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Thread: Incredible score, with more potential

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway

    Incredible score, with more potential

    Hey, folks,

    While I was off at work today, Doorlink noticed a tree service taken down a lightning struck pine across the road. She called me, explained, and said "do we need some woodchips"? She didn't tell me she'd already gotten them to dump a ton of them on the driveway...

    I said "of course". I've been meaning to go to the mulch center, but it's fifteen twisted miles away, each way, for each pick up load. I have some bigtime landscaping needs...

    But I also said "see if he'll save some rounds for the lathe." Well, he demurred at that one, but gave her another truckload of mulch. So by the time I got home, with a case of beer in hand for the crew, I had, I kid you not, a pile of chips 24 feet long, 9 feet wide, and 4 feet tall on average. That's an estimate, based on the pyramid shape, the base is actually way bigger. According to my precise calculations, that is many, many cubic yards of chips... a veritable mountain. The boys are going to have tons of fun hauling all those chips out to the back... But at least I went and got them a better wheelbarrow...

    But get this... the guy says he does work around here all the time. So I showed him the shop, and what's on the lathe, and some of the unfinished projects (doors, etc.). He says he gets a lot of walnut and cherry and fruitwood, that he just grinds up. Says he hates having to grind it, but most of it isn't economically viable to do anything with. So he says he'd be glad to drop off any that he can't use. Except the cedar... he's saving that for his house that he's building...

    It would be very cool if it works out. And, in any case, I've got enough woodchips to suit me for quite a while...



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Rio Rancho, NM
    MAJOR GLOAT, Bill. Especially if you get some good walnut and cherry and fruitwood turning blanks out of the deal. Some people just have all the luck.

    Nancy Laird
    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Yeah, that sounds like a good connection, Bill. From what I've read elsewhere, you probably were lucky to have not gotten and fresh pine to turn (too sticky and sappy), but the hardwood and fruitwood connection could be very worthwhile.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Floydada, Tx
    Nice score. There are several tree services that are willing to have someone come and haul away the unwanted wood and chips, but to have it brought to you. I'm sure the kids are not going to be happy about that pile in the driveway.

  5. #5
    Chips certainly make a great mulch as it does not break down as much as bark much does. I have a chipper myself and what I do is chip up a bunch of brush, put a healthy layer of it around my flowerbeds and then cover it up a bit with bark mulch just for looks. This of course saves me a ton of money on bark mulch and yet my flowerbeds look great. Pine chips are not as great as hemlock, cedar, hackmatack or other decay resistant woods, but free and at that volume, you can't go wrong.

    By the way if you have a kennel for your dog, those pine chips are a great place to put them. I line my dog kennel with chips for two reasons. Its easy on the dogs paws and it keeps them from getting muddy when it rains, and because fleas cannot stand any resinous smell of pine, fir, hemlock, hackmatack or so on. In short, putting a layer of chips in your kennel will ensure its flea-free...a fact few people know about.

    Nice haul by the way.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  6. #6
    That is a really nice score Bill, and even better if there is more to come. You know, I am not that far from you, I live in Alexandria, if you ever have more than you can handle I would be happy to help you out. Although, I am not a turner so I would be more interested in boards.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway
    Well, we don't have a dog kennel. What we do have is a dog mess...

    Dogs live out back. Kitchen door gives out on a deck, which is one story above grade. Below the deck is a world of mud and muck and dog dirt and.... trust me, it is truly yucky down there. Shady, so grass won't grow... the mud gets churned and tracked in when it rains... not even weeds can survive. The space is about 80 by 20. Those chips are going there first... there are enough of them to cover it a foot and a half deep. I've been throwing all my sawdust and planer shavings down there, but it all just disappears into the dog wallow.

    Then the azalea beds, and the various shrubberies. But the real problem: we're fairly new to this house. The soil has been neglected for 40 years (before that, it was forest). It was graded, the topsoil was pulled around or sold, and then 40 years of nitrogen fertilizer and lawn services carting away the clippings or throwing them in the forest... the soil doesn't have much left to give. Believe it or not, I learned in Nashville that the absolute best way to renovate a lawn is to... cover the whole thing with a few inches of mulch. The lawn starts to grow up through it, it gets pressed down into the soil... and if you don't fertilize, it grows up lush and healthy. 4 more dumptruck loads like that and I'll have a new lawn...



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Bill, down in the dog wallow, have you thought about putting something down before the chips/shaving etc? Just to give the surface some cohesion?

    Some kind of mesh something or other, or, even some old shag carpet?

    This way the muck would have a base, and the shaving etc, would have a chance to NOT get absorbed so quickly into the muck?

    Just a thought.

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

  9. #9
    BIll.............Yup! It's amazing what a case of beer will get you! I once needed a pickup load of gravel for my drive way. Most companies here want at least $50 to deliver same just to cover their gas. I drove my old F350 to a local gravel company and they filled it up. I asked what they wanted....Just bring us a beer the 3 guys said. I returned later that afternoon with a case of Bud........

    Congrats on the connection!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Westphalia, Michigan

    I love freebee's

    I can relate to the problem of chipping good wood. I used to work for a friend on the weekends doing residential tree work. It would drive me to distraction having to block up or chip premo wood. There is one cherry log that still haunts me. I looked at the end grain and was amazed at the figure and color in the butt end of the log. - had to block it up and get it off the customers lawn. I wasn't even a wood worker then.
    This next week I get to saw some 2' dia. cedar logs into square posts for a lean-to on my pole barn so I have more wood starage space. The cedar poles used to be 80' until a tornado took them down. The utility co. was glad to dump them next to my barn. I also have walnut and cherry logs to saw into lumber (all freebee's). I have to get the sawmill back to the owner in 2 weeks. He's going up to Canada to build a log cabin.

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