Back in the Autumn I rescued some Wild Service Tree logs from an old diseased tree that had to be felled. It’s rare wood these days and I’ve been making bowls and turning some spindles from it but there were some logs from the butt end that were too gnarly and fluted to cleeve. They’re not going for firewood so I put them aside to plank – and there they stayed.
I’ve modified my M7 Logosol Chainsaw mill. As it comes the logbed is 7 feet wide and the rail allows logs upto 17feet to be processed. But I rarely need to work longer than 8 feet and often have odd short logs to cut down, so I’ve modified the mill to work with a log bed of 4feet (actually it will accept logs a minimum of 42inches) and I find that I tend to use it much more in this configuration (called the woodworkers mill by Logosol). For logs shorted than 42 inches I can workaround by using an oak plank as a bearer.
The modifications involved drilling two new holes in the single guide rail (two are used for the full M7) to accept just two of the tubular braces from the M7 setup and three holes in the 7ft bar that spaces the front of the leg bed legs. I’ve left this bar at 7 foot so that I can set the mill back to the full spec M7 when I need it. Which is just as well because I need it to mill up a big pine tree that’s windblown on the commons and I plan to take some long posts out of it.
Back to the Wild Service Tree. I enjoyed using my Stihl 660 and the new Stihl 25 inch picco bar that I am using seems a big improvement. The 25inch bar is the longest one they make for the pmx piccochain and has the advantage that it produces 1/3 less sawdust than a standard chain and bar. Or put it the other way a standard bar and chain produce half as much waste again so it rips through the wood very efficiently. The small kerf and the power of the saw mean it’s not being strained too much. Rescuing logs like this is always a gamble and to my surprise most of the wood looks good to use (and some looks really good). The disease has left some interesting grain rather than having gone to far.
I was worried that a lot of the planks would end up like this one, too far gone to be of much use but most of them seemed useable at this stage (though I won’t be counting my chickens until they are seasoned).
Not a bad result from some fairly dubious logs. I’m not absolutely sure what I’ll be using the planks for yet – it depends upon how well they season (cue gratuitous photo of my little old MF135). They’ll be stacked up on stickers (inch sticks) for at least a year and then turned into an assortment of stool tops and boards most likely – and possibly a few plates in the meantime.