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Finally . . . Back for Some Milling on the Beach!

Discussion in 'Milling & Saw Mills' started by Daninvan, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. Daninvan

    Daninvan ArboristSite Operative

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    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    After an absence of a year and a half, I finally made it down to the city log dump located on a prime beach in Vancouver. The last time I was beach milling was April 2015!

    Long story short, a few decent logs finally appeared in the log dump a while ago that I managed to get my name on. A couple nice chunks of elm, an ash, and a huge piece of horse chestnut (similar to buckeye) that a buddy is eyeing to cut a round out of to make an end grain table. The City drops off these street trees here, as well as gathering up stuff that washes ashore, and sorts them and sends them on from there. They also set aside logs for people to buck or mill up.

    So today was ash day, because my bowl turning buddy was with me and he does not really care for elm for his bowls and platters. And horse-chest-nut-wanting buddy could not get the day off work so that piece is being saved for another time. The log was about 8 feet long, about 20" in diameter, with a nice crotch at one end that gave us hope for some interesting figure. We were also a bit excited as it was the first ash we had milled up in around ten years of milling.

    So I headed down to the beach / log dump to meet the City guys at 8:00. They used a loader to grab the ash log for me and set it up in the area where chainsawing is permitted. These guys are so great, they dipped the log in the water to get rid of as much sand as possible, then set it up on a nice slope to let us take advantage of gravity!

    We are in the midst of a couple week long cold snap right now, I'm guessing it was -4 or -5 C this morning. But in this part of the world, with the cold comes the clear skies, and it was another beautiful day.
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    In the cutting area there was a bunch of other stuff on the ground, I think it might have been maple. While we there a guy came and bucked some of it up for firewood and loaded it up into the trunk of his car.
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    My buddy debarked the log with an axe, then trimmed the top a bit to get the guide board to fit, then had to trim down the crotch end as it was too wide for the mill.
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    The first cut was a bit disappointing as there was a crack extending form the crotch almost the entire length of the log.
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    We figured one more slab and we'd get past the crack and into some clear wood. Nope! It actually got worse!
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    We peeled off one more slab and wound up with more of the same. In the end there were three slabs, each of which was cracked more or less down the middle, so we split them along the crack into six narrower pieces. I took one and my buddy took the others, he figures he has enough blanks for 20+ decent but not huge bowls or platters.

    Towards the end of the session my buddy was trimming up his bowl blanks, so I wandered a few hundred yards down the beach to where there are some facilities, including a quaint little beach side fast food place. With beach umbrellas and a real palm tree growing in the snow! No customers today though.
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    This shows the end result of our efforts. Three slabs in the background that we later split, and the last half of the log that we just left there as it was full of cracks.
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    Needless to say we were a bit disappointed in the ash being full of cracks. Another lesson in not counting your chickens before they are hatched! At least it was really nice day to be down at the beach. And the saws worked great, I had to do a couple quick sharpens but it started easily and cut well.

    A few people walked by and asked what we were doing, one lady wanted to tell us about her brother's slab table he made from a 30 year old slab he got up the coast blah blah blah, then she asked if she could borrow one of our phones to make a call as she had locked herself out of her car! People are weird.
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    Potacka, ramdad, DonnerParty and 4 others like this.
  2. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    New Saw Dan?
     
    SeMoTony likes this.
  3. Daninvan

    Daninvan ArboristSite Operative

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    No, one of my 3120s. I took the extra one along just in case this one died, but it was great! I had them both tuned up about a month ago, they had been sitting for a while so I bit the bullet and took them to the shop.
     
    ramdad likes this.
  4. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    Must be your buddies saw? - it looks like a Stihl to me
     
    SeMoTony likes this.
  5. ramdad

    ramdad Saw handler

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    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    You are fortunate to have the log beach,as well, you have the stamina to complete your dreams. Truly a pleasure to read your exploits. They encourage others as the rest of your other posts do. Fantastic! Thanks for the story and especially the picks. Any best of wood projects from the harvested beach logs?
     

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