Monday, July 5, 2010

More Small Stuff

I met up with Bob from Australia a few weeks ago. He is one of the most knowledgeable chainsaw millers in the world, with an amazing home brew mill that he is always tweaking. Being from Western Australia, he mills up some crazy woods! He was passing through town, so we met up for dinner one evening. Although we weren't able to do any milling, he did go down and take a look at the place where I do most of my milling. He took some pictures and posted them on an Australian site. Although he made a few small errors in his post, including misidentifing me, it is still pretty neat to see it through someone else's eyes.

The only serious book about chainsaw milling was written in 1982 by a BC boy, Will Malloff. It's called Chainsaw Lumbermaking and is long out of print and hard to find. I did locate a copy at the library when I was first starting milling and I got some of my ideas from it. It was written more for milling your own softwood 2x4's if you are building a house or a deck, not so much for hardwoods for furniture. Bob would be the man to write the next book about the subject, and I hope he does so! There is a copy on line here, not sure how long it will be available though.

I am making progress on the small shelf of walnut for my neighbour. I have all the stock planed and the edges rounded. I have started putting some oil on a piece of scrap walnut just to see how it is going to come up. I have to say that after the first coat it is pretty amazing! The air dried walnut really has a ton of colours in it, far more lively than the kiln dried walnut I have used in the past. The only thing I can't figure out is why it still kind of brittle. I have experienced quite a bit of chipping along the cuts with it, especially the crosscuts.

 I had a hard time taking a picture of the test piece that properly showed how the oil popped the colours out on the left side of the scrap walnut. This one was the best of about 20 I took, but it still falls short.

This one has the shelf with a picture of its inspiration. I think I will make the "support" pieces a titch shorter.

It's looking more and more like I am going to lose my extra shop and storage space in the two car garage across the lane. The owner has been threatening for a while to sell his place, and recently he started talking about a timeline - this fall. The real estate market is pretty good here in town, so if he does sell I'll be scrambling to find space for a ton of wood, old powertools, and a 24" planer. Don't get excited and start emailing me, I am not planning on selling them!

It sure has been nice to be able to just walk across the lane to my overflow shop for the past couple years, I have gotten spoiled and will definitely miss the convenience.

As a final rant, when did it become so impossible to find robust quality 150 grit sheets of wet/dry sandpaper to use on the granite block for flattening stones? Recently all I have been able to find is this crap that falls apart after 2 minutes. Back in the day (like last year) the stuff would last for weeks of wet/dry cycles.  Local Borgs have nothing, Lee Valley only has 300+ grits, and wants a minimum $50 order.


  1. Hey do you think you could email me i really would like to ask you something, but would rather do it privately!

  2. Hi Dan, this is Federico from this side of the net,already in Balaclava and 4th, let me know when you need some extra hands next time you are milling some logs, I am looking for a workspace close to Kits,will be in Boston-New York for a while but will be back at the end of August. You find me in, In contact FM