How to Cut Logs into Lumber with Chainsaw? Complete Guide

Richard McMann

Knowledge Based

cutting logs into lumber with a chainsawBasically, logs are round in shape with an uneven surface while lumber is rectangular thick with a flat surface piece of wood and hence are more accurate for furniture and other wooden boards.

In two ways you can make lumber from a log. One way is, with a chainsaw mill and the other way is, by free-hand. Let us start, how to cut logs into lumber with chainsaw.

Before you start working with your chainsaw make sure you have taken all safety gears, such as:

  • Steel-toed shoes.
  • Gloves.
  • Goggles.
  • Ample ear protection.

You need to buy a separate tool for a chainsaw, a chainsaw mill. This attachment makes your chainsaw a milling machine to cut logs into lumber. This requires no large space hence is portable and cheap.

How To Cut Logs into Lumber with A Chainsaw? Step-By-Step Guide:

Step 1:

Before your first cut, you need to set up a chainsaw mill. Slabbing rail can help you with the round and uneven surface of the log. Make sure, the rail is longer than the log. If it is not so, then cut the log vertically to make it shorter.

Set the log onto the stand horizontally and begin with making a flat surface on the upper side of the log. You need to select the thickness of the cutting according to the uneven surface of the log.

Step 2:

You need to start the cut at the bottom for the second flat surface of the log. The thickness should be the same as for the first cut.

Simply it’s the repetition of the first step but here you need to start from the bottom. Once you are done with the second cut, you will partially have thick lumber.

Step 3:

You need to progress with the repetition of your previous cut. This time you will turn the log at an angle of 90°. Repeat the first and second cut and thus you will have four flat surfaces which look like a rectangular box and so are the lumber.

Making Your Desired Thickness:

Once you are finished with cutting logs into lumber. You just need to cut thick lumber to your desired thickness. For that, you need to have a marker and a scale. Mark on vertical sides according to your desired thickness and start to piece thick lumber.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Cut a Log Lengthwise with a Chainsaw:

First of all, take safety gear. Make sure the log is held correctly in its place. Check the bullets, are they lubricated? Make sure its blades are aligned, sharp, and clean.

  • Cut off all branches as it may be the hurdle in your task.
  • Be active and keen, defend yourself from kickbacks, as it does when blades cut big objects.
  • Hold your gas chainsaw with both hands.
  • To avoid sudden jerks, do not change the position of the saw while using it.
  • Try to clean your saw regularly. You can pressure wash it too but with care and precautions

How To Cut Wood Slabs with A Chainsaw?

To avoid old trees wastage and make valuable use of them, you need to mill them. You just need to choose the slab shape. It might be oval, rectangular, or round. If you want to go for an oval slab, then angle it at 45° and you will need two cuts for an oval or circle shape. For a rectangular shape just cut both sides of the trunk.

Moreover, you need to figure out the depth of the first slab. Use a marker and mark the width along the whole log’s length. Now use your chainsaw to cut downwards gradually with steady pressure. If you want a better finish, use a wood planner and smooth it down.

How to Make Lumber by Free-Hand? Step-by-Step Guide

Making lumber with a free hand just requires a long powerful chainsaw and no other tools. Follow these steps:

  • Raise the log from the ground by placing a small piece of support under the log.
  • Measure the depth of cutting according to the uneven surface and start the cutting.
  • Use the front part of the chainsaw for cutting.
  • When you get one flat surface, rotate the log by placing the flat surface on the ground.
  • Take off the right and left sides of the log. Rotate again and take off the last side of the log.

After all these steps you will have your desired lumber. It’s used for a small amount of lumber otherwise use a chainsaw mill or a milling machine.

Have a look at this video tutorial to learn the lumber making process easily:

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you cut a log straight with a chainsaw?

First of all, you need to score your line. Take a knife and trace it over the line you have drawn. Stand on one side of the log and cut all the way through in one pass and the same on the other side of the log.

How do you mill logs with a chainsaw?

The first cut has to ride across the guide rails. Set your mill in a way that will cut the under bolts. In the next step remove the rails and top slabs so you can start slabbing up your log. Set your mill to your desired thickness.

Can you cut logs with a chainsaw?

Yes, you can. Chainsaw makes it easy for you to cut trees into logs. It’s less time and energy-consuming. You just need to operate your chainsaw well and be equipped with safety gear. It’s a matter of minutes to cut logs with a chainsaw.

How do you cut the log into lumber?

Though the surface of the log is uneven and round slabbing rails make it easy for you to work on that shape of logs. Through a Chainsaw mill or milling machine, you cut the sides of the log, and eventually, it turns out to be in form of lumber.

Conclusion: How to Cut Logs Into Lumber with Chainsaw?

In this article, we have discussed how logs are turned into lumber with a chainsaw. Basic steps are explained and different tips and tricks are mentioned. Cutting of logs lengthwise is also discussed through a step-by-step guide.

Richard McMann
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