A bit over a week ago I found some logs outside a neighbor’s place down the street while on my way home from work on a Friday night. They were Ficus microcarpa (AKA Chinese banyan, AKA Indian Laurel, AKA curtain fig, AKA etc…). Almost a week later – a few days ago – I found another load of the same logs in the same spot on my way home for lunch. This morning while heading into work, I passed the same spot, and the biggest haul yet was sitting there. I was running a few...
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...
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 ...
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 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...
I tried to get in touch with the guy who put the logs out in Canoga Hills to see if there were any of the 5 I had left on my last/first trip remaining, and if it would be worth the 30 minute drive. He never got back to me, but I noticed he reposted on craigslist a few days later that he put 15 more logs out there. That night after work I headed up. I’d wanted to find metal brackets that turn 2×8 or 2×10 planks into ramps that lay on the tailgate, so I could dolly the logs r...
While looking through old Flickr sets, I realized I never made public one in which I slabbed one of the huge Eucalyptus logs I wrestled home from a craigslist ad. The largest of them is over 230lbs. I chose the smallest – probably around 80-100lbs, because I was desperate to see what lurked inside. I have at least a dozen of these things, so I could sacrifice one enormous beast to curiosity, though that said, I did immediately seal up the ends with a few inches worth of Anchorseal, and ...
I was putting in the rafters on my shed roof today, when while taking a break I noticed a message on my machine from a friend. He had spotted a fallen tree, which didn’t make it through today’s heavy wind storms here in LA. I grabbed my Irwin carpenter saw – the best hand saw I’ve used so far for wet logs (I’ve tried 3 now) – and headed out in my inadequate hatchback. It’s getting traded in for a truck soon, hooray. This was the pile I found: ...
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 ...
I followed a classified to a small pile of free pine and fir last night. I made the 12mi. round trip to find nothing, then found I’d had the alleyway next to the one it was supposed to be in. It was midnight, but I thought “What the heck?” and did the 12mi. round trip again, and there it was, all the wood stacked against the wall here: I got 2 ~5’ and 2 ~7.75’ 2×6 Douglas fir boards, with some brackets and screw holes, though not many, and I can u...
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