Saturday, May 8, 2010

More . . . Elm!!

Once again a whole week of extreme busy-ness has passed. Yet when I look back on it, to paraphrase Prince "something close to nothing" has actually been accomplished. Not only that but I managed to totally forget a lunch appointment and a conference call along the way!

I had my eye on this log for a while. It has an unusual bark. I don't really know how to describe it. To me, it seems kind of interwoven, greasy, hairy. You may see it differently. The outer layers of the bark flaked off readily, they practically fell off, but the cambium was adhered very well. It took me a long time to debark this one. And because of the structure of the bark (and the huge windstorm the day before), the bark was full of sand. There was more sand in this log's bark than in any other I have cut before. Plenty of careful brushing was required before I got to the sawing part.

I took five slabs out of it.  Pretty straight grain for the most part, a bit of splitting on one end, but very usable. It was my lucky day in one sense, as I had noticed a nail in it while I was taking off the bark, then I totally forgot about it and started milling. As it turns out, the nail (which was about 3" long) was completely contained in one slab! Lucky me, I did not hit it with the chain. Quite remarkable really.

This picture shows pretty clearly the "guide board" I use on top to make sure that my first cut is straight.

After the first cut is made it is easy to peel the next one (and the next one . . .) using the previous cut as the guide. I wasn't really sure what this one was until I had cut out a couple slabs, and my friend Olaf came by.  Looks like elm he stated. I realized he was right. Another elm that didn't have the telltale stench of elm! With the unusual bark it has to be a different variety of elm from what I normally see.

Now, my storage area is completely full and I have no more room! Well, almost none, I actually have room for nine more slabs. At present, I have 12 slabs leaning against the garage waiting to be stacked in the nine available spaces. Hmmmm.

I have also finished a small piece that shows many of the woods that I have slabbed up at the log dump area. I actually started it as a Christmas (2009) present for a friend, but I am sure I can think of a more topical occasion to give it to him. Can you guess what the woods are in it? The only hint I'll give is that the one which is missing in the picture is cherry!

I also finished up a frame for my 12" Beaver bandsaw, I need to get the motor mounted on it still so no pictures to show. Also went up to the IP open house on Saturday, great show as always, very inspiring. Not a bad week I guess, maybe better than "something close to nothing"!


  1. Elm! Got to love it :)
    The Chinese Elm I used smelt kind of nice. Like a light, sweet, smoke.
    Guess the panels!? Ha I'm sure I could do a better job if I saw it in person but I think I can spot a couple... Box Elder, Port Orford Cedar, Douglas Fir, Sycamore, Maple, Red Oak?, Yellow Cedar?

  2. You are correct, except the Doug fir! And it's London Plane not Sycamore, but that's close enough. I did get some Doug fir at the beach but just this year so it is not in the panel.

    The log could be Chinese elm, there are many different elm varieties growing around town. I can't identify the logs down to that level yet!