Sawing a Rotted out White Oak

A tree that looked promising before it was removed still led to a bit of decent, usable material.

Brandon had a removal job for this white oak.  It looked a little weathered but white oak is generally pretty rot resistant so even if this tree had been dead for a few years, the wood should still be solid.

As Brandon started the removal and pulled the wedge from the tree, we could see that at least at the base of the tree, there was some extensive rot.

The tree came down and we cut the log into two roughly 10′ lengths.  Seeing the tree on the ground, it was clear that this tree had extensive rot.  We loaded the base of the tree onto my trailer to get it out of the yard.  In the street, we backed our trailers together and transferred this section onto Brandon’s dump trailer.

The upper section could then be loaded onto my trailer and hauled home.  Brandon brought the base to his log storage yard and we may saw that log in the future.

Back in my backyard, the log was winched off the trailer and onto the sawmill bed.  The log is turned to position it by using the trailer winch run off a snatch block hanging in a nearby tree.

I’ve oriented the log to the the majority of the rot towards the bottom.  This should allow me to slice a few clean slabs before hitting any rot.

The top waste piece is removed and then the log can be sliced until the saw runs out of throat capacity.

The slabs can be offloaded and I’ll move them with my trailer.

These first slabs yield some nice clean material.  At this position in the log, you’d never know the majority of the log was rotted out.

As we start to get further into the log, the rot towards the center starts to show.  Although the middle of the slabs is rotten, the material towards the outside is still in perfect condition and due to its position in the log, the outer material is quarter sawn so it exhibits medullary ray flecks.

As we get further down, the rot becomes even greater until the slabs separate into left and right sections.

With all of the initial slabs moved off the saw, the remainder can be rolled over and sliced.

The waste part is removed and the log is sliced into slabs.

Here the rot gradually get less and less until we’re back to the outside of the log where the wood is still solid.

These other slabs can also be moved to the pile.  They have some interesting holes in them.

And lastly the cap piece can be added to the pile.  I had these temporarily stacked in my driveway until I found a place to stack them permanently.

Products Used
60″ Peavey –
78″ Cant Hook –
Hi-Lift Jack:

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