Monday, May 26, 2008

Processing your own oak boards

We are blessed with an abundance of hardwood and we lost several giant oak trees during the drought last year. This Oak tree is almost a yard wide, and the rings indicate that it was about 160 years old when it died, probably born right before the Civil War. The ole Oak has seen a lot of history . . . .

I spent over $3,000 on emergency tree-age for it a few years back, but the elderly patient died anyway, (most red Oaks only live to be 100-150 years old, so I don’t feel too bad).

But now, I get my money back in lumber!

Most hardwood planers are only 2 to 3 feet wide and cost over $25,000, so I’m just going to haul the dried boards to the mill again for final finishing. A according to Travis and Dallas, this mega log weighs over 5,000 pounds, and it’s too heavy for my biggest excavator. It’s gonna be a real treat loading-up this hummer for the trip to the mill. . .

I’ve harvested several great cedar trees and a giant persimmon, and they are now ready for planing. As a follow-up to my post on processing your own hardwood lumber, I finally harvested the old persimmon tree, and I’ve got several more giant Oaks out on the back 40, enough for a whole new house. The persimmon came out great, a very fine blonde hardwood:

Now, I’ve got the issue of extracting the fancy burl from the stumps. They are too big to hand saw, and I don’t want to waste fine burl due to kerf lossage from a chain saw, so here they sit:

This Oak stump has the most promise, but she’s massive, I don’t know where to start:

We dearly love burl, but I cannot figure out how to slice her up:

Cousin Mac has some ideas, and it looks like I have no choice but to slice the stumps up into 24 inch slices. The big question is how?