Sunday, April 10, 2016

Arkansas wood.

I spent some time yesterday replenishing our firewood supply following what was a mild winter. If you followed the link to the Norwegian 12 hour firewood special, and observed how carefully some Scandinavians stack wood, you might be a bit disappointed in my work. But then, my wood is oak, not birch or alder, and the oaks in Arkansas do not grow very regular or straight. Arkansas wood does not provide the best material for artistic stacking. Arkansas hardwoods are also hard to split, particularly where there were branches in the wood.

I use a 35 year old monster maul, and regard it as exercise. My wife had asked why I don't rent a hydraulic splitter and get the job over with. But I have reasons of my own. There's pleasure when the maul hits just right and the wood falls apart in a single stroke. Some of the larger rounds have to be broken off the edges in chunks before they are large enough to move.

I also discovered a timber rattler asleep among the logs. The weather is still a bit too cool for them to be active, but he rattled his tail in warning as I bent down with the phone to take the photo at left. His colors and pattern are perfect to blend with the leaves. Stretched out he (or she) would have been about 2 feet long, and they say if you find one, others may be near. So I became wary as I reached down to pick up wood.

In the shop at school and at home, I'm working on guitars again. A k-body is shown with a Baltic birch top being glued on below. For tops on two walnut bodied guitars, I found a piece of western cedar which I've resawn and book matched to adequate width. It has a surprisingly tight grain resulting from slow growth, about 20  years to the inch.Western Cedar is a prized sound board material for guitars, so these will be nice.

Make, fix, create, and extend to others the joy of learning likewise.

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