Riverwood

I had a chance to go to my friend Mr. Earl’s sawmill the other day and talk to him about cutting the tree trunk he had retrieved from the bottom of the river during the last low water level.  The tree trunk seemed to be about 18 feet long and was pretty heavy. 

We picked it up with the fork lift and we cut it into three pieces.  The bottom of the tree was pretty worn by the

The log was about 18 feet long

water and eaten away. So we had to figure where to cut the other two pieces so the boards would be the best. Earl placed the log on the sawmill and we started talking about how I wanted it cut into boards. 

It was fun trying to explain to Mr. Earl that I wanted the board to maintain the live edge and the unusual aspects of the log.  He has always been dedicated to cutting flat and straight boards for use in the building of barns and other farm buildings.  His skill at exactly that can be seen by the huge stacks of wood in the drying shed next to his saw.  He got the point on my desire for something unusual in the wood and worked hard to make the edges and unique sections turnout as we had discussed. 

The sawmill was hard at work on the log.

The pieces were loaded on my trailer and I took them to the studio to set them up to dry.  And drying is the trickiest part. I went to the internet and basically learned there was no way to do it right!  But you know, they have been drying wood and making beautiful furniture for centuries.  So I went back and asked the expert, Mr. Earl.  His advice was simple, stack it up and let it dry real slowly. 

So there you go… it is in the studio, stacked up and drying slowly. 

there it is for the next two years...

I did cut a piece from the end of one of the boards and counted the growth rings.  The two inches I had in my hand contained almost 200 growth rings.  Some of them were a thin as the pages of a book.  And the log was over 10 inches across.  I don’t know how long the log was in the water…. But it was alive during some very tough times and survived hundreds of them.  

I will keep you up on the plans and ideas for the wood…

but for now it is just sitting there….

drying.

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