New found wood. #1: The wood you throw away...

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Blog entry by JAcker posted 03-27-2012 01:03 AM 2568 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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This past weekend I made a mallet. Nothing fancy – I had some oak scraps and I made a mallet.

But like every other project I’ve done, I learned something along the way or after. My learning moment came while picking up some fittings for further tweaking my DC. One of the guys at the woodworking shop (Highland Woodworking if you must know), the guy who actually told me to buy my bandsaw off Craigslist rather than buying a new one, asked what I was making. I mentioned my mallet. He asked if I had made it out of ash, or maple, or walnut, (dogwood?), or perhaps from that hickory tree you told me about? I told him about my scrap of white oak… oh yes, he said, that would be pretty good too.

A few hours later, in the middle of actual work, it hit me. Did he say dogwood? Off to Lumberjocks and Google! Apparently he meant dogwood. Work now forgotten on the computer screen I raced outside and started pulling on the ivy searching for … a moldy log with ants all over it. No matter.

A few quick blows with the back end of an axe knocked most of the bark loose revealing undamaged wood underneath.

DC – on, BS shooting board with log bracket in place, expose the full resaw height. Squish a few ants still crawling on the log. Check the balance on the BS table – it is stable. Power on and …

to think I was letting this rot out in the ivy. In our area there is some kind of virulent root fungus that has been killing off the dogwoods. In the past three years I have felled three dead dogwoods in my yard. At the time I was not doing any woodworking and just sawed the pieces small enough so they would disappear into the ubiquitous ivy.

Here are a few more larger logs I’ve managed to dig out. In this picture you can see a stump with some stones around it – this was the largest of the dying dogwoods. Despite the losses, my house is surrounded by huge oaks with dogwoods nestled underneath. They are particularly breathtaking now -

I recall the dogwoods around my home growing up. For a school project we collected dogwood seeds and sent them to Japan… my kids recognize the dogwoods and fight over who gets to plant and care for the saplings we’ve been planting each year. And now, a new reason to love those trees…

4 comments so far

View ronniebo's profile


128 posts in 2694 days

#1 posted 03-27-2012 09:53 PM

I`ll be taking good care of the little dogwoods in our place now!
Does anyone have any fotos of finished work in dogwood?
Ron in Sunny Hobart

View DocSavage45's profile


8609 posts in 2871 days

#2 posted 03-28-2012 04:30 PM

Sounds pretty exciting. Using what is available and given as a gift? Only we have to be able to see it? I use to live in Arkansas and when spring came around the dogwood was beautiful. Had to cut down a volunteer elm too close to my house that I didn’t remove before. It’s sittng in my yard and I am trying to figure out what to do with it before I cut it up. Thanks!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View shipwright's profile


7996 posts in 2826 days

#3 posted 03-28-2012 05:13 PM

Dogwood is the provincial flower of British Columbia and near the coast at least, we have lots of it. One of my earliest project posts here on LJ’s was about if not from the lovely Dogwood.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View JAcker's profile


22 posts in 2354 days

#4 posted 03-28-2012 06:09 PM

I have found very few pictures of what finished dogwood looks like. These logs have been sitting out in the weather (uncovered) are too wet to do much with other than to knock out some test pieces. This is a picture of one of the pieces I cut off the log and planed (no sanding) and put 2 coats of BLO on just to get a sense for the finished look. The planer exposed a few pale wormy bugs of some type – the holes all seem to be less than one inch into the wood.

Perhaps we need a discussion thread on finishing dogwood?

I can’t resist posting more pictures – this is a pair of saplings we started 2 years ago about ready for transplanting. No flowers this year

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