Saturday, August 13, 2011

Squaring the log, part N

I have been spending an enormous amount of time on simplifying the log-squaring process. One improvement is an improved marking-out procedure. On the other hand there have been a great many, many setbacks But first, let's look at our favorable advances, a vast improvement on the marking-out procedure.
Now this is really obvious once you have done it, but if you have a whole lot of logs to do, you will save a great deal of time by making a pattern. Do one level line, as ultimate reference. The pattern can be made out of almost anything. I used an old sign and it is aluminum. No use for overkill, beer cans would work just as well, plywood even. But I had it and I used it.

At this point I realized that I was spending all my time moving the log around. I also realized that I had a tool I had never tried before, the lumbermaker.

Well, well. For really large stuff, you use a chainsaw mill. The chainsaw mill is terrific. But you spend a lot of time setting up the first few cuts, and it needs a supporting structure, and you need a big saw. And a correspondingly big log to be worth the trouble. Even a really small chainsaw mill requires a half-meter bar minimum. And it is expensive. But I have one (and a saw with such a bar) and I could have used it. But I am cutting small logs say 20 cm or less diameter. Pain in the neck to set up the support. So I said "hey, let me try this". I did. Not favorable. You see, what you do is to tack a guide board on the top of the log. The channel on the lumbermaker rides on the guide board, and the chainsaw cuts. Simple, yes, but when you go to do the next cut you will almost certainly be in deep water, because it is very hard to hold a log. Just try it sometime. Those nice cylinders they show you in the pictures? Hah! Logs are irregular. At this point it dawned on me that the real problem with small logs is not chainsawing, it is holding the thing down in the first place. And thus began the saga of holding the log, which is not yet concluded. Big logs are a horse of a completely different color. But I have very few of those.

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