There won’t be many more opportunities before the snow flies, so Debbie and I took another trip up the coast Sunday… It was a Glorious Day, a little windy perhaps, but Sunny and Warm… During our Beach walk, we came upon a White Birch Log half buried in the sand… I thought and re-thought about whether to bring the thing home… I don’t even know if wood is any good after floating around in the Ocean, but the Log moved me somehow, so I moved it, up and into ...
Picture from my last blog post http://lumberjocks.com/dustynewt/blog/15613 ; I managed splitting the gnarly oak crotch piece with my trusty 14” Remington electric chainsaw (I didn’t think it would work). I got four slabs, 4-6” thick and about 14×26” in width and length. Interesting spalted grain. Will bandsaw it maybe Wednesday and sticker it for drying. I can’t wait to see it smooth with some finish. Thanks for looking.
I had a meeting today with a friend who does pet portraits here in LA. He left the film effects business last year to focus on his two passions: pets, and photography. It’s working out for him. He did portraits of all of Paris Hilton’s dogs last year. He has a bunch of freelance work for me – website stuff – which will be great to tide me over as I continue to pursue full time employment again. In other financial news, looks like I’m getting a tax refund to the t...
After picking up the Chinese elm logs the other day, I noticed hours later they were rapidly beginning to check. I headed out a few hours after that to seal them up, and of course, a few hours later it was raining. The not-yet-dry Anchorseal began to wash away: My truck bed ran white with wax: And so did my driveway: The following day I moved the pieces to the back yard, shortly before it began to rain again. I put them under the Hollywood junipers, where the thick fo...
I’d love to get these, but conifers don’t really call to me like the angiosperms. The wood is usually soft and sappy, and I grew up surrounded by pine. It’s what everything decorative and utilitarian was made from, so I’m a little burned out on it. Now these, they call to me through sheer size. I think most of that is 3’ diameter or better. I’d love to have a nice portable band mill and a flatbed, and an MS 880 STIHL Magnum™ Chain Saw with a 59 inch guid...
I learned what a Chinese elm is 1 year and 10 days ago, and blogged about it here. A friend told me she had read about a very old one that had fallen on someone’s car during high winds the day before. It turned out to be only a 10 minute drive from work, which is where I was reading the email. At lunch I headed over, found the crushed truck on the side of the road, but the tree was already gone. Since then I’ve seen Chinese elms all over my area, and they are wild looking, beautif...
Another restaurant on the same street as the last one is being remodeled. I headed over one night to see if they threw anything good away and they sure had. The tall boards in the middle here were actually piled up on the dumpster (old boards to the right are from the other restaurant, pallet/crate wood to left from yet another!): There’s some nicer grade 3/4” birch ply about 7’ long and more than a foot wide – handy for jigs and secondary structures. There was ...
I decided it would probably be boring to show each step from the previous ‘milling everything flat and square’ post, to the final board, so here’s the final board, all finished: It is 6-3/4”x8-5/8” and a little over 1.75” thick. Or, you know, about the size of the US hardcover edition of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” though the book is a little less than an inch taller in the longest dimension. Note the butcher’s block c...
Cora’s, a local Mexican restaurant went out of business recently. On my way back from the bearing shop with the new bits for my planer this past week I noticed a crew tearing the insides out. I stopped in and asked if I could look through their scrap pile for free wood, and as happens pretty much always here in west LA, they looked at me, shrugged their shoulders, and said “sure.” There’s wasn’t much, and nothing great, but the wood looked old, and I t...
Monday of last week, some 12 days ago, I was talking with a coworker who was wearing a small fedora. I commented that I should try to turn him a hat on my lathe. He thought it was a fun idea, and I mentioned I’d seen full-size, wearable cowboy hats online turned from green wood to very thin, then bent in jigs to hold them in proper shape with curled brims and dented-in top until dry, at which point they could be worn. The site was Johannes Michelsen’s woodhat.com, and his gallery ...
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