Reply To: From tree to planks

Colin Scowen

I get to do this quite a lot where I live, trunks in lots of different sizes. There are two things to consider. The most important, I feel, is what you might plan to do with the wood you get. 15cm diameter is not really going to get you anything to make large cabinetry from, but it will get you some material for tea light holders, small boxes, drawer pulls, legs for stools, drawer fronts, chopping boards, cutlery, artistic sorts of things like clocks, weather stations etc. I have made some pieces that people have paid for just from old wood from the firewood pile.
You don’t say how much length you would get, but again, depends what you might want to do with it, but also on how you might have to transport it and how and where you might store it. (I can’t use anything longer than 1.5m, otherwise it won’t fit in the back of my car for example.)
In terms of breaking it down in to usable pieces, 15cm diameter sounds about doable with a rip saw for short pieces, but again, depends how long the pieces are and how many you have to do. Personally, I would get a few splitting wedges and split the logs first. Be prepared for tension and compression to change the shape of anything you get, so don’t worry too much about getting things precise. Cut / split stuff larger than you might think you need to.
Secondly, don’t just think planks. If you will be there helping with the felling, don’t be afraid to get some extra chainsaw time in cutting away branch junctions in a way that helps you. A three way split off the main trunk for example, can, with a bit of work, be turned in to a wonderful show piece three legged table. And take some slices across the trunk as well, sand and finish these, and then give them to your girlfriends family as platters, or coasters etc. to say thankyou.

Colin, Czech Rep.

  • This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by Colin Scowen.