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Blog series by PG_Zac updated 1665 days ago 18 parts 24723 reads 107 comments total

Part 1: Slabbing Small Logs Yesterday

1744 days ago by PG_Zac | 1 comment »

Yesterday we had bad weather, so I had a gap to do some work in the shop instead of being outside helping my wife erect the new pasture fence. A job that has taken a back seat for a while was to slice up some salvaged wood for final drying and also for sending samples to a couple of guys who have requested it. Please note that the colours in these photos are very muted, and are much richer in real life. Firstly, Spalted Avocado .Yellowwood .Natal Mahogany .Very Fresh Wild Pl...

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Part 2: A New Fallen Tree for Harvesting

1744 days ago by PG_Zac | 8 comments »

My nephew told me yesterday afternoon, that a tree had been blown over during the very high winds we had 2 days ago, and he thought it was a Yellowwood tree. Needless to say, I jumped into the car and sped off to confirm his suspicion. Unfortunately he was wrong, it was a Wild Plum tree (Harpephyllum Caffrum). It fell over outside our local court about 80 metres from where a Wild Plum had fallen over about 2 years ago. Fortunately for me, when that previous one fell, the council’s ch...

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Part 3: And so I Slab the Tree

1741 days ago by PG_Zac | 8 comments »

I didn’t get to the Wild Plum on the weekend due to other more pressing matters that demanded my time. Fortunately, the Council hadn’t tackled the fallen tree yet, apart from clearing up some of the mess..The Trunk behind me in this pic is the one I slabbed today..I had to cut some pieces off .to make it possible to slab the tree.. Step 1Attach a guide rail to the log and start the Alaskan jig on the rail ensuring that the chain is set far enough down to miss the screws holdin...

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Part 4: Windfall this morning - Yellowwood

1718 days ago by PG_Zac | 6 comments »

I received an unexpected call this morning from our local tree-feller asking me if I would be interested in some discount wood. They had felled a Yellowwood tree, and the proposed buyer had left town for a couple of weeks, so they turned to me. Please understand that Yellowwood (Podocarpus latifolius) is South Africa’s National tree, and is endangered. It may only be felled by special permit. The most recent commercial price list I can find shows Yellowwood planks in less than...

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Part 5: Junk Pile Find

1716 days ago by PG_Zac | 11 comments »

My wife found some long lengths of really grotty looking wood in the junk pile left behind by the previous tenants of the farm, and decided to use them to build a platform in a tree for the goat. She asked me to cut one of the lengths for her, so I did. When I saw the inside, I was seriously intrigued by the rich pink colour that showed in the cut, so I cleaned up the off-cut piece to get a better look. Here is an uncleaned piece next to a cleaned piece..Needless to say, I have confisc...

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Part 6: Yellowwood Slabbed

1699 days ago by PG_Zac | 3 comments »

Further to my Yellowwood windfall, I slabbed the first log yesterday. I chose to cut the largest of the “small” pieces, as it promised to contain an interesting crotch grain. I carefully measured my cuts to get as close as possible to the centre lines of the main trunk and the forks to get a book matched pair of slabs at the centre. First cutYes, interesting crotch grain. Book matched centreI set these two in the sun for this photo as the pictures in the shade are quite ...

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Part 7: Yellowwood Slabbed and Stickered for Drying

1697 days ago by PG_Zac | 5 comments »

Do you remember this picture from Rescued Wood #4 ?..Well, I’ve slabbed it and stacked it for drying.. I cut the boards 30mm thick so that I can have wide boards a good 1” available after final milling. This post is about my stacking method, but I can’t resist showing off some of the beauty exposed by the milling.. First Cut. Tornado Flame grain.To give you a good size reference.After slabbing the whole lot, I put them back together in sequence (including one of t...

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Part 8: I've got some work to do Tomorrow

1690 days ago by PG_Zac | 4 comments »

Our local tree feller called unexpectedly yesterday to ask if I would like some Eucalyptus that was going to go to the dump, but they couldn’t bear to see such good wood go to waste. Obviously the answer was yes !!!!!! So they brought me a trailer load of old dry trunk sections, some of which have started rotting on the outer sections. There is still some good usable wood inside, so it is on my list to do. After I showed them the Yellowwood they brought me a couple of weeks ago,...

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Part 9: 17 metres of Prime Eucalyptus Trunk

1687 days ago by PG_Zac | 5 comments »

Yesterday, just for interest, I measured the trunk sections that were given to me for milling. These 7 pieces of tree trunk total a touch over 17 metres..The smallest diameter is at the tailgate and is 175mm (7”) and the largest trunk diameter (in the foreground) excluding the sections that stick out from branches is 630mm (25”). Sections of chopped off branches protrude up to 300mm from the main trunk, and are giving me a few issues as my Alaskan can only handle 600mm wide cu...

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Part 10: This Stuff is Seriously HARD

1687 days ago by PG_Zac | 4 comments »

I have only ever dealt with smallish pieces of already dried Saligna, and my current slabbing operation is teaching me a few things.First – Fresh-cut Eucalyptus is HARD. It took us about 30-40 minutes to cut each of the approximately 3m slabs.Second – Fresh-cut Eucalyptus dulls chainsaw blades quite quickly. I was getting less than 2 slabs per sharpening. That’s ridiculous - I slabbed the whole Yellowwood trunk without needing to sharpen the chain even once.Third – S...

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Part 11: Internal Stresses in Wood

1687 days ago by PG_Zac | 2 comments »

We all (should) know that wood naturally has some internal stresses that on occasion cause the wood to warp in various ways. These stresses NORMALLY tend to surface during moisture changes or sometimes during removal of sections of a board or plank. Well yesterday wood stress nearly made me cr@p myself. So there I was, happily slabbing away at some beautiful Eucalyptus (see previous 2 posts). Relief was coursing through me as I neared the end of a cut knowing I could take a few minute...

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Part 12: New Zealand Kauri Pine

1679 days ago by PG_Zac | 9 comments »

So, yesterday while slabbing some Eucalyptus where is was felled in town, our local feller stopped by to ask if I wanted some log sections of a tree they had just felled. When I asked what it was he didn’t know, but promised to fine out from one of our local tree experts. True to his word, he drove by half an hour later and told me it was New Zealand Kauri Pine. I knew nothing about it, but his best chainsaw man told me it was quite hard, and the sample he had with him looked quite...

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Part 13: Eucalyptus Slab Pictures

1677 days ago by PG_Zac | 6 comments »

Well all 17 metres of Gum tree (see this post) have been sliced and are sitting in my drying room. In my previous posts I showed some of the beautiful slabs I cut out of logs that would otherwise have landed in the garbage dump, and just for kicks, here are a few more. ... And here are some pics of the process....Now we wait for many months until they are dry enough to be turned into projects.

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Part 14: Beauty IN the Beast

1673 days ago by PG_Zac | 2 comments »

So you take one seriously grotty, old, dry, termite ridden, rotting chunk of gumtree (Eucalyptus).Strip off as much of the rot & termite crud as you can with a crowbar.Slice it on a bandsaw.And admire the beauty within after a little sanding and a quick coat of liquid wax .You never can judge a book by its cover

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Part 15: First Word-of-Mouth Referral

1673 days ago by PG_Zac | 9 comments »

I spent several days of the last few weeks slabbing a large Eucalyptus in a very public place (See my Rescued Wood Posts 8, 9, 10 11, 13), and many people stopped by to watch what I was doing, and to question me about my Alaskan Mill. One of these spectators knows someone who had cut a heavy branch off a Yellowwood tree because it was threatening his home & business. (let’s call him Jack) So, Jack is a lover of wood, but not a serious woodworker and he didn’t want to dump...

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Part 16: My Drying Room (Kiln?)

1672 days ago by PG_Zac | 8 comments »

I don’t really think I could call it a Kiln yet, but it is helping the wood to dry a little quicker. More than a year ago I started building a prototype solar kiln, but didn’t finish it for various reasons. Among other reasons, we moved to the farm, and there are more pressing jobs taking up my time. With all the logs I’ve been collecting and slabbing, I was running out of under-cover storage for air-drying, and anyway, my prototype kiln was never designed to hold thi...

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Part 17: Flamboyant Crotch Anyone?

1672 days ago by PG_Zac | 4 comments »

No not that !! Get your mind above the belt. Here is the pile of Flamboyant (Delonix Regia) I started slabbing today.. And here are some gorgeous crotch pieces from the log to the left of the helmet in the picture above....This wood is a beautiful creamy yellow colour and is quite soft. Unfortunately the smell is not particularly pleasant – try to imagine a faint after-smell of pine vomit. I know that sounds gross, and it is, but fortunately it is not a strong odour. I wonder ...

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Part 18: Name This Wood ?

1665 days ago by PG_Zac | 12 comments »

A couple of years ago someone gave me a grotty old roof beam from a demolished building. Two days ago I needed a plank as an Alaskan guide rail and this old beam was just the right size, but needed to be cleaned up to give my jig a smooth ride. This is what showed up after planing and sanding. Does anyone know what this wood is? I suspect it may be Oregon Pine purely because of it’s age and where/how is was used. I’d like to know if it worth getting the nails out of it and ...

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