|Project by Bagtown||posted 12-02-2012 06:31 PM||1274 views||3 times favorited||17 comments|
Earlier this year I bought myself an adze. Didn’t know what I was going to do with it, just thought I needed one.
A couple of months ago I got a call from a friend who had a yellow birch cut down at his camp. I’m not sure but I think it must have been cut down at least a year ago. It was laying on the ground and cut into short log sections. He noticed there was some spalting visible on the ends and naturally thought of me. When he called, I said “sure I’m interested”. I didn’t have a use for it at the time but you can never have too much wood.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. We drew names at the cafe for a secret santa gift exchange. I got the name of a great girl who works at the cafe who is from Maine. The only rule for our gift exchange is that you have to make it. No dollar store coffee mugs from china are allowed.
So I went out into the backyard and split one of those big birch logs. A lot of folks might have burnt it on the spot considering the amount of rot there was inside the centre of it. I just kept chopping happily away with my adze. As it turns out, any day you get to use your adze, is a good day. I didn’t really have a plan in mind but I kept going. After awhile I turned it over and roughed out the ends with a large gouge and my big ugly mallet. Then I got to use my big Sorby two inch slick (chisel). This was turning into a lot of fun, and every time I thought I was taking away some of the most amazing grain and spalted beauty, it just got better the deeper I went. I was having a lot of fun. I spent the better part of a couple or three afternoons outside in the very cool weather, looking at the lake and listening to Mozart. This turned into a very zen experience for me. After I got it close to where I wanted, I brought it into the shop to dry out for a week or so. Then I Dug out where a branch that had once grown out of the tree. You can see the hole in the second picture. I used a power sander to smooth out the really rough parts and then began to final sand it by hand. I put a couple of coats of BLO on it letting them soak in for a couple of days each before buffing them out, then 3 or 4 coats of a homemade beeswax/grapeseed oil finishing wax.
So last night we had the staff party (everyone wore their pyjamas) at our house. When I gave this to her she couldn’t believe it. Hugs all around. :) She really loves it and I learned some new skills that I enjoyed so much I will be building on them in the future.
Thanks for looking
Any and all comments are welcome.
-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta