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Old tree logs for carving blanks

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  • Old tree logs for carving blanks

    Hi All

    These tree logs had been left in the garden for at least 5 years, so they are well weathered.
    They are massive, and I could not split them with any other tool, but the splitting wedges.
    To do that, I ordered one made by Estwing, and it did the job.

    When they are split, the centre seem clean, not mushy fungushy at all, but it is clean looking and soft.
    From the looks of the inside, do you think they are shot? I mean rot? Could they be fit for any use?

    The bet use of them would be for carving blanks. If it is not fit for that, then maybe they could be used for carving board for cleaning branches or logs with carving axe.
    If all else fails, they will go to wood burning stove.

  • #2
    To me they look pretty poor material. When I split a log I expect relatively smooth faces with solid wood both sides. If I don't see that I won't try to use it for carving, I might not even bother with it for the woodstove as punky wood does not burn too nicely and holds water like a sponge.

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    • #3
      Yep. I'm in agreement with Steev. With wood like that, you never know where the punky ( soft spots ) are going to be. I use spalted wood often but I'm only using a small amount of wood. Even then I've had some pieces that I've worked on for hours, only to discover it's too rotted . If it's too punky it's not stable enough to invest any serious time on.
      Just my $.02.

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      • #4
        Do the experiments. Go exploring. Hit them with a knife, a gouge and your adze. What sort of texture(s) do you see?
        The variable color suggests spalting. Like all say above, you can't predict the soft/hard places.
        Sapwood on western red cedar is resally bad for that.
        You may end up overhauling it: Haul it over to the wood stove and burn it.

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        • #5
          Yup, they are well rot around the edges. It is dark and spongy. But the centre seem harder. I hit there with the chisel end of the rock hammer, and it was actually biting onto the wood. I will do more testing tomorrow / weekend.
          I did some chopping the Leylandii branches and cleared the knots too, and boy this tiny Estwing axe from 1970s worked well. One of my favorite wood tool.

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          • #6
            Had one of those when I was in Boy Scouts
            . . .JoeB

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            • #7
              At least one piece appears to be a tree crotch. When I was doing woodturning, those crotches were often sources of interesting grain patterns. All the good possibilities disappear if the piece is rotted. We all learn something from the process of probing - especially valuable experience for users of found wood.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by joepaulbutler View Post
                Had one of those when I was in Boy Scouts
                I like Estwing tools, because they ring when hit woods - sign of high quality metal?
                Last edited by kiri; 06-23-2017, 05:49 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by pallin View Post
                  At least one piece appears to be a tree crotch. When I was doing woodturning, those crotches were often sources of interesting grain patterns. All the good possibilities disappear if the piece is rotted. We all learn something from the process of probing - especially valuable experience for users of found wood.
                  Yeah, learning is always valuable product from all acts I am planning to take out all the soft bits around the logs, and see what will be left. And then try to work out something with it.
                  Will try to keep one log as a chopping bloc as it could be useful in processing woods.

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                  • #10
                    If it was me that stuff would be in my campfire tonight. Don't waste your time and effort on it.
                    Keep On Carvin'
                    Bob K.

                    My Etsy page: https://www.etsy.com/shop/rwkwoodcarving


                    My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/robert.kozakiewicz.9


                    My RWK Woodcarving Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rwkwood


                    My Pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.com/rwkoz51/

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                    • #11
                      I am not expecting a lot from the logs. The rot area is extensive. This afternoon, I went out, and did some cutting on the rot bits, and then felt the centre part where it is more solid.
                      My newly arrived Pfeil adze was razor sharp, and was doing a great job taking off the bits, and when it was thrown on it, it bit into the wood no problem. I will do some more playing with them, and decide their fate at the end of this weekend.

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                      • #12
                        Tried to take off the rots from the logs. There was a birch log, and it is totally gone. It is like a wafer, so moved it away to fire log piles. But these two - I used to think they are ash logs, but not sure what they are. They are harder, and still solid in the centre. But have not managed work a lot due to other things to do. Will keep trying to clean out, it is also for trying out the adze, which is good fun.

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                        • #13
                          Yes, birch around here crumbles to nothing if it's left lying on the ground.

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                          • #14
                            Yup the birch logs are now like huge wafer biscuits. I lifted them to carry to the firewood pile at the corner, and weight was like a just pack of a newspaper - none. They seem make good firewood though.
                            Last edited by kiri; 06-27-2017, 10:03 AM.

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