I have a large number of 25 inch plus diameter locust trees on my
property. I have burn some as fire wood but I'd like to try to cut
some of this into lumber for a few projects. How hard is this going to
be on my chainsaw? I have a 6bhp saw with a 36 inch bar.
I know that it dulls my saw pretty fast just cutting it for firewood,
what is this going to do to a thickness planer and joiner?
I haven't done a lot of work with black locust, but it doesn't seem to
me that it dulled planer and jointer blades as badly as hickory, though
it rates as harder, it is fairly easy to saw, and to work generally,
about on a part, IMO, with white oak.
I would rather have a band mill cut the wood, but if a chainsaw mill is
all the OP has, then it makes sense to use it.
At least in this area, 25" locust trees are fairly rare. Mor eapt to be
in the 12" to 14" range, but that's largely because they get cut down
and whacked into fence posts at about that size.
Are you talking about just free handing it and trying to cut some boards
or do you have a chain mill? If you are talking about free handing I
would say it will be a waste of time and you would be best to hire out a
portable mill or haul the logs to a local sawmill.
Oddly, I just came in from cutting a bunch of locust for a horse
building I am putting up on the property. We have a small portable band
mill and have sawn locust on it several times. Easy to saw and would be
easy to saw with a ripping chain on a chain mill however there will be a
lot of waste.
I often rip saw logs free hand but only for making smallish things (frames,
boxes easels etc). I agree there is a lot of waste. Its also a laborious
task requiring a bit of patients even with a correctly sharpened rip chain.
BUT ITS FEE and opens up the opportunity to experiment with many different
I agree, playing around with some small scale stuff free hand with a
chainsaw is fine. I do it myself if I have some small logs (about 4' is
the shortest I can saw on the mill practically). However, sawing a bunch
of 25" locust logs is a different story. It is very rare to even find a
locust that big that is even worth putting on the mill. Most always
locust is all gangly, crooked, and prone to blight which keeps them
small or dead.
In another forum this would start a flame of all flames, but.... It
would be truly sad to see a the footage wasted from a chainmill sawing a
bunch of 25" locusts period. The waste is not just from the sawing but
from what it takes to surface them afterwards as well.
I made a mill setup for my chainsaw, It does alright as long as I have
a nice straight board to use as a guide for the first cut.
I have a few groves of honey locust that evidently started themselves
25 to 30 years ago when my property was logged. Its pretty wood.
I know a fella that has a bandsaw mill but he won't cut the locust
with it, he said its too hard on his blades. He probably had the same
incorrect information poured in his head about locust that I have.
With a chainmill, if you dont get a perfect start you carry the trouble
through the whole log.
What you could try with your bandmill guy is to buy a few blades and
ask him to saw you some locust. It shouldnt bother him in the least if
you are paying for the blades. Depending on the mill you should be able
to get most blades for under 20.00 each. Perhaps more like 12-15 dollars
for an average blade. Thats what we pay. With modest re-sharpening we
can get 6 or so re-sharpens (sharpen our own) out of a blade.
If the logs are clean we get 200-400 feet per blade but we change
blades the instant they slow down. At the worst, 6 blades could get you
1200bd' of lumber (plus his sawing, less the cost he includes for
blades) and you may change his mindset on sawing locust.
We have sawn much worse woods than locust. Hickory is rough, and while
it isnt hard on the blades, hackberry can be a bi*ch to saw, long
fibers, but it really spalts nice. ;)
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