Monday, October 17, 2011

First Milling of the Fall Season

 Had some friends come to visit and we did a day of milling down at the beach. It was a Saturday and a holiday weekend, with decent weather to boot.

 Logs before the millingfest

I only had one of my mills operating, but it worked very well, other than a broken chain at one point. My friend brought his Alaska mill along and we had both going for four or five hours with probably 15 or more people taking turns running the mills. I didn't do a final count, but I am guessing that we finished with close to 20 slabs. We milled 6 different logs: Two Port Orford cedar, cherry, western red cedar, elm, and catalpa.

Afterwards- the debris

 Part of what we milled up

Afterwards everyone came over to my place and helped me by taking wood from my garage! Don't think I will be doing as much milling this winter, as I have very little storage space left. It's official, the neighbour sold his house, I need to be out by early January.

Still plenty of time between now and then though, so I loaded up the kiln with probably the biggest load I have run so far! It took me the better part of two days to load this baby up!

Arbutus, maple, cherry, locust, deodar, lots of different species in there. I was smart this time and trimmed off all the knots, cracks, etc BEFORE the wood went in the kiln. It is not recommended to mix species in the kiln, as they dry (and crack) at different rates, but I have found that since I air dry them for two years first, that it seems to work OK.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Not Unexpected Diversion

The Slow Woodworker has been focussed on getting all of his wood moved out of the garage across the lane, since that house (and therefore the garage!) is for sale again and it looks like the owner is serious this time. I have decided to take what I want, and then offer up the rest to my woodworking buddies. Whatever is left over I will throw out to the firewood seeking neighbours.

Clearing out the garage has been a good exercise, as it has forced me to really look at what I have and what I really need. For example, do I really need 10 slabs of old growth Douglas Fir? Or 6 big catalpa slabs? No, probably one or two of each would be enough. Similarly, every time I turn around I trip over Monterey Cypress. I'll keep a couple pieces, but the rest has gots to go! Maple with a bad smell, alder with cracks, cherry with bad grain graphics, begone I say!
Probably what hurts the most is yellow cedar. I have a ton of smaller pieces of old growth yellow cedar. It just kills me to throw out a piece of wood that is hundreds of years old, if not a thousand years or more. Someone out there must be able to use them for something . . .

Meanwhile, despite my heavy heart, I have made some progress on Daughter's Desk. I just need to figure out the drawer frame and support, and then I will be ready to start cutting dovetails and mortises, etc. It sure is ugly in Magnolia, perhaps I should have been more proactive in suggesting an alternative wood to my wife and daughter. I will try to stain it so it is a bit more palatable. 

I have a couple pieces of beautifully figured London Plane (like Sycamore) that will make a nice drawer front for the desk.