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Thread: Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

    I want to use this short log of sycamore for a small project. More to the point, I want to get a piece out to make a new hammer handle for a friend. The only piece of wood left in my stock suitable for the job is a short log of sycamore. The log is about foot in diameter and two feet long. Sycamore is difficult to split, part of what makes it good for this use. It's too big to go on the bandsaw, so it needed to be halved first, and I didn't want to devote the time and effort to rip it with a handsaw, as I did for two of the leg-posts of my tablesaw stand. It took about an hour to work it apart with a pair of old ax-heads and a splitting maul head.





    I shoulda taken the sharp corners on both sides of the split first, before ripping through the pith. And I forgot that the wood, though it has been in log form in my stock for several years, would have enough internal tension to close up tight on the bandsaw blade. The machine stalled about four inches into the cut.



    Wiggling and tugging and trying to restart the stalled machine wouldn't move the blade at all. It's like it grew in the tree.

    The only thing left was to get the blade and the wood off the bandsaw, to try to open the kerf somewhat.



    It's a bear. But I'm gonna eat it's lunch before I'm done.
    Speak softly and carry a mouthful of marbles.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

    Back in the day, Sycamore was the preferred wood for butcher's blocks, because it was so resistant to splitting.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

    That stinks. Know anyone with a log splitter?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

    I like the extension table on your bandsaw.

    Maybe a steel wedge like on a Wonderbar or similar. Pound it in and give it a twist. This is one of those situations where an extra pair of hands could help.
    Steve Martinsen

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

    gonna be a good, tough handle though.

    going to count all my tool heads needing handles, brb

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

    One word - chainsaw.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

    Picking up that band with a chain saw. Now that would look like a bear got him.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

    Taking the thread title literally, I was offered bear meat once. I chose the elk.
    "Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?" - Groucho Marx

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

    who was the "reality" tv star that got trichinosis from bear meat partially cooked over a camp fire?

    sometimes the bear gets you even when you eat him.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

    I've tapped a wedge in behind my cut when I stalled my bandsaw in the past. Worked OK. Had to put another in when the blade got to the first wedge, but I got the hunk of wood (oak in my case) off the blade

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

    I made a sliding carriage out of ply some years back. I could then stabilize the log I pushed through the bandsaw blade. Worked like a champ..but the wood was infested with Wood-boring beetles.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

    Run a skilly thru on both sides from the other end. Once you've sawn as far as you can it should be easy to split out the rest.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

    Did you get it out?

    How about running a hand saw into the kerf to open it up? Just don't get that stuck, too.
    Steve Martinsen

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

    Yes, a chainsaw to do the ripping cuts. Makes a mountain of shavings in a hurry, but it's fast.

    I do this fairly often: make an item out of a piece of firewood. I made these cleat a few days ago from a round of ironwood picked from there.

    IMG_8290 (2) sm.jpg

    The flat you cut using the chainsaw will usually have twist or rocker. Take this out using an electric plane if you have one, or a broad-axe or similar. Then with one flat surface you can get it in a thickness planer to make a parallel flat. (If you don't have one then use the axe again.) After that, into the table saw or bandsaw.

    Dave

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

    How did you shape the ends Dave? Got a trick, or a special tool, or was it just patience?

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

    A number of good ideas here probably don't apply to Jim's sycamore. If this were a repeated job, maybe invest in one of those chain saw Alaska mills. But for a one-off, patience and fortitude.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

    I'd split it the same way the first split was done, about 1/2" away from the bandsaw kerf, then spread the kerf.
    In the future, you should flatten the split face somewhat, before putting it on your bandsaw.
    A lumpy surface will make it jump around and bind,even if there isn't much stress in the piece.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    How did you shape the ends Dave? Got a trick, or a special tool, or was it just patience?
    Clamp a belt-sander upside-down on a bench, then hold the pieces against it while you twirl them in your fingers. Better to round them a bit more than these ones.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

    and Guy Clark knew about that.. those his simile was a bit different.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you

    OK.

    Ifn twere me, I may just snip the blade.

    Drill a 3/16 pilot hole into the kerf near the blade from both sides.

    Drive 1/2" lag screws into the holes until the log loosens its grip on the blade and pull the saw blade out of the cut.

    Then follow any number of the excellent selections in this thread to readdress the problem.

    I'm a fan of the 'pre-kerf as deep as possible with a circular-saw' idea.

    Also, planing a small flat for the saw table to register on or otherwise eliminating any twisting of the work will help a LOT.

    Sycamore is terrific stuff. Well worth the effort, IMO.
    Rattling the teacups.

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