I rarely chase free logs. I get calls pretty often, and just as often the logs are not up to snuff. Folks mean well, and I appreciate them wanting to find a use for their trees, logs, etc. But I’m fiercely demanding when it comes to picking a log. 

But this one, I decided I had to take a chance. I got a call from Nathan  Goodwin, a finish carpenter up on the South Shore…about an oak 42″ in diameter, x 3′ long. Would I like it? No, not really thinks me, then come to find out, he’s got it in his truck & is willing to drive by my house so I can see it. I figured then I had nothing to lose, nothing much anyway. 

But, I says, I have no way to get it out of your truck. He’s got chains & a come-along. And will drive it to the shop. So how could I say no?

big 'un

big ‘un

There’s some metal inside somewhere, and rot near the middle. But even if only half of it is good, there’s a lot of wood in it. I was busy beyond compare, but had to split it open to see if it would yield anything. 

starting split

I wouldn’t park next to one of these

Indeed, I wouldn’t park there. But fortunately I’m a “tapper” not a swinger when it comes to the sledge hammer. 

radial plane pretty flat


Pretty flat radial plane on much of this thing. Some of these faces approach 14″ wide. 


further splitting


I only had time to break part of it open. So once it was mostly quartered, I broke one section into bolts. 

wide stuff 2

The narrow ones here are 8″-9″ wide and the others are 12″ wide.  I had to split off a bunch of the wood towards the juvenile stuff, that’s where the decay was.  The stock is mostly nice & flat in the riven radial plane. 

I know this log is red oak, and I think it’s specifically a black oak called yellow-bark . So if it’s yellow, that means it’s black, in which  case it’s red. Tell Roy.  Rick McKee always used to rave about yellowbarks for riving clapboards, unless he was saying he hated them.  I can’t remember. I just look for straight oaks is all. 

Thanks to Nathan for bringing me the log. 


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