Testing the Sawmill Extension with the Longest Log I Have

Welcome to my backyard! Today we are testing out the sawmill track extensions that I built for the saw. 

We’re going to test that with this long silver maple log. It’s 36 inches across at the butt end, with a little bit of splay at the crotch end. Otherwise, it’s a pretty consistent width throughout the whole log. This log must have had a treehouse in it at one point, because it had a treehouse style step on it, with some holes where some metal fasteners were.

So I will make my first flat reference cut, then flip the log over and start making slabs. I’m anticipating a lot of clear wood with this one. 

Here’s a quick look from the first cut. There’s all of the spalting up top, plus some curl right through here as well. This log has been sitting for a while, so we are getting to some color shift as well. We have some nice reds and some blues and blacks with the spalting. 

After getting the log flipped over, it’s time to slice up some slabs.

Let’s see what we got. All kinds of weird crazy figure, and topped with fun spalting. This is very promising. 

Here’s the next slab. It still has that crazy figure and spalting up top, but is mostly clear and colorful in the rest of the slab. And it’s a pretty big piece of wood for the second slab off a log. It’s 29 inches across pretty much the whole way down, and it’s 14 and a half feet. 

Slab three we are getting into the crotch figure, which is absolutely surrounded by spalting. This is an insanely beautiful log.

The measurements on slab four are 33 to 35 inches in the main body of the log, and 14 feet long. That’s a lot of wood!

You can see some compression figure along the sides of the tree, especially along this left side. Pretty cool.

Time to cut up the rest of the log. We’ve got six more slabs left. 

This is a big log. Down at the bottom, we are at 40 inches across, and at the splay we are at 51 inches across. We are at the pitch, so at the center of the tree. This is always the most fun slab, because it gives you the most time travel. You can see all the original tiny branches it had when it was a sapling.

Look at this crotch, with this bark inclusion and this spalt on this side. That is so beautiful. 

Slab seven is a little bit more on the standard wood side. There’s a little bit of red staining in the middle there, which is nice. It still has some of that compression figure, but less than the slabs on the other side of the pith. 

Slab eight has the remainder of that crotch. Lots of cool stuff here. Lots of figure on the outside core of that crotch and some pretty epic spalting too. Plus a bark inclusion. Amazing.

Here on slab number nine, we are getting away from quarter sawn, so we have wider space between the lines on the outside and we are getting into the cathedrals. 

Check this monstrosity out: look at all this spalting. Really really love that.

So that is going to do it for this beautiful, giant, long spalted silver maple. This was a pretty successful test of the track extension. These extension reels are actually working out really perfectly. So I feel pretty good moving forward and cutting some of the more valuable logs that I have. 

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

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