Milling lumber #1: Big Pine

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This is part 1 in a 2 part series: Milling lumber

  1. Big Pine
  2. Milling juniper

I got a couple chunks of 4”+ thick pine, roughly 20” wide and 5’ and 4’ long from my trip to MN.



Milling that into pieces my tools and I can handle has been a workout. My table saw will only make a cut 3½” deep, as will my corded circular saw, so I would make the initial cut on the table saw, flip the piece and set it on a pair of sawhorses, then finish the cut with the circular saw.

Once I had it most squared up and down to 12” wide, I started running the slab through the planer to flatten it. Two 13 gallon drums of chips later, it’s thin enough that I can cut through it with the table saw.



Now it’s back to the table saw to make nice square ends and sides. I think this piece is going to be a bench for the guy who got me the wood. He’d like something to sit on at the foot of the bed for putting on socks in the morning.

Here’s the nearly finished top.



I’ll chamfer the edges a bit, and carve the flats above the chamfered edges, maybe doing some inlay, and have to cut a few mortises for the legs, but I’m pretty sure this piece will be the top of the bench now.

May you have the day you deserve!

So far, so good. The thick top in the last photo looks pretty square and flat. What are the three planks in the first photo?, cutoffs from the designated top?

Gonna be plenty stout Dave, I just hop around like an idiot trying to put on socks, even worse with wet feet when fresh out of the shower 😀

Is that wood "lumber" or just some construction wood? Curious about how dry it is.
The three planks were offcuts bringing the big piece down from 18 inches wide to 12 inches wide, Tom. I got most of the beetle holes cut off the designated top, too. The last one should go away with the edge chamfering, but failing that, I’ll hide it on the back.

It was a tree (looks to have been 20+ inches in diameter) about ten years ago, Splint. Seems dry enough, even though it was stored in a pole-barn in MN for most of that time.

May you have the day you deserve!

Nice work so far, Dave. Sometimes those beetle holes can add character to the piece and you can even fill them with an  
inlay to make them stand out.

Cheers, Jim ........................ Variety is the spice of life...............Learn something new every day

Thanks! I only grabbed one of these monster thick slabs, and this one includes the pith, but it doesn’t seem to have checked yet, and it’s pretty dry (kept clogging my planer with the chips sticking to the plastic because of static electricity), so I’m hopeful it won’t move now. 

May you have the day you deserve!