Well, with this post, the blog is finally caught up with the project.
The project ain't done....not by a long shot. But the motivation to write was stronger than the reality that my back would be made worse than it already is if I even tried to lift one of these stumps, much less keep trying to re-position them as needed.
In fact, it could be quite awhile before there's another post in this series if this back doesn't get a whole lot better....soon!
Add to this that several more projects are either in the works, or need to be in the works, that haven't been completed or even begun for that matter, and frustrating doesn't begin to describe how I'm feeling right now!
Enough with the pity party.
Get to writing!
So, this post is dedicated to tweaking the shapes of the stumps to help them flow into each other where they're joined together even though they haven't actually had the glue or the screws applied just yet. More on this in the next post....whenever that may be. DAMN...gotta stop the pity partying!!!
Before the tweaking could begin, however, something that had been bothering me for quite some time finally had to be addressed before going any further.
One of the stumps (photo below) had a hole all the way through. That hole was filled with dirt and rotted material from the core heartwood of the tree it came from. To leave that dirt and rot alone and seal it into the finished product simply was not going to work. Nope! Not even a little bit!
Cleaning out as much as could be reached by hand and with the long neck die grinder took the amount to be cleaned out down a bit, but there was still a bunch that just couldn't be reached:
Enter the power washer.
I've never been a big fan of power washing these kinds of wood pieces because I end up soaked from head to toe and full of mud and debris from the piece, as well. Call me a glutton for punishment, but there will be no full body protective gear for me. Too bulky, and too cumbersome!
The irregular shapes of each piece make power washing all that more difficult....all it takes in one little nook or cranny, and shaZAM...the body soaking begins! If the weather is warm, it's not as bad as it could be, but it's bad enough!
Setting up was simple. A pallet to set the piece on while washing helped with minimizing splashback and creating too much of a mud bath. It didn't eliminate them, but getting the stump off the ground even a little bit helped immensely! The oscillating nozzle on the washer also helped shorten the time spent cleaning it out:
The end result was a complete clean-out:
With that part of the project finally out of the way, the real tweaking could begin.
The overhang or overlap, as it were, had to be removed:
The way to do that involved rough scribing a portion of stock for removal. Magic markers sure do come in handy for this sort of thing. Positioning for best fit didn't hurt either:
Once again, that handy dandy Stihl 440 Magnum earned its keep! A sharp chain also helped:
This saw served me well for many years, but being the old guy I'm getting to be, the weight of this chainsaw convinced me to sell it and buy something a whole lot smaller. Another story for another blog post, eh?
Once the marked stock had been rough removed, it was time to see how things lined up.
Looking pretty darn good if I do say so myself.
And that's as far as this project has gone as far as shaping is concerned. The joining will be done as soon as practicable and as soon as a healed back allows.
In the meantime, choosing a stain for the columns is the next step:
Which one do all y'all fancy?