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Question DetailsAsked on 5/1/2018

I need some tree trunks cut into tree cookies Chicago

Where can I take my tree trunks to be cut into tree cookies in Chicago?

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1 Answer


Would of course have to be cut into lengths reasonably handled during the cutting - say probably not over 70 pounds per length or so.

Depends partly on how smooth or polished you want the faces to be - cutting a few with rough surfaces could be done by hand with a pruning saw (if small diameter - say not over 6 inches or) or with a sawzall (up to about 8-10 inch diameter with 12"-14" extended wood cutting blade. Could then be smoothed off if desired with a bench or hand-held belt sander. Bear in mind any hand-held (powered or not) tool is pretty unlikely to produce real flat or parallel faces - there will be some waviness or non-parallelism with hand held tools. Even with bench saws, unless he uses a holding frame, parallelism will be an issue because the source log is neither straight nor perfectly round.

In quantity, a woodworking shop or a handyman with radial or table saw can normally cut up to about 3-1/2 to 5" diameter in one pass depending on sawblade diameter (10 to 14 inch provided) - can turn and use multiple cuts up to about 7-10 inch maximum diameter, though due to the multiple cuts to cut through the thicker than single pass material will normally have at least a small offset in the faces partway through because on rough, slightly crooked material like that it is pretty much impossible to exactly align the cuts.

For larger material need a place with a very large diameter capacity saw - a 20" chop saw can handle up to about 8-9" diameter material in one pass, a large bandsaw or commercial lumbermill operation up to about 4 feet diameter commonly. A handheld power bandsaw (though normally used for metal work, not wood) can do slabs up to a few inches thick by about a foot in diameter.

For rough slabs more than a couple inches thick (though faces will be fairly rough and not exactly parallel) a Tree Service can slab off pieces with a chainsaw.

I would start, if looking for large quantities (say more than a dozen or two) or large diameter, with calling vendors in the Cabinet - Custom or Carpentry - Finish categories and see if they will do it or know someone who will. Yellow pages/google you can also search for Woodworking shops (not an Angies List ctegory). Have quantity desired and max diameter of logs in mind when you call, also whether you will be wanting them polished and/or clear finished too.

Bear in mind, the wood should be cured (dried) BEFORE cutting to result in the least cracking of the slabs - google for articles on how to dry (and clear finish) tree cookies. Generally outdoor shaded and protected location with logs elevated for even air circulation is best - slow drying reduces drhying checking and cracking. Indoor drying before outdoor drying will commonly make a large percentage of pieces pretty heavily checked and cracked.

Note you are probably talking $100 or so minimum charge (for one hour work), and maybe 10-200 pieces per hour cutting rate depending on diameter (for say 3-4 foot at lowest rate, to less than 4 inch diameter for highest rate). Assume you are probably going to have maybe 10-20% wastage on the pieces from excessive cracking or cracking/splitting during cutting - more if the wood is not pre-dried before cutting. Softwoods, unless significantly cracked pieces are acceptable for your use, wood that is dried as cookies might reach 50% or more depending on wood species (generally but not always worse cracking/splitting during drying with softwoods than hardwoods).

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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