Coalescing With Wood
....my 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!
”....work smart, work safe, and live, to work the wood….”
-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/