Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I've learned a couple of things about chickens lately. One is that they are very amusing, running around like aliens on the landscape, the other is that free range is just another term for having chicken poop everwhere! I was happy to find my dogs relatively disinterested in birds running around (most chicken keeping tales end with a murderous canine) but not so pleased to see my porch covered in landmines. It looks like the porch screening project has moved to the top of the list!
Here is Steve Wagner planing down a seat for his continuous arm. Steve was given the class as a retirement gift and I think that he is a bit surprised by how much work goes into building a chair, so much for the easy life.
One of the questions that just won't die concerns how long a log can be kept green and usable. One of the reasons that I like using white oak is the longevity of the log. Unlike maple, ash and hickory, white oak can be kept for a long time without succumbing to rot. I usually try to keep the log a whole as possible and in a shady spot or under a tarp. When I have small splits that aren't going to be used for a while, I sink them in my pond. I've often wondered what the limits of this method are. I know that folks are digging ancient trees out of bogs and lakes all over the place, but I was concerned about the potential change in properties in the wood from extended submersion.
This piece has helped put my mind to ease. It was in my pond for about a year, long enough to get a nasty coating of green goo on the outside. But after I cut it open, I was happy to find beautifully intact heartwood. It worked and bent just beautifully. While I don't expect this to put an end to the storage questions, it is an encouraging hint to the possibilities.