Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Just Too Good To Burn

My cousin Troy, who's been my best friend since we were kids, has been kind enough to keep me supplied in firewood all year, bringing me a load every 2 or 3 weeks in this colder than normal winter. Well, I haven't looked at firewood quite the same since taking Peter Follansbee's joint stool class down at Roy's last summer. As I've been bringing in armloads to put on the hearth, I couldn't help but notice some of the beautiful, straight-grained red oak that was mixed in there. I've already taken advantage of it and used it for the legs on both my new shave horses, and Sunday I found a piece long enough for a stile of a joined stool. Now I could only get one leg out of that piece, but I broke into another piece that I was able to get two aprons and two stretchers out of. Plenty of nice stuff around 20" long to get aprons, stretchers and chair legs out of, I've just gotta find a few more longer pieces for 3 more joint stool stiles. And I have to make sure Troy doesn't find out I'm turning all his firewood into furniture. ;-)

The extra added benefit to green woodworking is that the waste makes the best fire starter that money can't buy. And lots of it. And it's a heck of a lot of fun working that nice green stuff.

As a side note, my hatchet handle that I made last summer and thought I'd let dry out enough obviously didn't. It's progressively gotten more loose to the point where I finally got tired of wedging it a week or so ago and took the hatchet head off of it to make a new handle. So in being without a hewing hatchet, but armed with two new shave horses and a nice, sharp drawknife, ( the Auriou drawknife is a dream to use ), I've been doing what is normally hewing work at the shave horse. I gotta say, it works very well. I know it's not traditional and Roy would probably tell me that the ancient woodworkers would snicker at me for using the drawknife instead of the more noble axe, but it really is a viable alternative. Actually, now that I have a nice drawknife, I find myself using it a lot, for things I would never have thought to use it for previously. I guess that's what woodworking and life itself is all about. New discoveries and growth. 'Til next time...

A real nice pile of starter fuel for the wood stove.

Two aprons, two stretchers and one stile; sitting atop everything that
WASN'T an apron, a stretcher or a stile.


Anonymous said...

LOL you're the only person I know who goes thru fire wood to see if you can scrape out a fine piece for furniture:) Love you.


Joshua Klein said...

I'm the same way, Jamie. As I am splitting my wood, when I get something intriguing I set it aside. I am mostly eyeing up spooon stock. When my axe pops out something really curved or wonky , my eyes light up and I see a spoon. I have a special little pile for these guys.

Jamie Bacon said...

I'm not so sure how fine of furniture it is mom, but it's about as fine as it gets with me. :-)

Jamie Bacon said...

You're right Joshua; firewood piles are a great place for spoons also! Funny how developing a new skill will make you look at previously untapped raw material completely differently. I hope when this winter finally ends, I'll be following along with a shop build in Maine.

Unknown said...

Make them shavings Jamie, in whatever manner suits! We should create a "fire starter wood" guild!