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Thread: Free wood can sure cost a lot!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Orem, Utah
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    Free wood can sure cost a lot!

    I mentioned in my first post (on another thread) that I recently came into a bit of free sycamore wood. Our local club president showed up at last Tuesday's meeting with a pickup bed FULL of sycamore wood from a tree that had been taken down a couple blocks from his house. "I don't want to take any of it back home with me!" he said, so I did my duty and gave 7 chunks of wood a NEW home.

    I was able to directly "process" the 2 smallest chunks on my 11" Shopsmith bandsaw, but the other chunks had to be divided up some other way before I could fully process 'em. Luckily, I had purchased my first chainsaw (electric) just weeks before, so this gave me an excuse to learn how to use it.



    Lesson One: Rest the wood to be cut on a FLAT base. I first used the pieces in the background as a base, and the chunk I was cutting rocked too much for my liking, especially since it was my first, "white-knuckle" cut!

    Lesson Two: If you have to use a chainsaw on your deck, put down some plastic! It was drizzling when I got going with the chainsaw, so I didn't want to be out in the rain with an extension cord. I didn't realize how much oil these machines can spit out!

    Anyway, I finished the rough cutting on Friday ...




    ... and then did the rest of the "processing" in my basement shop:



    Yes, I know -- it's way too crowded and messy down there. I hope to remedy that one of these days....

    The "shards" all over the floor are from the sycamore, which had already been drying for a week when I got it. Some of the processed pieces are in the left foreground corner. And yes - the sawdust pile under the bandsaw is all from the sycamore, too!

    I was surprised at how many hours it took to chainsaw, bandsaw, and wax 7 chunks of wood. It took me an hour or two each night from Tuesday thru Friday, and then from about 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Saturday!


    Meanwhile, I'm not sure where I'm going to store the sycamore while it dries. The other half of my basement is already overcrowded, too.

    Last edited by Kerry Burton; 05-07-2007 at 07:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    1,325
    It's all those computers blocking your storage opportunties!!! I see at least 5, maybe 6 spots for wood

    (I shouldn't talk, i have 12 in my house right now ... 6 of them are in use)
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
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    15,582
    Hey Kerry, welcome to the family!

    I know what you mean about mess and time..........





    Done that a few time

    Looks good, make sure you get that stuff all sealed up!

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Rio Rancho, NM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Burton View Post
    Anyway, I finished the rough cutting on Friday ...







    Meanwhile, I'm not sure where I'm going to store the sycamore while it dries. The other half of my basement is already overcrowded, too.
    Kerry, I have a place where you can "store" some of that sycamore while it dries. Just ship it to me--I'll "store" it for you.

    NICE HAUL!!! Some of those pieces are just gorgeous!!

    Nancy
    Nancy Laird
    dandnspecialties@msn.com
    FWW Registered Voter and Voting Member
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!!


    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' If you love your country, thank a vet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Orem, Utah
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    921
    All the sycamore is sealed, using the Artisan wax emulsion from Craft Supplies, USA (10 miles from my place!). You can see the 1-quart bottle at the far end of the Shopsmith, with the green label.

    Unfortunately, when I collected most of the other wood in my basement, I didn't know anything about end grain sealers. The good news is that I've had it all so long that it's all dry. The bad news is that it's all cracked to some degree or other ... EXCEPT for a piece of "Chinese elm" that I used recently to make a replacement tamper for a coworker's food processor. (Someone accidentally pushed the hollow plastic tamper into the processor blades, and he didn't want to use it anymore with a slit in the bottom.) For what is considered a "garbage tree" around here, I sure wish I had some more of it....

    BEFORE:


    AFTER:


    I couldn't bring myself to turn such a short "handle" for the tamper, so I added what I hope is a more user-friendly version. The "divot" in the middle of the business end is just that - a catch that I cleaned up as best I could.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy Laird View Post
    Kerry, I have a place where you can "store" some of that sycamore while it dries. Just ship it to me--I'll "store" it for you.
    Hmmm ... I've heard about you super-neighborly types.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    ABQ NM
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    That's a good-looking haul, Kerry. I'm betting you get some nice things out of the "free" wood.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Burton View Post
    Hmmm ... I've heard about you super-neighborly types.
    Hey, I'll just "store" it for you - no ulterior motives.

    Nancy
    Nancy Laird
    dandnspecialties@msn.com
    FWW Registered Voter and Voting Member
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!!


    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' If you love your country, thank a vet.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    Kerry, you are to be congratulated for the wood haul, and the chainsaw lesson. But, most of all, I like your shop. It looks loved and well used, not a showpiece. I'm suspicious of these guys with showroom clean shops.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Orem, Utah
    Posts
    921
    Yeah, I kinda like my little shop, too. If only it weren't so ... little. I don't know if anyone noticed, but the box in the near left corner contains a brand-new Jet air cleaner that I need to hang. Putting that to use would actually increase my floor space, but it might also increase the # of bumps on my head. You can also see part of another white box, just this side of the bandsaw. That contains a Sears 6" benchtop jointer that I don't have room for (yet).

    Time to take a lesson from Stu and build me some custom stands or something. Gotta "get 'er done!"

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