Re-Sawing Reclaimed Heart Pine

Thoughts on dealing with dirt, nails, and pitch when turning old Heart Pine timbers into nice lumber. July 28, 2006

I have salvaged several thousand BF of what I believe is long leaf heart pine in 3 x 6 and 2 x 10 lumber from an old corn crib. After using a metal detector on it to remove all metal I can detect, what are your recommendations for a band saw blade to re-saw this lumber with? I am working with a Tanniwitz 5 hp direct drive band saw with a capacity up to 1" bands. Most likely the 2 x 10's will be ripped to 2 x 5 or smaller before re-sawing.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor D:
All my experience in resawing heart pine is with sawmill type bandsaws, but here is what little I've learned from sawing a lot of heart pine reclaimed flooring. Not sure what kind of blades you're going to use, but in 1 inch width, 3/4 7/8ths pitch should work okay. Make sure that you have plenty of set. You want the least possible amount of friction in the cut.

You will need some sort of solvent/lubricant in the cut to keep the pitch off the blade. I use a kerosene drip, two or three drops every couple seconds. You don't want to flood it, just keep the pitch off. Some people use water and dish soap mixture, but I find this to be totally useless, plus it tends to wash the lube out of bearings.

When you are sure you have all the tramp metal out, go back over them at least twice more. Be prepared to wreck some blades, even then. I can resharpen my own blades, but it's still no fun. A good compressor and blow gun will help. Those old beams have a lot of dust and dirt settled on and in them. All you can get out helps.

Resawing reclaimed beams takes a lot of effort, but in my opinion, it's certainly worth it. This is not the gospel on resawing reclaimed beams, just things that I have learned and found to work in sawing untold thousands of ft. of heart pine.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for your input. I hadn't thought about pitch buildup. Unfortunately I am sawing with a common woodshop bandsaw and can't use a lubricant. I will experiment with some cutting first and if it looks like it will be a problem, I will pay my sawyer to resaw for me and pay for his blade sharpening.

Any experience with special grades of blades, i.e. carbide tip or bimetal, etc. that offer an advantage with these lumber conditions to limit blade defecting when hitting metal?

I couldn't be more excited to get this material ready for my dream house! I have a lot of reclaimed wood to work with and it's time to make something for us for a change, instead of the customers.

From contributor L:
When I saw southern yellow pine in my woodshop, I try to remember to spray my blades with Pam non-sticking cooking spray prior to cutting. It helps.

From contributor D:
Carbide will almost always shatter when hitting a nail. We used some Lennox Woodmaster bs one time. I think they were bimetal, but anything that cuts wood well isn't going to do well with metal, and vice versa. For lube, you might try some long strips of felt accordioned into pads on the offside of your saw, i.e. the side with the blade going up. We used those on the big resaws we used at one mill I worked at.

From the original questioner:
Contributor D, there is actually a device on my saw that I believe I can attach felt to. Would you impregnate the felt with a lubricant for the purposes of keeping pitch off?

Contributor L, great idea! But will the oil react with the rubber tires on the saw? I could see soaking the felt pads mentioned above with it if it causes no problems. Thanks for all the ideas and advice.