Rived Quercus alba
....as wood is rived,
so a tree shows forth one’s inner strength,
by his//her own choosing is man cleaved,
by the criticism he//she creates….
—-show me a tree that hides from on-coming winds,
and i will show you a man already wrapped in cerecloth,
while i marvel at the hands of the mighty oak held high,
i but stand in awe of that one who’s genetic dna creates within a critique of scars….
—-the trees i have known are gentle giants of their own forest,
be-coming that way over the span of many seasons,
so also can the man of shorter seasons hope to gather,
his//her own gentleness of soul by patience under cleaving….
....my days are shortened by every new morning i awake,
and where i to dream a thousand more years,
what would that compare to the wood i have rived,
where in the parted asunder there is much to see for beauty as strength…..
Rived....to part by cleaving.
And so, continuing on this journey of riving wood, I spent some time the other week….working on this piece for some bench//stool of sorts. I have already posted some earlier blog stories on ‘riving wood’ and most of that is done with green wood. However there is also a place for riving wood that has been sitting a few seasons and is starting to cure and gather character.
I cut this piece of white oak down last spring, (2007) so as to clear some land for a leech field I was putting in for an ongoing cabin renovation. Having some time last week and needing to spend some energy at the end of the day for a moments relaxation….I decided to start work on this piece of wood. One can work hard all day long, (and so can I) till in the aftermath of all that work, I still need to slow my body down by creating some more work to do….hmmm. The tools I am using here are very basic and simple, one froe and one mallet….oh yes, my hands, my arms, my eyes and my mind, plus all that wealth of information I have gained from working the wood. I often tell folks and remind folks….if you want to learn about wood, put your books down and get outside to where the trees are….and start learning.
As I was saying, I came, I saw and now I rive…..
....so how does one go about riving a piece of wood that is wider then the riving knife or if one understands riving, one will know that you must be able to get to both sides of the froe with the mallet….no-problem. Actually there never is a real problem with any working of the wood, the problem lies within your//my own head, in that I ‘think’ there is a problem….again close the book, and go work the wood.
I started riving this piece by working the wood on the right side and about the first 1/3 of the width….
....next I proceeded the the left side and the remaining 2/3’s of the wood. These piece of white oak has already seasoned some and yes, one will have to work the wood some here….I mean thats why they call it the ‘mighty oak’.....
....so here we have the wood all rived clean and, yes I will do some clean up on this piece with a timber framing slick, ( that however will be an-other blog story)....
....no-thing more beauti-full then a piece of white oak that is weathering and developing it’s own character….
....until one tries riving wood, one will never understand the clean lines that can be gotten from understanding the wood and where to place that riving froe. Actually nothing matches the satisfaction I get, from working with wood….as to cutting, (chainsawing) the tree down, riving the wood by hand, cleaning the wood by hand, drying and curing my own wood and then working those wood joints by hand….to the actual finishing of the wood in a completed form of furniture that I present as ‘wood art’. Log to furniture and all the in-be-tween by hand….
....white oak again for the legs. I cut these also last spring and then rived them while the wood was green or else I would have probably never gotten this one to part so clean….
....well after all that, it is time to give a test fit….
....now it’s time to take a time of moment’s sitting and reflect back upon my day….in this my outside workshop, as I pause to give thanks for all that ‘just is’....
”....work smart, work safe, and live, to work the wood....”
-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/