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wbrent
wbrent's picture
2 beams from one log?

Would there be a problem with me spitting a fair size spruce log basically in half to get two beams out of it. I’m after two 6x9’s and this log is big enough for both.

eddiemac
eddiemac's picture

I've never cut spruce, but in my experience, cutting beams with an edge near the pith (not centered), results in crook. If the log is big enough and you can get away from the pith by cutting some 2 x's out of the center, you're more likely to get straight beams or posts.

wbrent
wbrent's picture

I have room for one plank only out of the middle. Spruce is generally pretty stable in my limited experience. I may risk it.

Bill
Bill's picture

I would cut 2 6x9's out of it and not worry done it many times. I've cut beams every way if a log is prone to twist after it's sawn cutting out the pith isn't going to make any difference.With spruce until it's dry keep it out of the sun or it will twist regardless what you do.

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

I've found spruce to be more stable than fir. I have both, and spruce and tamarac are my favorite two woods for building.
I think you'll be great, and if you are too worried about it, take the two beams, flip them so the opposite sides are against each other, and strap them together as they start drying (kind of like holding the backs of your hands together).
The first week or two should be when they loose the most moisture; after that you should be good.

eddiemac
eddiemac's picture

Let us know how it turns out. I'll be happy to be mistaken; but oak and many of the hardwoods around here don't behave well when not ring-centered.

Bill
Bill's picture

I've done that with fir Eddie when the log is only large enough for 1 and 1 customer a few years ago didn't want 6x6's cut that way I've forgot his reasoning.

eddiemac
eddiemac's picture

I believe you, Bill, and I've probably gotten away with it several times too. I remember, though, an instance when I was cutting 5x10's out of oak for a guy building a barn. One log was big enough to get two beams and I warned if we split the log we'd probably end up with side-bend. He said, "do it." Sure enough, we could see the beams curling as the blade passed between them. Knowing him, though, I bet he found a way to make them work.

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

Interesting side note. I've seen wood curling as I cut. Just a couple months ago, I was cutting a fir that had some significant curve in the log. The worst part I cut into an 8' log, and when I was cutting it, I had about a 3" rise from the cut (cutting 2" slab).

wbrent
wbrent's picture

Ill try to keep you all posted. I mill them on saturday and have them outside propped up off the ground while they wait construction. It may be weeks before I get to them.

Bill
Bill's picture

wbrent keep them out of the sun or you'll have propellers.

wbrent
wbrent's picture

Ok. Maybe I’ll move them inside. They’re on the shady side of the barn but probably get about four of sun a day. I’ll get em in.

wayne busse
wayne busse's picture

I cut two out of an 20' ash log and they bowed about three inches in the first week. They were 8" by 13" and I only needed 5" so I re sawed one to straighten it. I cut 3" off one side so I would have a straight face. It bowed 2" before it was even off the mill. I've found ash has a ton of tension.

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