessons learned from drying untreated Southern Yellow Pine. July 7, 2011

NHLA lumber grading
Do rough mills need NHLA graders? May 30, 2001

Pin Oak: Drying, Checking, and Bacterial Odors
Pros answer basic questions about Pin Oak for a sawmill beginner. September 17, 2008

Accuracy and Tolerances in Humidity Measurement in a Drying Kiln
Super precision is rarely critical in wood drying, but reasonable accuracy is helpful. Here's a discussion of RH measuring precision, and its importance for maintaining proper real-world kiln conditions. July 29, 2012

Cupping of newly cut lumber
Why would all the lumber in one kiln load cup toward the sapwood? January 16, 2002

Cutting "shake" out of logs
What is shake, why does it occur, and how can it be removed? April 29, 2003

Sawing Techniques for Cherry
Pros explain how to go about getting the best lumber from some nice cherry logs. July 28, 2006

Sawing and Hewing Timbers in the Bush
For a project in Africa, advice about working timbers for framing. November 25, 2008

Wide Throat Bandsaw Mill Ideas
Thoughts on the technical challenges of building a mill capable of producing up to five-foot slabs. November 3, 2010

Spalting Tips and Tricks
A question about how to get rid of a bad batch of spalted Maple leads to a nice discussion of different ways to spalt wood, with photos. April 15, 2012

Value of Antique Douglas Fir Beams
Taking a look at some reclaimed timbers, and trying to estimate their worth. March 28, 2010

Thick Dried Cherry
Thoughts on drying a large chunk of Cherry in order to make a custom clock, including a brief discussion of alcohol drying methods. March 26, 2013

Typical Lumber Thickness Variation
Rough sawing produces lumber of variable thickness that has to be planed to finish dimensions. But how much variation is normal — and what causes it? May 13, 2013

Shrinkage Allowances for Sawing Southern Yellow Pine
What dimension should SYP be sawn to, in order to arrive at the desired thickness after drying and planing? November 14, 2009

Shipping Large Circular Saw Blades
Advice on packing large saw blades for shipment so they won't be deformed or damaged. June 28, 2010

Sawing Tapered Logs
Tips for getting high-value lumber with either portable or fixed equipment. April 10, 2005

Quartersawing, Rift Sawing, and Plain Sawing Explained
This authoritative explanation with photos and drawings will clear up the widespread confusion about the various ways of sawing logs for grain. May 27, 2014

Stiffening a Large-Diameter Circular Sawmill Blade
Advice on tuning or adjusting a 60-inch sawmill blade. January 27, 2007

Quartersawing, Labor, and Yield
This discussion of quartersawing with a bandmill makes some interesting points about the extra work involved and the variable quality and value of the resulting product. April 27, 2011

Winter Operation of Solar Kilns
Solar drying kiln performance slows significantly in the winter. Here are tips on wintertime operation. July 15, 2012

Stained oak from supplier
There are solutions for stained, milled, not-yet-dried oak lumber, but first , one must determine the cause of the staining. 1998.

Log scale and overrun
Different types of scales, formulas and methods of figuring overrun. January 28, 2002

Making Your Own Wood Shakes or Shingles
what's the difference, how long they will last, and more. September 17, 2008

Measuring Logs and Lumber
Lumber measurement - Professor Gene Wengert clears up questions regarding proper measurement techniques. May 28, 2001

Rough-Sawn Thickness Versus Finished Thickness
or how to minimize thickness loss when they plane their rough lumber smooth. October 14, 2006

Evaluating a Down Oregon White Oak
Sawyers advise a colleague on how to assess the quality of lumber he's likely to get from a White Oak that has been on the ground for two years. July 10, 2007

Recovering Lumber from Tree-Service Oak Logs
A woodworker has a tree-service friend who is looking at some fine old oak trees that need to come down. Here, sawmillers discuss the market and the milling choices for that nice wood. July 28, 2006

Flatsawn to Quartersawn
Cutting both types of lumber. December 17, 2003

Pitch Build-Up When Planing Air-Dried Pine
There's no way to stop Pine pitch from gumming up machinery, short of kiln-drying the lumber. (This thread has some interesting asides about using your own sawn wood for construction.) April 27, 2011

Kerf thickness' effect on yield -- and profitability
How profoundly does the thickness of blades used in sawmilling affect yield, costs, and wise use of resources? June 20, 2000

Remove pith when sawing boards?
Removing inferior wood from sawlogs. June 24, 2001

Parenchyma Cell Rings and Wood Grain
Info about parynchyma cell rings, a structure similar to growth rings that can affect the appearance of sawn lumber. October 1, 2009

Efficient cutting parallel to bark
When cutting for grade, what is the most material-efficient method? Illustrated. April 2, 2002

Palletizing Lumber for Shipment by Truck
Advice on preparing lumber for pickup by semi truck. April 20, 2011

Presurfacing Green Sawn Oak
Planing roughsawn Oak before kiln-drying has benefits that may make it worth the cost. October 26, 2011

Preventing brown stain on pine
Warm weather is the culprit; keeping still-to-be-processed logs cools is the solution. 1998.

Borate-Treating Freshly Sawn Wood
Ideas, thoughts, and tips for using borax and borate solutions to make green lumber bug-resistant. June 12, 2006

Durability of Eastern Red Cedar
Short answer: it's the heartwood that is rot-resistant. But you'll learn more than that from this discussion. April 11, 2008

Advantages of Taper Sawing
Sawing parallel to the bark produces higher-quality boards. Here's an explanation, with some how-to tips. October 29, 2008

Buying a Planer for Big Timbers
Heavy-duty planing capability requires a whole different class of machine. March 9, 2010

Can Tree Limbs Provide Useful Lumber?
Growth stresses create movement issues with wood sawn from limbs, but it does have some uses. July 3, 2008

Definition of Primary Process
Locating the dividing line between primary and secondary processing of wood products. September 5, 2011

Bleaching Blue Stain
Advice on using bleach to clean lumber affected by blue stain. August 31, 2009

Beech Lumber for Siding
Exterior siding exposure may not be the best use of Beech wood. June 4, 2012

Best preparation for bent ash
Dr. Gene advises a fishing-net maker on the best ways to prepare ash for bending into frames for his products. 1998.

Defining "Slab" and "Flitch"
For the record, here's what the terms mean to a sawmiller. July 30, 2007

Using Light Equipment to Try Out Sawmilling
A poster thinking about whether to try milling some logs with a small chainsaw and shop bandsaw gets feedback from the pros. October 1, 2010

Sawing utility poles
Is it safe and practical? Advice from those who've done it. August 25, 2003

Troubleshooting a Wandering Blade Problem
A portable band-saw mill owner gets help figuring out what makes his blade "dive" into cuts. June 22, 2005

Urban Tree: Wasted Opportunity?
A photo of an Elm tree about to be chipped on the National Mall in D.C. sets off a discussion of the value (subjective and market) of urban trees and yard trees. May 11, 2011

Troubleshooting Wavy Cuts in Large Logs
A newcomer to sawmilling gets help tuning his bandsaw mill up to cut straight in big hardwood logs. September 17, 2008

Sawing and Drying Tips for Pecan
Orchard-grown pecan wood warps badly when drying. Here is advice on how to cut and dry pecan in order to minimize warping and improve quality. July 28, 2006

Slabbing with a Chainsaw
Advice on low-tech slabbing methods, to rescue a nice log from the burn pile. January 2, 2012

Saw Blade Hot Spots and Dishing
What's the right thing to do when a circular sawmill blade heats up in one spot and dishes out of shape? April 20, 2011

Quartersawing Sycamore for Fleck
Making the most out of a sycamore log. May 11, 2005

Uses for Cottonwood
Cottonwood is a useful and versatile species. Here, pros discuss aspects of working with the wood. August 30, 2005

Sawing to Prevent Tapered Logs
Making the proper cuts in the right order, to produce flat, quality lumber. May 11, 2005

Splitting Large Cants
Sawmill operators discuss ways to cut a 12x12 cant down into 4x6 cants using different types of mill. July 28, 2006

Quartersawn, Rift Sawn, and Flatsawn — What's the Difference?
A photo example and discussion of grain direction in sawn lumber. February 4, 2011

Strings on Bandsawn Lumber
A discussion of why bandmills sometimes produce a stringy cut in some wood. March 26, 2009

Tough Bandsaw Blades for Dirty Logs
No bandmill blade is really a match for rocks or gravel. But here is some advice on tough blades and cleaning and sawing methods for dirty logs. January 2, 2012

Wood weight and highway transport
How to accurately estimate the weight of a truckload of air-dried lumber to assure compliance with trucking regulations. Includes access info for resources. August 1, 2000

Sawing and Drying Pecan Wood
Advice on handling a Pecan yard tree — including the story of hitting a couple of nails. December 12, 2008

What Size Log is Worth Quartersawing?
Thoughts on the practicality of getting useful yield when quartersawing logs. October 3, 2009

Safe Time for Tight Stacking
How long can you safely "dead stack" wood without air spaces before stickering the pile? February 27, 2013

Telling Red Pine from White Pine Logs
Branch whorls aren't much help, but compare early and late wood growth. February 26, 2005

Salvaging Wilt-Killed Red Oak
Burn the sawdust and bark, and kiln-dry the lumber. December 11, 2006

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

Saw Blade Guide Pressure
Depending on the saw model, blade guides may not touch the blade, or may apply a constant light pressure to it. October 1, 2010

Suitability of Tulip Poplar for Timbers
Can a large Tulip Poplar tree yield large members suitable for structural use in a timber frame? March 28, 2010

Sawing Hard Maple
Advice on bandsaw blade characteristics for good performance in hard Maple. October 29, 2008

Slope of grain
How to process lumber to achieve a given slope of grain. March 28, 2001

Tips on Sawing Birch
Advice on getting good lumber quality from Birch logs. January 14, 2009

Winter-time End Coating
Yes, it's important to end-coat fresh-cut logs quickly, even in the winter. June 12, 2006

Sawing Logs After Checking Occurs
Badly checked logs should be dried and sawn first, then end-trimmed as boards. December 1, 2005

Salvaging lumber from submerged wood
The best chance for salvaging lumber from submerged wood lies in cutting it quickly, and drying it slowly. 1998.

Future of Sawmilling
Here's a long, conversational thread on the economics of sawmill operations and the big picture of the general economy. August 31, 2009

Processing Trees to Lumber -- for the Hobbyist and Small Business
Two experts share their secrets of success for small-scale milling operations. January 19, 2002

Lumber: Quantity or Quality?
The debate over speed or grade when sawing for profit. January 29, 2004

Gang-Resawing Thin Strips with a Frame Saw
The "frame saw" allows rapid high-volume production re-sawing. October 12, 2007

Portable Mill Types -- Chain-Saw Versus Band-Saw
Pros and cons of the options for slabbing and milling. February 26, 2005

Maximizing Lumber from a Log
Can quartersawing produce as much usable lumber as one company claims? January 29, 2004

Edging boards
The most efficient methods. December 17, 2002

Pine Board Sheathing for Homes
Works fine in most cases — here's some useful advice about practicalities and codes. July 14, 2010

Rotating logs when sawing
Advantages and disadvantages of turning logs 180 degrees when sawing. January 4, 2001

Keeping a tally
Ideas for tallying BF while custom sawing. May 2, 2001

Planning Your First Cut for Best Lumber Quality
A little forethought can help a sawyer get the best wood out of every log. April 10, 2007

Hardwood Lumber Tallies
Are you being shorted on a lumber delivery? The answer could depend on the fine points of board-foot calculations. April 19, 2015

Green Douglas Fir for Timber Framing
Advice on framing with fresh-cut Douglas Fir posts and beams. April 2, 2013

Is Pin Oak Useful?
Widely planted as a yard landscaping tree, Pin Oak has some drawbacks as a source of lumber. June 18, 2009

Edger Causing Crook in Boards
Sawmill operators discuss what could cause an edger to send boards off track. June 28, 2010

Gang-Ripped Lumber Yields
A discussion of the ways lumber is lost during ripping operations, and of what is a reasonable yield from the job. October 15, 2010

Eastern Red Cedar for Buried Posts
The heartwood of Eastern Red Cedar has better rot resistance than the sapwood has. January 18, 2011

How Long Can a Log Sit Before Sawing?
How old is too old to be worth sawing, for down logs or standing dead trees? February 4, 2011

Ring Shake in Hemlock
Hemlock makes good boards or framing lumber, but wood from trees exposed to grazing animals may be have structural flaws. July 12, 2005

Ring Deformation (Compression Wood)
An odd-looking ring pattern in a cross-cut log is explained as compression wood, certain to bend after sawing. April 20, 2011

Milling Norway Spruce
Ways to avoid known problems when sawing Norway spruce, a difficult wood to saw. December 31, 2012

Moisture Content of Freshly Sawn Wood
It's a lot. November 28, 2006

Milling and Drying Cottonwood
Tips on how to handle cottonwood for good results. July 28, 2006

Head Saw Alignment
The band and carriage on a head saw may be set at an angle to allow gravity to work for you (but not too hard). November 26, 2008

Iron Stains in Red Oak
Slabs from a yard tree with a lot of deeply embedded nails have some bad staining. Will bleach help? April 20, 2011

Chainsaw Sawmilling for Old Guys
Here's a great discussion on the capabilities of chainsaw mills, from the point of view of some dudes who have gotten smarter over time. February 27, 2013

Blue Stain in Red Oak
A discussion of staining, drying odor, and related problems in a large oak tree blown down by wind. December 12, 2008

Blade Considerations for an Under-Powered Bandmill
When working with large logs on a bandsaw mill with a relatively low-power motor, fewer teeth per inch and more lubrication might be help prevent overheating. April 18, 2015

Birdpeck in Walnut
Woodpecker damage can be found deep inside some Walnut trees, and tends to concentrate within particular stands of trees or geographic areas. June 8, 2008

Allowing for Shrinkage when Sawing Framing Lumber
If you want the lumber in service to end up comparable to commercial kiln-dried softwood framing lumber, how much thicker and wider should you saw? November 28, 2006

Assessing an Old Circle Sawmill
A discussion about getting a rusty old circle mill up and running again, including thoughts about safety and about restoring the old blade. . September 5, 2011

Do I Have White or Red Oak?
Woodweb wood detectives take on another case. April 30, 2009

Best Dimension for Sawing Poplar
A sawmill operator with a load of Poplar logs to saw wonders what size boards would prove most popular. September 27, 2008

Cant Hook Versus Peavey
Useful information on the relative merits and characteristics of these basic logging and sawmilling tools. May 11, 2005

Drying Apple Wood
Advice on how to saw and dry a big old Apple tree trunk. May 10, 2007

Charging for Thin-Sawing Lumber
When sawing thinner than 4/4, adjust the board-foot rate accordingly — or just charge by the hour. August 30, 2007

Board Feet of Cedar in a Cord
Sawmillers talk rough equivalents: board feet, cords, and truckloads. December 6, 2009

Baseball Bat Billets
Tips on sawing and drying rough stock for bat makers (a tough market to break into). June 18, 2010

Blades for Re-Sawing
High-quality blades will pay for themselves in lumber yield, replacement cost, and labor time. January 14, 2009

Dealing with crooked logs
What is the best way to saw logs with sweep or crook? May 30, 2001

Blade Options for a Circle Mill
Considerations on choosing a circular sawmill blade. April 10, 2007

Cants pulling away from line bar
Problems with cants that don't stay properly set up during milling. August 1, 2001

Drying Walnut Boards
Tips on handling, and how to dimension for best value. February 26, 2005

Crafting a Tongue for a Horse-Drawn Mower
Advice on wood choice and fabrication methods for making old-fashioned wooden farm equipment components. December 31, 2012

Choosing a Log Scale
A sawmiller harvesting various tree species gets advice on which log scale will give him the most accurate estimates of his inventory. June 20, 2005

Changing Circular Sawmill Blade Bits
Hard to do, hard to visualize, hard to explain in words ... still, this advice might help. February 22, 2011

Strange stories from the sawmill
Sawyers trade tales of unusual objects discovered in wood, during processingd - June 21, 2000

Wood, the environment, and Man
A wide-ranging overview of the state of the primary processing industry, and where it may be going from here. August 10, 2000

Tips for Shipping and Selling Lumber Nationwide
This discussion about the factors that affect shipping rates takes an interesting detour into sales psychology. February 4, 2011

What Does "Old Growth" Mean
The sawing and drying forum discusses what "old growth" means when used to describe lumber, and what qualities "old growth" wood may or may not have. May 14, 2006

The "Sustainable" Chain of Custody
How can a small shop get certification that its wood is sustainably produced, all the way back to the source? June 30, 2009

Swing Blade Safety
How dangerous is a swing blade sawmill? Operators kick the topic around. June 30, 2007

Value-Added Processing -- for the Sawmill
How to make sawing, drying and other processing operations profitable. March 22, 2001

Quality Expectations for Bandsaw-Milled Lumber
Sawmillers chime in on whether wavy cuts and thin ends are acceptable in walnut boards. June 28, 2006

Thick Slabbing Versus Edging
Sawyers debate the decision: saw and edge for grade, or start by slabbing to create a square cant? Many factors enter into the choice. August 21, 2006

Sawyer survey
A host of sawyers share their preferred techniques for sawing logs, and the reasoning behind them. June 20, 2000

Slabbing and Drying Big Logs
Preventing cracks in Monterey cypress. April 18, 2004

Sawing and Drying Sweet Gum
Sweet Gum is a troublesome wood to work with because of its tendency to twist and move, but the effort can be worth it for some uses. February 14, 2010

Twisty Trees are Trouble
Sawyer lore says the logs with the left-handed twist are best left to rot. April 20, 2011

Sawing Up Some High-Grade Cherry
Most sawyers advise flat-sawing nice Cherry for grade. March 31, 2008

Sawing Hickory for Flooring
Quartersawn may be most stable, but flatsawn is prettiest. February 15, 2009

Uses for shavings and sawdust
A discussion of uses for and the marketablility of waste from the primary processing of lumber. July 18, 2000

Sawing Slabs from Huge Down Tree Stumps
This particular big old dead Cottonwood stump may not be worth the effort. But here's some good advice on how to break a big, hard-to-manage log up and get good-sized slabs and burls out of it. June 19, 2012

Quarter-Sawing Technique
What's the best way to quarter-saw a sycamore log? April 10, 2005

Why Saw Lumber Thinner?
Sawmillers discuss the economics and practicality of sawing 12/4 versus 4/4 lumber. January 13, 2006

Seasons and Logging
The time of year when a tree is cut may affect drying time, and also can have other effects. April 18, 2009

Sealing Log Ends
Thoughts about log-sealing products and application methods. September 15, 2006

Sapwood and heartwood
Questions on sapwood and heartwood of pecan and hickory, and how-to instructions for quartersawing. April 4, 2001

Wood I.D. Puzzle
Another guessing game about wood species — this time, a hurricane-downed log from south Texas. April 18, 2009

Sawing frozen logs
Solutions for problems encountered when sawing frozen logs. February 7, 2001

Set First, Then Sharpen? Or the Other Way Round?
Sawmill operators discuss the order of steps for sharpening blades. April 20, 2011

Quartersawing by the Board Foot
An appropriate board-foot rate for sawing services really depends on a lot of details. October 4, 2007

Sawing and Drying Red Gum
Advice on how to process Red Gum and comments about its marketability. January 2, 2012

Sawmilling: Thickness guidelines
Differents customers want boards sawn to different thicknesses--what are the standards? August 12, 2001

Sawing Sweet Gum
Thoughts on how to cope with Sweet Gum's warping ways. January 8, 2010

Virginia Pine Sawing and Use Characteristics
Also called "Jersey Pine" or "Spruce Pine," this tree yields useable lumber but is prone to rot, disease and insect damage. May 10, 2007

Sawing An Old Elm Tree
Tension wood from growth stress may call for a modified technique. April 10, 2005

Sawing Posts and Beams
How do you get good structural timbers from a log? August 26, 2008

Standing dry cedar: Lumber-worthy?
Are standing, dead cedar trees a good source for decking boards? July 11, 2000

Steaming beech for veneer production
Questions and answers on various technical aspects of steaming beech lumber, preparatory to producing veneer. Includes ideas for further reading.

Sawing Elm with Off-Center Pith
Off-center pith in a leaning tree is a sure sign of stressed wood, and the logs must be sawed with special care. May 11, 2005

Silver Maple Board Quality
Sawyers who have cut up Silver Maple share their observations. January 27, 2007

Whether to Edge Before or After Kiln-Drying
Most lumber producers edge before kiln-drying, but there could be reasons to do it first — or not at all. October 26, 2011

Sawing Norway Spruce for Lumber
Norway Spruce doesn't saw into the finest lumber going, but it's not trash either. February 22, 2011

Sawing and Drying Less Common Species
Sawyers give the Wood Doctor some feedback about lesser-used species such as Persimmon, Madrone, Boxelder, and Mulberry.September 5, 2011

Slabbing a Large Cherry Trunk
Advice on getting the best from a large Cherry tree growing in the courtyard of a home. December 31, 2012

Sharpening of band mill blades
A primer on sharpening band-mill blades. March 2, 2000

Sawing Your Own Framing Lumber
Proper grading is an issue, because knots may weaken the material for structural purposes. April 20, 2011

Tracking Boards for Bookmatching
Ways to keep track of bookmatched board pairs from sawing through drying and planing. April 19, 2006

Sawing Live Oak
Hard as a rock, full of sticky gum, and it dries twisty ... what's not to love? April 21, 2008

Straight cuts through knots
Knots are extremely dense. Here's advice for keeping cuts on line while cutting through them. June 21, 2000

Using OSB for Stickers
Sawmill pros generally frown on using oriented strand board (OSB) for sticker material. January 17, 2011

Woodmizer Arm Adjustment
Fine-tuning the clamping arms for a Woodmizer bandmill. March 9, 2010

Why You Should Saw Pine Fresh
period. April 27, 2007

Sticker Thickness and Sources
For good air circulation, stickers need to be at least 3/4 inches thick. Here are ideas on where to get them. October 25, 2006

Sawing Walnut for High-Quality 5/4 Lumber
Tips on working with a big Walnut log to get high-grade five-quarter lumber. May 18, 2010

Side Bend or "Crook" and Sawing Methods
On wide boards, sawing too close to the pith can cause boards to bend sideways in drying. December 6, 2012

Sawing Parallel to the Bark
When sawing tapered logs, the way you saw can affect the value of the boards you produce. September 17, 2008

Whether to Quarter-Saw Honey Locust
Quarter-sawing honey locust is a lot of extra effort for a pretty marginal benefit. December 29, 2008

Quartersawing for Bows
Whether for archery, a chuck wagon, or a fiddle, bow-making starts with quarter-sawing. October 14, 2006

What Tree Species Will Hold Their Bark?
Some species will keep bark on when they're felled and sawn, but it also depends on the time of year. April 20, 2011

Troubleshooting a Wandering Bandsaw Blade
Bandsaw blades may wander for many different reasons. October 1, 2010

Sawing Ash with Emerald Ash Borer
There are restrictions on the transport of infested wood. Mill hygeine may be a good idea too. May 20, 2011

Understanding Ring Shake and Bacterial Action
The Wood Doctor explains the bacterial causes of ring shake. September 5, 2011

Sawing information resources
Where the beginning sawyer can find the fundamentals. (From WOODWEB's Sawing and Drying Forum) February 12, 2003

45-Degree Rotation Sawing
A sawyer reports getting nice-looking, if narrow, flat-grain boards by turning the log 45 degrees before each successive cut. July 26, 2010

Troubleshooting a Dished Sawmill Blade
Heat build-up at the center of a circular blade can distort its shape. July 28, 2006

Suitable Wood Species for Stickers
Any type of wood works, but it's best if you dry stickers before use. May 20, 2011

Testing for Case-Hardening and Drying Stress
Tips on detecting drying stress. October 29, 2008

Uses for Aspen
There's a local market for aspen, for various purposes. August 30, 2005

Sinker logs: Cutting, use and grading
A quick review of the cutting, use, and grading of lumber from sinker logs. June 20, 2000

Tips on Sawing Hickory
Tips on sawing techniques for some nice Hickory logs. December 30, 2007

Sawing Sweetgum
Sweetgum does not "gum up" blades, but it is prone to movement when sawn. March 13, 2007

Quartersawing, illustrated
Diagrams and instructions for quartersawing all sizes of logs. May 9, 2001

Wavy cuts in pine
Troubleshooting the cause of wavy cuts in pine. August 10, 2000

Quartersawing on a bandmill
Methods for quartersawing timber on bandsaw mill. June 24, 2001

Spraying Logs with Insecticide
Treating logs with bug spray before sawing is a bad idea, says the Wood Doc — ineffective as well as hazardous. October 30, 2005

Sawdust buildup in discharge chute
How to remedy pine-tar buildup leading to clogged discharge chutes during sawing. July 26, 2000

Sawing Palm Trees
Palm wood is probably more trouble than it's worth. July 13, 2006

Power Comparison Between Electric and Gasoline-Powered Bandmills
Electric motors have more torque at the same horsepower rating. Here's a discussion of the reasons. March 14, 2006

Reality Check for Urban Wood Sawmilling Idea
What a cool idea — invest in some equipment, saw up "free" logs, and make a tidy profit. If it were only that easy. December 11, 2007

Log Scales, Log Size, Kerf Thickness, Lumber Yield, and Profit
The estimated yield using one or another log scale may differ from the actual board footage of lumber sawn from a load of logs, for a variety of reasons. Here's a close look at how different scales, different logs, and different saws affect the yield, the price, and the profit. April 20, 2011

Resawing on a Bandsaw Mill
It's tricky, but doable. May 14, 2006

How to quartersaw
Sawyers share details and pictures of their preferred methods. May 17, 2003

Gig-back techniques for manual mills
Sawyers offer various ideas on gig-back techniques, and their impacts on saftely and profitability. June 20, 2000

Economics of Sawing Railroad Ties
Cost and quality of saw logs, your mill's production rate, and the market for byproduct lumber can all affect whether sawing ties will be profitable. June 8, 2011

Hand-Powered Saws for Milling Logs
A discussion of pit saws and an idea for adapting a bandmill blade for a hand-powered frame saw. May 11, 2005

Entering the Cut
Bandmill operators discuss the problem of a brief "bump" in blade tracking as the blade first enters the log. Usually, blade tension is the issue. October 14, 2006

Estimating Sawmill Overrun
Understanding the difference between the board feet estimated in a log and the board feet actually produced. May 11, 2005

Electric Sawmill Options
Backyard sawmill operator who wants to operate quietly learns about electric chainsaw mills. September 17, 2008

How milling impacts figure
How milling influences figure in sawn lumber. November 15, 2000

Planning Cuts with a Swingmill
Thoughts on making the first cut when using a swing-blade mill. July 7, 2011

More Strange Tales from the Bandmill Zone
Another blade bites the dust, as the list of odd items encountered in logs continues to grow. January 13, 2006

Getting a Consistent Chink Gap in Log Construction
A discussion of how to make a log cabin look reasonably regular. May 27, 2014

Resawing with a Bandsaw
Fewer teeth makes for a cleaner cut. Here's why. July 28, 2006

Fine Points of Bandmill Blade Tension
Blade characteristics, including steel type, gauge, and width, are factors in determining the best tension to apply to the blade in service. January 18, 2011

Lubricant for Severe Pitch Buildup
Tooth pitch and lubricant choice may be some help when sawing wood that contains unusual amounts of pitch. March 16, 2015

Keeping sawblades cool
What to use and how to do it safely. October 24, 2001

'Girdling' standing lumber, and why not
Cutting the cambium layer of a tree in order to dry wood while standing. January 4, 2001

Information on Lindane, a pesticide used to control powderpost beetles. June 21, 2000

Planing Charges for Rough-Cut Lumber
Sawyers discuss the up-charge for planed boards, and for custom planing work. December 6, 2009

Mobile Saw for Breaking Down Logs
A sawmill set up to process small logs needs a mobile saw to break down occasional stands of larger trees. Sawmillers offer advice. October 29, 2012

"Rustic" Lumber — What Is It?
What visual qualities define lumber as "rustic" is a matter of subjective perception and opinion. February 4, 2011

Optimal Circle Saw Size
60-inch circular sawmill blades can be problematic to use, so many sawmillers prefer a smaller diameter blade. October 3, 2009

Electrical Grounding for Metal Buildings
Good grounding (and fire insurance) are prudent measures for a metal sawmill building. March 31, 2008

Making the Most of Walnut Logs
Thick and thin, high grade and low grade, sawyers and woodworkers discuss how to squeeze the best value from walnut trees. July 28, 2006

R-Value of Log Walls
Wood rates about R-1 per inch, but air-sealing is also an issue with log buildings. July 13, 2006

Optimal width when milling lumber
Milling lumber to the ideal width, and stacking for drying without warpage. December 6, 2000

Red Oak and Pin Oak for Flooring
Advice on the sawing characteristics of Red Oak and "Pin Oak" December 6, 2011

Profit from Log Salvage?
Could a middleman make money diverting landfill-bound logs to sawmills? Unlikely, say the pros. January 13, 2006

Opening Cuts
Advice on figuring out where to take your first cut on a log. July 3, 2008

Finding a Use for Low-Grade Poplar
A sawmiller has buyers for his clear poplar, but needs an outlet for the knotty material that's left over. April 24, 2014

Resawing Tropical Hardwoods
Resawing dense hardwoods like Bubinga, Cocobolo and Swartzia requires special care. October 1, 2009

Making Stickers
Advice on sawing stickers for stacking lumber. April 18, 2010

Raised Grain and Sawmill Blades
A discussion of how blade characteristics might relate to roughening of the lumber surface. July 16, 2009

Rotating Sawlogs on the Mill
What's better, turning the log 90 degrees as you saw, or flipping it 180 degrees? January 8, 2010

Is Cedar an Insect Repellent?
Including Cedar in a stack of sawn wood will not keep bugs away, the Wood Doctor explains. July 11, 2013

Lumber from Tree Branches
Branch wood is stressed and unstable, but in some odd situations there may be value in it. October 19, 2013

Harvesting White Pine in Summer
It must be sawn within days, and dried quickly, to maintain good quality. October 2, 2005

Maple processing basics
The fundamentals of milling and drying maple. August 10, 2000

How Much Weight in a Truckload of Lumber?
Information on wood weight and truck carrying capacity. July 20, 2011

Log Drying and Degrade
Don't wait to long to saw ... but don't be too quick to write off an old log either. faOctober 4, 2011

Playing with hook angles
Experimenting with hook angles when sawing softwood. March 20, 2001

Mixing Borate to Control Post Beetles
Advice on obtaining and mixing borate pest-control formulas. January 8, 2010

Hackberry sawing and drying
How to saw and dry hackberry to avoid chemical staining. March 7, 2000

Estimating Blade Sharpness by Temperature
Blades heat up more as they get dull, but other factors can also have this effect. March 31, 2008

Pith Centering in Cabin "D" Logs
A sawyer wonders how best to avoid distortion as he produces wall logs for a cabin project. February 26, 2005

Most-marketable material thicknesses
Sawing lumber to thicknesses that are in demand among woodworkers. January 31, 2001

Green Color in Freshly Sawn Black Walnut
Freshly sawn Black Walnut sometimes shows a green tinge, which quickly fades. Here's more on Walnut's natural color behavior. October 14, 2008

Milling Timbers to Minimize Warp
Either "box the heart," or stay away from the pith altogether. March 16, 2015

Recycling log wash water
A discussion of the merits and pitfalls for recylcing the the water used to keep logs dampe prior to milling. July 4, 2000

Keeping logs wet before milling
Should logs be stored in water until they can be milled? June 27, 2000

Estimating BF yields
Some formulas for calculating board foot yields from rough logs. March 1, 2000

Reading a Log for Ray Fleck
If you understand what ray fleck is, you can tell which logs have it. January 14, 2009

Gross tally vs. net tally
The difference between "gross" and "net" tallies in lumber processing is explained. July 18, 2000

Horsepower Requirement for a Big Circular Sawmill
Quick tips on the power needs of a large circle mill. August 30, 2007

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

Liability insurance for on-site milling
Some sources for liability insurance covering sawmilling performed at a customer's location. June 20, 2000

Plain Sawing Illustrated
Here's a simple drawing showing how to flat-saw a log in case you want flat-grain boards for use in furniture. June 16, 2014

Lumber from Trees Killed by Oak Wilt
The lumber should be fine, but check for insect damage. March 30, 2008

An overview of sawmill operations
Sawmill operators swap experiences, "war" stories, and ideas for production profitability. October 17, 2000

Cutting and drying beveled siding
Producing beveled siding from green lumber, with special attention to the drying process. June 24, 2001

Chainsaw and bandmills
A comparison of chainsaw mills and bandmills for small-scale production. March 28, 2001

Buried Metal Stories
Forum members swap stories of finding metal in the heart of a sawlog — and even in plywood. October 17, 2012

Drying rough-sawn timbers
A large outdoor project raises questions about drying large, rough-sawn timbers for long-term use. June 20, 2000

Creosote-treated timbers: Cut with care
Some wise precuations to take if milling lumber previously treated with creosote. September 21, 2000

Band Saw Blade Life in Hardwood
Thoughts on sharpening, lubrication, alignment, blade quality, and other factors that affect how long a bandmill blade will stay sharp in heavy use. February 24, 2008

Checking Concerns with Massive Wood Posts
A custom home project calls for 15-inch-wide solid timber posts. Here's a discussion of the inevitable checking that will occur, and how to minimize it. November 13, 2005

Another Wood Identification Mystery
The Woodweb detective team works on another wood identification case (probably Maple, this time). March 28, 2010

Dealing with Snow at the Sawmill
Sawmill operators describe how they cope with heavy snowfalls in the yard and in the woods. September 5, 2011

Bulldozed Saw Logs
Trees that have been pushed over may have various kinds of damage near the butt — and pulling them out of the pile can be hazardous, too. June 22, 2012

Bandmill Blade Tension and Blade Temperature
Bandsaw mil blades expand and contract with heating and cooling, which affects blade tension. Here is a discussion of how equipment should adjust to compensate. August 18, 2009

Does a Tow-Behind Sawmill Need Vehicle Tags?
Just because you can tow it behind a truck, doesn't mean it's officially a "trailer." In some states at least, sawmill equipment on wheels is not a vehicle and it doesn't need a license plate. December 30, 2007

Air-Dried Pine for Exterior Siding and Trim
A discussion of keeping pitch from gumming up the planer, and on priming knots in Pine to avoid bleeding. Nice photos in this thread. May 30, 2011

Casehardening, Checking, and Warping
Dry lumber that warps when resawn offers a lesson about casehardening and its effects. May 27, 2008

Blade Tracking Issues with Hard Hickory
Blade characteristics such as gullet depth, sharpness, and rake angle affect the performance of a bandmill blade in a very hard hardwood log. January 19, 2012

Assessing the Value of a Yard Elm Tree
Advice on the character of American Elm wood, tips on drying, and cautions about metal in a yard tree. January 28, 2014

Amish mills
Some perspectives on Amish sawmill operations. June 27, 2000

Dealing with Heavy Pitch
Antique heart pine and other pitch-heavy woods can clog blades up quickly. Here's some good advice on keeping blades clean. May 11, 2005

Band mills versus circular mills
Choosing the right sawmill for your unique operation. April 3, 2004

Choosing an edger
What to consider when buying an edger for a primary processing operation. January 4, 2001

Decay Concerns when Storing and Milling Sinker Cypress
Questions and answers about how long you can wait to mill and dry antique Cypress logs after pulling them up from underwater. April 24, 2014

Characteristics of Honeylocust Wood
Thoughts on Honeylocust, a little-known but attractive and useful wood species. June 30, 2007

Circular Mill Alignment
Advice on fine adjustments to a circular sawmill for accurate cutting performance. February 12, 2007

Charging for Stickers
Stickers, like anything else, have a value and a price. October 25, 2006

Air temp, relative humidity and MC
How much moisture can air hold, and what is the effect on drying lumber? July 4, 2000

Cambium miners' effect on standing cherry
A woodlot pest causes gummosis in cherry. June 21, 2000

Chainsaw Bogging Down in Poplar
Is it a wood problem, or a chainsaw problem? February 3, 2011

Blade Life when Sawing Old Utility Poles
A discussion of why treated power poles are death to bandmill blades. April 27, 2007

De-Barking Logs Before Sawing
Simple thoughts on how and why to remove bark from logs before sawing (or not). November 3, 2010

Cedar and Log Scale Accuracy
Advice on estimating the amount of recoverable lumber in some Eastern Red Cedar logs. March 26, 2009

Controlling Beetles in Fresh Logs
Beetles under the bark of a fresh log don't mean you can't saw the log and use the wood. November 12, 2008

Breaking Down Big Logs
An interesting discussion with informative videos about cutting down enormous logs to a manageable size for sawing on a bandsaw mill. April 18, 2015

"Boxing Out" Timbers from Logs
Advice on the best way to saw or hew frame-building timbers from logs. June 30, 2009

Counting board feet while sawing
Sawyers share tips for tallying total board feet while milling. July 18, 2000

Dealing with Shake in Hemlock Saw Logs
Shake in a Hemlock log is a sign of bacterial damage, so sawing the log is probably a waste of time. November 14, 2009

De-barking Logs
Pros discuss ways to get the bark off logs without removing wood. June 22, 2005

Cottonwood for Barn Siding
Advice on using Cottonwood for board and batten siding. June 18, 2010

Blue-Green Streaks in Sawn Oak
A discussion of various factors that can cause discoloring streaks in sawn lumber. January 17, 2011

Circular Sawmill Blade Sharpening
Opinions on the best equipment and techniques for sharpening circular saw blades. October 28, 2008

Building with Green Lumber
A few thoughts on using freshly sawn lumber for construction framing. January 27, 2008

Boxing the heart, 101
Basic guidelines for sawing a maple log. June 20, 2000

Are Small-Log Processing Systems Profitable?
Mill set-ups exist designed to handle small logs. But is it worth the trouble? December 1, 2005

Curing pitch buildup on blades
Sawyers offer various approaches and potions for preventing pitch buildup on bandmill blades. June 20, 2000

Circular Sawmill Blade Tuning
Large circular sawmill blades are hammered to dish the blade when at rest; it flattens out when the mill is running. Here's more. April 30, 2009

Comparing Norway Maple to Hard Maple
Strictly speaking, Norway Maple is its own species, not classified as either Hard Maple or Soft Maple. However, it can occasionally yield some nice wood.February 17, 2012

Dipping Lumber Before Stickering
A brief description of dipping lumber in fungicide and insecticide for short-term dead stacking before stickering to air dry. March 28, 2012

A good, cheap end sealant?
A discussion of the pros and cons of various sealants used on ends of boards in primary lumber processing. April 22, 2000

Characteristics of European Larch
Naturally durable with decay-resistant heartwood, Larch would make good decking or siding. April 21, 2011

Determining the weight of logs
Resources and methods for estimating the weight of green logs. January 16, 2001

Computerized bandmill setworks -- worth the investment?
Cost-saving advantages of utilizing setworks on a bandmill. December 6, 2000

Controlling Cant Checking
Cants check as they dry because of uneven shrinkage. It can be controlled, but not completely prevented. July 28, 2006

Accuracy of Kiln Sample Moisture Content Measurements
Factors including temperature change can reduce the accuracy of MC readings, particularly at high moisture contents. April 30, 2006

Carbide-tipped bandmill blades
The pros and cons of carbide-tipped blades for bandmill operations. June 20, 2000

Alder color
The effects of age on the coloration of lumber cut from alder logs. August 10, 2000

Thickness of Rough Lumber
Identifying and sawing for specific dimensions. May 19, 2004

Starting a Sawmill Business to Supply Stakes
The sawing and drying forum takes a hard critical look at a business proposition. April 20, 2011

Sawing Dawn Redwood
A discussion of the characteristics of lumber sawn from Dawn Redwood. March 28, 2010

You say pecan, I say hickory
Pecan lumber is usually sold as hickory. June 20, 2000

Sawdust Removal for a Circular Mill
Drag chains or augers beat blowers. July 7, 2011

Quartersawn and flatsawn: What's the difference?
Distinguishing between quartersawn and flatsawn lumber. January 16, 2001

Qualities and Uses for Sweet Gum
A small sawmiller sees his first load of Gum wood, and gets advice about its value and how to handle it. June 22, 2005

Value of Salvaged Burnt Timber
Trees killed by wildland fire still produce good lumber beneath the charred portion. January 8, 2010

Making Money with a Sawmill Business
Plan with a focus on high-margin production, and you might make money — not just wear out a saw. January 14, 2008

Eastern Hemlock for Post and Beam Construction
Beetle kill is taking a toll on Eastern Hemlock. Is the wood worth harvesting for timber framing? December 8, 2012

Pricing and Legalities for Portable Sawmilling
What should you charge, and should you let the customer help? February 26, 2005

Oak, Gum or Tupelo?
Another wood identification problem. January 29, 2009

Red Cedar Grain Patterns
A craftsman gets advice on sawing techniques for achieving beautiful book-matched grain effects. June 22, 2005

Is storing cants feasible?
Can large cants be stored until an order for custom-cut lumber is received? February 19, 2002

Promoting a new sawmill business
How to get the word out that you have a mill and you're sawing wood. January 16, 2002

Lighting your sawmill
Providing good light for your work on dark days and late nights. February 19, 2002

Optimal Size to Rough Cut for Flooring
Start with a uniform finish thickness, then add allowances for planing, drying shrinkage, and cupping. October 26, 2011

How Much Sawdust Will I Make?
Formulas and rules of thumb for estimating volume of sawdust generated in bandmill operations. September 5, 2011

Expanding a sawmill operation
Advice on expanding an existing sawmill operation June 20, 2000

Positioning an Edger and Sawmill
Situating your two-man sawmill setup for optimum efficiency. May 11, 2005

Risk of Spreading the Emerald Ash Borer
Advice on the kind of hygeine that may help prevent the spread of emerald ash borer insects. April 27, 2007

Marketing Small-Diameter Lodgepole Pine
Lodgepole pine produces good construction lumber, but small-diameter logs may not yield much value. December 30, 2007

Russian Olive Wood
Russian Olive is considered a weed tree with few useful lumber characteristics. January 25, 2010

Can a Beginner Make a Living with a Portable Sawmill?
Experienced sawmill operators counsel a newcomer on his odds of success with buying and operating a sawmill in a tough market — and describe what his life will be like if he tries it. November 16, 2010

A Butt Log Identification Puzzle
Are these logs American Beechnut, Red Elm, Butternut, or what? In this long and detailed thread, sawmillers discuss the characteristics that could be clues. November 16, 2011

Another Wood Identification Conundrum
Another unknown wood gets a close look from the Woodweb detective crew. Could it be Paulownia? January 18, 2012

Cost of Sawmilling: Renting Versus Owning
A lumber consumer who's renting a mill to make his own wood wonders which side his bread is buttered on. April 24, 2014

Bandmill enclosures for all-weather milling
Ideas for a structure to house a bandsaw mill, with thoughts on heating and dust collection. February 13, 2001

Deodar Cedar -- What's It Good For?
A little information but few answers about an ornamental Cedar variety that sometimes finds its way to a sawmill. December 30, 2007

A retail lumber business?
Tips for success in a start-up sawmill-to-retail business. January 16, 2001

Composting Chips and Shavings
Compost shavings and chips before adding them to garden soil. Here's how. December 31, 2012

Drying Submerged Logs Recovered from a Lake
A discussion of the technical and legal issues relating to recovered "sinker" logs. September 6, 2010

Controlling Checking in a Walnut Mantel
A carefully located plunge cut in the hidden side of a large sawn member may restrict checking to that location. April 18, 2010

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