A long absence

Kyle Murphy

Member
Messages
129
Location
Tokyo, Japan
Dear All,

It has been almost four years since I last posted. However, I thought it would be good to update on my activities, or lack thereof. Through the introduction of Stu Ablett I joined family woodworking about ten years ago. I am a wanna be woodturner.

With Stu’s able guidance I set up a wood shop at our mountain home near Mt Fuji (Kawaguchiko). Then I ran into a series of medical setbacks. So, woodturning was not a priority. My Lathe (Nova DVR), powermatic bandsaw , and drill press all set idle and literally rusting(shop was/is damp). So, I sold all my machines to a young upcoming woodturner. However, I did not give up my dream of being an “artistic” wood turner.

this is my silver lining of the pandemic. Since I am 73 and not the healthiest ( but definitely one of the best looking) I did not want to be exposed to the virus. So, we retreated to the mountains. There was a lot of gardening, etc that needed to be done , including some very large trees (cedar) overhanging our house.

So, my wife called the local senior center. This is an NGO, non profit, where retired senior (60+) register and work. We discussed with them and they introduced us to Yabe San, a retired gardne, we spent over a week trimming trees and generally making our place look less like a rundown abandoned house into something presentable. Also, they introduced us to Miura San, an arborist (lumberman), 72, who spent most of his working life on the sides of steep Japanese mountains harvesting trees.

So,Miura San shows up with a team of three, his 90 year old father, who is almost deaf, his grandson and his friend, another arborist. Since some of the trees were on our neighbor‘s property they got the appropriate permissions. Amazing to watch them work. First, they placed salt at the base of each tree to placate the tree’s spirits and then over the next few days the offending tree were safely removed. During this process we discussed with the senior center and Miura San if it would be possible to trim the trees blocking our view of the lake? Well, they were friends with the owner of these trees which are Hinoki, a very valuable tree. They grow very straight and tall. They went to the owner and he gave permission for us to trim the trees. This is something he should have been doing anyway. He got it done for free! But, it was well worth it.

during this process they realized I love wood. Since then they have brought me Japanese Maple, Chestnut, and my next door neighbors white birch. Then one day they showed up with a log about 1.5 m long and 60 cm in diameter. Gorgeous wood. But, I did not have the capability to mill it into planks? So, I called my resident Guru, Stu. I remembered he had a portable mill. So, yesterday he spent the day at my house milling the yew log. So, now, I have two years to develop the woodworking skill to make something beautiful with that wood. Hopefully, I can attach some pictures. Below are pictures of Yabe San, Miura San up in the trees without safety gear, and Stu and I. Best wishes, Kyle ( my apologies for some of the pictures being rotated no idea why and even less on how to correct)
 

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Brent Dowell

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
15,083
Location
Reno NV
Welcome back Kyle!

So sorry to hear about the health problems, but what a great story! Good to see those planks got milled up too!
 

Vaughn McMillan

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
32,850
Location
ABQ NM
Good to see you back, Kyle. :wave: The gentleman with the hard hat in the third photo is wearing some interesting boots. I've never seen work boots with the big toe separate from the rest.
 

Kyle Murphy

Member
Messages
129
Location
Tokyo, Japan
Good to see you back, Kyle. :wave: The gentleman with the hard hat in the third photo is wearing some interesting boots. I've never seen work boots with the big toe separate from the rest.
Hi Vaughn those are the traditional work shoes of Japanese construction workers etc. they have the big toe separate so the rice sandals can be worn. The shoes is mostly cotton with a flexible sole. That man is Miura san, the arborist. He is also in the picture up in the trees. No safety gear! Those geta give him more control in the tree.
 

Stuart Ablett

Member
Messages
15,868
Location
Tokyo Japan
Welcome back. Hope you can get to do some of that which you love.

So nice to have a youngster friend like Stu.
Youngster, ha, I was hurting for two days after that day up in the mountains with Kyle LOL
It was a fun day, his lovely wife made a killer lunch of Lemon Chicken and some delicious salad.


The Yew logs were bigger than I thought from the pics, I could not cut all the way through with my Ganberb mini mill and the cheap Chinese saw I had with a 20" bar.
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My Husqvarna 185CD with the 38" bar is still in pieces, I need to get it back together.

I also learned to remember to tune the saw for the higher altitude, once I spun the screwdriver in the proper screw it ran much better, but man that Yew wood was hard and heavy to cut.
I was using a regular crosscut chain, but in my experience, it really does not make that much of a difference.

20200609_150804.jpg S__7077908.jpg
The Yew is really pretty, I've never had anything to do with it before.
Sure is nice looking stuff.

I took some video of the trip up there and the slabbing I'll get around to editing that at some point.


I cut the first slab with my corded electric Makita chainsaw, but we kept tripping onboard overload on the saw and then the breaker in the house, so I switched to the gas saw.
The corded saw was at its max, that is a thin kerf bar and ripping chain on there, but with the tip not coming out the other side of the log it was hard work.

20200609_191307.jpgWe got it all slabbed up and stickered.

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We covered the pile but left the ends open, and this is under the sundeck above, not waterproof, but not bad, out of the direct weather cut the slabs at about 1-3/4"
We also cut up all the Chesnut and White Birch as well as some maple into bowl blank halves, some of which followed me home (Like I need more stuff to turn LOL).
I've never turned Chesnut or White Birch before, the White Birch was from a sick tree so it has a bunch of colouring in it that should be interesting.

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We had a great day, I finally got to see Kyle's mountain retreat, it's nice, I'd love to live up there out of the city.

Cheers!
 

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