Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Alaska Mill

Well. my Alaska mill came in. I have put it together and mounted it to the chain saw.
For those of you unaware, and Alaska Mill is a framework you attacch to your chainsaw that turns the chain saw into a lumber mill.
In other words you can turn a tree into dimensional lumber.
The primary reason I got it is that I have this maple stump that is this beautiful burl wood. The mill allows you to turn it into slabs suitable for furniture (after you finish it)
I cut a slab our of the stump, and the grain is incredible. The slab is about 4" thick. With the mill I can turn it into two beautiful slabs/
Or firewood.........
I am flying by the seat of my pants here, so I am being very deliberate and taking it one step at a time.
Today I will mount the guide rails on the slab (to make it so I can cut an even slab.).
Then I have to figure out where to take the slab to cut it. Some place with enough room to work. Not inside. I will need to brace the slab so it doesn't slide as I push the saw foreward.
Oh, but the way, the mill will only cut something 18 inches wide, so I need to trim the slab in order to cut it.
Once I have done the first piece, the sky's the limit.
There is the rest of the stump to think about. I can make a bunch of two inch thick slabs for furniture.
After that the next (long term) project is to make enough maple boards to build a deck off of the front of the house. I really like the idea of building a deck out of wood that started out as tree, and I personally cut it down and turned it into lumber, and then built the deck out of it.
It will be a lot of work, but if it ever gets done in will be unique.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Project Pictures

The three projects I am working on.
The Birds Eye Maple Burl Bowl is coming along nicely. I have pretty much finished carving it out and am ready to start with the tedious part of finishing it. Lots of sanding to remove the imperfections.
The burl table top, I have polished out the chain saw marks and given it a couple of coats of Tung Oil. The grain is amazing. I still have to figure out how I am going to mount it. and whether I want to remove the bark. Oh well, no hurry, no worry.
The platter I have not done much work on, but you can see the nice grain in the wood.
Yesterday I was in town so I stopped by the Stihl dealer and ordered an Alaska Mill. That is an attachment to your chain saw that lets you turn trees into lumber, and seeing as I have about three acres of trees, I think it will come in handy.
One thought I have is that there is this puny little deck out front made out of Trex decking. It would look pretty terrific if I rebuilt it in Maple. Who do you know that has a deck made out of Maple?

Monday, October 10, 2016


My work on the fancy Burl bowl is progressing slowly. It takes a long time to remoe the excess material. How do you make a burl bowl? Take a burl and remove all the stuff that isn't bowl.
I have the bowl in reasoable shape now and have begun to do the finishing work. I am always looking at it and wondering: "Should I thin it more?" Then get distracted by some imperfection that needs to be worked out. There are a lot of imperfections that need to be worked out yet. I guess the question of how much I need to pare the walls will be worked out as I clean up the gouges and scratches.
The 14" platter I have not worked on very much. I McGivered it a bit. I took my palm random orbital sander and clamped the electrical cord in the vise, then positioned the platter just so, then turned it on and when I was sure it woud remain in one place, left it running and unattended while I worked on the butl bowl. It worked pretty good, havind sanded down the middle of the platter about a quarter inch., then I repositioned the sander a little and set it off again. SLowly working to sand dowm the middle of the platter.
The big piece of burl I have given a couple of soats of tung oil to bring out the grain. It looks incredible. The grain is fascinating and varied. Curly here, flame there and bird's eye in other places. I am wracking my brains on how to mount it to make it a useable table. I have set aside some twisty roots and limbs that I can maybe make a stand out of, but haven't gotten any further in design than "I sorta want to build a tripod table support out of natural stuff" that will copliment and show off the table. I also might geet a piece of glass cut to place over it to protect and display it. Guess I'll just have to wait for the inspiration to hit,

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

I've been shot

Last January while clearing some land by hand, with a mattock, I popped my left sholder partly out of joint. It never dislocated, just pulled slightly out of joint. As a result I developed bursitis in my sholder, which the pain clinic treated with cortisone. It didn't do much good.
When I went to my regular doctor and complained that I was still in a lot of pain, he referred me to the Orthopedic Clinic here in Sequim.
The verdict is moderate arthritis. No surprise. I was diagnosed with traumatic arthritis in that sholder almost 50 years ago, and it has flared up occasionally ever since. But not cntinuously for extended periods of time.
The verdict was basically live with it, get a cortisone shot when it gets bad.
The Doc went and got a big long needle and a ottle of coortisone.
This process is a little more difficult that the subcutaneous cortisone shot I got at the pain clinic.
They have to feed the needle between the solder bone and the socket, which is difficult because the arthritis has narrowed the clearance between the two bones.
They had a bit of trouble finding the right spot. When they did it hurt like hell, but I guess that's how they know they are in the right spot.
It takes several days for you to get the full benefit of the shot, but the sholder is much better now. Now that it has been diagnosed and treated, in the future all I have to do is call it in if I get bad again.
Hopefully it will be another almost fifty years, but I'm not too optimistic that I will still be around in fifty years, or that the treatment will be effective that long.
The other possibility is sholder replacement if nothing else will help, but I'm not exactly standing up and volunteering for that.
Perhaps it is time to consider slowing down a little, after all, I am 68.
Nah, that would be boring.