Shop Notes #2: Beetle Kill Pine

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Steve posted 01-06-2018 06:25 PM 648 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Organizing for the New Year Part 2 of Shop Notes series Part 3: Cabinet Drawers for Me (And Some Lathe Fun) »

I finished up my year-end inventory yesterday after counting almost 180 different sticks of wood, from full-sized logs to tiny sticks of exotic scraps I can’t bear to burn. Counting meant cleaning and organizing, so I took advantage of the suddenly clutter-free benchtop and built up some cabinet doors for my new lathe stand.

Out here in the Western U.S. there’s been an ongoing infestation of bark beetles in our softwood forests. I’ve seen areas where the dead trees were removed and assumed that the logs were worthless as lumber. As it turns out, as the tree dies, the wood is spalted with an interesting blue-grey color and some of it is available. I haven’t found any rough cut lumber with this characteristic, but Home Depot carries it in 8” ship lap, and it’s cheap. I picked up a few boards for my doors, which I simply glued together and reinforced with battens.

I sometimes envy woodworkers who build perfect, furniture grade cabinets for their shops—it looks so neat and clean! But, that’s not my approach at all. My shop fixtures are sturdy and functional, if not much to look at. As I was assembling this lathe stand, I was struck by how much fun I was having. Measure, cut, assemble . . . joints that are tight and strong, if not perfect—and no sanding!

To finish up the day, I worked up some scrap oak into a rack for my turning tools. I had my tools in a box, previously, which wasn’t very convenient. I liked the way this turned out, (the tools sit firmly in their rests) but I’m not terribly happy with the location. (I have to reach over the lathe to get to them.) So, secure, if not really safe, but still an improvement.

-- ~Steve

1 comment so far

View stefang's profile


17034 posts in 3935 days

#1 posted 01-07-2018 06:38 AM

Your lathe rest looks great Steve and I love the beetle kill pine.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics