Sawing Tamarack

Sawing technique and uses for Tamarack. April 18, 2009

Question
Iím wondering if anybody has experience sawing tamarack? I have quite a few saw logs available. I would like to saw them 5/4 for decking material, along with some posts.

Forum Responses
(Forestry Forum)
From contributor W:
I sawed several thousand feet of tamarack ten years ago for a customer. The wood has a beautiful grain pattern and is quite red in color. Many, if not most, of the logs had pitch deposits that instantly gummed the blade causing the blade to dive. Tamarack is notorious for fine slivers that find their way into the skin but remain invisible. Gloves aren't a big help as the sawdust finds its way inside and carry slivers with them. The tamarack I sawed seemed to have a fair amount of stress, so frequent turning of the log/cant was imperative in order to avoid thick and thin lumber.



From contributor S:
I sawed around 9000' last sping. Just make sure to keep lots of water running on the blade. It sawed like butter. I sawed 2700' in 7 hours. Nice logs, 1-3/4 thick and enough help.


From contributor D:
I can't see any reason why you couldn't build your sauna out of tamarack, as far as peeling them, this time of year is pretty well the end, for peeling logs by hand, in this area. Tamarack has very good decay resistance, without knowing your dimensions of your building, I cannot advise further.


From contributor K:
I have tamarack rafters in my house and barns hand hewn on one side and unpeeled that are about a hundred and fifty years old in perfect condition. After some barn renos I left some outside and they were dust in a couple of years so I'd question using them for a deck. The original cedar fencing from the 1800's are still holding up pretty good. tamarack smells great in the furnace though!