cutting logs for strip planking

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Brian Fredrik, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. Brian Fredrik
    Joined: Oct 2005
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    Brian Fredrik Junior Member

    I have 6 white cedar logs each about 10 inches diameter and 10 - 12 feet long. I will be building a 14 foot strip planked rowboat (glued and sheethed).
    My question is how and when to go about cutting up the logs (using a bandsaw mill) for strip planking?
  2. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    A band saw mill will want to be pretty robust for 10"

    I would be inclined to use a more savage saw to square up the logs before attempting the bandsaw. (even a small chainsaw)

    Preferably the logs are still green. I believe the prefered technique is to cut them to say 1.5" x 1.5" approx, and then dry them in a kiln or by air. When drying, the thicker planks are far less prone to warping, but real care in proper racking will be needed not to waste too much timber.

    For boat building, the "method" (quarter or back sawn) timber depends on what function the timber is serving. For planking, Quarter Sawn Boards are preferrable,1802045153.html

    Having a chat with local mill hands is always a good bet for tips and traps
  3. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    White cedar requires only a few short months to dry once sawn to plank thickness. It shouldn't matter how you cut the logs (i.e., plain-sawn), only that you thickness the planks for the width of the strips. You can still quarter saw the wood by deciding whether to rip some planks at right angles to the edge or the face.
    Use a 60-80 tooth blade when final ripping for a finish that can be glued with most adhesives.
  4. alan white
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    Just reading Rwatson.s post, the idea of cutting to 1.5" x 1.5" is a good one, allowing choice of cutting side for quarter-sawn, though some plain-sawn 1 1/2" x wider planks can be ripped later.
  5. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    A couple of remarks..
    Band saw mils (real ones) are to cut the thick timber with least waste and best quality.
    Prefer air dried. Thou kiln drying dries the wood fast only time will get the shrinkage balanced with the humidity. I'm building my (strip planked) boat of 9yrs (7yrs when I started) air dried spruce dim 1 7/8" x 5". Cut them JOT to strips before using them..
  6. Tug
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    Tug Junior Member

    cut a plank...roll it 90 degrees...cut another plank...roll it 90 degrees...continue till the log is all gone...
    When you rip your strips outta these planks it will give you the best orientation for the grains...
  7. TollyWally
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    Location: Fox Island

    TollyWally Senior Member

    How nice to have a pile of vertical grain wood to work with. I hope the branches were knocked off long enough back to give you some clear wood. We call clean, clear, vertical grain wood butter.

  8. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    now were talking my language
    starting from a bole and ending up a boat
    way to go

    10" logs are a breeze

    tell me they have been up on stickers since the day they were dropped
    ends painted ?

    first thing you want to do is square up the log
    this basically knocks off most of the sap wood and also gets rid of blade eating bark
    your rent a sawyer will know all about trying to get the most out of a blade and your probably going to be buying one or two anyway
    although your really not cutting that much wood

    if you want to get serious go with quarter sawn
    in which case your sawyer might not lop off the bark first but instead quarter the logs and then turn em every cut
    hydraulic dogs come in handy for that as you might find out the hard way
    someone else nailed it when they said to cut it to the width but Ild add some for milling as your going to want to surface the slabs

    I buy a lot of 4 and 8/4 and its always more like 5 and 9/4
    my supplier is a little generous with the wood
    on the one hand makes it a little of a pain in the *** if Im after an exact 3/4 or 1 3/4 but Im ok with it cause I buy mostly white oak and it tends to dry badly with a desire to season check
    that and I often am after a straight 1 or 2 inch finish dimension or at least to keep as much wood as possible

    basically leave mill wood on all the cuts you make with the band mill
    band saws can follow a little specially if your blade tensioner is manual instead of hydraulic
    either way always leave some wood for milling

    if your renting a saw it probably comes with an operator
    guy might be a hack so keep an eye on him and ask him about the tensioner lbs and if its a new blade
    it wants to be in the 1000 lb range or that blade will definitely be following
    although in cedar its probably not going to be that bad and it might be ok at anything down to about 600lb
    about three teeth per inch is about right for ceder
    I think
    I dont buy to much ceder and stuff makes my nose itch
    so I dont hang around when its getting cut much

    after that its all you mate
    enjoy the build and keep an eye on that sawyer
    its an interesting process to watch and your likely to be bucking wood anyway so might as well ask a few questions
    assuming you can hear the answers over the mill

    fun fun fun

    if you want to build a solar kiln they are the way to go
    cheap easy and works
    the local pet store will have moisture meters cheap and most wood can be taken down about 2% a day
    white oak is about 1%
    not sure what ceder is but Im sure you can look it up or just call one of the mills

    custom kiln drying is pricey and air drying takes forever
    on white oak its 1 year for every inch of thickness to air dry
    solar kiln plans are available free on line

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