Posts tagged #woodworking

Splitting Axe Handle Blanks From a Windfall Tan Oak Log

Recently I was driving out my road and had to stop in the rain and shovel ditches out. I got so wet that I went back home to change my clothes, but within the hour or less I was out, a large Tan Oak fell down in the road.

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I had been eyeing this group of trees already as potential wood working fodder, but this one just succumbed to heart rot and fell over. While cutting it up, I spotted one straight section and saved it aside to split up later. In this video I’m splitting it into 12 parts to stash away for woodworking projects.

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You really don’t need much to split a log. A maul and disposable wedges can be made almost anywhere, usually from the trunk and limbs of the same tree. There are a couple of pointers here about making wedges, the use of boys axes as a one handed hatchet and methods to keep your splits going with the grain. Also basic wood splitting theory regarding run out, which is perhaps the most relevant problem in splitting rails like this.

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I have begun slowly processing these rough split staves down into billets one or two at a time, by removing the rotten heart and the bark. I’m also chopping off about 3/4” or more of sapwood, which is more brittle, weak and rot prone than the pinker heartwood. I’ll be washing the outsides of each billet with a borax solution to prevent insect attacks by powder post beetles, which are populous here, especially with the abundant food available to them with the big Tan Oak die off that is occurring now. They are very destructive to certain woods, Bay and Tan Oak being among the most affected. I’ll also dip the ends into paint, or seal them with fat or pine pitch to prevent the ends from cracking due to rapid drying. After that I’ll just try to dry them at a reasonably slow rate to minimize warpage and cracking.

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While watching this video footage, It occurred to me that I could have made a really neat drum out of that log, or two or three actually! Also that I should try making a barrel out of tan oak. I may save some of the short ends from this log and others this year to have a stash of well seasoned wood for a possible small keg project. Maybe a Calvados keg, hmmm….

Quality Hide Glue From Scratch, #6, Part 2, Cutting and Drying

Here ya go.  I just love the way this glue turns out!  It's pretty fun to sit around and sift my hands through it :DWhen I was first taught how to make hide glue it was always a cloudy stinky mess.  Then I started poring through old technical manuals.  Now my glue looks like a pile of little gems.  There will be one or two more installments coming in this series eventually.  Hey, you may not want to make hide glue now, but I'm building an archive here.  Mark my words, the further people are divorced from reality by an increasingly industrialized society, the more artists and craftspeople will tend to go back to the roots of materials and production.  It's already happening more and more, I'm just ahead of my time.  If I can convince even a few woodworkers to make this amazing glue for themselves and use it or one person to go into production to make small batch artisan hide glue, It will have been worth putting out this series.  You can find videos and stuff on making hide glue, but probably none from the ground up with an eye to high quality, but that's how we roll here- top shelf ya'll.  When the zombie apocalypse comes, you won't be able to go to the pet store to get a rawhide chew toy.  And we don't want to let all that zombie skin go to waste!

Quality Hide Glue From Scratch, #6, Part 1, Cooking the Glue

I missed a Saturday video on youtube, but hopefully I'm back on track now.  This Saturday's video is Installment 6 in the hide glue series that I started last year.  I had to divide this one into two videos since it was getting really long and I'm still finishing up.  It may not make sense to people to have two parts in one installment, but cooking, pouring, cutting and drying are really sort of all the same step to me since they have to happen in a short space of time.  Part 2 should be out within a week.  The glue is looking great if I do say.  This batch will be for sale in the webstore starting tomorrow when it will be dry enough to package.

 

 

Vintage Swedish Hatchet Restoration Part 1: Making the Handle Blank

This is the start of restoring a vintage hatchet.  Actually I'm going to modify the head quite a bit, so what I'm really doing is trying to improve it and make it functional.  In this video I make the handle blank which is now seasoned and ready to make into a handle.  Other steps will be to modify and refine the head, shape the handle, put the handle on, oil it and make a sheath.  I'm not sure when I'll get all that done, but this was the first step....