Monday, July 7, 2014

Trees, trees, trees!

Brouhaha is posing with three of the seven cherry logs given me by Chris' coworker. Word has gotten out about me and wood turning, and trees have been coming in from everywhere. And you would not believe the work that goes in to cutting up logs like this for turning blanks, even part way.

The problem with trees is that once they are separated into log chunks and the sap stops flowing, the wood begins to split. Look at any piece of firewood that has sat around for any length of time and you will see it splitting. This is problem number one, and it is a big one. If I get a piece of tree onto the lathe and that tree has splits that I haven't dealt with, that chunk of wood is liable to fall apart and go flying off in all directions - possibly clocking my noggin in the process.

So the first thing that needs to be done is to cut off anything that might have split, and to remove the very center of the tree, called the pith. Go look at that firewood again, and you will see that the splits begin at the center, at the pith. So that has to go. Then what is left can be cut up into blanks. I could chainsaw one of those cherry logs into usable chunks in the space of a day. One day, one log. So that is a day spent with the chainsaw, and NOT with the lathe. And when someone gives me a quantity of tree parts, this has to be done NOW. The longer you wait between falling the tree and cutting up the tree, the more of the wood gets thrown away. BUT, it does make for nice firewood.

I've been blessed. I acknowledge that. Trees have been coming at me from all directions, and I now have a variety of types of wood for turning. And the leftover bits go to the firewood racks that we have all over the place. I even had to go to some auxiliary storage out behind Rudy's shop. We now have enough firewood stored to keep us warm for the next several years. And I have enough blanks cut up and sealed. I probably have more blanks than I can use in my lifetime. So it is time to say, enough. I have enough apple, maple, black walnut and cherry to last me for years. Then there's the misc. department, which is substantial. Unless you have a variety of tree that I don't have, and it is spectacular, I can't take it. 

But thanks.

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