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…