Tips on Sawing Hickory

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

I have 1000' of fresh green hickory to saw. The smallest trunk is 17" and the largest is 24" diameter. Is it best to quarter saw or plain saw hickory?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor J:
Saw it plain, and the faster the better. Hickory will warp like crazy. Also stick it ASAP and keep weight on it so that you get a good yield on the dry end as well.

From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
A sharp blade is also essential.

From contributor T:
I second what Gene says about the sharp blade. I sawed up a couple of hickory logs about 2 months ago. It was grade sawn and the pith was boxed out so the boards all came out flat sawn. Dulled two blades on two logs. It didn't help that I accidentally hit a mill post either. But the logs were so clear that no extra turning was really necessary. We were very pleased with the quality of the wood.

I wouldn't discount quarter sawing a hickory provided it was large enough. Hickory sometimes shows small ray fleck and quarter sawn lumber has less drying problems.

The only drying problems we've had with the stuff we sawed two months ago is cupping of the boards and splitting of the beams. The boards have not surface checked and have no new end checks. The cupping in the boards will be dealt with by ripping them into narrower widths later.

From the original questioner:
I have 4 new Mizer 3/4 hardwood blades for this job and some fresh re-sharpened 7/8 Mizer blades if I have to use them. I'll try quarter sawing the 24" trunk maybe. Thanks for the tips.