The best thing about being on holiday is that you can do a bit of work for relaxation from holidaying. On Christmas’ Day Even a high wind blew and brought down an old ash tree that has been a creaking gate for some years (I remember a bough falling off it when I was a child about 50 years ago).
It fell rather inconveniently partly into The Leeds Liverpool Canal, almost blocking the way:
It looked much worse before we started clearing it out with a handy winch, all my straps and a couple of chain saws. It was a wonder, really that the tree had managed to stand up so long, the root-ball was almost entirely rotten.
I’m not an expert on tree fungi, but this one has been at work on the tree for a long time, and I’m expecting the stem to be at least partly hollow.
Most of the wood will end up in my log store, but there maybe a chance of getting out a couple of planks with the BIG SAW and Alaskan mill. The thinning chain saw is certainly going to need a good sharpening, even though the muddy logs that had embedded in the bottom of the canal were avoided.
I’ve brushed off the worst of the mud and the wind and rain now falling should help out a lot finishing the job. We’re certainly going to have plenty of good ash logs for some time.
And then fortuitously our neighbour’s fence blew down too, so that’s the kindling sorted out for this Winter too. Just a bit short of newspaper now …
I’m getting to the smaller components for the shepherd’s chair now. This will be the front under-seat framing rail. The dogs in the bench top are great for this, half the battle is holding the stuff still to plane, the other half is stance and sweat. It was very warm yesterday, for Yorkshire, and the next two days are forecast to be hot too (read ‘too hot’). I’ll be milling out a coupe of larger items – crest rail and seat slabs and maybe the wings . I’m milling them on the quarter so they will be as good as riven. The oak butt I’m getting these from has some rather large limb junctions and riving could turn out to be too wasteful.
You can see end on how the above rail follows the rays on the finished face:
The back will be left as is because, being under the seat, it will not be seen, and the extra weight will add to my desired bottom-heavy balance to avoid tipping over.
The ray patterns are looking pretty good though:
The aroma of this brown stuff is almost intoxicating, it just reminds me of whisky maturation warehouses in Scotland where I used to work.