Urban Logging #1: Wood gloat! 3 trees! One big spalded maple & 2 big black walnut trees

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Blog entry by HalDougherty posted 07-29-2012 02:47 AM 4709 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Urban Logging series Part 2: Turning blanks for the local Senior Citizens Center »

I’ve spent the entire day cutting trees into logs and bringing them home… They aren’t lumber yet and all of them are not here yet, but it won’t be long now. Here’s a couple of shots of the maple. It’s a little over 30’ long and the big end is 36”. It’s been down a year and it’s spalded, but not punky. I cut into it to see what it’s going to look like after it’s sawn. It’s also tiger striped through and through. I have to wait to bring it home. My log arch will straddle a log 32” in diameter and this one is too big to pick up. I’ve been building another one that will straddle a 48” log that’s 16’ long. I should have it built and bring this log home next Saturday.

I put one of my stocks at the end of the log and you can see it in both photographs. It’s 30” in length. The owner of this log saw my Timberking 1220 sawmill next to my house and a few logs. He stopped and asked if I would haul it off for him! Will I ever. This may be the most figured maple I’ve ever cut. Opening a log like this is like digging for buried treasure…

The walnut trees are in a back yard and down a steep hill. I cut the logs 10’ long to make them lighter so we could pull them up the hill slung under my log arch. It took a couple of tries to get the heaviest butt log up the hill, but we didn’t spin the wheels too bad. The walnut is a beautiful dark chocolate color. This was a yard tree with lots of Sunlight so the sapwood is a little thicker than it would be if the tree had grown slower under the shade in a forest. Here’s what it looks like trying to pry up the back end so I can get the front safety chain attached. If the log is a few feet longer, it balances and it’s easy to latch the safety chain.

This next photo shows the top of the tree. There’s a couple of 12” diameter logs left to pick up. The bottom tree had a huge fork that’s going to be some serious flame grain. I should be able to get enough figured wood from this crotch to cut seats and backs for two Maloof style rocking chairs! Yep, I’m slabbing all three trees 2 1/4” thick and they should make a lot of rocking chairs. I’m going to take most of the large limbs to the woodworking shop at the Senior Citizens center.

The last photo shows the other walnut tree where the butt was cut from the stump. I’ve got permission to use a backhoe and dig up the stumps. The tree service that dropped them left enough wood on the root ball to make gunstocks from them too. Anybody in East Tennessee that has a backhoe and wants to trade some digging time for a gunstock or even a rocking chair, send me a PM and let’s go digg!

This log is also too big to bring home today. I hate to leave it while I’m finishing the big log arch, but I don’t think very many people around here have any way to move it… I’ll post some pictures when I get a chance to saw these logs into lumber. The maple should have something over 1000 bft of lumber and all the walnut logs should have about the same amount of finished lumber.

-- Hal, Tennessee

13 comments so far

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1132 posts in 3216 days

#1 posted 07-29-2012 02:52 AM

That is awesome! You are going to have so much fun discovering the beauty with in!


-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3418 days

#2 posted 07-29-2012 02:56 AM

You have some nice wood there. A lotta work but in the end….I am sure it will be well worth it! Great find/grab.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3607 posts in 4722 days

#3 posted 07-29-2012 04:02 AM


Thanks for sharing such an exciting gloat!


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10961 posts in 5062 days

#4 posted 07-29-2012 04:42 AM


What a HAUL!

Man, you’re set for a LONG TIME with Maple and Black Walnut!!

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:

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25930 posts in 4115 days

#5 posted 07-29-2012 11:37 AM

Hal, all I can say is that I see about 50 gunstocks sitting there!! Great find. Milling that will keep you out of the bars for a few weeks!! It must be great to be able to cut it your self to the dimension you need to work with!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Post_Oakie's profile


84 posts in 3163 days

#6 posted 07-29-2012 12:00 PM

Great haul. Looks like your new log arch will get quite a workout. Hope you post a photo when it is finished. What do you look for to determine tiger stripe in the maple? How are you going to cut it on your portable sawmill? Will you quarter the logs with a chain saw to fit them on the mill? I made the mistake of not picking up a great walnut log out of a yard the same day it was offered, and when I did come for it, it was already cut into 18” pieces of firewood! Hate to see a grown man cry, especially when its me…

-- Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4246 days

#7 posted 07-29-2012 12:33 PM


To see the grain in the log, I cut into it with my chainsaw and smoothed the piece I cut off both with and against the grain. You can see it! Sometimes when the bark is removed, you can see ripples under the bark where the stripes will be inside. Like this one.

Yep, I’ll have to whittle ‘em down some to fit them on my sawmill. It’s 34” between the support posts and I have a log deck big enough to hold a 20’ log. Only these will be too heavy to move cut that long. I’ll cut them into 10’ 6” logs. The maple is spalded so I’ll whittle the sides of the butt log to get it on the mill and slab it down. The first slab will be 8” thick, I’ll turn the log and cut off another 8” thick slab. I’ll set these aside after I slab them and saw them after I cut the center section. I’ll turn the center section on it’s edge, and take off 2 1/2” boards till I get to the center, flip it and take off 2 1/2” thick boards till I get to the center, then I’ll cut the top slabs. I use my log arch to pick up the slabs, move them and set them back on the mill. An 8” slab 10’ long must weigh over 1000 lbs. None of this stuff can be moved by hand or turned with a cant hook. Here’s how I sawed a red oak log 38 inches in diameter last Summer.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Don W's profile

Don W

19890 posts in 3577 days

#8 posted 07-29-2012 01:04 PM

that’s a good day. There is a few new stocks in that black walnut log for sure. I anticipate some fine post in Hal’s future.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3997 days

#9 posted 07-29-2012 04:17 PM

Congrats on a sweet find.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Roman - THE BOOTMAN's profile


1065 posts in 3695 days

#10 posted 07-29-2012 06:15 PM

I can see some fine boots in some of those knots and twists and discards! Great post. Look forward to seeing your projects from this haul. Yikes!!!

-- Author of POWER CARVING BOOTS & SHOES - Schiffer Publishing. Available online or your favourite bookstore.

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 3932 days

#11 posted 07-30-2012 12:23 AM

Congratulations for these very nice timber. If only I am around, nothing will be wasted. Branches is already good enough for me. Be careful and take it easy. You are a lucky guy.
Good luck!

-- Bert

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3700 days

#12 posted 07-30-2012 01:36 AM

Now you just need to buy a backhoe! Then you can dig up the stumps and move the logs. Wish I was there to help and share in the booty as that looks like some great maple.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Roger's profile


21051 posts in 3813 days

#13 posted 07-30-2012 01:43 AM

a Mother-Load..

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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