"Pick-Up Sticks" --by RusticWoodArt

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Blog entry by frank posted 02-25-2007 02:50 PM 1028 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Pick-Up Sticks

....some of my building can best be described as playing a game of ‘pick-up sticks’, and while in the midst of an ever changing world that seeks to push it’s way, by ever increasing the surrounding domains of all those others, i have found a place where i can still play as a boy and build after my own hearts delight….

—-there are the times when after looking at all those others who are into building with wood, that i often feel a need to get back to my roots of sorts, where my comfort level is only exceeded by the prevailing peril of my great pearl, that would splay me open beyond the world of risk and out into the nethers of grappling at gut instinct….

—-’grappling at gut instinct’ with the wood that surrounds me till i am lost beyond hope of ever coming in from my outside of play….

—-’grappling at gut instinct’ is an-other word phrase you can wrap your teeth around and chew on for good measure the next time you are out in the woods playing ‘drop and pick’—-go fetch me another stick….

—-’grappling at gut instinct’ is what you do after throwing all risk to the wind, and knowing that you have no-thing to loose and no-thing to gain, that all just is as it should be and therefore all is yours, this is a place i have found where the seasons of change have no-effect upon the spirit of who i am….

And so I thought to write a little picture story here this morning of forests, clearing some land, chain saws, dropping trees, dropping sticks off a truck, picking sticks up and playing at mortise and tenon making for sills and joists in the habit of timber framing.

A NOTE HERE: I apoligize for lack of quality in these pictures as they are scanned images from past years. Also as to saftey protection or lack of, well do not take these as images as what you should do, as some of the images are posed. IN OTHER WORDS, ”DO NOT DO AS I DO!!!” That said, enjoy….

....and yes there is the boy of me still in my heart, that comes to the surface when I go playing at dropping trees. Where else can one still feel the awesome power of the ground shaking, then when that tree connects with earth and you feel the surge….

....and yes, if you know what you are doing, that pile of sticks will slide off and all will remain upright, in place and still stickered….if not, then you will play another game called, ‘many pick-up sticks’....

....and so we now play pick-um-up and move-um-around, big boys playing pick-up sticks….

....and then comes the day when the ground work of sills are all in place and those mortises have all been joy-fully made and I can now think of jousting joists and tenon making. One interesting note here is that, those three beams in the middle are called ‘summer beams’ and sturdy beasts of burden they are….12’’ at 29’ long….

Just some playing with my memories this morning, as I sometimes think back, to where it has been, as I now go on to compete this my new day!!!

-- --frank, NH,

8 comments so far

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4297 days

#1 posted 02-25-2007 05:02 PM

That sure looks like fun. I’d love to get my hands on that timber.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4159 days

#2 posted 02-25-2007 08:58 PM

Now that is some game of pick up sticks! Like Dick, I would love to have that lumber in my garage now.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4175 days

#3 posted 02-25-2007 10:31 PM

Thanks, Frank.

These pictures cause me to look back at my early days in the forests of Western Canada. How we thought then that this resource would last forever – giant trees that would require a six men to reach around their girth – so tall they reached to heaven. But alas, because of ignorance, thoughtlessness and greed, they are no more.

Then I arrived in Australia to learn the same thing had gone on here. One of the worst practices, that still persists in some parts, is to use two giant bulldozers dragging giant chains between them, hooked up to giant metal balls in the middle of the chain and marching through the bush knocking down every living thing in their path.

Frank, because I have grown to know you as a lover on=f natural things, I’m confident that your use of timber resources is sensitive to the needs of future generations.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4312 days

#4 posted 02-25-2007 11:48 PM

When does the vinyl siding go on?

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4158 days

#5 posted 02-26-2007 12:03 AM

Dennis, you are too funny. I’m picturing plastic flowers in window pots as well

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 4204 days

#6 posted 02-26-2007 03:27 AM

Hello everyone;
—-Dick and Bill
Well by now you must know that I collect timber, however I also do watch myself as I remember the story of the man who after building one barn….then decided he needed a bigger one. But then I also have a friend who built a barn, just to house his other barns all neatly wrapped up in black plastic, till he can figure out what to do with them.

—-Don, yes….I can all-ways count on you to remind me, and strive to keep me on track. Actually Don we harvest all our timber with an eye on the future as to being sure there will be timber left for those who come after. Whether for firewood, slabs or furniture; all the trees are treated with the respect that they where here long before I arrived on the scene and will be here also long after I am moved on.

—-Dennis and Debbie, well there ’AIN’T NO PLASTIC HERE’, ha!!!; siding is ‘board and batten’ and flowers….well I thought every-one knows that flowers are meant to grow in the ground….although I have heard stories from some that there are those new fangled things called plastic flowers that grow in plastic pots, couldn’t say though as I’ve never seen one.


-- --frank, NH,

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4175 days

#7 posted 02-26-2007 07:09 AM

Thanks for the reassurance, Frank. I didn’t previously think of myself as a greeny, but I guess I am, particularly now that I work with wood.

Here’s the kind of stuff I read about ‘clearing” practices in Australia.

  • Australia has the fifth highest rate of land clearing in the world. We clear more bush each year than poverty-stricken countries like Burma, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and the Congo.
  • Australia clears land at the massive rate of over half a million hectares a year.
  • The rate of land clearing is accelerating. As much land has been cleared in the last 50 years, as was cleared in the previous 150 years.
  • Woodlands are Australia’s most threatened, and least protected, wooded ecosystem.
  • 85% of all land clearing in Australia happens in Queensland. Victoria has lost more native vegetation than any other state, and Tasmania has the highest clearing rate in proportion to the State’s total land area.
  • For every tree planted, 100 are bulldozed!

Sorry, Frank I know that this is a long quote, but I think it summarizes the terrible state of affairs here when it comes to the degradation of our environment. Here’s another read on the subject.

I think it’s symptomatic of man’s arrogance and ignorance. Somewhere along the line we lost the ability to see beyond ourselves, to appreciate that what we do today, will be the legacy that we leave our off-springs.

It really pains me.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4158 days

#8 posted 02-26-2007 12:57 PM

my friend has a cottage up north, located down a remote road on which many logging trucks travel every day.
If you drive down the road all you see is forest but if (according to my friends) you drove back into the woods 1/2 mile you would see open land because all the trees are gone.
Sneaky, they are… sneaky.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

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