How to cut a log into boards with a chainsaw

Sawing and sawing wood

Some people have the opportunity to take a certain area in the forest for logging, to dissolve the trunks, but how can a chainsaw dissolve a log into boards, if with this never had to deal? Those who have been engaged in logging for a long time, can do it without any devices. it is enough for them to beat off on the trunk a longitudinal line for a trimmer and with its help to cut a bar or a board.

But if you have never done this, then you will need certain devices, which we will now tell you about, and also show thematic in this article.

Sawing a log into boards with a chainsaw at the sawmill

Sawing technique longitudinally

Longitudinal sawing is quite often used, and therefore it is better to say a few words about the correct working technique. Since this method is used to obtain boards used in the construction of important buildings, you need them to be almost perfect. In order to achieve the same dimensions, it is necessary to use a guide during the work. The role of this auxiliary element can be an iron bar or other board, but very strong and perfectly flat.

Sawing technique along

For a beginner, longitudinal sawing seems complicated. Indeed, the most important, responsible and difficult stage of the work is the first sawing. The quality of the boards and the further result of the construction work will depend on this.

For the first saw cut to be flat and without defects, it is recommended:

  • Securely set the leading ruler;
  • Place the log on the supports, strongly fix it;
  • check if the log is level;
  • To fix the leading ruler on the supports, using self-tapping screws.

Only then can the log be sawn. It is necessary to move the chainsaw smoothly, avoiding abrupt movements.

Sawing a log into boards with a chainsaw

Very often there are situations where you need to make a very small amount of boards or beams for your own needs. Buying a machine is obviously not an option in such cases. Having certain knowledge and skills it is much more advantageous to saw logs with your own hands, using an electric or gasoline chain saw. Despite the fact that this work is quite labor-intensive, the result is quite justified.

Most experts believe that for this purpose is better suited chainsaw. Such equipment has high power and can operate without interruption for a long time. In addition, the work of the chainsaw does not need electricity, so you can work far from the power source, for example, immediately in the plot.

In order to cut a log into boards with a chainsaw you will also need special tools, such as a mechanism for securing the log, a frame-extension for the chainsaw, and a guide for sawing. It’s necessary to attach the frame-attachment to the chain saw bar so that it’s possible to adjust the space between the frame-attachment and the chain. It will make it possible to create boards of varying thickness. It is worth buying a special chain for making longitudinal cuts. It has a special angle of sharpening the teeth. The guide line can be made from a metal profile of the required length or from an even rigid board.

Before you get to work, you need to remove all the bark and remaining limbs from the logs, as well as carefully examine the log for various flaws. This way you can choose the most suitable cutting scheme and therefore reduce the amount of waste that can be generated.

If you are sawing logs longitudinally take care that the resulting lumber is of the same density across the entire width. Since the density of wood from the northern part of the log is much higher than that from the southern part, you saw in a plane directed from east to west (or in reverse order).

The first thing to do is to remove the slabs from the two opposite edges of the log. The result is a double-edged log, which is then sawn into equal thicknesses of boards or other lumber according to the intended sawing scheme. The end product is an unedged board, which must then be edged.

The simplest guide for sawing logs into boards with a chainsaw with his hands

Amateur carpenters often experience an acute shortage of good hardwood lumber. Mostly coniferous boards and planks are available for sale. If you need a more noble wood, you can make a simple guide beam, and use it to saw hardwood logs into the required lumber.

The proposed design is a guide beam that is screwed onto a log. The guide carriage with the chain saw attached slides on it. Together they create a straight path for the guide bar of the chainsaw, which leads to an almost perfect cut.

The beam itself can be made of any even planed board with thickness of at least 50 mm and a width of 150-200 mm. The length of the beam can be any, depending on what logs need to be split.

The conductor itself is made of plywood and one-inch board, fastened together with self-tapping screws. It is U-shaped. Its sides are sawn from plywood. Their size is 30×7,5 cm. The top is made of two 12 cm long boards. Their width should match the guide beam. When assembling the conductor there must be a gap between the top boards.

The sides of the conductor are drilled in the center. The holes should be positioned so that they do not protrude below the top boards. Long bolts are inserted into the holes on both sides, and they must be joined together with an elongated nut. They must be retightened so that they do not loosen. On the bolts, before installing them in the conductor, it will be necessary to put plywood washers, made with a core drill.

Use the brace made from the bolts to fasten the conductor to the guide bar of the chain saw. The latter is drilled for this purpose.

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You need the saw to be able to pivot on the axle that connects it to the carriage. To do this, shims cut from plastic are inserted between the conductor and the plywood washers, and everything is lubricated with graphite powder.

The carriage is now completely ready for use. But before that, it is advisable to grind the guide beam to ensure that the sliding on it is done with as little resistance as possible.

To use the device, you need to screw the guide beam with self-tapping screws to the log laid horizontally on a small elevation. If it has a widening at the beginning, it must be sawn off. The beam should rest securely with no deflections.

After that the saw is mounted by the carriage on the beam, and moving on it, cuts the first slab. It is important to check that the guide bar does not touch the ground. Turn the carriage over and cut the log on the other side. The end result is a workpiece with two parallel faces.

Next, the workpiece is laid on its side, the guide beam is attached to the top, and it is dissolved into boards of the desired width. It is even easier and faster to cut it on a circular table with a parallel stop, as the planes on it are already formed.

How to saw a log lengthwise with a chainsaw yourself

Planks and a log is one of the main building materials. But not everyone has the financial means to buy ready-made boards. In such situations, one solution is to take up logging on your own at a logging site taken from the forest ranger’s office.

The advantage of a chainsaw as a log sawing tool

It is possible to saw a log using a sawmill, a chain saw or an electric saw and additional accessories. When choosing one of these tools, the amount of work to be done should be taken into account. The cost of the cheapest stationary sawmill along with all accessories is 150 thousand. A chainsaw is much cheaper. It is more convenient than an electric saw for the following reasons:

  • No electricity is needed to power the tool, so it can be used in the plots.
  • powerful than electric saw.
  • Smoothly starts and allows for convenient speed control, which reduces the chance of chain breakage.
  • The inertia brake operates faster than an electric saw.
  • Continuous work time of up to one hour without interruption.
  • Can be used in wet conditions.

Working heads

Different attachments are used when sawing logs with a chainsaw.

  • Longitudinal sawing attachment. Used for cutting logs lengthwise, in a horizontal position. The sawmill produces a uniform thickness after sawing. Finished material undergoes a drying process before being used in construction. Appearance, the implement is a small frame attached to the guide bar on either side.
  • The drum debarker. With this attachment it is easy to unfold the log, it works due to the V-belt transmission. Attached to the belts on both sides, special pulleys are used for this purpose. The speed of rotation of the shaft depends on the size of the pulleys, so the performance of the nozzle is not difficult to change. This technology forces the master to closely monitor every step of the process, some specialists use an assistant during this sawing. But this option requires increased safety measures.
  • Sawing with a lightweight nozzle. The method is not characterized by high productivity, but is used quite often. Fixing the element is made on one side, but the workpieces turn out a little uneven. Such materials are necessary for the construction of barns or fences.

Features of sawing with a homemade tool

Sawing a log into boards is easy with a self-made tool. It is not difficult to make it. To do this, you need to perform the following actions:

  • As a support, you need to use the frame from the school desk or a tube with a cross section in the form of a square, its optimal size is 20×20, allowed and more.
  • It is necessary to construct two clamps, on one end mount a crossbar with two holes for the tie bolts, in the middle make an overhang for the bar.
  • For the longitudinal sawing of the log into boards, you need to make a support frame, its width should be less than the length by seven to eight centimeters.
  • Then, two parts ten centimeters long are welded to both sides, holes are made for bolts, and a handle is attached in the middle for convenient operation.
  • Then insert the clamps into the slots, install the bar, and fix everything carefully.

To work with a homemade tool is not difficult, you will need a trestle, they will serve as a support. In addition, you need to prepare a metal rail or board to use it as a guide element. A log is laid underneath, the required height for the work is set.

How to do the preparatory work

To saw the log longitudinally, the following sequence of actions should be followed:

  • Take two straight boards and fasten one to the other at right angles. The result is a sturdy guide bar.
  • To support the made ruler one needs to make the supports from planks.
  • To move the logs you need to use a turner.
  • Place the log on a suitable base.
  • A frame must be attached to the guide bar of the chainsaw using nuts.
  • It is necessary to fix the supports of the leading ruler to the ends of the log, controlling the horizontality of the position with the level.
  • Self-tapping screws should be used to secure all staples and components. Nails are not suitable for these purposes, as they are difficult to remove later without causing damage to the parts of the structure.
  • The master ruler must be fixed to the supports with clamps and its height must be adjusted so that the kerf goes not along it, but about one centimeter higher.
  • Turn the log around and secure the second board so that it rests on the ground and supports the log.

The order of the main works

  • Now start the chainsaw and make the first cut.
  • Next, free the log from the log stops and boards, and attach the guide ruler to the cut surface of the log in the direction of the next kerf. The ruler is fastened directly to the surface or to the ends of the log using supports. The second cut is made perpendicular to the first cut.
  • The log must be turned and secured with a plank against the ground.
  • The guide ruler is not needed for the next step. One of the cut sides serves as a guide.
  • You need to adjust the thickness of the kerf on the frame and saw off the log on the other side so that you get a bar with bark remaining on one side only.
  • This log must be turned over and secured so that the fixing point of the fixing board is as low as possible.
  • Then you need to adjust the frame to the desired thickness of the board and saw the timber into planks.
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Sawing up logs into boards

Note. To saw the log into planks you may need a sawmill, or an electric or chain saw with power tools.

STIHL chain saw

What it will take

A chainsaw is the most affordable tool, and there are a number of reasons for that:

  • trunks can be sawed directly at the logging site. No stationary or self-contained power supply required, just one tool;
  • Compared to an electric saw, a chain saw has much more power, which is the key to longitudinally split logs;
  • it has a soft start and soft speed control, which means that the risk of chain breakage during work is reduced to almost zero (it is certainly possible, but you have to try very hard to do it);
  • Compared to a sawmill, the price of a gasoline-powered tool is several orders of magnitude lower;
  • Compared to an electric machine, the inertial braking is much faster;
  • The time of intensive use, the instruction manual allows you to stretch up to 1 hour;
  • It is possible to work in very humid conditions (rain, fog)

Trunk dissolution device

As we have already said, experienced sawyers can dissolve a log without any devices, but for beginners you will definitely have to buy or make your own hands a machine to fix the log, an attachment frame for the saw and a guide for a smooth cut.

You should not forget that with this kind of work, the tool is under very high stress. Therefore, if you want to do this professionally, you will, of course, need an appropriate model, that is, as powerful as possible.

Setting the device

Professionals call the most popular and best options are STIHL MS-660 or STIHL MS-880. Such units produce more than 7 horsepower, which ensures trouble-free work under heavy loads.

Parts for the frame

To adjust the thickness of the board to be sawed off, a special steel frame is put on the rail, which is able to adjust the distance from itself to the rail.

The frame is ready. a view from different angles

To make such a frame, you can buy a square steel tubular profile 20×20 mm, but you can also use improvised material. For example duralumin legs from the old school desk fit perfectly here.

A thick board is used as a guide

As a guide, to make a kind of stationary machine you will need some kind of rigid metal, most likely steel, profile, or a thick flat board like a log, as it is shown on the top photo. In practice, it looks the same as in the picture. two trestles are installed and a guide (board or profile) is placed on them.

But it should be borne in mind that such a device can only be used for short logs, because if you increase it (the distance depends on the thickness of the guide), there will be a deflection, which will lead to an uneven thickness of the material made.

Big Mill Timberjit machine

The thickness of the board or the cut will only be even if some kind of template is used to guide the chainsaw. a guide ruler or guide rail. Very convenient to use for this purpose Swedish Big Mill Timberjit machine, which you see above. it costs about 9-10 thousand.

It’s up to you to decide whether you need such a device, but having spent once, you get a compact device, which together with the saw can be transported to the site on a motorcycle.

To get to work, you will need a two-stroke saw and a guide bar with two nuts. With this saw you can saw logs up to 60 cm in diameter. Keep in mind that in this situation you have to buy a rip saw chain, but if you can’t afford it for some reason, you can resharpen it to a 10° angle with a regular chain.

The Big Mill Timberjit kit comes with a variety of parts to help install and secure the wooden rail. it turns out that when the chainsaw is guided, the frame slides on this guide and the bar does not go sideways.

Note. No matter what type of wood you are working with, the chain will always blunt, and you need to sharpen it periodically to keep the sawing process running smoothly.

The frame is mounted on the guide rail

Sawing with a chainsaw. the process

Now let’s see how to cut a log into boards with a chainsaw:

  • First we make the guide. we take two straight trimmed wooden boards and fasten them to each other in the form of a half-taurus;
  • from pieces of the same boards we make stops for the semi-tavra rail. there are fixtures for fasteners in the kit;
  • Roll up the log with the turner and lay it on the pre-prepared convenient base;
  • Secure the frame on the rail with nuts;
  • after that fix the supports that hold the ruler to the ends of the log, checking its horizontality with the level;
  • all fasteners should be fixed with self-tapping screws, as nails will be extremely difficult to pull out after the end of the work;
  • check that the line for the trimmer cut is not on the ruler, but 10 mm higher;
  • start the saw and make the first cut;
  • Release the log from the stops and move the structure to the next cutting line so that it is perpendicular (90⁰) to the finished cut;
  • now turn the log again and fix it with planks to the stop on the ground. you will not need a ruler anymore, it will replace the previously made cuts.

We split the trunk into planks

Note. For cutting the trunk into logs you might need a sawmill or an electric or chain saw with machine tools.

STIHL chain saw

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What it will take

The chainsaw is the most accessible tool, and there are a number of reasons for this:

  • Sawing trunks can be done directly at the logging site. No stationary or self-contained power supply required, just one tool;
  • Compared to an electric saw, the gasoline saw has much more power, which is the key to longitudinal splitting of logs;
  • it has a soft start and soft speed control, which means that the risk of chain breakage during operation is reduced to almost zero (it is certainly possible, but you have to try very hard to do this)
  • In comparison with the sawmill, the price of a tool that runs on gasoline is several orders of magnitude lower;
  • Compared to an electric unit, it has a much faster inertia brake;
  • the time of intensive use, the instruction manual allows you to stretch up to 1 hour;
  • You can work in wet conditions (rain, fog)

Barrel dissolving attachment

As we have already said, experienced sawyers can dissolve a log without any devices, but for beginners you will definitely have to buy or make your own hands a machine to fix the log, an attachment frame for the saw and a guide for a smooth cut.

Do not forget that the tool is subjected to very high loads during such work. So if you want to do this professionally, then you’ll naturally need the appropriate model, that is, as powerful as possible.

Setting up the fixture

The professionals call the STIHL MS-660 or STIHL MS-880 the best and most popular choice. Such units produce more than 7 horsepower, which ensures trouble-free operation under heavy loads.

Parts for the frame

To adjust the thickness of the sawn board, a special steel frame is put on the bar, which is able to adjust the distance from itself to the bar.

The frame is ready. view from different angles

To make such a corner, you can buy a square steel tubular profile 20×20 mm, but you can also use improvised material. For example, duralumin legs from an old school desk fit perfectly here.

We use a thick board as a guide

As a guide, to make a kind of stationary machine you will need some kind of rigid metal, most likely steel, profile, or a thick flat board like a log, as it is shown in the above photo. In fact, it looks the same as in the picture. two trestles are installed and a guide (a board or profile) is placed on them.

But it should be borne in mind that such a device can only be used for short timbers, because if you increase it (the distance depends on the thickness of the guide), there will be a deflection, which will lead to unequal thickness of the material produced.

The Big Mill Timberjit

The thickness of the board or the cut will only be straight if a guide ruler or guide rail is used to guide the chainsaw. Very handy for this purpose is the Swedish Big Mill Timberjit machine you see above. it costs about 9-10 thousand.

It’s up to you to decide whether you need it, but you get a compact device that you can take to the site on the motorcycle with the saw.

To get to work you will need a two-stroke saw and a bar with two nuts. With this machine you can split logs up to 60 cm in diameter. Keep in mind that in this situation you have to buy a rip saw chain, but if you can’t buy a rip saw chain for some reason, you can resharpen a regular chain to a 10° angle.

The Big Mill Timberjit kit comes with a variety of parts to help install and secure the wood guide. So, when the chainsaw is running, the frame slides on the guide rail, and the guide rail doesn’t go sideways.

Note. No matter what kind of wood you process, in any case the chain gets blunt, and in order for you to have the sawing process without problems, it should be periodically sharpened.

The frame is set on the rail

Sawing with a chainsaw. the process

Now let’s see how to saw the log into boards with a chainsaw:

  • First, we make the rail. we take two even edged wooden boards and fasten them to each other in the form of a semi-taurus;
  • from pieces of the same boards make the stops for the half-tav rail. fixtures for fasteners are included;
  • Roll up the log with the turner and put it on the previously prepared convenient base;
  • we fix the frame on the guide bar with nuts;
  • After that, attach the supports that hold the ruler to the ends of the log, checking its level with the level;
  • All fasteners should be fixed with self-tapping screws, as nails will be very difficult to pull out at the end of the work;
  • Check that the cutting line for the trimmer is not on the ruler, but 10 mm higher;
  • start the saw and make the first cut;
  • First release the log from the crosscutters and move the machine to the next cutting line so that it is perpendicular (90° to the cut) to the finished cut;
  • Now turn the log again and fix it with planks to the stop on the ground. you do not need the ruler anymore, it will replace the previously made cut.

device classes of gasoline saws

Now on the Russian market, all gasoline-powered saws can be divided into three key classes:

  • Traditional home devices, which are designed for uncomplicated work. These gasoline saws do not have high power, and cope with their own tasks perfectly. With these gasoline saws you will be able to prepare wood for the bath or cut extra wood without any difficulty. the possibilities of such saws are very easy to compensate by their light weight and good control.
  • “Farmer” chainsaws are designed for everything from repair and construction activities to felling.

But there is a disadvantage with these types of saws. They should not be used for eight hours a day. This is why they are called semi-professional. These devices are mainly used by loggers to trim limbs.

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