"Slabbin' at Wood" #3: "Slab Wood Tales" --by RusticWoodArt

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Blog entry by frank posted 09-24-2007 02:16 PM 2549 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: "McCulloch Super 33" --by RusticWoodArt Part 3 of "Slabbin' at Wood" series Part 4: "More Safety, Chainsaw....Broadax" --by RusticWoodArt »

Slab Wood Tales the working of the wood,
the stories of those who came before me,
are revealed as enlightened nuggets of wisdom,
where ‘ancient ones’ give thanks by offering to tell me their tales

So today I thought I would travel some ground….or is that lay some ground work here and post some pictures. I’m going to throw in a plug here and say thanks to Zooomr for all their work that they have done, and have made available to all. Using this site has become my major source of photo hosting and they are also offering for FREE, INFINITE UPLOAD. And yes, thats 16 photo’s I uploaded this morning in about 5 minutes time….quite impressive, thank you Zooomr!

So in the name of Safety first, let us, ”work smart, work safe, and live, to work the wood!”

I cut these last week and I’m not going to go into much detail here today, on the how-when-where-why as that will be coming forth in future articles about ‘freehand’ sawing and the different ways I approach the wood with my chainsaw to get slabs. I will mention once again that since I am slabbing the wood for benches and tops with a ‘live edge’, this process works very good for me, as I am happy with the thickness I can attain too by this process, 3’’-4’’ and better. I also use a broadax, power hand planers, slicks and many other tools to achieve the finished surfaces on my ‘wood art’ that just begs to be touched and stroked. I might add that if you ever see one of my pieces in a show or gallery, you will never see a sign that says ‘look but don’t touch’....wood is made to be touched and so I encouage folks to touch the wood.

These pieces here have been cut by using a Husqvarna 395XP and that means, 5.7 cu. inch, 7.1 hp of raw power, the bar and chain I used for these slabs is 24’’. More will be coming in the days ahead, so for now lets just sit back and enjoy some photos, since I have all-ready done all the work….

....I am also showing two different trunks here which I will explain in the coming days….

....after first cut….


....I am trying to show how steady and sure the cut can be made in ‘freehand’....

....and yes, there are secrets and tricks to doing this, which I will be revealing and if any-one has questions, well ask away….

....some slabs ready to be loaded….

....and yes, I do love that thickness in the slab….

....first cut off another trunk….

....more cuts, maybe for some-ones rustic mantle piece….

....second cut….

....after third cut….

....didn’t know what to do with this one….

....and then I cut and looked….

....stopping to look at some New England countryside in the fall can be a thing of beauty….

....and so I turned and looked at some more colors….

....well now it’s time to start gathering my slabs….

....and as I was telling in an earlier blog story, these trunks were given to me to use as firewood….at least that’s what the ones giving were seeing….I saw more into the heart of the wood….

....and as every cowboy knows, at end of day when all is loaded and work is done, it’s time to climb aboard my steel horse and ride for home….

....with the moon at my back….

One more note in closing, I am only to happy to answer any questions you may have, but as my days are long and busy, please excuse me if I sometimes take a day or two to get back.

Thank you.

[email protected]

” smart, work safe, and live, to work the wood….”

-- --frank, NH,

12 comments so far

View 's profile

593 posts in 4887 days

#1 posted 09-24-2007 02:32 PM

Firewood they said? Heresy!

A world of endless, spalted, wonderful possibilities I see here.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5076 days

#2 posted 09-24-2007 02:35 PM

S W E E T !!!

the unknown remains is perhaps a stand-up sculpture?

Again, I love how you take time to share your surroundings with us – it’s not all about the “work”

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 5242 days

#3 posted 09-24-2007 03:58 PM

I”m impressed with that freehand chainsaw work.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 5222 days

#4 posted 09-24-2007 04:16 PM

Freehand?!? AMAZING…. And I imagine the givers of firewood may like to reconsider their gift if they were to see the beauty that you released…

Well done.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View TreeBones's profile


1828 posts in 4939 days

#5 posted 09-24-2007 04:45 PM

Great stuff here. I also have the 395XP with a 36” bar that I use to rip (freehand) in half logs that are 48” and larger in diamiter, then they will fit on my mill that will only take a 36” dia. log. I will have to take photos next time.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5162 days

#6 posted 09-24-2007 07:43 PM

Nice job Frank, there ain’t many men can cut that straight. Truly amazing, beautiful slabs. your ole buddy mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 5121 days

#7 posted 09-25-2007 01:52 AM

Hello to all;

—-hi Jojo; yep that’s right….endless opportunity is all-ways on my horizon, but then when it comes to workin’ the wood, some might even accuse me of….’heterodoxy’. I all-most love these words as much as I love wood….

—-hi Debbie; that’s a second there on the stand-up ‘freeform’ sculpture. I’ve all-ready been thinking on that one and even have a picture in my head. As far as my surroundings go, well if what I did was work….I think I would loose my mind and yes, my camera is all-ways with me, so I can capture seconds in the now….

—-hi Scott; ....and thank you….

—-hello Rob; shuhhhh….maybe we should not tell them, LOL. Actually these folks are artist types also and so when I mentioned the slabs to them, they were excited and happy. They live in the big apple city, so what are they going to do with wood slabs down there….and then also, I all-ways make and give some-thing in return….

—-hello there Ron; I figured you would have one of these beasts around and likewise I also have a 36’’ bar for when I go ‘freehanding’ on the bigger ones. I look forward to some of your photos….

—-hi Jockmike; all-ways glad to hear from you and thanks for your words of encouragement. Actually any-one can do this, if they have the time and patience or is that patience and time? I once asked for patience and was rewarded with many patients, as patient trees to work with….

Thank you.

-- --frank, NH,

View bryano's profile


546 posts in 4849 days

#8 posted 09-25-2007 02:08 AM

Beautiful slabs Frank and Wow ! the New England countryside is awesome to.

-- bryano

View Karson's profile


35229 posts in 5316 days

#9 posted 09-25-2007 02:14 AM

Frank some great wood. Nice tour through the cutting.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 5121 days

#10 posted 09-25-2007 03:17 AM

—-hi Bryano; thanks for your words of encouragement and appreciation! As for the new England countryside, yes it is beauti-full this time of year….but then I also know that what comes next is New England snow….but then since your from PA, you also know about that. Come to think of it, PA’s got nice countryside also….

—-hello Karson; as you must know by now, your all-ways welcome on my tours. And have a very good weekend picnic down your way….

Thank you.

-- --frank, NH,

View deeker's profile


43 posts in 4701 days

#11 posted 01-14-2008 08:27 PM

Nice slabs! I would get shot if I used anything but a stihl chainsaw in this area. What kind of wood? I own a norwood bandsaw here in utah, second driest state. We have cut all kinds of logs, many that were headed to the fireplace. Hate to see any wood besides true scrap go there. We have been cutting alot of apricot and Mt. Mahogany as well as juniper (some call it cedar) and blue stain ponderosa pine. Just learning how to make furniture. The sawing stuff is easy. I split up a 58” dbh cottonwood with a stihl 088 and a 4’ bar to fit on the sawmill. One hell of a lot of work! But was worth it.

Keep up the good work.


-- To those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected never know. Unknown, on an empty C-ration box. Khe Sahn 1968

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 5121 days

#12 posted 01-15-2008 03:05 AM

Hello Kevin;
—-glad to see that you made it here to LmberJocks and welcome!

Yes, out where you live I do understand is Stihl country, but over here, (NH) Husqvarna is still king….although Jonsered and Stihl are still in there, with those Stihl folks gaining ground. I used to use the Jonsered’s for years, but changed over to Husky seven or eight years ago. I also know folks who use the Stihl’s, so in the end I guess on might say, whatever works and keeps on working that’s the one to use. I used to have cylinder head blowouts on the Jonsered’s and since I switched over to Husky only one problem last summer, where I scoured the piston and in the process took out the cylinder also. That was on my Husqvarna 395xp, which is one great hog of a slab maker.

The wood in the above pictures is maple, which I now have stickered and drying outside in front of my barn. Most of what I slab cut is oak, maple and birch, with some pine and ash. Every one I talk to out your way talks of the Juniper wood, and I have seen some of this used in rustic furniture which is a very beautiful wood. I just have not been able to make it out your way to get any of it….but hope to some day get a hold of some, for some ‘free form’ sculpture and furniture.

And yes, I also know and understand about the work that goes into this kind of sawing….but in the end like you say, it sure is worth it. What makes it double worth it is when you also finish a piece of furniture and then can say, not only did I build the piece of furniture, but I also dropped the tree and slabbed the wood.

Well it’s been good talking with you, and like I was saying before….welcome to LJ and if you have any questions about making furniture, I’m sure there are a lot of us around to give you our opinions. So feel free to ask and also you have a lot to give as there are many here also who like//want to chainsaw wood.

Thank you.

-- --frank, NH,

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