On my instructions, the crew left behind a long section of the trunk, a shorter section of trunk, and a large limb. My hope was to find someone who could mill these parts into boards to be made into something one day. It's almost like a real life case of 'your wish is my command', because Ferguson Custom Sawmill came riding in last week with their portable sawmill and made my wish come true.
While Kyle and his helper David worked, I took photos ... no big surprise, right. I tried to do my best to show the job of slabbing our huge log from start to finish. It was an all-day process, fascinating to watch as they worked. As they finished for the day, I gave Kyle a cd containing all of my photos. He was grateful, because he obviously can't get photos of the two of them working WHILE they're both working unless they have someone else there to take them. I was happy to oblige ... Kyle is a nice young man ... and he has this great new business to promote.
This is how it went:
Here is Kyle, using the circular saw head to true-up the top of the log.
Changing to the chainsaw head for the rest of the job.
They cut the log into precise 3" slabs.
Two down, lots more to go.
They set wedges in the saw cut as they worked, to keep the kerf open so the blade wouldn't bind.
The slabs were WAY too heavy to move by hand, so they used straps and the tractor to transport them to the pile.
Now they're getting to the center of the log, where there was some rot at the bottom.
Sawdust flew like this all day.
This log is 40 inches wide at this point!
Slow and steady, the guys work carefully as they finish this cut.
The slabs with rot are supported on that end during transport with a 6-foot steel bar, to spread the stress of the carrying strap and prevent the slab from splitting down its length.
Such lovely grain in this old white oak tree!
Even though that center slab has the most rot of any of them, it still has a LOT of usable wood.
They're getting to the bottom of the log now. Look at all that sawdust!
There goes the last slab!
What an impressive pile of wood!
This tree has been a part of our property since the beginning, and now it can live on INSIDE the house as furniture ... after its drying period in the barn, of course.
I still mourn this tree ... it was such a dominant feature in our front yard, and I haven't gotten used to the emptiness that is there now. Now I have hope, though, to replace the feeling of tragedy and loss. This pile of huge slabs of wood represents our tree's next phase of life. It's under a tarp in the front yard right now, but we will soon stack it under cover in the barn, where it will sit and dry for a year or two ... until it's ready to be used to make some sort of furniture ... a dining table, perhaps, large and round with enough leaves to make it long enough to seat a LOT of people. Wouldn't that be grand!