Monday, April 21, 2008

Here are two of the extremes in woodworking. The sawmill business involves a large investment in equipment for efficient processing of logs into lumber. Even a small mill can require hundreds of thousands of dollars. Shown above is my "small" order of basswood, approximately 600 feet which I purchased and had delivered this afternoon. It is "green" and will have to air dry for about a year before use, starting out stickered and undercover outdoors. After about 3 months, it will be moved to the barn for storage an additional 4-6 months, at which time it will be moved to the woodshop for final acclimation before use. This basswood is destined for making small boxes.

The other photo shows a method for drying wood for rustic work, using a 100 W. bulb in a box to dry the ends of sticks before tenons are cut. The mortises cut in green wood will shrink, and tighten on the dry tenons, using an age old technique for working green wood in making chairs and benches that last. After sealing the box with tape, I cut a window in the top to allow me to observe the temperature and humidity inside the box. The light bulb is shielded from contact with combustible materials by a shroud of sheet metal.

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