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 the slabs are drying on stickers now. This was mid July, about a month and a week ago. I haven’t noticed any new or deepened checks, though these logs are filled with checks from having been left out in the sun for 2 years before I claimed them.
First up, I spent an hour and 15 minutes manually resawing my smallest huge euc log one night after work, and gave up in a puddle of sweat when a show I wanted to see came on at 9PM. The next morning, Saturday, I sawed the rest of the cut, which took a full 30 minutes more. One cut, 1 hour and 45 minutes. This particular euc (possibly most/all eucs?) was incredibly hard, maybe even moreso than oak. It was like sawing through a hard aluminum alloy. My coarse cut saws, which normally power through logs, ejected small amounts of powder with each stroke, instead of the nice, small shavings I normally get. My arm was worn, my clothing drenched in sweat, but worst of all, my hand felt like a truck had driven over it. I have some ideas about the lack of comfortable grips in saws that I could share :)
I needed a tall fence for pushing my resawn log, so I slapped together this thing out of scraps of baltic birch ply:
Note in the above shots that the half-log still needed a shave on the top edge to fit under my 12” max height blade guard. This is by far the smallest log, too. You can see it in this old shot taken just after I moved the logs into the back yard from my truck (originally blogged here). It’s the tiny one on the opposite side of the picture from me:
While slabbing, I ended up cutting through not only some tunnels left by Eucalyptus boring bugs, but also through about 3 of the bugs themselves:
These are the same bugs that left trails all through the other Eucalyptus I found. The larvae have a fat head with a little beak on it, tapering down to a tiny, pointy tail. I could tell I sawed through something when goo began to pile up at the top of the log, on the cut line.
They are some nasty looking boards, but I think there’s a beauty hidden within, which I hope to bring out one day, when they’re dry and ready.
Here’s an example front/back view of one messy slab:
The checks are not my fault this time :)
Here’s a nice set of thick, 12” wide, book-matched slabs. Of course, everything you resaw is by nature book-matched…
Burnable scrap, and a few pen blanks:
And here’s a very exhausted me with freshly Anchorsealed slabs, still wet and white:
This effort involved a few hours of fighting. My 2TPI Timberwolf blade was dulling (and it actually snapped later this day while resawing a utility pole crossbar – still need to order a replacement), and this wood is a bit green, and hard as rock, and also very dense and heavy, and some of these cuts were 12”.
Here’s a little video showing how slowly the difficult resawing went.
I’m used to much smaller, softer, wetter things that fly through the blade. This was a real chore. Still, I was glad I had the capacity in my shop to do it at all, so I won’t complain to loudly :)
And here’s the stack. I think some are close to 2”, but most are about 1” or a bit over 1”. Note the Anchorseal dries mostly clear:
Here are some end closeups, showing through the wax that these might be pretty when dry, cleaned up, milled, and finished:
I moved them over to my miter saw wing table on July 12th, and I’d like to say that I’ve found a good home for them since. Alas, they’re still right there. There really isn’t room on the log racks for much more, and the shelves are short enough that I’d have to make probably 3 stacks side-by-side just of these few slabs. I do have another crazy idea up my sleeves, though, but it will be awhile before anything happens on that front.
Anyway, this is just a filler post. I wanted it on record for the future when I attempt to make some things out of these slabs. I’m actually a bit keen to try cutting a couple of round blanks out of some of these for turning into shallow bowls or dishes, but that could simply be my turner’s-lust kicking in.
And now I have to figure out where to put this new thing, too:
I’ve just been standing it in the corner by my dust collector. I did just take it out this past weekend for some new, unexpected work that I’ll post about very soon.
-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator