How to Cut & Cure Pine Logs

Wade Shaddy

With the increased popularity of log furniture, as well as for firewood use, pine logs have become more popular than ever. It's essential to cure pine logs before trying to use them. As wood cures, it shrinks. If dried too fast, it cracks and splits.

Logs need to cure for about one year.

Most log furniture builders like pine logs that are between eight and 10 inches in diameter, cured for one year and cut into lengths that can be picked up by one person.

  1. Stack three logs together, two on the bottom with one resting on top of the others in a pyramid shape. Shift them right or left to arrange them so that they are relatively uniform in the center.

  2. Measure off 96 inches to maximize the best wood from each log. Cut through the ends of all three logs at once with the chain saw. Measure and cut them at 96 inches. Do all of the logs you have available.

  3. Stack about 8 of the logs on the ground in the sun parallel with each other, with about three inches between them.

  4. Stack another row on top perpendicular to the first row. Stack another row perpendicular to that row. Keep staking, alternating each layer, perpendicular to parallel. Start another pile after you have reached chest height. Let the logs cure for at least six months.

  5. Check the ends of the logs. If there is visible cracking, the logs are cured. If no cracks or visible moisture is seen when you cut into the log with a hand saw, let the logs cure for six more months, or even more if possible.


If the logs are stacked in the spring, by the end of summer they may be ready to use.


Always wear hearing and eye protection along with steel-protected footwear when using a chain saw.