I have some salvaged 12" x 4" (11.5" x 3.5") heart pine beams in
lengths ranging from 16' to 25' that I want to resaw into usable
cabinet lumber. Is it feasible to resaw the entire length of these
beams, or will I have to cut them into shorter pieces? Given that I
want to keep waste to an absolute minimum, what type of saw should I
look for? Is it reasonable to expect to get three 4/4 boards from each
3.5" thick beam?
SFWIW, sticker & stack these beams until you actually have a project,
then cut only what you need.
IMHO, yes you will have to cut into shorter lengths.
IMHO, no you will not get 3, 4/4 slabs from a 3-1/2" thickness.
Take your time and have fun.
Just my $0.02.
Yep, sure does depend on your use objective. It's one of those corollaries
to Murphy that says as soon as the last 5/4 board comes off the bunks,
someone will call looking for 8.
If you just want 4/4, as the man says, find a band mill operator. If
they're fairly straight, you may indeed get three from each. Then the wife
will find a project demanding 4x4, not 4/4.
To do 'em yourself, you're talking 2 HP territory. Well-aged and still
resinous wood will be a challenge. Of course you will then find it much
easier to rough to approximate length to resaw.
Five years or so ago some friends found a warehouse being demolished and
salvaged lots of heart pine beams. They resawed them using a band saw
type portable sawmill. Maybe you can find someone who has one in your
area that will resaw them for you as necessary.
Yes. And insist that the setup be checked to help keep the thickness right.
It would be a lot better to cut them in half ot thirds. It's easier to hold
them straight and easier to store the boards if shorter, but keep the final
use in mind.
If you can find a cooperative mill owner, you may be able to have him
sharpen a blade with minimal set for you. These will cut easily. You are
only making three cuts, so with care you should get three boards.
But do you really need 4/4? If the saw is well set up, you may well get
four 3/4 boards. You can certainly get three 3/4 and one almost 3/4. You
can probably figure out many ways to use thinner stock and get more
apperaance wood out of your stash.
I'd also ask the lumber mills about resawing. They may have a rig with a
Let us know what happens,
It was somewhere outside Barstow when " firstname.lastname@example.org"
For cabinetry then you can shorten them first, which makes transport
Most people with a Wood-mizer could handle 16' and a few can do 25'.
It depends why they have it - are they a small sawmill, or are they
timber framers ?
Is it reasonable to expect to get three 4/4 boards from each
a few years ago the mill I managed helped machine appox 100,000 bf of
recycled "warehouse beams" sized from 3" x 6" up to 12" x 20". The
woods varied - North eastern White pine ,some maple , alot of white and
red oak ,a little hickory but most was southern yellow pine
The owner had most sawn by other people but we gave the customer (owner
of beams) D4S stock , moldings and flooring made from the material we
Most of the stock was re-sawn on a woodmiser type band saws before it
was delivered to us for machining.
We did resaw some ourselves but the resaw we use has a 5/32 kerf so we
recommended that he find woodmiser type mills with a smaller kerf for a
There was a big difference on quality depending on who ( which mill )
did the re-sawing before we got the material.
Some was perfectly flat and of equal thicknesses others were all over
the place thickness wise even on the same board.
Try to get referals on local sawyers before having it worked up for
With a sharp new blade you should get 3 pcs 4/4 out of the 3-1/2"
thickness --since the blades take out appox 1/8" kerf
1st thing to do is check the beams out with a metal dector .
Buried metal will sherd a new bandsaw blade and you'll pay for them.
Since you probally won't need 24' pcs I'll be a better idea to cut them
down in length.
You may also want to think about ripping some of them into 4/4 x 3-1/2"
if your using them for cabinet work , glue-ups ,casings/moldings as
usually that will give you nice tight straight grained "quatersawn"
type of material.
We did that to appox 30,000 bf that was made into T & G flooring and
about 10,000 bf more that was made into casing and various other
Some of the material we machined had 60 growth rings per inch,after
quatersawing --it was beautiful stock once nail holes were gone.
If you need any other info on this feel free to drop me a email and
I'll try to answer any other ?s you have
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