Drivel Starved Nation –
This is a courtesy announcement that we are assembling the last 40 or so CT-18 Dual Low Angle Smoothing Planes. We have approximately 10 boxed and ready to go, and the balance will be assembled next week. Based on the previous 17 Commemorative Tools, these will be gone forever in the next couple of weeks.
Since this is the end of the run, I hope you enjoy my final thoughts through the following assembly images…
There are three investment cast components in this plane, the body, the rear tote and the lock lever. All are cast from stainless steel. For those of you not familiar with investment casting, a split mold is built (they run between $10 – 20K$ each) for each part. Molten wax is poured into the mold and when solidified, the mold is opened, the wax form is removed and is dipped repeatedly in a ceramic slurry creating a hard shell. The wax is melted out of the shell and molten metal fills the cavity once occupied by the wax. This is a simplified version of these steps but you get the idea. For these reasons, this process is also known as the “lost wax” casting process. The vast majority of contemporary jewelry is made with this process.
The castings are CNC machined, bead-blasted by our suppliers and the sole/throat plate are ground dead flat on special custom made jigs. We do all the fit and final finish in our skunk lab. The first thing that happens to the casting is the dressing of the heel and nose of the plane body on a vertical belt sander.
The tape you see is protecting the finish ground sole from damage during the dressing and assembly steps.
Once the ends are dressed and the sides grained (horizontal belt sanders with custom ground platens) the very first thing we do is insert a United States penny in a body cavity. This is a tradition (when physically possible) with all Commemorative Tools and is a gesture of good luck to our customers and reminds all of us at Bridge City how lucky we are to have the customers we do. It is retained with a low viscosity adhesive…
At this point, the throat opening is deburred and the throat plate is adjusted if necessary. A stainless steel threaded stud is adhered to the throat plate boss which will eventually receive the front tote.
The front tote is turned from aluminum, nickel plated and coated with black zinc. (We used to use black chrome, but the EPA shut down our local supplier). This finish is so sexy!
The lead screw is assembled next. This 72 TPI screw allows for extremely fine adjustments and works very well with the split brass pivot to create a backlash free adjusting mechanism. This may be one of the smallest snap rings you have ever seen…
Casting is an inexact process. The little tool you see below helps us size the distance between the supports to fit the clamping mechanism precisely.
The method of removing backlash for this plane is an old one, we are employing a split brass nut. In the image below, you can see how we receive them from our supplier and the two index marks which allow us to time the threads as they were made before being sliced apart…
Next, the bottom half of the nut is greased and secured into the plane body with a screw and nylon washer.
The other half of the split nut is positioned on the lead screw and held in place with a little grease…
The adjuster is now attached to the plane body. Several metal to metal adhesives only work on stainless steel after a lengthy “set” time. The screw retaining the split nut will not be cured for 24 hours… The backlash is adjusted over time on an as needed basis by tighten the two screws ever so slightly.
The blade clamp assembly consists of eight custom made components. Here are a couple of views of the assembly prior to insertion into the plane body…
The entire clamping mechanism is retained by two pivots which press fit into the plane body…
Next up is the rear tote. I literally spent two months on over 200 computer and and 3d printed prototypes before I decided on this design which occurred during my 2013 work retreat in San Diego, the last prototype was sculpted out of clay. The tote is cast, sent out to have the bottom milled, drilled and tapped. They were then polished, and masked with a heat resistant tape so only the two cavities could be powder coated. The tape is removed and we hand grained the sides and end. Lots of work but it is an incredible statement as well as being highly comfortable and functional.
The post Last Call for the CT-18 Dual Low Angle Smoothing Plane … appeared first on John's Blog.
more work on the box with drawer. I’m making some of it up as I go along – when I saw the original, I was not really doing a thorough examination like I would need to actually build one. Like I need now… Here goes, just a bunch of photos, with brief captions.
installing the middle board for the box section’s bottom
the last one you gotta give it a bop
in a groove in the rear, nailed to a rabbet at the front
I turned the feet from green wood, left the tenons large. Trimmed now to fit. Here’s a test fit to see where to trim it
boring the holes for the feet, in narrow oak slats. An auger bit, nice clean hole.
Then line it up over a hole in the bench, and knock it in
Split the protruding tenon for a wedge.
The feet assemblies
The bottom of the drawer opening is a pine board, planed to 5/8″ thick. Nailed to the sides & rear.
Then nail on the feet assemblies.
Here it is with the drawer front mocked in place. Some applied moldings will cover the pine bottom. Applied decoration on the sides to come…next time is the drawer. then moldings & lid. this thing weighs a ton…
a few things left for sale – http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-and-more-oct-2014/
Maureen tells me the felt is going quickly too – https://www.etsy.com/shop/MaureensFiberArts
In the above video I share a brief, but very fascinating interview that I conducted with well-known backsaw expert Philip Baker, during a recent hand tool collector’s swap.
This Godfather of backsaws told me that not only has he conducted extensive backsaw studies with British tool expert Simon Barley, but he also owns 652 backsaws!
I asked Phil why he had an obsession with backsaws. He explained to me that he enjoys backsaws because of the history that they tell. Many normal handsaws (often called Panel Saws) have lost their maker’s names over the years, but most backsaws still bear the maker’s stamp deep into the steel or brass back.
As a result, it is easier for collectors like Phil to follow the progression and innovation of specific backsaw designers and makers over time.
Fewer backsaw makers existed, which also adds to Phil’s interest in learning the history of these companies and saw-making families.
And here is a link to British Saws and Saw Makers from 1660 by Simon BarleyCLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO JOSHUA’S FUTURE ARTICLES & VIDEOS!
Got my new dust mask yesterday. I have not had a chance to really give it a trial yet, but it appears to be a real gem. I used to have a Dustfoe brand mask and I used it so much I actually wore it out. Unfortunately, they quit making them and you can’t buy one any more. Highland has been looking for a replacement for many years.
Masks tend to fall into two categories, i.e. the whole face, gas mask type, or the little cloth mask which fits over your mouth and nose and fogs up your glasses. Prices range from over $300 down to $1.80 with effectiveness commensurate with the price. What is needed is a good effective mask somewhere in a price range which does not interfere with usage.
The solution is the new Elipse P100 Dust Mask available now from Highland. I tried mine on yesterday and it is a remarkable piece of equipment. I happen to wear a beard, so getting a good airtight fit is sometimes problematic for me. I have to tighten it up a bit more than I might if I were smooth faced, but the inhale valves are so flexible and smooth that it does not leak around the sides as I was afraid it might. The exhale valve is totally flexible so there is no back pressure, therefore no effort to push air out of the mask. I expect no problem with moisture in the mask and even with the beard it does not fog my glasses. ( In fact, as I write this, I am sitting here wearing the mask to test it. Good thing I live by myself, right?)
Technically, the mask is rated NIOSH P100 (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) and captures 99.97% of airborne particles and is resistant to oil. For your own safety if you are doing something besides woodworking, then go look up the ratings and make sure you are being safe with this mask. For folks with a beard – or any facial hair – like myself, any respirator you see on the market is less effective so you can assume the claims of 99.97% won’t apply.
To put it on your face, grasp the front of the mask and then pull the bottom strap over your head and down onto the back of your neck. Take the other strap with the wide headband and stretch that one onto the top back of your head and then adjust the straps to fit. Cover the exhale hole with the palm of your hand, exhale, and you should get a bit of expansion in the mask before it releases air at the side of your face. If you don’t get the expansion, then you need to tighten the straps to get a better seal. Or shave.
When I bought mine, I went ahead and purchased an additional set of filters so I will have a replacement set if I ever need them. The filters are made like an air cleaner in your car with a folded filter element which you should be able to clean by bumping it lightly or blowing it out with air pressure. If it gets where you can’t breathe through the mask, then change the filter. Duh!
All in all, an excellent piece of work and this one comes highly recommended. Get you one and stop coughing.
We were at the Woodworking Show in Houston last week and had a great time meeting old and new friends, admiring other master woodworker’s work, and demonstrating a whole variety of woodworking techniques: half-blind dovetails, dovetail markers (see our blog post on making one in the 7 drawer dresser project), inlay, and a small box. Thank you to everyone we met who’s […]
The post Houston Woodworking Show and Pop Wood Webinar Download Update appeared first on Heritage School of Woodworking Blog.
This morning the crew from Popular Woodworking Magazine showed up to shoot photos of my recently built aumbry for an upcoming issue. While I’m always happy to shoot my own photographs, if they offer to send photographer Al Parrish, I roll over immediately. He is one of the finest photographers I’ve ever worked with. I also immediately purchase pastries – Al travels on his stomach. They started by shooting the […]
The colour is called Swedish red. It is a Danish produced paint from Esbjerg Paints. The label of this paint is called Arsinol, it is intended for outdoor use.
The paint has got some added thickener (I think it is called thixotropic), so it doesn't drip very much. It covers really well, so all in all I find it an OK paint.
The handle is placed high up on the door, but since the holding arrangement for the latch is also embedded in the brick work, I had to stay with that position.
It’s no coincidence I’m posting this just before Halloween, Cancer is a monster and a horrifying disease. Thankfully there are some amazing strides being made every year in the battle against it. But it takes money to do the research, and that’s where we can all help out.
Thanks to some vary generous donations from the folks at Powermatic and our good friend Marc Spagnuolo “The Wood Whisperer” you have an opportunity to bid on either a Powermatic PM2800B Drill Press and a Phone Consultation with Marc
Sure all three of these auctions mean the winners will be paying a much higher price for items they could ordinarily get elsewhere. But then we wouldn’t be able to say we were doing as much as we could to help find a cure for a disease that will most likely touch us or a loved one in some way during our lifetime.
To participate in the auctions or just to see the level of generosity of the bidders, visit the links above. Hurry, these end soon!
Roy Underhill’s woodworking novel – “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!” – is now available for pre-publication ordering in the Lost Art Press store. The book will begin shipping on Nov. 10, and we are offering free shipping on all orders placed before Nov. 29, 2014.
The hardbound book is $29. The ePub version is $14. You can purchase both the hardbound version and the ePub for $36. If you order the ePub, you will receive your download immediately (in other words, you can begin reading the book today).
Go here to order the book. Or read on for more information on this unusual woodworking book.
What is That?
The first time I heard Roy had written a woodworking novel was when I visited his school in Pittsboro, N.C. Stuck to the corkboard above the school’s coffeemaker was a book cover that looked like something from the 1930s. The cover featured a redhead holding a handsaw, plus a dude holding a handplane and an armload of cash.
“What’s that?” I asked Roy.
“That’s the cover to my novel,” he replied.
Now Roy has a reputation for practical jokery. So rather than swallowing that piece of stink bait I just said something like, “Uhh….”
During the next few years of working with Roy, the topic of his novel came up several times, and I eventually asked him, “Is that real?”
He said it was, and that he even had a manuscript to prove it. Under a little duress, he found a battered, marked-up copy in his office. He explained that he had spent several years writing and polishing “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!” but had set it aside when he didn’t get much interest from the big publishers.
I asked if I could borrow the manuscript. And that was what launched this multi-year project.
I know it’s a bit crazy to publish a woodworking novel with measured drawings. But this book is a jewel – well-written, fast-paced and simply funny. And with lots of juicy woodworking parts (and, yes, measured drawings for four projects). You can read the book’s plot description in our store, so I won’t repeat it here.
But allow me to answer a few questions that people have asked me about this book.
Will I learn any woodworking techniques?
Maybe? There are a few good descriptions of work in the novel, but the point of the book isn’t to help you cut a better tenon. It’s to entertain you and perhaps think a bit differently about your world.
Is it appropriate for kids?
Let’s just say that I’m not the best parent. I would let my 13-year-old read this book – no problem. I’d say it’s PG-13 for mild language and adult situations. It’s not “Dick & Jane,” nor is it “50 Shades of Wood.” I’d also say that if you are easily offended by stuff on television, then Lost Art Press books and this blog are not written for you.
Measured drawings, really?
Really. They are key to the plot. Really.
Roy writes fiction?
Yes, and very well. And to make sure this book has all the polish of novel from a major publisher, we hired Megan Fitzpatrick, a veritable fiction maven, to edit Roy’s book. We are all very proud of the result.
So if you like a good story, like Roy’s show or just like redheads riding motorcycles, we think you’ll enjoy “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!”
And now I have to think of something crazier to do than publishing a woodworking novel….
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!
This video shows Colen in his New South Wales, Australia, shed workshop. I'm writing this from a Manhattan high-rise but I can admire his very different lifestyle and of course the reverence for craft that we share. Colen began his tool manufacture by making tools for his own use that attracted the eyes of people who coveted them. He speaks warmly and encouragingly to others who would like to earn their livelihood with their crafts. And needless to say, his gorgeous tools are scene-stealing supporting players throughout the video.
One of the things I find most interesting about Colen's tools is that while they do exactly the same thing as many other measuring tools by other makers, their combination of design, materials, and execution makes them feel wonderful in the hand and amazingly satisfying to use. Watch the video and see how Colen's values and life choices are reflected in his tools.
We stock the complete line of Colen's tool here.
Paul (and Team)
I was curious if you could give us your thoughts on spring joints. I’ve seen them mentioned in various places when discussing panel glue ups. I think I understand them in principle. By creating the slight concavity in the middle of the two boards to be joined, the ends are automatically pulled tight during glue up. My questions have to do with the purpose of such a joint and if they are practical for everyday use. Does this make for a tighter joint? Does this help to reduce the number of clamps needed for a glue up? Is there any benefit in strength of the joint compared to joining two parallel edges or even match planed edges?
Thanks for all you and your team do!
This was first presented as an article in one of the famed US woodworking mags back in the early 90s I think, but the concept originates from the days and centuries before we had screw-threaded cramps or clamps. The idea is to create as you say an even convex along two long board edges and then glue along the edges to form wider panels.
The panels can then be clamped using only two clamps or you can use two timber dogs or nail dogs as they are also called to pull the two ends tight, which automatically pulls the joint gap-lessly together along the centre section and indeed along the whole length of the joint line. Of course the convex only has to be small, the article showed a lot, but any slight, slight belly works and the more belly you have the greater the applied or necessary pressure to either end to close up the gaps. The problem that can occur with too large a gap is the boards can result in a dishing hollow, so get the camber as slight as possible if you choose this method.
The practicality of it was that you didn’t need too many clamps; two only per panel as I said.
The dogs had the angles inside and this effectively applied pressure on the extreme end of the board and pulled the two together as shown above.
Also, it’s good to remember that screw-threaded clamps were not at all always as common to woodworkers as they are today and so were not commonly used in earlier centuries. Wedges and dogs took care of many glue ups; and also remember that that was the age of no alternative glue to animal glues such as hide and fish glues either. Glues such as PVA and epoxies are new kids on the block. These old glues were different in that they ‘snatched’, which meant that during the cure the glue ‘pulled’ surfaces together.
The most common of all methods for jointing for edge joining was not clamping, wedging or dogging but simply rub-jointing. This is where we rub the two glued edges to be joined along one another moving one back and forth against the other, which is held in the vise, until the glue is evenly and thinly dispersed. During this process the glue gets as thin as possible between the surfaces and then, at a certain point, the glue ‘grabs’ or ‘snatches’ and the parts no longer move.
Leaning two or three sticks inclined and sighted in against one another (to ensure no twist in them) against a wall was a resting place for the glued boards to stand leaning in toward the wall on edge but flat against the sticks. The boards were left unclamped until the next day when full cure was achieved. Of course this latter method, being the more common of, all meant that the board edges were first trued by plane exactly and with no gaps or convexed edges. The practice of convexed edges may well have been common in earlier centuries purely because of the lack of screw-threaded clamps or even nail-dogs. Dogs work remarkably well, but of course they leave their telltale square holes in the endgrain of the boards.
For some work this is of no consequence.
Once clamps or dogs are applied the boards at the other end open dramatically because of the compression of the cells. It’s a good idea to have the clamps or dogs in place and started so the boards don’t part too much as shown.
Below you can see that the method is effective as the nearest clamps are 36″ apart and yet the glue can be seen in the mid section.
I suppose the point here is is convexing the board or boards better than clamping? My answer would be probably no. I have always found it best to go the extra mile and remove all contention between parts so long as it relies on me. Yes the boards will hold, but it may well have been more a lazy way with good and plausible excuses. We generally work to move the materials we work to their extreme limits as say we do in the fitting of dovetail joints and mortise and tenons and also in making musical instruments such as cellos and violins, guitars and so on. That is, we want extreme fits of perfection for tightness without splits or too much pressure and so on. It’s always a thin line, pun intended. After we have created the harmony between the parts they are united in the common cause of serving the owner and it’s at this point when what we make is subjected from here on to the highest levels of stress imaginable. A chair is scooted, cocked, leaned back on with an excess of 150lbs every day and all day in some cases. And a violin with strings taut and played is stretched to its most extreme limits in the hands of a maestro. Creating harmony relies on the crafting artisan to ensure he has done his utmost to remove any and all contention so that what he or she makes can indeed withstand the pressures of life.
The post Questions Answered – Spring Edge Edge-jointing Boards appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.
When I first jointed this saw and looked at the previous filer’s geometry, I didn’t know if I should be impressed or horrified…
All of the bevels on these teeth are parallel and facing the same direction…which strains the credulity of the filer at best.
But what if, instead of not knowing what he was doing, this guy was in fact on to some crazy advanced (for the early 20th century) tooth form that created a flat topped but skewed point on each tooth?
Ya….I quickly came to my senses as well. Clearly, this guy was filing at an angle to the saw blade on every tooth, one after the next, instead of filing straight across.
But it does make me wonder sometimes when I come across weird geometries like these…how many wonderful techniques have we lost that will never be known again? And if we did re-discover them, would they only appear ridiculous to our 21st century sensibilities?
Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.
Daniel J. Boorst
Game changer! That’s the comment I hear most often during a “By Hand & Eye” workshop. Lights click on, gears start to mesh, and frustration and doubt gives way to confidence and big smiles. Folks who shied away from curves can’t wait to do some off road woodworking. I have one more workshop this year and 2015 is beginning to take shape. Consider signing up for an experience that will influence every aspect of your woodworking. This weekend I’ll be traveling down to The Woodworker’s Club in Rockville Maryland for a Saturday session with the Chesapeake SAPFM chapter and then a two day design workshop on Monday and Tuesday. There’s still a few spots available for the two day. 2015 workshop dates are firmed up but not yet open for enrollment. I’ll post when signups begin, but for now you can mark your calendar.
- Saturday Nov 1st Rockville Maryland – Presenting to the Chesapeake Chapter of SAPFM, The Woodworkers Club
- By Hand & Eye Workshop, Nov 3-4 (Monday and Tuesday) The Woodworkers Club, Rockville Maryland. Sign UP
- By Hand & Eye Workshop, Jan 24th- 25th, R. Grell Fine Woodworking Workshops, Hudson Ohio. Details coming soon.
- By Hand & Eye Workshop, Feb 13-15th, Southwest Center for Craftsmanship, Pheonix AR. Details coming soon.
- Design presentation, March 28th-29th, Northeast Woodworkers Association Showcase, Sarratoga Springs, NY. Details coming Soon.
- By Hand & Eye Workshop, Oct 17th-18th, Marc Adams School of Woodworking. Details coming soon.
George R. Walker
De Heibergske Samlinger – Sogn Folkemuseum har ei veldig rik samling av gjenstandar knytt til ulike handverk. Dei har ei flott utstilling av snikkarverktøy som er lagt til rette som ein verkstad med arbeidsbenkar og verktøy. I tillegg har dei mykje av samlinga si i gjenstandsmagasin. I dette magasinet kom eg over ein arbeidsbenk som vekte mi interesse. Benken har registreringsnummer DHS.3884. Benken er i høgd slik at han er til å sitje på, 46 cm høg og ca 1,5 meter lang. I eine enden er det ei baktang og i andre enden er det ei skruklemme med sveiv.Arbeidsbenken slik han står på magasinet på museet. Foto: Roald Renmælmo
I have taken advantage of Rob Porcaro’s expertise and generosity a couple of times (here and here) in the past and do so again today with impunity. Rob has three recent posts on his Heartwood blog that may be of interest to you, the sharpening literati.
The first is about his love affair with his new Naniwa Chosera finishing stone — and who can blame him? The Chosera stones are well respected and somewhat famous for their excellent “feel”.
In his next entry he explores the mysteries of the nagura, a small, soft stone used to dress a waterstone and generate a slurry on the surface. As with so many sharpening tools and techniques the use of the nagura can be controversial (see page 73 of your copy of The Perfect Edge). Rob’s questions and answers go a long way to explain the fine points of final honing using a nagura stone.
In Rob’s most recent of the three posts he explores the ins and outs of using a 1200x diamond “stone” as a nagura. I think Rob’s on to something here. Maybe it’s time for Atoma and DMT to pay attention.
Thanks for sharing this with us, Rob. Good work!
But I never got around to make an entry about it.
Now I am back ashore again, and I have worked on finishing the project.
Before starting the project I read up on the door making theory in "window and door making " from Lost Art Press. The descriptions were pretty close to what I figured, but the book caters a little bit more for front doors than stable doors.
I also checked "Das Zimmermannsbuch", and there were some gems too.
The door leads from the stable to the paddock, and it is very rarely seen from the outside by anyone except for the horses. And I actually doubt that they are much interested what the door looks like, as long as it is opened to let them in in the afternoon.
Ideally a door of this type is made out of tongue and groove boards, but I didn't want to buy any, so I decided that shiplapped boards would be sufficient. These I am able to make myself on the shaper.
The frame was drawbored together, and the first layer of boards were nailed to the Z shape. TO make room for a little wood movement, I placed a small piece of sheet metal between each board as I nailed them on. After nailing I removed the sheet metal again. This gives room for the boards to move a bit with each season.
The door is mounted directly onto one side of the wall, so there is no frame that it should fit into. This also means that the door won't close fully unless the wall is completely level and flat (which it isn't).
I wanted to use the old hinges, so I had to stick to the basic design of the old door. I think it is the original door, and it has held up OK since 1918, so the design can't be that bad.
After marking the outline of the door opening to the first layer of boards, I sawed out the curve and marked where I wanted my next layer to be.
A board was placed on the centre of the door, and the top layer boards were given a small moulding on the shaper. These boards are also shiplapped by the way.
I nailed on the second layer so the outside of the boards were flush with the line I had marked. Most of them were flush to the centre board as well, but a few of them had a little gap there.
My idea is that it is a lot easier to cover the centre with a moulded board, and thereby cover up any irregularities than it would be to make the centre perfect, and having to make a nice looking outside by sawing and planing etc.
After fitting all the boards, I chamfered the edges of the frame assembly. My crappy router managed to shift the bit while I was chamfering, so I had to plane all of them with a block plane to make them look almost the same.
I installed the door and finished by chiselling 2014 in Roman numerals.
Tomorrow I hope to paint it. It will be red on the outside, but I haven't really decided if it should be painted on the inside or if I should leave it natural. I am considering painting it white because it will help lighten up the stable.
Last weekend I went to the Martin J Donnelly tool auction again in Indianapolis. I try to go when it happens twice a year and I always end up spending a whole bunch of money. It starts at 9:00am on Friday, but I always get there around 10:00am and 200 lots late because I don’t feel like spending the night. I really can’t get there any earlier because I need to drop off Bentley at PetSmart and the earliest they can take him is 7:00am. There were 1001 lots of tools which takes about four hours to sell through. They do another auction on Saturday, but I never go to that one because those tools are more collectible and not the usuable ones which I like to buy.
Below are a few pictures of the tools on the tables that filled a huge conference room in the hotel.
The auction is a lot of fun and if you’re in the market for a certain tool, you can place an absentee bid online. Below is what I came home with. A whole bunch of planes and few odds and ends. With all these tools I need to restore, it’s no wonder why I hardly build anything anymore.
About a year ago I came across your videos and was inspired to begin traditional woodworking including carving bowls and various other items. I’m still learning and probably will be for some time to come. Your blog entries have helped me considerably though.
All of the wood that I use is sourced locally. It is either given to me by a network of tree surgeons that support my work or members of the public that are removing trees from their gardens for some reason or other, mainly storm damage.
Anyway, the reason for my email is that I’m looking for some advice. Someone contacted me yesterday saying that they had to take down a large cherry tree in their front garden and would I be interested in the bottom part of the tree. They provided me with a couple of photos but unfortunately I’m not able to attach them.
What I would like to know is how would you go about cutting the stump into good blanks? The stump has four large limbs coming out on each side of the trunk close to the bottom and the trunk central. Would you cut the limb sections off as close to the trunk as possible leaving one large trunk section? I’m troubled by this as it’s a beautiful piece and I don’t want to mess it up.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my mail and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
I do have a couple of thoughts on this. Many tree surgeons and garden maintenance workers operate their business on a risk potential basis and price according to task and that includes an additional risk factor. A tree at the bottom of a garden with no risk to people and buildings, underground stuff can be dropped and removed for a reasonable price, but when it is near to a house or overhead lines, a neighbours property or whatever, the price can escalate rapidly.
I’ve taken down hundreds of trees and I once took down a tree between two close houses because the wood I wanted was highly prized. The invitation needed no second thought but after I downed the tree and removed to trunk, branches and so on, the owner said he was so glad I had done the work and done it for free. I asked why and he told me he’d had an estimate for $2,000 because of the risk to his neighbours building and his own foundations to his house. No damage occurred and I got wood worth the effort.
I say all of that because, depending on the size of the trunk, removing the stem can be a lot of work. On the other hand it can be generous of someone to give you the wood like this and you alone have to decide whether this is in fact a gift horse to you. Limbs can be useable wood for a wide range of projects ranging from turned work to spoons, spatulas and more. If it’s cherry you may want to decide on whether the wood has much sapwood or little. Heartwood is always a premium in wider sections and boards. It’s a fruitwood which means for the main part has or shows little if any visible difference between seasons of growth in the growth rings and so it has that evenness across the whole that’s so characteristic of fruitwoods. It turns beautifully whether green or dry and makes great kitchen utensils including cutting boards.
It’s also good for cot spindles and children’s toys too and is perfectly safe for these sensitive items. Personally I would take the limbs off and slab the wood with a Woodmizer mobile dimensions mill if you have access to one and this of course depends on the tree’s size?
Few things in woodworking give greater reward than agonising over a tree to maximise yield and customise cuts to a project or series of projects. Wood turners are privileged in using the wood straight from the tree and of course beings able to use their material within a few weeks. Furniture makers must plan their strategy differently to keep the wood at its best and season it well. Patience pays in the process and n the delivery to the bench in a year or two down the road. It is surprising where the time goes in this and I am now using wood bought just a few years ago. I also have mesquite wood from 2007 which I used on making the Cabinet pieces for the White House in 2008/9 stowed safely in Texas storage. One day I will be working on that again for a special piece I am sure. I look forward to that.