High Quality Chainsaw Bars Husqvarna Toys

Guitar body blanks from an Ash tree

barker7

New OPE Member
Local time
8:43 AM
User ID
19186
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Location
Baltimore MD
I have two 6 foot sections from the trunk of an Ash tree that died from the emerald ash borer. I've built an acoustic guitar from thin delicate pieces of wood purchased on the internet, and now I want to build a solid body electric guitar from this tree. The finished overall dimensions of the guitar body vary by design, but its about 2" x 13" x 18". I'll probably make the body from 2 book matched slices.

I have a Stihl MS 180 with a 14" bar, that I have used for years to limb trees and cut up fire wood. I'm looking for ideas/strategies on how to cut up these logs.

My first thought was to cut them up into 2 ft lengths then somehow rip them, into 2" thick slabs. What I don't like about this idea is that if there is any internal rot or other defects, I won't have an opportunity to work around them.

My second idea is to rip them full length. I've seen some videos on this, but the saws are considerably larger than my saw and some use a chains ground for ripping.

1. Do you think my dinky saw could be used to rip these logs without killing the saw?
2. I couldn't find any rip chains that are 3/8" picco (which this saw uses). Is there a real benefit with a rip chain?
3. Any general tips or strategies? There's plenty of wood in those two logs, so I can screw up many times, but it would be great to have some guidance.
4. I included a picture of the end grain. Any thoughts on the grain or the little bit of spalting that should guide the cutting strategy?

Thanks everyone,

Mitch

IMG_1901.jpg IMG_1903.jpg
 

Guido Salvage

Supreme saw hoeder
Local time
8:43 AM
User ID
679
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
2,078
Reaction score
7,006
Location
Farmville, VA
Country flag
My random thoughts…

1) Use the log at the back, it looks to be clear of knots.
2) Cut them 10/4 (2.5”) to allow you to plane out variations in thickness.
3) You will need to find a kiln or let them air dry for a couple of years.
4) Paint the ends of the logs to help prevent checking.
5) When you stack the boards put your stickers at the ends to help prevent splitting.
6) Rent a saw from Home Depot. Milling is the hardest task you can subject a saw to due to the long, full throttle cuts. Mix extra oil (i.e. 32:1) to help with cooling. You can sharpen a chain at 10 degrees for milling.

Good luck!
 
Last edited:

JIMG

Super OPE Member
Local time
8:43 AM
User ID
18248
Joined
Aug 14, 2021
Messages
328
Reaction score
996
Location
NorthCountry
Country flag
My experience is very limited but it seems ripping chain is often used to get the material closer to a finished surface. You might not necessarily need that if you are looking to harvest pieces small enough to run through a 12" planer. I have freehand ripped sugar maple a few times with a crosscut chain on a 60cc saw without issue, it comes out pretty washboard. It will be tricky to keep the thickness consistent enough to plane down without some kind of guide.
Renting a larger saw as stated above could be a good option.
Not to suggest you start down the slippery slope of buying saws but, if it were me, this would be a perfect "tool buying opportunity". I think J. Dirt may still have a milling get up for sale as well as a saw that would be plenty powerful enough for your project.
 

Wolverine

dilligaf
Local time
8:43 AM
User ID
373
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
7,005
Reaction score
35,256
Location
17325
Country flag
I have a bunch of CSM experience. Dedicated milling chain is not required.
IMO, yes that saw is too small to be milling/ripping with. As mentioned above, maybe rent a bigger one for the job.

The general rule of thumb is to let boards air dry 1 year for every inch of thickness. Sticker stacking is very important to keep your fresh cut planks from bowing/twisting/cupping. Don't skimp.
There is a very fine line w/ spalting. If you wait too long to get it cut, that wood my be too far gone. If you want, I could help you out with cutting. I'm just north of Gettysburg.
 

Guido Salvage

Supreme saw hoeder
Local time
8:43 AM
User ID
679
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
2,078
Reaction score
7,006
Location
Farmville, VA
Country flag
The general rule of thumb is to let boards air dry 1 year for every inch of thickness. Sticker stacking is very important to keep your fresh cut planks from bowing/twisting/cupping. Don’t skimp.

Actually stickering is done to promote air flow and to prevent the inevitable rot that will occur when 2 moist boards are in contact with each other.
 
Top