Wednesday evening, I noticed several Boxelder trees next to our church parking lot had been cut down. The yard just happens to belong to a fellow church member, so I gave him a call to see what his plans were for the wood. I know some people look on Boxelder as a “weed” tree, but I like to experiment, and I’ve had some success in drying rounds cut from smaller Boxelder trees. It turns out the trees were just going to be hauled away, and he said I was welcome to as much wood as I wanted. This is what it looked like when I arrived:
Much of what was there was too big for my puny 16” chainsaw, But I did cut quite a few rounds and ovals for drying. My wife just rolled her eyes when she saw I had stuck a large oval in the freezer. Here’s my haul for the day:
While I was there, I cut up a bunch I didn’t keep, and hauled away a load for disposal. Sort of my repayment for the free wood. The leftovers went to the church farm for firewood.
Speaking of the farm, last fall I came across a huge three-forked Black Cherry that had been blasted by lightning, apparently decades ago. I don’t know how long it takes Cherry to rot, but the parts of the tree in contact with the ground were rotted badly, and I was able to easily snap a 3” diameter branch bare handed. However, the larger parts of the trunk that were elevated were still very wet in the middle. The 8’ standing portion of the tree was still alive, and had new branches growing from it. I don’t have any way to mill wood, but I couldn’t let the wood lay, so I cut some pieces and hauled them away to my shed. I sealed the end grain with latex paint, but have still had some checking over the past 6 months. Since I had the chain saw out yesterday, I took the largest piece and cut it into rounds for making clocks and plaques. I also sliced a smaller log into a rough blank for carving a walking stick. Here’s my Cherry work from last night. You can see the charring from the lightning strike:
I’ve been using Johnson’s Paste Wax to seal the end grain of my drying pieces, but my 20 year old can was used up about 2/3 of the way through sealing yesterday’s work. Fortunately, it is rainy here today, so I’ll swing by Ye Olde hardware store on the way home for another can of wax and finish the job when I get home.
I started yesterday’s endeavor about 3:30 pm, and finished about 10:00 pm. By the time I had taken a shower and hit the sack, I was already sore. I could barely move this morning! I guess I’m turning soft as I get older.