Throughout the fall I have been busy cutting a lot of pine for bulkheads and staging as well as small oak and locust logs for framing. I’ve been working my way through the log pile in order to get at some the larger oak logs we will use for the Beal’s backbone. A few weeks ago I reached one of the big logs I’ve spent the fall anticipating and on January 22nd we put a large white oak log on the mill from which we hoped to get a couple of sternposts for the Beal.

This log was 16’ in length, 4’ at the butt, and about 2’6” at the small end. As far as the weight goes, if we figured it was 3’3” in the middle and do the whole π r ^2 x l thing, we see that D=3.25’ so r =1.625 so r^2 =1.625’ x 1.625’= 2.64’ x 3.14 = 8.29 square feet x 16’ long = 132.64 cubic feet x 63 lbs. per cubic foot = 8,356 lbs, +/-. Anyway, needless to say, it was a very heavy log.

I used the fire truck to drag it off the pile and up in front of the mill and managed to break a few chains along the way. Eventually, with the loader on the mill and the forklift working in tandem, I got it on the mill and then whittled it down with the chain saw. I was then able to make a few cuts with the mill and bring the log down to a size where the mill would go through it.

From there I was very relieved not to find any iron, rot, or other surprises and was able to get all I hoped for out of the log. This included the two 12.5” by (more or less) 12” posts, as well as three very wide, 2” planks and one wide 2.5” plank.


One aspect of this log that spooked me a little before I cut it was that the bark looked a little different from the bark I see on other white oak logs. Interestingly, once I got the log up on the mill I noticed how close the growth rings were and I counted 183 of them.  It was then that I realized that this is one of the oldest logs I have ever milled and somewhere in the back of my mind this accounted for the different looking bark.