The best work holding is a heavy log. So, take one log and saw it in half. Easy right? With an asymmetrical pith it takes a bit of eyeing the symmetry to decide where to cut. I clocked this cut, it took two hours of sawing.
In this case there was quite a pronounced crook at the bottom end of the log. I was glad that I had sawn through the crook halving the crotch wood. Looking at the inside of the tree it was clear that the main trunk had at one time died, and a side shoot took over as the primary, so there’s some really wild grain at the bottom. Its the kind of thing that I should have seen when bucking the tree to length and cut around.
At this point it became obvious that my center line had to be moved to better orient to the grain, and produce boards without excessive taper. I thought I would saw the quarters on my bandsaw so no board cuts were marked at the time. Knowing what I do now, that my bandsaw simply cannot handle heavy stock with the blade I’m running, I should have gone ahead and marked two boards on each log half either side of the center line.
One of my neighbors, Tuck, dropped by and gave me a log. Now, this is the truck you want if you’re picking up logs! I’ve come up with a couple better ways of loading logs in my pickup truck, but this is what the pro’s use.
This reminds me, I was watching a video the other day about a guy loading a giant red gum in Australia. The loading process is not that remarkable, but the end of the video shows a really unusual saw mill.
Ever seen a giant circular saw connected to the boom arm of a bobcat? Wild stuff, I would not have wanted to be the guy standing there taking the video.
I added this simple back stop to hold the bottom of the quarters. I suppose I should pick something a bit more durable looking. If this were to break the log would swing back like a pendulum and deck me in the skull. Up to this point I’ve been simply screwing the log to the horse, but for a log quarter you end up putting too many screw holes into the bottom of every board you make.
Now knowing that I need to saw most of the quarter by hand I leveled one face and marked the ends for each board cut. Even though I had sealed the end of the log with wood glue the sumisashi gave a fairly clear line.
My other work holding solution, screws and plastic pipe strapping. Not terribly elegant, and I’m working on something better, but it works. Log dogs are great for holding logs in a given orientation, not so much as a hold-down device.
This is what a dull saw looks like. The teeth actually take quite a polish from use. Edge wear is just polishing of the steel.
The site that I linked to in my previous post, Carpenters from Europe and Beyond, also have video of many other sawyers. One of them:
It shows a rope hold down with board and wedge. Its a simple concept that I would use in a couple different points of holding on my ‘A’ frame saw horse, pictured is my favorite so far. One of the problems I’ve had is the log pivoting over the horse when sawing beneath it at the start of the cut. If you think about it, I could use a variation of this for holding the log vertically in lieu of the pipe strapping. You can tell that I don’t go to any extra effort to make this stuff look nice, its all about function. I also had to add an extra log cradle on the bottom rest to bring the log high enough up off the ground that I could saw underneath with a full comfortable stroke.
And! My wooden floor, how’s this Mark? Good old mother earth and a bed of soft sawdust.