How to cut logs into lumber with a chainsaw

Most people who work in wood will understand the importance of lumber, without it, the trees would not be able to be turned into all of the wonderful things that we use wood for. Tables, chairs, benches. Before it can be made into any of them, it needs to first be made into wooden beams. And the best way to do this is by using a chainsaw.

What is lumber? Lumber is basically wood that’s been cut so that it can be used but is yet to be made into anything. It should be flat and smooth on all sides. So long as you create it properly working with it to create things will be easy! Just follow this simple guide, wear protection, and always be careful!

How to cut logs into lumber with a chainsaw

Step One: Lift the log

The first step is to make sure it’s elevated and secure, doing this will ensure that it doesn’t roll away when you’re working with it, but also it puts it at an appropriate height for you to work with.

The best way to get it to this height is to create a ramp which you can use to roll your log to a height which will be easy to work with. For safety, make sure that you add some support from underneath, just incase your supports give way.

Now that your log is lifted and secure, you will be able to work with it, you would have to worry about it rolling away, and you won’t have to damage your back by going down to the ground all the time.

Step Two: Flatten the top

The purpose of the first cut is going to be to make sure that the log has one flat side.

Firstly measure down about 11/2 inches away from the top of the butt and then do the same at the tip, for those who are unaware, the butt and tip are what the ends of the log are called.

If the size of the tip is vastly different to the butt, measure down about 2 or maybe 4 inches at the butt instead of 11/2..

With the measurements made, just go ahead and attach the metal plates, this can usually be done by either using screws and a screwdriver, or hammer and nails, whichever one works best for you.

In order to make this cut easier, it will help is you add some weight to the top of the log. You might think that this will mean going out and buying some expensive long weight, but the reality is that it can be done with something as simple as a ladder. Or anything that’s both long and heavy. If it will add pressure on top of the part you’re cutting off, it’s good enough.

This sort of cutting is going to be very difficult if you don’t use a cutting guide, this is a simple chainsaw attachment that you can buy from most woodwork shops. Once you’ve attached it to your chainsaw, cut from the bottom of one metal plate, all the way to the bottom of the other. This usually takes a bit of time, and because you’re using a chainsaw, please take the appropriate safety precautions.

You’ve now got your first flat side. So that’s one down, and two to go.

Step Three: Turn and repeat

You’ll now have to roll this log over, it doesn’t matter too much which way, so long as there is bark facing the sky. Just repeat the same process as you did the first time round, by attaching the metal plates (usually parallel to one another) and cutting from one plate to the other, using a cutting guide chainsaw attachment. You’ll have to repeat the process one last time by rolling it over again, attaching the plates, and cutting. It does take time, but with the right equipment, it’s easy to do.

Step Four: Remove the Bark lines

At this point, you’ll have a rather odd looking thing. At the bottom will be bark, but on the sides there will also be thin lines of bark. You need to get rid of them. To do this adjust your cutting guide so that it’s just below the thin bark on the top, and cut it off.

Step Five: Take the bark off the bottom

Afterwards, repeat the same process of the bark at the bottom of the log. Once everything has been cut off, remove the bark from the bottom of the log. Right now what you’ll have is essentially a square log, it might look like the type of thing a giant might use if he ever wanted to do some building work, so be careful of a giant hand coming out of the sky, and taking it away from you. Should this happen just use your chainsaw on this fingers to get him to leave you alone.

But all jokes aside, this thing has a name, it’s called the kant. And you will be using it to create all of the boards which can be used to make wooden items.

Step Six: Board the kant

To cut the boards, firstly measure down from the top how thick you want the boards to be. This will vary depending on the type of wood, and what you intend to use it for. Using your saw cutting guide, cut all the way along. And there you will have your first board! Put it on a pile, and get ready for the next one.

It’s wise to allow your saw to cool down after about 3 boards. Chainsaws can get very hot, and often don’t work very well if overheated, it’s also important for you to rest as tiredness can significantly increase the risk of injury, and chainsaw injuries can be lethal! So please be careful!

There we have it, you have now turned a log into a pile of lumber using a chainsaw, and a cutting guide. Doing this process is important for anyone who wants to work with wood, as without turning it into lumber, wood would not be much use to anyone. If you’re new to woodwork, it’s best to get someone with more experience to be there, just in case something goes wrong!

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