Well I guess I should clarify myself, it was bark hunting season. This season was a pretty good one I didn't find the elusive giant bark of legends but I did score some nice stuff in the 3" to 4" range and some 5" stuff. I enjoy the hunting part as I get to be outside and enjoy nature quite a change from my normal desk job. The unloading and stacking isn't as much fun.....
I was just looking back at my website and I haven't been very good at keeping it up. I will try and do better. I have been busy even if i haven't posted in awhile. I have made a new addition to the mill and am currently trying to get use to it. I upgraded the Lumbermate2000 to the HD36 and the hydraulic features will prove useful but, are taking time to get used to. I was surprised when I dumped the log off the mill using the log turner. I was even more surprised when i did it the second time. But I am getting the hang of it slowly there are a lot of levers. I am going to make some adjustments to a few things on the mill but overall I like it so far. I thought the cedar was beautiful even tho I don't enjoy the smell I know some people really like it.
I have had several people in the past call me and ask me to make some wedding cookies. It is apparently very popular with today's brides. I have always said no but when someone special to me asked I couldn't say no. It actually was a pretty smooth process after I had a few trial and errors and I was able to help two brides so that was a double bonus. So who knows maybe I will be the wedding cookie guy!!!!!!!!
I have been saving crotch logs that I get that are normally left in the woods during commercial logging operations. I am always amazed how much material is left in the woods but I understand the economics of that decision. I always try to save them when I find them as they make great door panels, box tops, display bases, or turning stock. I had several walnut and cherry ones that i decide now was a good time to cut them up. They can be a challenge to get securely dogged in the mill but the effort i think is worth it. I usually cut them 2" thick so they can be resawn and book-matched if desired.
I have been searching for a long time for some catalpa logs. I finally scored 3 logs, two were not really great logs but, I have wanted to get some so beggars can't be choosers. When I picked these up the guy I got them from dropped the first log, and it had a stub branch that broke thru my trailer decking, that wasn't ideal but these things happen when you move very heavy objects. So i pulled the first two off but, had to split the one that broke thru as it was to heavy to lift and wouldn't slide out. So i split it with a chain saw and decided to cut that one up first. It was not a great log it had some bad spots and some rot but it was big enough to get some good carving stock out of. It is in the kiln now so hopefully the work will have been worth it
I have never cut cottonwood logs before, I have collected bark from live trees (that's a workout) but never cut up any logs. I had an opportunity to cut up a few logs that I ended up with so I thought what the heck lets give it a run. The lumber cut up perfectly nice wide boards with few if any knots. I did notice a funny smell however something I would compare to a hog lot not as strong but still noticeable. I did some research and it is apparently common with cottonwood but goes away as the wood dries out. It certainly did not smell like butternut and unfortunately the bark was pretty thin to boot!
I finally have some time to open up the butternut logs that I bought. It is getting very hard to find butternut logs as the are all dying from the butternut canker. The logs look really bad on the outside as the bark and sapwood layer is gone. When I opened them up the wood was beautiful and solid and wormhole free. The ends of course are checked but that occurs on all logs and only goes in a few inched from both ends. I really love cutting butternut and it cuts like butter and smells so good it is a shame that eventually they will all be gone. They are doing research and trying to find why a few are resistant to the canker. Perhaps they will eventually be able to use that to bring the tree back. It is just really a great carving wood and looks so good with just an oil finish.
It is finally springtime, the long winter is over and it is time to get some basswood. I love to visit sawmills and this one was no exception. It is a well run sawmill, that really produces beautiful hardwood lumber as well as other products. I got the whole tour and enjoyed watching the operation first hand. On this trip i also picked up some great basswood logs that will yield some great carving stock once it is sawn and dried. I really do enjoy the lumber making process and am always looking for ways to do it better.
I picked this up along with some catalpa logs that I have been trying to get. The catalpa logs were ok and I want to see how they saw up and work for carving. I am not a fan of the smell of the wood but it is pretty, much like butternut minus the wonderful smell. The walnut log measured 40" diameter so I had to split it to saw it up. I am hoping to trim it just enough to get a majority of the width on the mill. We will see, it was a workout cutting it up with a chainsaw but, hopefully it will be worth it. It looks like there may be metal in the log someplace perhaps that is why the mill didn't take the whole log. I am sure I will find it if it is in there, probably right after I put on a new blade.