Neighbourhood lumber: resawing a small log

In a recent post, I described how I often find discarded logs in my neighbourhood and often cut those logs into boards for woodworking (see the post here).

I de-barked one of the logs and had put it to one side for a few weeks. Unfortunately, the ends had already started to crack, so I decided to cut the log into boards sooner rather than later to give the wood a chance to dry more evenly.

Having no clue what the wood might be, Bob Easton suggested it might be sycamore. By looking at some images of sycamore bark I happily agree with him. The wood is light in colour, but planes to a shiny surface.

I followed the methodology for sawing up the log from this Close Grain blog post. Here are the steps:

  1. I cross-cut the log into manageable lengths.
  2. I flattened opposite sides of the log so that it would be held easier in the vise.
  3. I drew parallel lines on the end grain to mark the desired board thicknesses.
  4. Care is taken to cut either side of the centre of the tree (the pith).
  5. Having no chalk lines, I used a pencil clamped to a block of wood to mark the cut-lines down the length of the log.
  6. I used a 28″ rip saw to cut down the lines, cutting from opposite sides of the log every 3 or 4 inches of cut.
  7. Once ripped, I removed any cracks at the ends by sawing the board shorter.
  8. I painted the ends to hinder further cracking.
  9. The boards are then placed on a shelf separated by stickers to facilitate even drying.
  10. I’ll leave them there to dry for at least 9 months.

This log portion took an hour to saw into 5 boards.


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