I don’t have time for this…

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. 


8 thoughts on “I don’t have time for this…

  1. That’s some pretty stuff there! Pretty much looks “Pittsboro joint stool straight”.
    I have to stop reading blog post late at night. Had to read the first line several times as I first thought it read “I rarely chase tree frogs”. Time for bed.

  2. Nothing like happy accidents. Being old, jaded, and, cynical rarely leads to disappoint; rarer still does if allow for fulfilling discovery. If nothing else, this noble oak, will keep you warm (and, – fit/nimble) now, and,
    this forth coming winter. It has already provided you/us with content – as well as demonstrating our man’s personification of the ever dwindling good will of humankind.

    How absolutely beautifully serendipitous! Thanks for taking a risk yet again; and sharing a positively extraordinary experience.

  3. Thanks for taking me up on this. The title of this blog describes my life. Already snagging the section from below, this one would start to decompose before I would get to spitting it out.
    It was a pleasure getting to meet you sir. I hope our paths will cross again.

    Whats the plan for the wood?

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