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crubnich's picture
How soon to mill logs after cutting
I just picked up about 30+ logs with the agreement I'd cut a mantle and build a table with a little extra for the table. Is it better to let the log dry, then mill or mill so the slabs have as much air exposure (I think I answered my own question). They don't want it until the end of the year. Is it the same on larger pieces? I cut another mantle 8"x12"x6' out of white oak, painted the ends and it has terrible cracks/checks after about 2-3 weeks. Thanks, Chris
r.garrison1's picture
I haven't cut much oak, but it depends on the wood. If I cut it green, I cut it oversize and plan for some end checking.
Bill's picture
A log sure isn't going to dry out in a few mons. I prefer to cut green sticker and stack allowing a few extra inches on the length .
crubnich's picture
Thanks, I have about 10 months on this before he wants it, December. I just didn't know if there were an advantage to leaving it uncut for a few months then milling on the drying process, especially for big pieces like the mantle.
eddiemac's picture
Big pieces of oak always seem to crack no matter what you do. Pole frame builders just live with it. The best thing you can do is cut oversize, treat the ends, and stack on stickers out of the sun. A logger I did some work for told me his secret for stable mantles - don't include the pith (heart) in your cut; always cut outside of the inner rings if your log is big enough. Oh, and oak logs dry so slowly, you might as well cut them now. The longer you wait, the sooner the bugs and fungi will find them. Also, winter is the best time to cut and dry lumber.
crubnich's picture
Thanks Eddie and Bill, will do these suggestions.
Freddie1812's picture

Really on-point advice, Eddie. Thanks for sharing this with us all, I was actually tempted to advise him to wait, didn't think about the aspects you touched on.