Pillaging the Firewood Pile

I hope this may interest some of you..

I’ve been interested in wooden planes since I fell down the hand tool slope about 10 years ago. I have always had it in my mind that I would become a plane-maker some day. Over the past few years I have taken some classes on plane-making and made about a half dozen molding planes for myself and others. Finding good beech for plane stock has always been a challenge. Seven years ago, or so, I bought a beech log, brought it to a mill, and had it sawn into plane billets. If I remember correctly, I got about 80bf out of that log once it was all quarter-sawn. I let it dry in a solar kiln for about a year then moved it to an outdoor pile to finish seasoning. Unfortunately, I lost almost the entire stack after the cover blew off during a winter storm, a fact that went unnoticed, and the pile remained uncovered until the next fall. In the mean time the pile was infested with some sort of powder post beetle. I wound up with some nice, quarter-sawn firewood.

This year I finally received my long-awaited firewood permit from the water authority. We heat our home with 100% wood heat and usually require about 6 cords/year. I was granted a beautiful wood lot only about 5 miles from my house. It is former pasture land so I figure there’s nothing there older than about 60-80 years. The lot was logged once, probably 20 years ago. It is currently managed for both timber and recreation. The forester marks cull trees that are imperfect, unhealthy, or just weedy. It’s a nice mix of hardwoods. The pioneer species like Birch are starting to reach their peak and are dying off, being replaced by mostly oak. There’s also some beech back there, which brings me back to the original point of this post.

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Revisting An Old Project

My first “real” blog entry is going to revisit a project I completed over two years ago. In December of 2008 my family was in the midst of a big change. My grandparents were moving out of the house they had lived in for almost 60 years into assisted living. Their house was on the market at about the worst possible time, the housing market being at about its lowest point in the past 10 years. One of the things we had to do in order to make the house more salable was to remove a large ornamental weeping cherry from the front yard. My Grandfather planted that tree not long after the house was built in the late-1940s. He and my Grandmother moved there from Brooklyn, taking advantage of the GI mortgage program offered to WWI vets. I recently found a couple of pictures from the very early 1950s of my mother and aunt with my Grandfather standing in front of a skinny little sapling of a tree.

My first “real” blog entry is going to revisit a project I completed over two years ago.  In December of 2008 my family was in the midst of a big change. My grandparents were moving out of the house they had lived in for almost 60 years into assisted living. Their house was on the market at about the worst possible time, the housing market being at about its lowest point in the past 10 years. One of the things we had to do in order to make the house more salable was to remove a large ornamental weeping cherry from the front yard. My Grandfather planted that tree not long after the house was built in the late-1940s. He and my Grandmother moved there from Brooklyn, taking advantage of the  GI mortgage program offered to WWII vets. I recently found a couple of pictures from the very early 1950s of my mother and aunt with my Grandfather standing in front of a skinny little sapling of a tree.

My Aunt and Grandfather

Continue reading “Revisting An Old Project”

Welcome!

Welcome to my new blog. I’m glad you found it. I created the blog for a couple of reasons:

First, I’d like to be able to let folks know what’s going on in my shop and what I’m up to lately. This will include updates on research, projects, new tool finds, etc.

Second, I want a place to publish short “how-to” articles and answers to frequent questions I receive from readers and customers.

This leads me to my third point- I’ve added a small  “Tools For Sale” section to my web site, offering a few, quality user-grade tools for sale each week. I’ll post updates to my for sale list to this blog to make them easier to spot.

Finally, I want to use it as a way to alert readers to new content I’ve added to my site. Hopefully the blog will also help motivate me to update it more often.

That’s it for now.  Thanks for looking!

Josh