"Hobbit Holes in MyWorld" --by RusticWoodArt #4: "Coalescing With Wood"

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Blog entry by frank posted 04-22-2008 01:58 PM 1435 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: "Echo-Friendly Ways To Work the Wood' Part 4 of "Hobbit Holes in MyWorld" --by RusticWoodArt series Part 5: "Untrammeled Possibilities and Unexpended Opportunities" »

Coalescing With Wood life is lived as a worker of wood,
these stories i tell are the fruits of my dreams,
where it not so i would have told you so,
just as gifted stories tweak my imagination in the all that i am

—-yes i laugh at my-self for the rustic wood spirit i am,
just as when i pause in the woods for silence,
and often out here i can hear the ancient ones laughing also,
these are as much their stories of laughter as mine

....stories are told among the ancient trees of the forest,
of the laughter of the gods in times gone past,
who knows but that one of these gods shall yet walk out of past and,
laugh again to bring forth the coalescent colors and texture of all that is written in wood

And so here’s one I’ve been working on in the evenings out back in one of my outside workshops. White oak which was dropped some 4 years ago and then I brought some of it in last fall, where it has been sitting outside aging this past winter to gather some character. I have in the past been a big fan of the maple woods for woodworking, however as of late I also am enjoying white oak.

Since this blog story is going to relate to ‘riving’, I might also mention that white oak is one of the best woods used for green woodworking. Deciduous trees are better known as hardwoods and, white oak rives very clean due to it’s straight grain pattern which is much needed and sought after in woodworking, traditional and green. What one needs to understand about green woodworking and the riving process can be stated by learning something of porous woods and then also non-porous woods. Porous woods will fall into the category of hardwoods and non-porous woods make up the softwoods.

To a woodworker who is wanting to make use of riving and green working of the wood, what ones needs to also understand is that along with understanding porous and non-porous woods, you also need to understand the ‘ray plane’. The ray plane crosses the ‘growth rings’ and therefore makes for a much defined and known way of telling how the wood is going to split. When talking about ray planes one also needs to include an understanding of earlywood and latewood, (springwood and summerwood) in ones thinking mind of vocabulary. Now to further move along here, I will just mention that white oak falls into the category of ‘ring porous’ and that earlywood (springwood) has larger pores then the latewood (summerwood) smaller pores. Now let me just sum that all up by making this statement….oak has very well established ray planes which can be seen on an end cut log, these ray planes cross the growth rings and it is here that the green woodworker finds a most excellant way and place to rive the wood.

Having said all the above, I will just proceed on to showing some pictures of some white oak that I have rived using a timber framing slick….

....along with the legs, which also have been rived with the timber framing slick….

....and yes, I have used through tenons here for the wood joinery….

....oh, did I forget to mention the size of this oak table. Well as you can see….this is also one I’m doing as a first prototype and then I’m also testing some drying and finishing practices herein. Still I have about 3 hours of work time into this one and some hours yet to go…..hmmmm!

Thank you.

” smart, work safe, and live, to work the wood….”

-- --frank, NH,

10 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3822 days

#1 posted 04-22-2008 02:16 PM

Thanks for the plane of reference at the end, Frank. I was surprised when I saw the last photo and then it all came into perspective. Now, of course, my “view” of the table is forever altered. I went through the photos firmly convinced of what I was viewing and the end photo completely altered my point of view.

Thanks for the post and the surprise. I enjoyed this. And thanks for the instructional post as well. I really appreciate seeing these.

Have fun.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4306 days

#2 posted 04-22-2008 04:59 PM

Ha, a table for two….mice maybe? All along I thought it was a stool. How about a nice vase and perhaps a lamp for the top of the table?

That is a fine example of miniture riving. That sure was a brief case of wood working…..ha…. Thanks.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View sjdickey's profile


64 posts in 3798 days

#3 posted 04-22-2008 05:24 PM

Like Scott I enjoyed your post including the “Whoa!” at the end when seeing the last photo. I always enjoy and look forward to your posts. Keep it up!

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 4206 days

#4 posted 04-23-2008 02:08 AM

—hi Scott; ....and thanks for the comment about having fun!
Thats what woodworking is for me, actually thats what life as I live it is all about….having fun.

And thanks for that thought on ‘plane of reference’ and also ‘altered viewing’. I’m glad you enjoyed this twist that I threw in here….now you can understand something of what riving wood is all about. One may have what seems to be the perfect piece for riving, but you’ll never know for sure till you rive the wood, as one can never see inside the wood before-hand….

—hi Rob; you want a vase and lamp….hmmm. Maybe I should also add a stool of sorts or a bench….and then fit this piece in a timber framed room….hmmm. Well keep your eyes open to future postings and time will tell….

Now you’ve turned the tables again with that comment about a ‘brief case’ of woodworking….leave it up to you to give me a case of altered thinking…

—hello sjdickey; ....and so you are most welcome with your comments. Thanks for coming out of the woodwork and letting me know that you are reading.

Thank you.

-- --frank, NH,

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 3880 days

#5 posted 04-24-2008 02:32 PM

wow ! where in the world did you get that giant briefcase ? lol great post frank ! thanks

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 4206 days

#6 posted 04-25-2008 12:40 PM

Hello mrtrim;
—-it takes a ‘big briefcase’ to carry all my ideas around with me….but the funny part is when folks look at the size of briefcase and then they look at my hands….”WOW, look at the size of those Big Hands” !

Thanks for stopping by and I enjoyed your comment….

-- --frank, NH,

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4077 days

#7 posted 05-03-2008 03:18 PM

ok…here is the beginner…what is “riving”...I know of a riving knife on a table saw…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4077 days

#8 posted 05-03-2008 03:33 PM

sorry Frank—-reading your posts backwards…just read and saw all the great picts in previous post on the entire “riving” process…

this just made me think of something…what would happen if I read an entire book—backwards??? i wonder if the same pictures would pop in our heads…anyways….its 6:30 am on a saturday…have not had coffee yet…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Karson's profile


35121 posts in 4400 days

#9 posted 05-03-2008 03:36 PM

Great table. You making a complete set of furniture?

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

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 4206 days

#10 posted 05-05-2008 02:22 AM

—hi Matt; ....great hearing from you….and, yes feel free to read my stories and pictures any way you want. Myself….I’ve been know to start in the middle of a book and read both ways back and forth…..

—hi Karson; ....’a complete set of furniture’, now you’re putting ideas into my head….next thing you know, I’ll have to start hiring full time workers and put an assembly line together. RusticWoodArt Factory Stores ....hmmm….

Thank you.

-- --frank, NH,

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