Choosing a Log Scale

A sawmiller harvesting various tree species gets advice on which log scale will give him the most accurate estimates of his inventory. June 20, 2005

Iím looking to buy a log scale. Iím looking at either a Scribner or Doyle, but Iím not sure what kind to purchase. Iím looking to get one that is properly accepted in the west coast. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor G:
I would recommend a Scribner scale.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
If you know the Scribner value and log length, you can convert to Doyle or International 1/4". Will you be buying Federal timber? They may have special requirements, like cubic sale.

From the original questioner:
Thank you for the comments and recommendations. I am recycling trees from cities and from anywhere I can get them, so I'm building inventory and need a good means of determining the board footage in the logs.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Of the commonly used scales, International 1/4" scale will give you the closest estimate. Of the less common scales, International 1/8 will be closer. To be close, you must scale them properly and then deduct for defects, sweep, and so on.

From contributor C:
When buying logs, I use Doyle because you never know what you are going to run into in the log - especially ones that came out of someoneís yard. If Iím very confident about the quality, I may use International. I would start by using Doyle or Scribner until you get feel for the wood. They have a certain amount of fool-proofing built in.

From contributor M:
For your purposes, I think you could saw logs of different diameters and grades, and then record the amount of lumber and grade that you obtain. This would be your own personal scale to help you accomplish your goal of determining your inventory. You could then compare your scale to other scales to see what the fudge factor is.

If you aren't buying logs and don't need to give an accounting to the seller, your personal scale will work fine. If you are purchasing, then a standard scale should be used for purchasing, and then you can convert using your own experience.