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Thread: From tree to work

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Newport, RI
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    From tree to work

    I've always thought the Creek was a great source for research while I was working on small projects, improvements to my shop space, and general woodworking topics. So I finally signed up and I figured I would share a project I finally got to complete.

    In 2009 or 2010, Irene or another major storm took down a significant cherry tree in my father-in-law's property. After much debate and research on transportation, sawing costs, additional transportation and storage, a cousin and my father-in-law got together on a starter mill. Fast forward a few years, and now I've started picking into the stack a bit, which is now in-doors to get the MC down from around 15% to below 10%.

    The candle boxes I've made are based on the design I found available on the web through Google books I think, and while not entirely hand-tool creations, made great use of a #45 I picked up recently, along with other hand planes. Finish, because I was concerned with blotching, went seal-coat shellac, oil, oil, shellac, shellac, and finally rubbd out with paste wax. The second box was some seriously curly stock, and while I wanted the figure to pop, I didn't want it to be overwhelming.

    Bob.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Seabrook, TX (south of Houston)
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    Those are really nice boxes. The grain is so curly it looks 3 dimensional. And what a great story - tree to project. Nice job.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Carrollton, Georgia
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    That's some beautiful cherry, Bob, and the boxes you made really complement the beautiful grain. Very nice. How did you make the pull notch ?

  4. #4
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    Mar 2009
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    Toledo, OH
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    Great to see that tree go to something other than firewood. Great job on the boxes too!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Newport, RI
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    Thanks guys, definitely went the full yardage to avoid the fire wood scenario! Getting the full width super clear heart wood was a treat when we were milling, but it wasn't until we skip planed some of the boards that we recognized how curly some of the material was. Still haven't move a bunch of crotch material in-doors, but I didn't have a trailer big enough to take the whole load.

    Yonak, for the pull notch I penciled a bit of a centerline on the top, and then sort of eye-balled the baseline distance from the end of the box relative to how a person would typically hold the box to open it. Scored and maintained the baseline with a chisel. Then (carefully) used a spoon gouge to open a more or less symetrical thumbnail down to that baseline. I didn't have a standard carvers sweep gouge, which I think could have been safer than the spoon, but it did the trick!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Lafayette, Indiana
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    Congratulations. It must be satisfying having your hand in the process from tree to finished product. I must say that I'm a bit envious of the inventory. I am helping my son build a book shelf out of cherry and would love to have some boards with such intriguing figure.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Carrollton, Georgia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Kinsman View Post
    Yonak, for the pull notch I penciled a bit of a centerline on the top, and then sort of eye-balled the baseline distance from the end of the box relative to how a person would typically hold the box to open it. Scored and maintained the baseline with a chisel. Then (carefully) used a spoon gouge to open a more or less symetrical thumbnail down to that baseline. I didn't have a standard carvers sweep gouge, which I think could have been safer than the spoon, but it did the trick!
    Your description reminds me of a moment in a movie I watched the other evening : Apollo 13, when Lovell had to eyeball the earth while executing a "free-hand" 39 second burn. Your execution is a winner, too.

  8. #8
    That is some spectacular cherry. Not just the curl but the range of color is unique. Producing your own lumber gives a real appreciation for how much work it takes. Hauling logs, milling, stacking, moving, re-stacking. A guy just about wears out the lumber just from moving it. I have some cherry lumber from logs I bought, had milled, stacked and air-dried, moved to inside storage, and after a couple of years is ready for use. Going through my own stack of lumber to select boards for a project is pretty satisfying. I'm sure you'd agree it's more enjoying using your own lumber than a board from the lumber yard.

    Nice work on the boxes, too. Your finish really did justice to such wonderful wood.

  9. #9
    Nice work, start to finish. Does your family still have the mill? Or was it just used for this job? I have cut up a lot of firewood lately with some recent ones being big cherry logs just like the ones in your first picture. The woodworker side of me is always bummed out that I don't have access to a mill to mill some of them up. I know I'll get flak for it, but I have even cut and split big logs of curly maple and thrown them in the BTU pile. I did cut some blanks for a friend of mine that turns bowls, but overall I have burned a lot of nice wood. I would love to do what you did here, but the cost of a mill is pretty prohibitive though.

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