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Milling Cherry Logs With A Scaffolding Jack Chainsaw Mill

Sometimes it seems like you just don’t have the right tool for the job, starting with picking up these logs.

When I saw them on Craigslist they looked to be about 10 inches in diameter and a few feet long.

Turns out they were 22 inches in diameter and 5 feet long. Big.

The right tool would’ve been a truck with a winch, but I made do with a minivan and some ratchet straps. These things were super heavy.

I had helpers when it came to de-barking…

…and then we used wedges to split the logs.

A good friend came and helped with the splitting. Here we’re prying apart a log that has split, but just won’t separate.

We goth both logs halved and then decided to quarter them.

Afterwards we stacked them and my 9 year old painted their ends for me.

To mill the logs into boards I built a saw mill out of 2x4s, a 2×6 and two scaffolding jacks. The right tool for this job would’ve been a nice large bandsaw mill (then I wouldn’t have even split the logs, I would’ve just milled them whole).

I started by screwing the log to a piece of plywood so it wouldn’t rock or slip.

I then positioned the log close to the chainsaw mill’s I-beam.

I then used the jacks to lower the I-beam until the saw was at the desired height.

Here’s a shot showing the finished surface. Not too bad.

Here’s another view of the chainsaw mill.

And the mess that was left over.

If all goes well, I’ll get these logs cut into boards and stickered (stacked, with spacers between them) in the next week or so. Then I’ll let the boards dry, and in a year or so I hope to turn this cherry wood into some nice nightstands or something for our home.

The scraps will be used for wood turnings, tool handles and carving.

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