Lumber #4: Urban Logging Starts Here

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Blog entry by PurpLev posted 1428 days ago 2246 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Medium Rare, just like I like it. Part 4 of Lumber series Part 5: hurricane Irene effect »

OK, it didn’t really start HERE, but way back about the time I signed up for lumberjocks when I got these applewood logs. I already mentioned it in a previous post, but for those that did not read it here it is again (if you’ve read it you can skip to step 3)

The Applewood Logs Story
2007, I was just getting into woodworking, had a circular saw, drill, and a router. my wife saw an add on craigslist giving away applewood. I went to see the guy, a nice older woodworker that was moving out and was done with woodworking. he only had a few applewood logs left and was looking to pass it on to another woodworker. the deal was – it cannot be burned! after a tour in his house showing me all his woodworking projects (NICE) we came to the logs. 2 humungous logs. one at 14” diameter, ~7 feet long. I made an attempt to lift one side to get an idea how heavy it was – and decided there was no way I could take this, not to mention – how in the world will I slice it to usable lumber?!? all I had was a circular saw.

the guy than told me, although this may be too big – he has some smaller logs I can have if I wanted. I wanted!


So I debarked those and sliced them a couple of weeks ago, had them just laying on top of one another for about a week till last week I ripped some pallet wood slats into spacers, and stacked the applewood with some room to breath. I also stacked them on top of 2 heavy duty planters that where laying around to keep it way off the concrete floor:

I estimate somewhere around 50-60bf mostly cut to 5/4 some 6/4 and some 8/4. I sliced this without a sled, and freehand with a resaw guide, the cuts are a bit wavy, so am not sure I can utilize the entire length of the boards (3-5feet long) without loosing quite a bit of material, but my plan is to use this mainly for boxes, toys, and other smaller projects so I’m not too worried about that. the grain and colors inside are quite unique and range from greyish brown moca:

to a vibrant reddish not fully mixed cappuccino:

And one log (the longest) has these really unique color variations that resemble spalting, although it doesn’t seem like it is:

I actually got my package from Lee Valley today with my moisture meter (after my cheapy one from rockler fried) which pointed out that the moisture in all the logs is 9%-10% which is great – after all, these logs were sitting in the corner of a shed for the past 10+ years. I’ll still leave them stacked to acclimate better now that they are sliced up. I sealed all the ends with paste wax to slow down any moisture changes through the end grain, and will let those boards balance themselves out a bit before I try to make anything of them.

Thanks for reading,

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

16 comments so far

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3962 posts in 2689 days

#1 posted 1428 days ago

Nice looking haul there, Sharon. It will be interesting to see the boxes and small projects as they come to fruition.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Karson's profile


34869 posts in 3025 days

#2 posted 1428 days ago

Sharon: SOme great looking wood. Nice haul.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 2539 days

#3 posted 1428 days ago

Last pic – yes, spalting. There are many different kinds of fungus which can induce the decaying process. That’s one that looks familiar to me and occurs quite frequently on my NZ silver beech.

Looking forward to what gets produced from the apple. Lots of saw handles were produced from apple by Disston, probably others.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1063 posts in 1599 days

#4 posted 1428 days ago

Good looking stuff Purp. I love the grain on those boards. That is a super score you got. Maybe get the big log chainsawed in two and park it somewhere for a while…you won’t find the opportunity for apple wood easily again!

I re-sawed some pear that looked kind of similar to that last photo, a bit less white. Had a knot in the center.
Not sure what to do with such gorgeous wavy grained boards, hate to cut them up square and lose their character

Cheers, Scott

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View derosa's profile


1533 posts in 1461 days

#5 posted 1428 days ago

I got a similar log, I love the color variety apple has

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View PurpLev's profile


8476 posts in 2273 days

#6 posted 1428 days ago

Thanks for the comments, right now I an very anxious to use it looking at all those colors – but am just terribly uninspired and nothing comes to mind as to what to do with it.

At one point I really wanted to get some olive wood for tool handles, but it’s so scarce here on the east coast, and frankly – it’s much work for not a whole lot of gain as all my tools already have good handles :) but thanks for the idea Steve!

Scott, that does look very similar. I actually contacted a landscaper that took down a pear tree last week, but I got to him 2 minutes too late as someone already took the entire thing.

and yes, apple tree has a beautiful color variations and grain patterns. quite unique.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View learnin2do's profile


866 posts in 1476 days

#7 posted 1428 days ago

Nice job -now you should come do this walnut for me

-- christine

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1063 posts in 1599 days

#8 posted 1428 days ago

There is nothing like having a bandsaw with re-saw capability.
Every hunk of wood on the side of the road just seems different to me now…how would it look re-sawn??
I am drooling over those logs Chrisitne.

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View PurpLev's profile


8476 posts in 2273 days

#9 posted 1428 days ago

Yikes, those a huge. a bit beyond my capacity, although I would be tempted to try different things if I was any closer.

Scott- I know what you mean, it can be frustrating sometimes. they just took 5 trees down outside my office, I looked at all the logs on the ground, but just don’t have any space to store anything anymore… had to let it all go. that was a small treasure that went to the abyss …

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View mafe's profile


9483 posts in 1714 days

#10 posted 1428 days ago

Congratulations on the fantastic wood, you are a lucky man.
It looks wonderful, so don’t haste into a project, let it rest and wait until the right project shows up.
You can practice on some of those pallets.
Best thoughts,

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View ellen35's profile


2564 posts in 2057 days

#11 posted 1427 days ago

Great haul, Sharon.
The wood looks beautiful… and now ready for use.
So, what will it become?

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View SPalm's profile (online now)


4783 posts in 2507 days

#12 posted 1427 days ago

Nice. My Dad did some nice carvings with Apple. Very pretty wood.

I know what you mean about waiting for inspiration to come for a project. That is a really weird feeling. I guess it comes with modern Affluenza.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Mark Colan's profile

Mark Colan

209 posts in 1470 days

#13 posted 1427 days ago

Great haul, Sharon!

-- Mark, hack amateur woodworker, Medford (greater Boston) MA

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 1740 days

#14 posted 1427 days ago

niiice score purplev
and I second Mads let the right projects arive first

Christine just use one of your new drills to make a hole and then some Blackpowder…..BUUUUM :-O

take care

View HokieMojo's profile


2098 posts in 2353 days

#15 posted 1427 days ago

wow, that looks great. I’ve got some holly i need to saw up (real small pieces). I’m hoping for as little color and variation as possible (-:

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