John K Jordan
- You didn't answer the question of how many blanks you are looking for.
- You didn't answer the question of what kind of defects are permitted.
Also, do you have a fixed or unlimited budget (e.g., is an enthusiastic client paying for this?) Your options may depend on the budget.
Since wet is OK and species doesn't matter, any local sawmill can provide what you want and perhaps at a low cost.
All the sawyer needs is the right logs. Sawing may be cheaper than for lumber since it large chunks like that don't take many cuts.
- If defects don't matter, all the sawyer needs is a log with the right diameter.
- If pith is allowed to be in the middle and sapwood on the corners the log can be the diameter of the diagonal of the blank. The beam you get is called a "cant". Squaring off a log into a cant is often the first step in producing boards. In your case, the cant would be the final product and save the cost of sawing the boards.
- If sapwood is not wanted but pith is OK, the diameter of the heartwood needs to be the the same as the diagonal of the blank.
- If some bark is allowed on the corners, the log can be smaller.
- If no pith is allowed in the middle the log needs to be much larger. Assuming a straight log with the pith in the center, a log would be cut down the center then each half or quarter squared up.
All of these would give you a square beam as log as the log which you could cut up into shorter lengths with a chain saw on site if needed for loading into a pickup truck. One log could provide from one to four slabs depending on size and the above requirements.
You can locate a local sawyer through Woodfinder on this website or through the Woodmizer web site or by recommendation from forum members if you indicate your location.
I've cut many such beams and blanks as well as planks and boards for others on my personal sawmill. Often non-commercial sawyers will do it for free if you haul in the logs on your own trailer and stay to help. The only cost is in "shares", you take half the wood and the sawyer keeps 1/2.
Independent sawyers are often willing to custom saw for a fee. The cost will depend on the cost of the logs, delivery, and the work involved. The cost will also depend on how many blades are ruined by cutting through metal embedded in the wood, a common problem with logs acquired in both urban and farmed areas, now so much for logs from an open forest.