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Well boys and girls I got started on some of the projects I was cutting pine logs for last spring (http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,67132.0.html). It was to my advantage that the log had been down and drying for two years before we ripped it into planks. It was stacked and stickered near the stove all winter. I had one rip that we cut a little crooked stacked on top and used it as a moisture meter. I wanted to build a test project before starting on the table to see how the wood would respond to milling, gluing, sanding, staining, and finishing.

I decided to build a shelf for the area at the top of the stairs. I didn’t want it permanently attached to the wall as I may need to remove it in the event I was hauling a large appliance up the stairs, needing maneuvering room once I got to the top of the stairs. Hanging the shelf on a French Dovetail was the solution and would allow for a “no tools” removal if desired.

There are a couple schools of thought when working with large chunks of wood with reducing cupping, bowing, and warping in mind. One is simply to bolt it together and live with the resulting issues. A second method is to cut it into smaller pieced and glue it back together. The theory is that the smaller pieces will deform less, and the cumulative total will deform less as well. This is the route I have always picked.

There are also a couple choices with cutting it into small pieces. One is to flip the rips and glue them back together with the grain alternating, one rip sweeping up, the next sweeping down. This produces a stable plank but looks like a hardwood floor. It works best for thinner planks, say 1” thick and thinner.

The other way is to rip the stock and then glue it back together in the same order as ripped. Especially with the future table, this is the look I desire, as I want to see basically three wide planks for the top surface. With thicker material, the glue lines are more substantial and this process offers a good potential for success. This was the method I chose.

Then it was just a matter of cutting the parts, jointing them flat and square, planing them to an equal thickness, and gluing them back together. Another pass through the planer to clean them up after the glue dried and they were ready to assemble, stain and finish.

Working with material that wants to remain in a more “natural” condition, i.e. beetle bores, un-milled cambium layers on the edges etc. does present some challenges. With an earlier experiment on the end of a stump I found the clogged (I’m not sure with what!!) beetle hole would turn white when coated with a clear finish. I had cleaned some out and left some “as is”. On a test piece of the shelf, I found a white contamination on the milled surface as well as the cambium layer. This went away with a light wash of lightly colored stain. For the table and cabinet parts I will use an even lighter, almost natural stain to eliminate this problem.

Well here are a few pictures for your dining and dancing pleasure. Click on them to enlarge.

This is the first test. The end of a stump. Look, coffee stains at no extra charge!
 

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Re: Got started using the chainsaw milled planks

In areas where the grain is busy, the glue line may be a little more apparent.
 

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Re: Got started using the chainsaw milled planks

The glue line on the end grain may be visible due to material being removed on adjacent pieces during the “truing up” part of things.
 

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Re: Got started using the chainsaw milled planks

On the broader plain grain the glue line is invisible. Here it’s marked with the pointy end of a pencil.
 

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Re: Got started using the chainsaw milled planks

And finally, on the wall… Best regards. Wind
 

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Re: Got started using the chainsaw milled planks

Looks good! A chainsaw mill attachment is something I have toyed with getting from time to time. Don't know that I'd use it enough to pay for it. Hmm.
 

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Re: Got started using the chainsaw milled planks

That is really nice. I look forward to seeing the table. I too have seen the chainsaw mills, but was not sure how much use it would really get. We are lucky to have quite a few tie mills in my area. I can get lumber cut at reasonable prices otherwise I certainly would entertain the idea of a chainsaw mill.
 

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Re: Got started using the chainsaw milled planks

That really turned out great.

Wind
, there is a dude that has a cabin up A valley that has a bandsaw mill. I inquired and the price for milling was .40-.50 / bf with my logs. The pictures of the stuff he had looked pretty good.
 

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Re: Got started using the chainsaw milled planks

Hope that table holds more guns to ogle. ;D

My stepdad had a bandsaw mill powered by a small 4cyl auto engine it done a good job til his barn burned down. Old school never did believe in insurance. I've seen a couple of the chainsaw rigs they seem to do a good job on a budget.

Around here it is easier to take logs to an Amish mill for cutting. Most often they will trade for a small profit.
 

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Re: Got started using the chainsaw milled planks - started on the table (4/18)

Well boys and girls --

Got started on the table this week. Cleaned up the planks, ripped them into thirds, and glued them back together. Here are a few more pictures…

There is still some weight to these planks – even dry…
 

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Re: Got started using the chainsaw milled planks - started on the table (4/18)

Getting an idea of the width -- It would be nice to seat eight without crowding or dodging table legs…
 

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Re: Got started using the chainsaw milled planks - started on the table (4/18)

Plenty of clamps help when clamping odd shapes…
 

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Re: Got started using the chainsaw milled planks - started on the table (4/18)

Out of the planer -- Better than new?? Should be (mostly) stress free. Best regards. Wind
 

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Re: Got started using the chainsaw milled planks - started on the table (4/18)

Looking good, sure has some charactor in the grain.
 

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Re: Got started using the chainsaw milled planks - started on the table (4/18)

Another installment –

The top is all glued together. It is a fairly busy grain, but it will tone down some with a “natural” stain. The size of the top precluded getting into the middle area with clamps to fine tune the glue-up. Now that it is out of the clamps, it needs a little truing-up. I prefer to cut wood off as opposed to abrading it off.

Got out a sharp jack plane and straight edge and got started. The straight edge is just a batten that I can re-joint straight if it develops any cups or twists. It needs to be over half the length of the table long, and longer than the width of the table as well. This allows you to see humps and valleys. Then it’s just a matter off cutting off the high stuff.

Even with the knots, pine cuts well with a sharp iron. Here’s a picture of the operation…
 

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Re: Got started using the chainsaw milled planks - started on the table (4/18)

And here’s a closer look at the plane… A little Johnson’s paste wax on the sole and it’s almost effortless… Best regards. Wind (4/19)
 

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Re: Got started using the chainsaw milled planks - started on the table (4/18)

Got the legs put together and the mortise and tenon cuts made...
 

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Re: Got started using the chainsaw milled planks - started on the table (4/18)

And I got some "natural" Minwax stain and some finish on it. Moved it into the bunkhouse. Swany - A gun or two for you!!
 

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Re: Got started using the chainsaw milled planks - started on the table (4/18)

And a few more. Best regards. Wind
 

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That turned out fabulous! I really like the refined yet rusticly muscular feel to it. The fact that it was crafted from lumber you literally made and brought home from the woods rates it off the charts in cool factor. Highly impressive!
 
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