People often ask me about how I get the logs I use. So when I went on a shopping trip the other day with two of the carpenters from the museum I finally took the camera along. Our museum has been going to this same sawmill for over 30 years or so; we have been very fortunate with the way they treat us there. It’s a small family mill in southeastern Massachusetts – our favorite by far.Just like everything else, there has been a downturn in how much timber they are handling these days, so there wasn’t a lot to choose from, but we were able to get a few logs worth working.
There;s a lot of crawling around involved; invariably we want to see something at the middle/bottom of the pile. They treat us so well here, that they will pull the pile apart with a forklift, and lay the logs our for us to see better. These piles were small enough that we didn’t bother.
This is the new carpenter Justin walking over the piles; I also went over these piles a few times, just to see if we had missed anything. Sometimes you find something at the back of the pile. I spend a lot of time looking over the end grain – I want nice round logs, with the tree’s pith centered. Oval and mis-shapen logs don’t work for furniture stock.
I bought this ash log because it was cheap (.45 a board foot) and it was fresh. It’s 16 feet or more, so there must be some good sections in it. We got a few oaks, one of which was for me.
The oak I got is pretty nice, I consider it a little small, about 22″ on the large end. It’s nice & straight, about 9′ long. We will see what happens when I open it up.
they did have one really large log; but it was white pine. 40″ across the large end, 17′ long & clear. But it’s another story.