Starting All Over Again - Setting Up Shop #3: Lumber From a Dead Tree

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Blog entry by LumberGuy posted 05-07-2011 12:06 PM 3572 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Oak Mallet Part 3 of Starting All Over Again - Setting Up Shop series Part 4: The Shaving Horse »

One thing I have really missed is a shaving horse. We had a dead tree that was about the right size for a shaving horse, and needed to be removed anyway. It has been dead for some time, and I suspect it is a white oak, since the sapwood is decaying and the heartwood is still fairly sound. The tree has grown at an angle, and it was leaning toward our house. I tied it off to other trees using 5/8” Arbor Plex ropes, and tightened the ropes using “trucker’s hitches”.

I used a throw bag to get the ropes up high enough. I have found that this knot is best for dragging the climbing ropes over limbs. It consists of a sheet bend and a couple of half hitches.

The “trucker’s hitch” consists of two looped knots that can be drawn together to tighten the ropes. Butterfly knots can be tied at any point, and are easy to remove when finished.

The hitch works like a block and tackle, and allows you to really tighten up on the rope. The tree hung up on other trees after it was cut. Having the ropes attached allowed me to pull it sideways and clear the other trees.

At that point, the tree was cut in 6-7’ sections to make it easier to work with. I split the largest section using the dogwood wedges and mallet I made earlier, and was surprised to find what appears to be a red oak borer (Enaphalodes rufulus) inside.

There appears to have been quite a variety of insects that have been feeding on the wood. I don’t think it matters, since the shaving horse will be used outside, and I probably won’t use it for more than a couple of years anyway.

There was a twist in the trunk and it is not the best lumber to work with. It does give me the wood I need to make a shaving horse.

-- Reid, Georgia,

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