Since my last post the ants really got to me. I was making really good progress on planing down the logs for slabs, grinding out those "punky" voids and thinking this is really going to be nice when it's done. The ants had been flung out of their nests by the router whenever it made a pass, and......wait a minute. Dang it! More ANTS. Seemed like every single time I hit a dry rot spot (I'm a poet and don't even know it), more ANTS!
Time to make that all important decision whether or not to continue down that road and deal with the ANTS or scrap the wood and start over with something else. About 10 hours invested already and not a thing to show for it except the knowledge this is part and parcel of doing this type of woodworking.
With that many ANTS already exposed, the very real possibility exists that sometime down the road other ANTS inside the wood might just eat their way out and ruin the table then. So, scrap it! Give it to Bobby for his firewood project. I know he can put it to good use!
And, with that, these slabs were relegated to becoming someone's firewood. Hope they like roasted ANTS! In some places ANTS are a delicacy - at least that's what I've heard.
Now I can only hope I got all those ANTS that survived the router spinning them out of their nests into the piles upon piles of sawdust on the shop floor. Oh, yeah! That's right - I need to sweep every once in awhile. Hope that gets em'!
After thinking about it for awhile, a decision was made to try and work with two slabs of walnut that had the potential to be joined together to make a table about the size I was looking for. Did I mention the size actually diminished from the original down to a 4' x 3' tabletop? Well, it did. So, there ya go.
These two slabs were actually bookends cut from the same log. Both had large voids where the branches used to be. Thinking that crotchwood would be beautiful when finished, I enthusiastically cut into and began leveling them even though I was a little concerned with the punkiness of some of the areas right around the crotches. My hope was that solid wood would eventually show up and that the dry rot hadn't gone deep enough to affect my plans.
Can't take them down any further in order to maintain the 3" thickness I was shooting for, and the dry rot is still a problem. Grinding it out would leave voids that are way too large to maintain any structural integrity at all - too many cracks all along both the pieces mean they could just fall apart at some time in the future. Not even installing butterflies could help keep them sound.
These two slabs won't end up in the firewood pile. No, siree. They're good for something - I just don't know yet what.
Back to the drawing board once again. Thinking my old standby, cottonwood, might be just the ticket!