1 You may recall the blog I posted in late July of 2010, when a twister blew through my farm, knocking over more than 120 trees. What does one do with so many broken trees?
2 Some of the wood was split for firewood and some was passed through a tub grinder for the compost pile. The really straight and beautiful logs were stacked for another use entirely–lumber!
3 This is Dominick's Wood-Mizer portable sawmill–quite an amazing piece of equipment! With its trailer package, the sawmill can be taken where ever there are felled trees.
4 Dominick set up his sawmill right next to the compost piles at the farm. This LT35 model has hydraulic features, which really help when loading, leveling, and turning the logs.
5 These control levers activate and deactivate the hydraulic functions.
6 This is where you adjust the thickness of your cut.
7 Dominick uses a log peavey to wrestle the logs onto the hydraulic loading arms of the saw mill.
8 He then activates the loading arms.
9 With very little effort on Dominick's part, the log is lifted and rolled onto the cutting bed.
10 More hydraulics activate the log clamp and the clawed log turner.
11 When Dominick is happy with how the log is turned, the clamp is moved into position, holding the log firmly in place against the opposite side supports.
12 It's time to activate the saw blade.
13 This machine is gasoline operated - red tank. It also has a water lube system - white tank. The water feeds down to the blade, cooling and cleaning it of sap for a longer cutting life.
14 The water lube system is especially important for logs like this sappy pine.
15 Making the first cut
16 Sawdust blows out from the blade through this attached tube.
17 The bandsaw blade works its way down the length of the log.
18 Dominick stops the saw and removes this first cut.
19 These outside pieces are very popular for use as siding on rustic cabins.
20 This log now has one flat side.
21 Dominick could just flip it over to cut the other side, but...
22 He engages those hydraulic helpers to do the job.
23 All set for the next cut.
24 The saw is whirring again.
25 Second cut done
26 Turn and cut the third side
27 It's beginning to look like a nice square beam.
28 Flipping it one more time for the final square-off
29 Dominick measures and realizes that he'll need to turn this wood 90-degrees to saw the size boards he wants.
30 Getting it turned and into position
31 Measuring again–he'll be able to cut several 1" x 10" boards, used for siding or flooring purposes.
32 At this point, Dominick activates the Wood-mizer's computer, which automatically adjusts the blade to make consistent cuts.
33 All Dominick has to do is push the freshly cut boards off.
35 And another
36 The boards are casually stacked onto the loading arms.
37 With the final cut of the log, the boards are lifted back onto cutting bed.
38 On the cutting bed, the boards are stacked vertically.
39 By the way, cutting wood, especially pine, is a very aromatic experience.
40 Once the boards are stacked...
41 They are clamped into position.
42 Dominick makes one final cut.
43 He removes 1-inch of wood, making the boards true 1" x 10"s.
44 Sixteen beautiful boards were cut from that big pine log in less than an hour–amazing!
45 The boards have a lovely knotty pattern.
46 The next step is to stack the lumber for air-drying, which must be done elevated off the ground.
47 You must also orient your lumber so that there is ample air circulation between layers. Dominick uses all the trimmings as spacers for stacking his lumber.
48 Generally speaking, you should allow hardwoods to air dry one-year-per-inch of wood. Pine, a softwood, will dry considerably faster.
49 We use a lot of wooden stakes around the farm to mark the carriage roads and Dominick is so happy to be able to make them with his sawmill. This will save a lot of lumber expense.
50 He is also designing a new framework for burlapping all of my boxwood hedges. He will use narrow flexible wooden slats which the burlap can be draped over. More about that later!