From Hand Cut Logs to Handmade Furniture

Have you ever wondered how trees were turned into timber?
Well we had a fantastic opportunity to find out this week. We were lucky enough to be able to spend a day learning how to use a “Lucas Mill” courtesy of Tom from Hogg Brothers earthworks. Thanks a lot to Dallas from Hogg Brothers as well for taking the time to train us up!

mill 3

A Lucas Mill is basically a massive saw that can cut the entire length of a section of tree trunk. We were milling up a log of Cypress pine which had been recovered from a new development site when it was cleared of trees. Tom often salvages trees from such sites which would otherwise be burned or destroyed and turns them into useful timber.

Mill 1

The mill was pretty intimidating at first, the blade is over half a metre across and only ever a foot or so from your legs. But it was heaps of fun.
The process started with selecting a log, straighter is better. This makes reducing waste easier. To get the maximum amount of useful timber from a log and to minimise waste even further requires what Tom calls the “sawmiller’s eye” or a careful planning and estimation about what sized boards and in what arrangement can be most efficiently cut from the log.

mill 2

It was great to end up with a whole bunch of useful boards from a discarded log.
We hope to be able to use timber we salvage and mill ourselves in our furniture one day. So stay tuned.

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