Blog | Norwood

  1. How to Mill Imperfect Logs

    If you mill for profit, getting the best ‘bang for your buck’ means knowing how to mill all kinds of logs with your portable sawmill. While larger scale sawmills will always desire pin straight [boring] logs, your niche can be turning these logs that might otherwise be discarded into beautiful planks & boards that are more interesting to the woodworking market.

    If you’re milling strictly for your personal use, you probably already know that imperfect logs can give some of the most interesting and beautiful slabs. And, even better, your chances of coming upon some of these logs for free is much higher than perfect, straight logs. So, while you might be tempted to ignore imperfect logs that may give you trouble, if you learn the tricks to milling them, you won’t regret it!

    Removing Log Flair


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  2. 3 Reasons Why Your Lumber Isn't Straight

    Processing your logs into boards can dramatically increase their value…if they come out & stay straight! This isn’t always as easy as it sounds -- wood is an extremely complex material to work with—however for the majority of the time, it is one of three things that is causing your lumber to come out warped, cupped, or flared.

    Here are 3 common causes of less than perfect lumber & how to prevent them.

    How to Avoid Warped and Cupping Lumber

    Have you ever milled straight looking lumber, only to come back to it later and find that it’s cupping? Cross-cutting the grain is likely the culprit here. It can lead to warping or cupping—even if you lumber init

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  3. Sawyer Wisdom: Wise Words from Seasoned Sawyers to Those Just Starting Out with a Portable Sawmill

    Wisdom is the reward of experience, and it should be shared.

    Maybe even moreso than putting hundreds of hours on your sawmill, time spent learning from other sawyers may be the best way to take your milling from experienced to professional calibre. We believe in this so much, that we created the Norwood Connect forum over 10 years ago to cultivate a community of sawyers learning from sawyers. With thousands of owners putting endless hours on their mills, our Norwood family is a rich source of knowledge for anyone who is new to, of thinking about getting started, operating a portable sawmill.

    Last winter, we sent out a survey to Norwood owners with the question "what is your best piece of advice for someone just starting out?". Here is what just a few of them had t

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  4. Stickers & Blocking 101: How to Stack & Dry Lumber

    The most valuable lumber you’re ever going to mill isn’t oak, walnut, or even something exotic. The valuable lumber we’re talking about, you will probably never sell a single piece of...


    These 1-inch thick pieces of lumber are unsung heroes, responsible for preserving & maximizing the value of your milled lumber. When you air dry your lumber, stickers & blocking (larger pieces of timber – often 4x4, to keep your stack up off the ground) facilitate proper & even drying. Using stickers & blocking, you are allowing air to flow under and through your lumber stack.

    What Happens When You Don’t Stack Lumber Properly?

    -        decay

    -        twisting

    -        warping

    In short, you end up with expensive firewood at best.

    There are 2 Popular Methods for Stacking &amp

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  5. The Whys & Hows of Building a Log Loading Deck for Your Bandsaw Mill

    portable sawmill log deck

    Building and using a log deck is an easy & efficient way to load logs for milling. And while these log-loading decks don’t need to be fancy, they do need to be stable and strong enough to handle the weight of heavy logs.

    What are the main reasons why you should consider creating your own log loading setup? Here’s a bit of sawyer wisdom we have to share with you!

    1. Save Time

    Transferring heavy logs onto your sawmill can be time-consuming – especially for those sawing on their own. That’s why we suggest all sawyers invest the few hours it’ll take to construct a log deck; you’re guaranteed to get those hours back on futur

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  6. Wood Handling in the Joplin Storm Aftermath

    It took Joplin, Missouri only thirty-four minutes to lose nearly half of its urban trees during an F-5 tornado that ripped the town apart on May 22, 2011. Nearly a third of the city including homes, businesses, and a major hospital complex were destroyed that night. Century-old trees came crashing down on homes, streets, and miles of power lines, causing further damage and complicating a massive and difficult search-and-rescue effort that lasted more than a week.

    Removal of storm debris began almost immediately after the storm. A continuous line of trucks rumbled down the streets hauling the debris to the local landfill. With the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in charge of the initial cleanup, there was no attempt to separate out the debris or salvage or recycle any of the

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  7. Minimal Impact Logging : How to Take the Trees You'll Use Without Damaging the Rest

    With a little finesse and the proper forestry equipment, you can bring any log in from the woods with a lot less power and virtually no damage to your woodlot.

    Years ago, we had a local logger with a good reputation harvest oak and walnut lumber on our family tree farm in southwest Missouri. The contract provided for an 8% bonus for careful practices that would not damage other growing stock or make ruts on trails. For the first week, I watched with great respect as he dropped the trees precisely where they would do the least damage and carefully pulled logs out of the woods with his cable skidder, coming within a hair of bumping crop trees, but never actually touching them. It was summer and the ground was hard and dry. He hardly left a mark.

    Toward the middle of the second week, all that changed. The trees were coming d

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