Big Red Oak in the Kiln PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy   
Thursday, 01 January 2009 18:00

The new year has just begun and I figured I'm way overdue for an update, so here's some info on the load that currently fills my kiln.  It's some red oak (all rift sawn/quarter sawn) from a great big 'ol log that came down from a friend's yard.

My friend Tim called to ask if I would be interested in a red oak in his yard.  It was leaning completely over his house and was big enough that it would take out most of the house if it fell.  To avoid the worry, they had decided to have the tree taken down.  Well, of course I was interested.  After some discussions with the tree service we agreed that I would pay him a delivery fee and they would drop the logs at my sawmill lot.

The big red oak logs show up in a dump truck Just moments before the logs crashed to the ground A big pile of lumber - to be
The largest of the logs For comparison this is a 40 inch red oak log next to a respectable 16 inch cherry

Rolling the logs into position was more than me and my logrite peavey could handle so some careful rolling with my winch and I was able to get the first butt log under the mill.  With a 40" diameter log and the mill carriage up above it, it was tough to swing the blade from vertical to horizontal (mostly because I'm a tad bit vertically challenged).  The log was milled into a bunch of rift sawn and quarter sawn defect-free boards.  Beautiful. The kiln was loaded back in September at 81% moisture content!  After two months it was down to around 9%.  The boards are still in the kiln because the winter temperatures have kept the drying to a minimum, but the main reason is that I don't have anywhere to store it yet.

Rolling the log into place with my truck winch In position and ready for milling Lots of boards waiting to be released
Half way through the milling The loaded kiln 

Sadly, the second butt log is still sitting half milled. I was able to get a full kiln load but then the gearbox on my Lucas decided to take a vacation. I opened up the gearbox and located the faulty bearing and seal, ordered replacements and had the bearing press fit onto the shaft. Unfortunately, my work load, woodworking projects, and another website project have kept me from returning to the mill. I hope to get some time before the spring gets here to finish the gearbox repair and mill up another couple kiln loads.

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