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Sawing Trees into Boards

When cedar trees growing too close to Chelsea Lipford’s first time homeowner house had to be removed, the trunks were saved to be made into lumber.

After loading the logs on a trailer, the logs were taken to a small sawmill, owned and operated by Roy and Allie Hyde, to be sawn into lumber. In addition to sawing savaged logs for customers, Roy designs and builds handcrafted wood furniture from a wide variety of local woods.

Before the logs could be sawn into a lumber, a metal detector was used to find and remove any nails in the trees.

Roy Hyde sawing cedar logs on his portable, bandsaw sawmill.
Roy Hyde sawing cedar logs on his portable, bandsaw sawmill.

The logs were positioned on the carriage of the Wood-Mizer LT40 bandsaw sawmill and cut into 1” thick rough lumber, which was stacked in Chelsea’s garage and allowed to dry.

Turning Rough Boards into Finished Lumber

Before building the headboard, the rough sawn boards had to be straightened and smoothed.

To straighten boards with natural bark edges:

    1. Screw a board with a straight edge to the rough board.
    1. Run the board through the table saw with the straight edge against the fence to act as a guide.
  1. Remove the guide board and run the board through the table saw again, using the sawn edge as a guide, to cut the board to width.

Chelsea and Danny Lipford cutting boards to length on a miter saw.
Chelsea and Danny Lipford cutting cedar boards for headboard to length on a miter saw.

The lumber was then cut to length and run through a thickness planer to smooth the faces and make the rough boards a consistent thickness throughout the length of the board.

Read our article on How Lumber is Cut and Graded to find out more.

Building the Headboard

The vertical posts for the headboard were made by attaching a 1¾” wide board to a 3½” board to form an “L” shaped piece. The horizontal headboard slats were then glued and nailed to the vertical posts from the back.

The headboard was topped with a 4” wide board, and mitered molding used to finish it off.

Finished cedar headboard made from salvaged logs.
Finished cedar headboard made from salvaged logs.

Watch our DIY Cedar Headboard video to find out more. Watch How to Make a Headboard from a Column for another novel DIY headboard idea.

Other Tips from This Episode

Holding wood with shelf liner for sanding.

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Holding Wood for Sanding

To hold boards in place when sanding, cut a piece of open weave shelf liner or rug pad to the size of your workbench. Lay the liner on the work surface, and place the board to be sanded on top of it. The liner will keep the board from moving and allow the sanding dust to pass through. (Watch Video)

RIDGID Compact Jig Saw

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
RIDGID Compact Jig Saw

The RIDGID Compact Jig Saw (Model# ZRR3101) has a powerful 3-amp motor which cuts at 3,000 strokes per minute. Other features include reduced vibration as well as an LED work light and sawdust blower to make it easy to see what you’re cutting. The RIDGID Compact Jig Saw is available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)

Heating furniture with clothes iron.

Ask Danny Lipford:
Removing Water Stains on Furniture

To remove water stains on furniture, place a dry cloth on the stain, and use a clothes iron set on medium heat to warm up the surface and evaporate the moisture without overheating the wood. Rub the surface down with a cloth until cool, then apply furniture polish. (Watch Video)

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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