I'm trying to determine the smallest diameter of log that I can use on my new "used" LT40 (safely). I guess I'm trying to find the board feet yield for different size logs, so that I know whether or not they are worth milling or not. Specifically, I need fence rails - and posts. I'm new to this woodworking/milling "hobby". Any assistance or suggestions would be incredibly appreciated!

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1 Answer 1


This may be obvious but the larger the log the more usable lumber returned. Since the lumber should be sawn to avoid capturing the pith that will limit log size somewhat. Time is the main factor. Loading a log that yields 4 1x6 boards takes more time to fell, haul, load and saw than the boards are worth. If time is casual then cutting posts from the small logs may be worthwhile if you're just killing time anyway. If you had to charge someone to cut their posts they couldn't afford them for all the time you had invested.

  • 2
    This is good info but it doesn't answer the Question so perhaps best suited to a Comment.
    – Graphus
    Feb 28, 2018 at 14:54
  • I have quite a few logs already deposited at my farm, some as small as 15" in diameter. I'm just curious when milling the log will turn into a waste of time and resources...Some of the logs, though are better than 20" inches in diameter...
    – NicoleeK
    Feb 28, 2018 at 23:04
  • 15" diameter would provide up to a 10" square cant compared to a 14" cant for 20". These would both provide enough lumber to justify the effort. 8" diameter would be the minimum to get a 6" cant so you could get ~5 1x6 from. Being small it would cut quickly
    – Chuck S
    Mar 1, 2018 at 16:27

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