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How do you measure when cutting rounds?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by bogydave, Jan 16, 2010.

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  1. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    I have a hard time cutting everything the same length. I started using a stick with marks.
    Some dumb a$$ cut my stick so I taped & glued it. (OK I'm the DA)
    Anyway, it is nice to be close with all the rounds,
    What is the tip/trick to cutting all the rounds to the same length. +/- 1" or so?
    trying to stay close to 18" shorter works better than too long , I load back to front (north - south) .
    Pic of my stick marked every 17-1/2", spliced once so far. :)

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  2. hareball

    hareball Member

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    I would use your stick method and just score each log.
    I bet alot of the guys here don't measure, they just know!
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I thought I had OCD. For logs on the ground, I use a stick with marks every 20 inches. On my sawbuck the legs are spaced 20 inches. From the handle of my saw to the tip of the bar is 20 inches.
  4. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    I cut mostly long, straight logs like Douglas Fir (God's own firewood) and found it's easiest to just walk it with a tape measure and a can of orange marking paint. Works like a charm and no guessing.
  5. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    I've only started measuring recently. I can eyeball just fine but it's much nicer when all rounds are identical.
  6. Birdman1

    Birdman1 New Member

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    My 025 is 16" from tip to dogs, just use one side or the other and eye ball a spot on the bark.
    Gonna use a marker on the bar of the bigger saws and see how it works, can't be too tuff to
    just rub some on as it wears off.
  7. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    Tape measure and white chalk. I cut my wood to 16" length, and every 16" is premarked on a carpenter's tape measure, making it easy. But if it wasn't, I would just specially mark an old tape for this purpose.

    I thought I was anal to do this, but after having to recut 17.5" to 18" (purchased) pieces down to size with a chopsaw to fit into my stove, it definitely makes sense.
  8. tjsquirrel

    tjsquirrel New Member

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    I use a stick made from Cedar with 16" marks along its length. I make the marks with my chainsaw in order to account for its kerf. Cedar is nice because the little "nubs" that were once branches keep it from rolling off my log. I keep one big "nub" at the end of the stick to act as a stopper; I just slide the stick up the log until it stops and then begin cutting. One thing I've learned is to wrap an end with flagging tape otherwise the stick will get lost amongst all the other branches.
  9. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Two approaches. If I'm not cutting a lot, I use a mark on the chainsaw bar. I scratcheded some paint off the bar at 16" and 18" cutting points. Tip of bar to mark is the measure, eyeball a spot on the bark at the measure point, and make your cut. You may be surprised to find how easy it is to find a distinguishing mark on the bark at the measured cut point.

    If I have a lot of logs to cut, then I use a marker fixed to one of the bar nuts. Nothing more than a piece of #9 steel wire with a loop the diameter of the bar bolt to fix it under the bar nut; then the wire extends at a right angle away from the saw for a distance equal to what I want to repeatedly cut when measured from the chain; then bend the wire down at that point a couple of inches. To make repeated, accurate cuts, simply let the bent down portion of the wire fall over the end of the log and make your cut; repeat.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    A simple 1" x 1" x 16." Some I just eyeball but I like to measure the butt log for sure especially if it is a big one as those are the easiest to misjudge. Marking them takes so little time anyway so I just do most. For making the mark, a simple score with the axe works nicely. Maybe that is a throwback from my old logging days. Back then we used a 4' marker that was also notched at the 2' mark so we could measure any length and then just a small notch with the axe where the log was to be cut.

    Another benefit of using the marker and an axe is that I can do some of the trimming with the axe as I go along marking the logs.
  11. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    We use the 20" bar, close enough is good enough for me...it's firewood not trim carpentry.
  12. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    If it fits on my splitter it fits in the firebox. One nice thing about a furnace.
    I try for 24 inches, makes for a lot less cutting.
  13. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    If it fits on my splitter it fits in the firebox. One nice thing about a furnace.
    I try for 24 inches, makes for a lot less cutting. If I get one a little long I trim off about six inches and make kindling.
  14. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    I used to use a homemade bevel gauge I could set to any length up to 24", but now I just guess. I'd mark my cuts with a piece of chalk. Some folks use their bar as a gauge.

    Matt
  15. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

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    For the stuff you've got on the ground I use a sawbuck with 4 X's spaced 17" apart. For big stuff I've got a piece of remnant flooring cut 17" that I use for the first 1 or 2 cuts then I can pretty much judge it after that by eye. The city cuts most of mine though so I'm a little out of practice. I've also got a sawbuck that's 17" that I use for single pieces that the city cut too long but most of that ends up in my dad's fireplace where he can handle up to 24".
  16. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I use the saw. Since I cut 24" chunks, from the tip of my bar to the middle of the handle is the desired length. My pieces range in length from 22 to 26 inches. I could probably eyeball it with similar "accuracy." I'm not all that fussy. It all goes up in smoke in the end, anyway.
  17. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I use the bar on my saw. I assumed that my 16 inch Homelite bar stuck out 16 inches from the saw. Unfortunately it is really only about 14.5 inches from saw to bar tip. I guess I am better off with rounds too short than rounds too long.
  18. tcassavaugh

    tcassavaugh Minister of Fire

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    me too, just use the bar and eyeball where the cut should be...works close enough for me.

    cass
  19. StackedLumber

    StackedLumber New Member

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    use my bar to dogs-fast convenient
  20. joshlaugh

    joshlaugh New Member

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    I will eye ball it if I have been cutting all week and am "in practice" for it. If it is just one tree I am bucking I will use my bar on the saw.
  21. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    THAT is anal.
  22. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I guess. On big logs I use the bar, but otherwise, I cut cut cut and don't measure. They all fit in the stove. Eventually you get down to where they're +- an inch or 2.
  23. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    I must say I am amazed that so many people measure the length of every log cut. I don't ever measure just eye ball and cut . With longer logs I go along and make a mark with the saw every 18 in or so and then go back and make the cuts. I do get a few every now and then that are a little long but not too many.
  24. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    When I was in my former home, I made a stick that was 23 inches, whis is as long as the longest that would fit in my stove. I then cut kerfs 1.5 inches in from each end and used it as a measuring guide. I'd hold the stick to the log and walk it down the log marking it with a hatchet. Initially I was using a yellow lumber crayon but that didn't mark well on some bark and I kept breaking the crayons. When I sold the house I left the stick with the buyer.

    I buy my wood in 8 foot lengths but they are seldom exactly 8 feet long so when I buck them to 20 inch lengths, invariably I end up with some odd length piece left over. I've thought of using a 7 foot long bungee cord with four equally divided markers on it that I would stretch out to the length of the log. That way it would split the difference equally among the 5 pieces instead of having one short piece left over. When I use my measuring stick I will often steal an inch or so from each piece as I go to split the difference.
  25. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    My father bough a farm from an old Finlander whose family had homesteaded the land. One day my father was measuring a piece of wood on the barn when the old Finlander saw him and laughing said to him, "You use a measure tape on a barn? I never used a measure tape when I built the house!" It showed. There was not a level or plumb element anywhere. I never lost my marbles... I could always find my marbles in the same corner of the room.

    One of my pet peeves when friends would help to buck up firewood was that they were every which length. It would drive me nuts getting free wood from tree service guys. For some reason they cannot be consistent in length and can't seem to even cut them perpendicular. I could just see the look on their face if I asked them for the rounds to be cut to exactly 20 inches, not 23 and not 17!
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