Saturday, 7 January 2012

Saved from becoming firewood - Dawn Redwood

I got to fell a small dead Dawn Redwood for a local firm this morning, I gave the guy a good deal on hiring my chipper in exchange for the trunk as I couldn't resist getting my hands on something as unusual as this.
Dawn redwood was thought to be extinct up until the mid 40's and only existed in the fossil record. Upon being rediscovered it has since been widely planted in parks and gardens and makes an attractive tree in the urban environment. But they are still an unusual tree, this being the first I've ever cut down.
My hi-ab trailer was proving its worth again making picking up and moving the trunks easy, the only downside being that I had to cut them into 8ft lengths so they wood fit in, fortunately this is the distance between 3 bunks on the mill (the orange bits that support the timber) any shorter and it can get quite tricky clamping the timber in place.

Putting the pallet next to the mill I was able to place the logs down without risking damage to the mill as the controls can be a bit jerky sometimes, especially with heavy lumps like this.
With the pallet at about the same height as the deck of the mill I can then easily roll the logs on with the use of a cant hook, a brilliant tool that makes handling big lumps of wood much easier.
First slab off, pretty impressed with the grain pattern, a nice amount of contrast between the sap wood and heart wood.

Looking on the Internet it seems it doesn't have much use for structural purposes so I'm thinking I might cut it all through and through so I can use it for rustic furniture as it apparently polishes up really well. I love that I now have the kit to save bits of wood like this from being ringed up and turned into firewood!