A beautiful afternoon it was to mill some blanks of wood on the sawmill. Things got off to a rough start.
I wanted to get milling so I opted not to fix it, and just put a battery on the saw mill, started up and got busy making sawdust. I’ve had a small pile of sugar maple and some ash ‘percolating’ out in the weather for over a year now. The goal is to get the wood to start spalting. In other words, to start to decay.
This is what I made for a jig to cut the short lengths of wood. Most of them are less than 3 ft long, and the bed of the mill can only accept 4 ft as the shortest piece, so this simple jig is what I use.
I use that jig mostly for slicing cookies, so for larger, round blocks of wood I need a board in behind to aid in holding the block of wood. Anything will do, like this short slab of pine.
with the block in place I first cut it in half to see what the centre is like.
Next, I handle one at a time by placing it face down and clamping in place.
Next is to take a small slice off to make the bottom of the wood blank. This will become a trencher bowl. Look it up online, lots of different styles. I’m looking to make a basic one, but what I am after are the features in the wood grain from the spalting.
This is what a sugar maple looks like on the outside of the tree, just under the bark. I couldn’t wait to cut this open and see what it was like inside.
If you open up that image below in a new window you will see what lies beneath. Really nice grain.
It was a productive afternoon! Now I just need to stack them on a pallet and let the dry a bit before processing them further.