Thursday, January 20, 2011


There seems to be a listlessness that has settled over the atelier, a feeling that the gods of woodworking have settled against me for some, hopefully temporary, reason. I've started on a simple knick-knack shelf out of arbutus, but I just can't get pumped up over any projects right now.

As I struggle through this woodworking ennui, I have turned my attention to my chainsaws and to slabbing. 3" thick spalted maple slabs, old growth red cedar, and catalpa have all been milled.  Maple shown below.

I even went back and had another go at what I called before the 'death elm' since it nearly killed me to mill last time. This time though, a better set up of the log combined with a very carefully sharpened chain made all the difference! It actually buoyed my spirits somewhat. Note the steeper angle that the log is set at, this makes a big difference in the amount of pushing I need to do. This way gravity does most of the work!

I wasn't planning on cutting any more of this elm but I got a request to do it, so I went down one snowy morning and got one slab taken off in about 1/2 hour. One of those rare times that everything went nearly perfectly, even with the 60" bar. A lady wants this slab for a garden bench.


  1. Sorry to hear of the project stumps :/.
    Good to get out and get some luck with sawing I bet though! I like the "gravity feed" set-up :).

    The time is getting closer for me to reappear in your area, looking forward to it!

  2. How do you lift the log in place for your gravity method (which by the way is genius? I noticed some heavy machinery tracks!


  3. Nick,

    Looking forward to you being in town again. Hope we can do some milling or at least some wood pile rooting around!

    Tyler, I cannot take credit for the idea of sloping the log, but it sure works well. There is a loader there which 'helps' in setting the logs up, and also makes telltale tracks in the sand!


  4. Again, great looking wood! I feel your pain, look like I have the same curse happening over here... Maybe it's the time of the year...
    Good luck.

  5. Dan, have you ever seen Will Malloff's book on chaimsaw milling? It's out of print, but can be found used. It makes for good reading. I spoke with him on the phone once, nice guy. I think he's up in BC as well, I know he was living there when he wrote the book.


  6. Dennis,

    I have a copy of Maloff's book that I found in a local library a few years ago. It is a great resource and I found it very helpful. I have never met him but would love to do so. I think you are right, he does live up the coast in BC somewhere now.

  7. "One of the rare times when everything went nearly perfectly".

    Nothing applies to chainsaw milling like 'Murphy's Law'. Perhaps if one is gifted or something....