Short Logs; Long Weekend

Welcome to my backyard! Today, I’m going to have a little bit of fun. It’s a long weekend, and I’m not working on the house today with Donavan, so we’re going to do some sawmill.

Today, I want to try to clean up some stuff from the log pile. I have this butt section of elm, and right beside that, I have a chunk of white oak here. They’re both on the smaller side, so I think we can get some nice short slabs out of these. Both of these logs came out of a chipper pile. They are too small to be sawn into normal lumber for a sawmill. They aren’t in the best shape because they weren’t felled for keeping. 

This one’s got some kind of felling crack in it, so that’ll probably be too cracked, but we should still have half of a good log. It does look like we do have a bit of ring shake too.

This bit of elm still has the falling wedge cut in it still, and they started cutting the wedge in kind of a weird spot. Down here at the butt, the buttress flare is pretty close to four feet. The other side is pretty close to 36 inches in diameter. 

After getting it in the orientation I want, I can make the first cut. 

Well, that is unsurprisingly clear. Exactly what you would expect: unremarkably clear but still beautiful. Some absolutely beautiful colors in the heartwood and nice white sapwood on the outsides. It’s about 30 inches wide, and this first one’s five feet long. They might get a little bit longer as we get down there.

I’m just going to saw a bunch of slabs now, and then we’ll take a look at what we’ve got. 

A lot of clear grain, a lot of heartwood. I really like the contrast of the heartwood and the sapwood on elm.

The white oak has got this massive bullseye knot with some really cool color around it. Beautiful stuff. 

This is number three on the white oak, and it’s a little more exciting and interesting. Our bullseye is getting smaller, but that gives us some interesting figure around it. It has some rot staining as well. 

Back to cutting for a little bit. 

Here’s that old limb on the white oak. I guess it broke off, and it had some rot seepage action going on, causing that rot staining. 

The elm has a little bit of crotch figure here, with some swirlies and whatnot. 

The next slab of this elm is right into the center, with the pith right through it. That means the left and right sides of that slab are quarter-sawn. And it has some kind of old bark inclusion as well. This is looking pretty cool. The bottom half of these logs, which I didn’t think were going to be as good, might actually turn out to be way nicer than I even imagined. 

This slab has this cool knot bark inclusion thing in here which kinda looks like a heart, and it’s got some nice width on it. It’s 34 inches at the bottom, and it’s 5 foot 7 inches long. So, that’s a nice little small table top. 

I’m really liking these elm slabs. This one has this void area up top, nothing too crazy, and a little bit of a structural defect as well. But I like this a lot, because you get a little bit of cathedral grain in the middle, and you get the nice straight grain on the outsides. That’s a good one. 

Over here to the oak, you can see all of these structural defects that we had seen earlier in the end of the log. This has all kinds of splits, and it’s not really in the best shape, as you can see. That’s either small parts or an epoxy project, but very, very cool. As an epoxy slab, I really like having these cracks in here, because it does give some visual interest. 

This is my favorite today. That’s just a really cool piece of wood. 

I’m going to throw both logs back on the sawmill, because they still have some meat on them. 

This one has kind of like a multi-bullseye pattern. I like that. Then it’s just clear the rest of the way down.

This one has a lot more sapwood since we’re towards the outside of the tree. It mixes nicely with the heartwood, with a little furrow at the bottom there too. 

I think that elm log got bigger. It didn’t look that big sitting out in the pile, but it’s definitely not small. Even this white oak looks like it’s bigger now that it’s sawn. That’s a good couple stacks right there. 

That is going to do it for this one. Thank you as always for watching, I greatly appreciate it. If you have any questions or comments on the slabs, or sawmill, or anything back on the shop, please feel free to leave me a comment. As always, I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. And until next time, happy woodworking.

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