A Portrait of the Workshop in April

The provision for me in my shop this past week:  cutting dovetails in black walnut for a chest, some goat-milk and lime paint for the butcher block legs, and finishing up the milling of the mighty locust.


Oak, Iron, Copper, Pine, and Walnut


Jig for Flattening Slabs

I read about this method for flattening large slabs in a publication (Woodwork I think) a year or two ago.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the article in order to reference it.  As I work with irregular slabs, too large for my machines, I expect it to be a reasonable and effective method for flattening large slabs, in this case, eastern red cedar.

The router is mounted to a 4′ sled which rides across two parallel fences (jointed 2×4’s smoothed and waxed).  The router has an   1-1/4″ straight cut bit, and mounted on the sled can cover the entire face of the slab, removing about 1/32″ of material per pass.

a couple of turned walnut handles  help to steer

the whole endeavor sits on my table saw


Milling Lumber

We milled a large quantity of black walnut, red cedar, and green ash with a neighbor and his band-saw mill earlier this summer.  Below are a few photos of our operation.

Some of the logs piled in the field.

Slabbing off a decent quality and sized black walnut log…

some of the boards 25″ wide…

some lead slugs from deep in one of the 100 plus year old red-cedars…

the slugs, still in the tree…

A hay loft full of lumber, almost everything was plain-sawn into boards and slabs from 4/4 up to a few 6″ slabs, all with natural edges remaining.

Milling Ash With a New Set-up

A carpenter ant infested green ash crotch being milled using a piece of heavy aluminum C-channel on sawhorses as a guide for the first cut.  Also the standard 20 inch bar on the Stihl 039 has been replaced with a 24 inch bar and a rip-cut milled chain.  The extra four inches and a new bar make a big difference in getting good true and flat cuts.

new set up

It would have been better had it not been filled with a colony of carpenter ants, but still nice wood.

Ash crotch 1

A little better towards the edge, just not as interesting.

Ash crotch 2

Milling A Walnut Stump

Here are a few photographs as I cut up a walnut stump.  The stump was all that was left of a city tree.


A black walnut stump, cut in half and then one of the halves cut into quarters.


Sawing 5/4″ boards from one of the quarters.


A good stack of boards- ranging from 4″ thick to 4/4″ thick.  A few spots of rot, but much usable wood.


Rowdy spectators.