Diary of a Wood Hoarder #2: When friends enable...Gathering and milling (lots of pictures)

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Blog entry by CFrye posted 08-05-2014 02:03 PM 5140 reads 1 time favorited 45 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: In the beginning was...broken chairs Part 2 of Diary of a Wood Hoarder series no next part

My friend, Julie, who gave me a downed wild cherry tree, said they had taken down a hackberry tree in their yard and her in-laws, a silver maple, was I interested? Um, let me think about it YES! Hubby and I went to see.
The hackberry had been ‘hacked’.

Maybe some spalting in there…possible bowl blanks? probable firewood.
The stump was still standing, about 6-8 feet tall with a long forgotton clothes line imbedded in it. Kinda cool, a little bit of history.

Went to look at the maple and brought this home …

Split it open

and this was inside

The trunk was still standing about 15-20 feet tall. We requested that it be cut down in as long of pieces as possible, up to ten feet. Well the trimmers either didn’t get that message or disregarded it. :-( When we got back with a trailer, borrowed from another friend (enabler), it had been cut up into four foot sections and smaller. Oh well, beggars can’t be choosers. Julie’s husband, David, used the farm’s tractor and grapple to load up the trailer.

Some feathered woodworkers beat us to it!

I guess there is enough to go around. Unloading was accomplished with the help of son, a lot of muscle power and a come-a-long. Oh, and gravity, as the pieces got to the back of the trailer and off the end! Thank you, Lord!
Three or four trailer loads (mind you, we are hauling this with our little Ford Explorer and were trying not to overload it) later and we have this pile on the gravel that used to be the floor of the old shop. Maple in the foreground, hackberry in the back, and a Mudflap, pretending to be studious, in the middle.

All that remained were the 3 largest hunks of maple trunk that we decided we didn’t have the wherewithal to deal with. sniff
BUT WAIT! another friend (enabler), Andy (gfadvm) said bring ‘em to me. I can cut ‘em up with my chainsaw and we’ll slice ‘em on the sawmill! WOO HOO!! I’m excited! Mudflap is decidedly not. Went back and got the top two hunks. Left the bottom most section, as it had a lot of rot in the middle.

The pieces in the picture above are 24-29” in diameter. One is 3 feet long and the other is 4 feet long.
Away we go to Andy’s place and his wonderful WoodMizer saw mill. Andy chained the 4 footer to his tractor and dragged it off the trailer.

He then refastened the chain to pick it up with the front loader.

...knock Knock KNOCK!! The tractor he had just gotten back from having the crankshaft repaired threw a rod!

I felt so bad! Trooper that he is, Andy just kept on truckin’! He got another tractor and moved the log over to the mill.
He then got out the chainsaw and proceeded to whittle ‘er down a might so she’d fit the mill.

After going as far as he could with the chain saw he got out the wedges

and more wedges

There she goes!

Loaded ‘er on the mill and cut into seven 2” thick slabs. I like what I see!

After shoveling up sawdust into sacks, Andy got out his dust elimination system.

This is where I wimped out. We didn’t do anything with the 3 footer. Just loaded up the slabs and headed for home.

Scary sight waited for us when we did get home. Fire trucks, tanker, volunteer’s vehicles around the house…Oh NO! What happened?

The neighbor’s garden tractor (riding lawn mower) had caught fire! Seems it was a bad day for tractors all around! Nobody was hurt, though, that was the good news.

So this is where we are now. The 3 footer chunk is outside near the firewood pile (did you get that Grizz?)

and the slabs are stacked and stickered

One year of drying for every inch of thickness…I have some time to dream about what these will become!

-- God bless, Candy

45 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30646 posts in 3584 days

#1 posted 08-05-2014 02:12 PM

Andy will not be happy to see the tractor pictures. I agree though, you can never have too much wood.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View lightcs1776's profile


4270 posts in 2900 days

#2 posted 08-05-2014 02:17 PM

Great story. Thanks for sharing it.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View 489tad's profile


4060 posts in 4257 days

#3 posted 08-05-2014 02:19 PM

sounds like a fun day!

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View terryR's profile


7658 posts in 3554 days

#4 posted 08-05-2014 02:35 PM

Goodness gracious, Candy. You’ve scaled up wood hoarding!

Looks like a wonderful score, too! Except for Andy’s Ford tractor…He looks like a hard worker…wish He were closer to me! LOL.

Got your lathe running yet? Your hubby could saw those big chunks into squares, then you could turn them on the lathe to about 1” thickness…let them dry for 6 months instead of waiting 2 years…and re-turn a finished bowl.

Also, I preach to everyone with space, a $200 shop kiln would dry that pretty maple pretty quickly…

And, since you are gathering my kind of wood…spalted…time to start reading on wood stabilizing while it dries. Super glue, Minwax wood hardener, Polycryl…

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Julian's profile


1657 posts in 3936 days

#5 posted 08-05-2014 02:46 PM

You did a great job of creating an interesting story. So much wood, so little time.

-- Julian

View CFrye's profile


11362 posts in 3085 days

#6 posted 08-05-2014 02:53 PM

Monte, I know. That’s why I warned him on the stumpy thread.
Thanks for reading, Chris.
It was, mostly, a fun day, Dan!
Terry, Andy is a hard worker! And very generous too! Jim and Brian have been using the lathe (yup, getting the kiddo hooked too). Check out Mudflap4869’s latest projects. He shoulda been in on the mallet swap! Shop kiln is tempting. Gotta get some other things done/paid for first, darn it! That’d be a whole lotta little bottles of super glue! ;-)
Thanks, Julian!

-- God bless, Candy

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3731 days

#7 posted 08-05-2014 02:57 PM

Clearly you’ve gone from amateur to pro. What a haul.

-- Brian Timmons -

View terryR's profile


7658 posts in 3554 days

#8 posted 08-05-2014 03:13 PM

Candy, here’s something to enable you further…

4small pieces of acrylic stabilized wood, only 3/8” thick, opening bid is $40! Knife makers and game call turners buy this stuff all the time because it sells. I know. Yeah, you’d have to invest about $400 in the vacuum chamber used and acrylic goop, but that spalted hackberry is gorgeous stuff when polished!

Heck, I’m thinking of buying the vacuum unit…maybe I need to buy some Hackberry firewood from you! :)

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View CFrye's profile


11362 posts in 3085 days

#9 posted 08-05-2014 03:57 PM

Oh Brian, I wish! Pro’s get paid!
Terry, That’s crazy money! What is that stuff? The right side looks like OSB!

-- God bless, Candy

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3859 days

#10 posted 08-05-2014 04:13 PM

my name is Candy im a Hoarder

my name is mudflap im a Hoarder

my name is Andy im a Hoarder and enabler ,”“downed tractor aint going to stop me “

i can;t believe there is any firewood for the winter .loved the pics and story thanks for sharing them

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Thewoodman2000's profile


822 posts in 3216 days

#11 posted 08-05-2014 04:23 PM

Great story and nicely done pictures to show the progress. Sometimes I think we forget how much work goes into providing some great wood to work with. And there are a couple “best parts” to this as well. You guys saved the landfill for other items that “need” to there. You get to dream of what to make and then you get to make it.

Make sure you keep us in mind when you finally do get to turn/build projects out of you great hall!

Thanks for sharing!

-- (the only thing in there she says is....tap on head..........tap..........tap..... saw dust) - James

View terryR's profile


7658 posts in 3554 days

#12 posted 08-05-2014 06:35 PM

Yep, Candy, crazy money. That stuff is Buckeye Burl…but maple, hackberry, locust, pecan, many spalted species would look as great as that. And, I personally have bought many 1×2x5” stabilized blocks for $25-40. But, since I intend to sell the finished product, the initial cost doesn’t bother me. That price is simply passed along to the buyer of my knives…and there’s always some dude in a fancy Lexus that just wants to buy my most expensive item! cha-ching.

Just to let ya know there’s a huge market for the stabilized funky wood…for future thoughts! :)

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View JL7's profile


8787 posts in 4211 days

#13 posted 08-05-2014 06:45 PM

Great wood hoarding story Candy, except for the broken tractor parts…..

Oh the possibilities!

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4840 days

#14 posted 08-05-2014 06:45 PM

Those are going to be some beautiful hunks-o-wood when they are ready. Love it and thanks for the story

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5298 days

#15 posted 08-05-2014 06:54 PM

Nice story…

Nice Haul!

Great wood!

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S !

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

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