After trying unsuccessfully to pull the snapped oak trunk off the ten foot high stump, I called on Bill Devereux for help, and, with the right gear, the trunk was down on the floor in no time. I decided to cut the first planks from the upper half of the log, so I cut some nobbly bits off the top in order to mount the ladder for the first cut.
First Bill arranged a winch to pull the top of the log onto the bank, so that it was easier to cut with the chainsaw mill. This enabled him to demonstrate some impressive lumberjack poses, something which he does very well!
I hoped to cut the top off the log immediately, but was stopped in my tracks – the log was just too wide for the 24 inch bar on my chainsaw.
So it had to wait for our next weekend in the wood, when I brought my mini mill. This enables the chainsaw to run along a track attached to the top of the log, with the bar vertical. This takes a slice off the side of the log, which made it narrow enough for my main mill to cut horizontal planks successfully.
I then attached the ladder to the top of the log, which the chainsaw mill ran along, making a level horizontal cut which removed the top bark.
The mill can now run along the level surface and cut successive planks of any thickness – up to about ten inches.
For the first plank, I set the thickness at three inches as I have some chair legs in mind. The oak was so wet that it was a struggle getting it into the Landrover to take home – the tree has been down for seven months, but that has made little difference to the water it contains.
So far I have been exploring sycamore wood – obtained by felling three trees – and using it to make things. It’s a beautiful wood, showing wonderful light reflections from its grain, with an occasional ripple effect which looks three dimensional.
Now I’m looking forward to learning about oak, a wood embedded in our history and consiousness.