If you are like me, you always wanted to take a tree and mill it into your own lumber. There is something about the satisfaction that comes to a woodworker when doing the entire job yourself. From start to finish, cutting the tree down, (or finding the tree/logs/branches somewhere) and shaping it into the sizes that you can work with.
Keep in mind if you do so you will have to let the lumber sit somewhere to air dry stacked with sticks or a few boards between each row of the milled timber, or it will be too wet to use. Woodstock as such has to have a certain percentage level of moisture taken out of it for use, as most well know. 10 percent is ideal, but that can range up to 18 percent or a bit higher depending on the wood.
If you are air drying the timber in the winter months, it could take up to 8 months or more to get good and dry. The summer time it can take 4-6 months or so. Everything is going to depend on how cold/hot it is, how low the humidity is in your area, how windy it is in the location and various factors.
You definitely want to make sure it is good and dry. Not only is it hard on your equipment and tools when working with moisture rich lumber (ever try to cut a treated pine 2x on your table saw?), but if you build a project from materials as such the wood will dry over time. This will cause splits at the anchor points such as where you screw or nail it, and other flaws.
It’s going to happen because the lumber will shrink – one of the examples of this is building a deck with treated lumber. An experienced carpenter will butt the treated material for the decking together. Over time the cracks will appear because of shrinkage. If you put the cracks inbetween the treated planks, once it sets for a number of months the cracks will become overly large due to shrinkage.
Kiln drying the wood stock is another means of taking the moisture out. The kiln need not be expensive. Look up how to build a kiln for drying your materials and you will see that there are quite a few alternatives to going out and buying one. You can build our own. Unfortunately I can’t put how this is done here, because if it is built incorrectly and you cause a fire in your area you may say I was responsible. So just look it up online and you will find what I mean.
So you ready to build your own sawmill to take the task on of milling your own lumber? Even large branches can be used, as you will see in the video below. When watching the video, be sure to take note that Izzy says closer to the end that the urban sawmill can be built out of wood. He welds it out of steel, but says he will create one from wood in an upcoming video. When he does, I will display it here on WooDesigner: