Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Please, PLEEEEEEEASE, remind me to never again.....

Can't remember if I posted photos of the root system I recovered from a Douglas Fir tree that was too close to my shop for comfort. This system looked like a tabletop in the making, so I decided to dig around the root and pull the tree over instead of cutting it off at ground level. It took a major effort to do that, plus a bunch of neighbors and friends to get in on the felling when it took place (sorry, no photos of that feat of ingenuity). Using some chains and a "come-along" winch, we were finally able to drop the tree over in exactly the spot we wanted.

That was three summers ago. Here's the system aged and ready for cutting.

After scraping off as much dirt as possible, I worked on removing as much bark as possible, too. This is the result.

Ya just never know what you're gonna find inside something like this, though. After making my initial cut in which everything went according to plan, the going got a lot tougher. The chain started smoking like crazy, so I thought I'd dulled it to the point it would need sharpening. Off to the shop I went.

Came back the next day, and began the rest of the cuts, and the same durn thing happened. Couldn't believe how much smoke that chainsaw was making. I thought for a second the wood in the root was catching on fire. Katherine was watching from the house, and she even mentioned how much smoke that thing was putting out.

Well, after getting all the way through on just one cut, I found out the reason why it was smoking as much as it was. See those dark spots in the center of the wood slabs? Those are a mixture of resin from the tree and dirt that had grown up inside the heartwood. Shoulda known. I think I mighta ruined a chain by going through this concoction, and could have ruined the chainsaw if I'd kept going at it any longer than I did. I'll still be able to use the one center slab for a tabletop if I dig out the resin/dirt combo and fill the void with something else.

This one gets filed in the "lessons learned" department.