|The large lower branches meant the best timber would be below this in the lower trunk.|
|The log section awaiting me, and my box of wedges next to it. the rest of the huge tree had been chipped and totally removed from the site.|
After Peter first phoned me, I did some research on the Net, hoping to know more about the tree and it's timber. I read with interest a cabinetmaker in the UK saying what beautiful timber it was with its lacey grain structure. The lacey grain figure is caused by prominent medullary rays. Would this mean that the timber wound cleave (split) easily? I had hoped so. Hence I arrived on site with my box of wedges with the idea of breaking the log down so I would take it away in manageable chunks.
|A pencil line marks the chosen line for the first split.|
|With a line of wedges being driven into the end of the log, the split starts to spread down the side.|
|Splitting the log is easy in theory... but this log put up a huge fight!|
|At last... the log was split into two very untidy sections.|
Two of the resulting quarters were left in their long states. The other two were first cut in half along their length. These were cut into smaller chunks ideal for bowl carving.
|The cutting of the half quarters was going well for a while, and then the chainsaw was all of a sudden struggling to stay on a straight course, as seen in the left hand cut.|
|The chainsaw killer - nails hidden deep inside the log! You can see how the chainsaw was affected!|
|Another of the nails inside the log.|
At home I used the chainsaw to break down the material further, to create a pile of bowl blanks, chair and stool seats, and leg material for chairs and stools. Several times I would sharpen the chainsaw only to hit yet another nail! It was very frustrating - but such are the hazards of working with garden trees.
|Some of the booty derrived from only one half of the log. Nice!|
The ends of the sawn pieces were sealed with Titebond III (a great way to use up the gluggy stuff left in the bottom of the big containers of this my favourite glue).
|Ends sealed with Titebond III, the glue drying before packing away.|
While not riven or cleft in the traditional manner, I have derrived a great resource from this one piece of that big tree which would otherwise have been chipped up into mulch like the rest of it.
I look forward to making an array of interesting stuff from this nice timber over the coming months.
Thanks, Cousin Pete! The real adventure and an interesting journey now begins...