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AMCCJ's picture
New guy asking about aligning the center of logs

Ok I am sold on the topic of jacking up the log to align the center on both ends.

My problem is I dont understand the proceedure to follow after that.  I have been leveling, then making the first cut, then fliping 180 and making the second with the same 

spacer as the first inserted under the log.  Then making cuts 3 and 4 to get the cant without the spacer.

I am getting a seriously goofed up cant doing it this way, and obviously im doing something wrong here.

Can anybody go over the steps with me?  I appreciate your time and expierience.

Thanks, Erik

eddiemac's picture

When you flip the log 180 degrees, remove the spacer.  If you turn 90 degrees on the second cut, you may be able to use the same spacer, but always remove your spacer when cutting any opposite side.  Centering the pith works in many situations.  But when cutting for high quality grade lumber (usually hardwoods), it is sometimes advantageous to start your cut parallel to the face of the log.  Sawmill & Woodlot magazine had a very good article on this recently.

AMCCJ's picture

Thank You.  I will check out the magazine.

Have a Blessed day,





r.garrison1's picture

What are you trying to end up with, slabs or lumber? When I am cutting slabs, I do something similar; once I have one side in line with the center, I keep cutting until I am cutting most of the width of the log (usually about 3 slabs 2" thick on a 24" diameter log). Then I flip it, remove the spacer, and cut down to the first cut. I cut from the first side that far so when I flip it, I can use lower stops on the back side (reducing the risk of cutting into them) and the log doesn't overhang the back side more than I can cut.

If I am cutting lumber, I use the spacer on the first side, cutting an extra slab or two off the first side,then turn it 90 degrees, use a spacer (not always the same thickness), get another flat side. With the first side cut being cut into the log a bit, I am looking for getting a good square corner. Once I have a square corner, I flip the log so that corner is against the stops, I drop them down to the bottom, and clamp it on the other side (about as low as the stops), then I can cut the rest without changing the stops or clamp. Then I take those boards (with one wild edge), stack them on the mill standing on edge, and I cut to the dimension I want.For this cut, set the stops somewhere below your bottom cut, but not all the way at the bottom; that way they will stabilize the boards better. set the clamp at the same height, so the boards are being squeezed at the same height on both sides.


Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

Basic rule is any time you have a flat side down on the crossbunks, shims or taper rollers come out.  Cutting parallel to the face has always been a mysterious practice for me, but the theory makes sense.  The critical thing is to make the parallel cut on the best face.  You will sacrifice some lumber, but the idea is for that to be the lowest quality boards.

eddiemac's picture

When there are good faces on opposite sides, some choose to saw parallel to the bark until near the middle, flip 180, saw parallel to the bark again, and take the remaining wedge out of the center (around the pith  -  where the less valuable wood is; to be discarded).  Of course, you have to edge every board this way unless you do something to avoid it.

JP's picture

I ncut mostly Pine and try for mostly 12" wide

 I raise the small end 1/2 the dif. in size with the large end.

I than take a slab wide enough to get a 6" board  MOL.May need 2 slabs

then cut the 6" board than another to get to 12" face

then turn 90 deg. and repeat' all above then:

remove the spacer and turn the next  90 deg;

take the slab and boards enough to reach 12"

turn the cant  and take all boards

PS be sure to set the slab cuts at a board thickness number  JP

eddiemac's picture

That's the way I do it most often, except for exceptional logs.  I like to eliminate as much edging as possible and your method does that.