The story of an ugly log that turns into something beautiful

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Project by HalDougherty posted 08-05-2009 11:38 PM 5900 views 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the most beautiful wood I’ve sawed so far. I’m sure somewhere on the lot, there is a more beautiful log. I’ve got my eye on either a huge walnut stump or the stump this log was cut from. It’s 4’ square and ready to be cut. The entire stump is a lump of burl. I’m waiting till I build a chainsaw mill big enough to slab them. I’ll post the chainsaw mill project when I have time enough to build it. The slabs were wet with mineral spirits to show what the wood will look like when it’s finished. I cut one quarter into 2” slabs and the other into 1 1/2” slabs. I haven’t decided how to cut the other half of the log. It’s the 2nd log on the deck for tomorrow. I’m going to use a little bit of this wood to build a custom gunstock for the owner of the tree service. And a table for his daughter’s house. Just as soon as they dry… I hate waiting…


-- Hal, Tennessee

17 comments so far

View JerrySats's profile


237 posts in 3634 days

#1 posted 08-06-2009 12:21 AM

Thats some pretty wood there , you should seal the ends to keep it from checking . You don’t wanna waste any of that wood to big ole checks .

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3261 days

#2 posted 08-06-2009 12:50 AM

I wax the ends of every slab the day I cut them. The tree had been dead for years before it was cut and the log was on the log yard for several more years. I was amazed the wood was still in solid condition. If you take a good look at the closeup photo you can see how the grain is dense and interlocked. It’s tough as an old dead elm! I cut the first two quarters last spring and they’ve been stored in the atic of my old 2 story farmhouse drying. The attic works very much like a solar kiln. In the summer it’s HOT up there in the daytime and cools off at night. The heat pump also removes a lot of water. I checked the sample pieces I cut off last spring against the samples I dried bone dry in the oven and the slabs are between 6 and 12%.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View craigktx's profile


46 posts in 3367 days

#3 posted 08-06-2009 03:06 AM

i look for the ugly wood,its the best kind.
nice piece.

-- craig kuhn

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3601 days

#4 posted 08-06-2009 03:09 AM

Hey Hal
That’s a great find.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4424 days

#5 posted 08-06-2009 03:24 AM

Yes ugly logs open up like a beautiful lady. You just want to sit and stare at them.

-- 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 Roz's profile


1699 posts in 3810 days

#6 posted 08-06-2009 06:07 AM

I have a monster Walnut stump in my yard that my wife can’t wait to get rid of. She hates waiting too. I am putting her off until I can figure out how to deal with the stump. I have a gunstock in mind for that wood. thanks for showing us what you have uncovered.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3712 days

#7 posted 08-06-2009 06:34 AM

Beautiful find …thanks for sharing : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18286 posts in 3700 days

#8 posted 08-06-2009 06:37 AM

What kind of wood is this one?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3454 days

#9 posted 08-06-2009 07:50 AM

Beauty is more that just skin(bark) deep!

Wonderfull grain. Can’t wait for the projects to come out of this.

Nice find.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View cobbler's profile


350 posts in 3814 days

#10 posted 08-06-2009 12:17 PM

Great find!
That surely is some great looking wood.

-- ''Carry on my wayward son''

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3261 days

#11 posted 08-06-2009 01:14 PM

I’m sorry I didn’t put the wood type in the note… It’s elm. Just sand smooth and rub in a little tung oil and it looks a lot like walnut.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 3929 days

#12 posted 08-06-2009 02:09 PM

Now there is something you don’t see every day, that is neat pippy elm. You are showing some nice finds Hal, keep it up !

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4323 days

#13 posted 08-06-2009 02:52 PM

That is one of the prettiest pieces of wood I’ve ever seen. It makes me salivate.

I have had very good results, sealing the ends with waterproof carpenters glue.

I brush on a couple of coats, until you get a glossy look, & you don’t have to mess around melting wax.

You should try this sometime.

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

View jato's profile


11 posts in 3338 days

#14 posted 08-06-2009 03:01 PM

That is beautiful! I would be stuck trying to figure out what to make out of it so all can see that grain. Awesome find!

-- jato, Houston Texas

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3549 days

#15 posted 08-06-2009 03:07 PM

These are some great posts. I like the wood, but please post this in the blog section. These are not projects…....

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

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