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How to Saw Logs

You have many fond memories of the old tree in your yard, but if you ever have to cut it down, learn how to preserve its legacy by sawing it into boards you can use for a project.


  • Step 1: Put log on sawmill Roll the log up the ramp on to the bed of the portable sawmill. Lock the log in place so it is secure.
  • TIP: Cut the logs when they are wet. Dampness will make them easier to cut.
  • Step 2: Cut the top Elevate the log so that it is in position with the saw. Cut a length from the top.
  • Step 3: Form beam Rotate the log a quarter-turn, lock it into place, and cut off a section at your desired thickness. Rotate and cut the log on the two remaining sides until you end up with a rectangular beam.
  • Step 4: Cut to the pith Raise the bed to cut the boards to the desired thickness and continue cutting off boards until you reach the pith, or heart, of the log.
  • Step 5: Cut the remaining boards Flip the beam to the opposite side and cut the remaining boards.
  • Step 6: Dry Let the boards dry before using them. Brush latex paint on the ends of the boards so the ends don't dry faster than the middle, which causes cracks.
  • FACT: Lincoln Logs were invented in 1916 by John Lloyd Wright, son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

You Will Need

  • A tree log
  • A ramp
  • A portable sawmill

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