What To Expect
For many people having logs sawn and products made from the wood is a new experience. You may be unsure of what to expect from the process.
In general there are three, step by step phases of work needed to convert a log into a finished boards, flooring, paneling, etc.
The three phases are Sawing, Drying, and Millwork
- This work is done on a sawmill.
- Start with the log; finish with rough sawn, green lumber.
- When sawn, all logs will produce a variety of qualities of lumber. Better logs yield a higher percent of high quality lumber.
- Almost any dimension of lumber can be sawn.
- The best way to size your rough sawn lumber correctly is to know what you want your finished product to be and then work backwards.
- Add 1/4" thickness to desired finished thickness. For example if you wish to have 3/4" thick flooring made then the boards should be approximately 15/16" to 1" thick after milling.
- Add at least 1" width to desired finished width for many uses. Add 1.5" for tongue and groove. For example if you wish to have 4" wide, tongue and groove flooring made then the boards should be approximately 5.5" wide after milling.
- Expect 30%-50% total shrinkage as the boards are dried and converted into a finished product. For example if you need 100 sqft of finished, tongue and groove flooring, you will need to start with 150 sqft of rough sawn, green lumber.
- For more information see our Sawmill Service page.
- This work is done in a wood kiln
- Start with rough sawn, green lumber; finish with rough sawn, dried lumber.
- For most applications wood must be dried down to 6%-8% moisture content before using.
- Wood will shrink and move slightly during the drying process. Expect 10% shrinkage during drying.
- For more information see our Kiln Drying Service page.
- This work is done using a variety of equipment such as a straightline rip, gangsaw, planer, molder, sander.
- Start with rough sawn, dried lumber; finish with final product (e.g. flooring, paneling, moldings, etc.)
- The first step is to "straight line rip". This is the process of cutting (usually 2) straight edges on the board. The material removed is shown in red in the above diagram.
- The next step is to "skip plane". This is the process of planing all the boards to a uniform thickness.
- The final step is to perform final milling to produce the finished product such as tongue and groove flooring or paneling.
- The material removed is shown in blue in the above diagram.
- In general 1/8" of width on both sides of the board is lost during this step.
- If the final milling involves a tongue and groove to be cut, an extra 1/2" of width is lost due to the width of the tongue.
- A huge variety of different profiles are possible. We can produce finished millwork up to 10" wide. Contact us for further information.
In general a total 1/4" of thickness and 1" of width (1.5" for tongue and groove) will be lost during the drying and milling processes.
We can do any/all of the phases that you wish. For example, we can saw your logs into rough sawn lumber or we can dry the rough sawn lumber you had sawn at a different sawmill.
Finally we can do all three phases for you; starting from logs we frequently do all the steps to produce finished products such as flooring, paneling, mantels, etc.
Our pricing for each of the steps is available in our online Pricebook
Also we have a Frequently Asked Questions
help you understand the process better. Contact us
for more information.