Tuesday, September 30, 2008


PEtch Lumber COmpany

I bought these two beauties about a year and half ago. I was walking home from the post office and saw them in an alley about 2 blocks from my house. After a few minutes of negotiation they were mine for $65. They’ve been sitting on the dining room floor ever since.

Well, today it was finally the day to cut them up. I actually only got to one today. I’ll do the other one tomorrow and then hopefully start in on the 85 pound chunk I picked up about 3 months back. All of this will be used for the face-frames of the dining room side of the cabinet.

I've never done anything like this. I felt like one of those guys who cuts large diamonds for a living. I started by cutting a 3.5-inch piece off one side. I want to get one inch wide pieces that I will plane down to ¾ of an inch or so. My circular saw did not make it all the way through so I had to cut the bottom inch by hand. I wasn’t really sure what the inside would look like, but I wasn’t disappointed.

After I split the slab I started to run it through the band saw. It went quickly, but the narrow and flexible band saw blade wanted to follow the grain – which is anything but straight - so some pieces have some odd spots in them. I hope this won't cause problems. Maybe I should have gone for an inch and an eighth. I’ll make it work one way or the other.

Like I said, I was not disappointed with the grain. This was the first piece I cut out and it is wiggley! For those not familiar with curly redwood it is a lot like tiger maple in that the "curlyness" of the grain is largely an optical illusion. That board is mostly flat. Below is what it will look like sanded and oiled.

I ended up 8 good 5+ foot long pieces and then another 3 pieces that have varying lengths of usable wood. I’m very pleased. I think I’ll get the same yield out of the other slab. The big 85 pound chunk is unknown because it is a very odd shape.

If I can get 8 usable 5 footers out of the other slab that should give me more than I need for the long pieces of the face frame. The next step will be to join the edges and then plane them. I got the parts for the planer on Friday only to find out there was more wrong with it.

I replaced the sprocket and got the damn thing back together only to find out the roller that is attached to the sprocket had the post broken off on one end. It was very disappointing. I’m not sure which broke first, the sprocket or the roller, but it seems to have seized up the other and broke it. So now I’m waiting on a $30 part from Sears.


Just A Girl And Her Craftsman said...

really great.

Jayne said...

Wow, you are the Michelangelo of redwood. It's nothing short of amazing that you can take a chunk of wood that looks like nothing (to this uneducated eye, anyway) and turn it into something beautiful. That grain is gorgeous--in the photo the wood looks rippled.