While realizing that it is probably more practical to buy rough sawn wood from a local sawmill, (if there WERE one), I am interested in knowing if anyone has links to a good overview of selecting, cutting, splitting, and milling with regard to maximizing the best grain pattern characteristics and yield. I often run across trees that are being removed by landowners, and hate to see this stuff going into a wood-chipper, when the going price around here for maple and oak is $4-$6 bd.ft - not to mention the availability of unusual species like Cornus and Magnolia.
A friend recently had a nice, straight, drought killed Maple tree removed from the back of his property and that is precisely what happened. I could have gotten this 80' high, 2.5'-3' diameter tree for nothing - but it ended up as chips and stubs. This could have been turned into 200-300 bd. ft. of nice lumber instead.
I have most of the tools necessary to fell and cut into lengths, a neanderthal splitter and sledge, and a truck. And a bandsaw, planer, jointer and other equipment to handle the reduced size pieces.
Heck, if it yielded enough usable wood, a Woodmiser or other field saw could be obtained. We want to build out own house out from the city somewhere, and the process of clearing the site alone would probably result in many usable hardwoods being removed.
Wood is a commodity that is quickly being depleted and I want to horde up my own supply to last until check-out time. <G>
Please, no stories of dropping trees on houses or power lines. We're not idiots...