I am new here and have just spent the last two hours poring over this site as there is tons of useful info. I was wondering if you can cut more than one beam out of one log, and be reasonably safe from twist. I’m really new at this and any help is truly appreciated.
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor J:
Welcome, glad you found the site information. I have a couple of questions. What type of wood are you cutting? How big are the beams? Also, what are you using to cut them?
I might be mistaken but are you asking if you box the heart so one log equals one beam? I would reckon it would depend on the above mentioned items. I have cut posts out of one large log. It was Monterey pine, and they didn’t twist. I got about six 6x8's out of the heart wood, no sap wood. What are the posts for?
Twist depends on the tree itself (is there spiral grain) or whether the beam is sawn parallel to the pith. If sawn parallel to the bark, twist is more likely. Many logs will yield multiple excellent beams.
If you have heartwood and sapwood in the same timber (more then 1/4 thickness across the face of the timber) you will find the timber will bend the ends toward the center of the log (heartwood side).
Q-sawn beams will bow the same way but can be useful in they will flatten back out under live load if used for floor joist. The size of the timbers and logs will tell the tale but for logs under 20 inches just one post per log. Also I try not to use the bottom 8 feet of a tree in a timber.