Flattening the bottom of a log

FranklinWorkshops

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Most old woodworkers like me have learned all kinds of techniques over the years and here is one that might come in handy. My problem this morning was that I promised to send @Wildthings a section of American chestnut log to use in one of his mounts. The piece was an inch too thick to fit in the LFRGB I had to use. So the question is how can I cut an inch off the bottom and not affect the round natural surface of the old log.

The answer is to build a sled with wood blocks to support the round side of the log as it passes many times thru the thickness planer. Here is the result.

The first photo shows the surface I had to work with. The second photo shows the top natural form of the log I was trying to protect. The others are self explanatory.

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FranklinWorkshops

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Wow the flat side is too purdy to hide LOL
Even has a little wavy curl. The other side of this piece was used to build a utensil crock to hold wooden spoons, etc. Hard to find curly Am chestnut since most of what we can get today is coming from old barn beams harvested in the 1800s from very large trees. They didn't need to use the areas around big limbs where compression curl forms. They certainly didn't use crotches. I have maybe five hand-hewn chestnut beams still left in my inventory; so eventually, you will see boards from them coming up if you want to use them in your taxidermy creations. This photo shows how big they grew in the Smoky Mountains of NC and TN.

Chestnuts.jpg
 

Mr. Peet

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Even has a little wavy curl. The other side of this piece was used to build a utensil crock to hold wooden spoons, etc. Hard to find curly Am chestnut since most of what we can get today is coming from old barn beams harvested in the 1800s from very large trees. They didn't need to use the areas around big limbs where compression curl forms. They certainly didn't use crotches. I have maybe five hand-hewn chestnut beams still left in my inventory; so eventually, you will see boards from them coming up if you want to use them in your taxidermy creations. This photo shows how big they grew in the Smoky Mountains of NC and TN.

View attachment 185918
Rick Hearne has or at least had a nice batch of curly chestnut. I forget if it was Chinese or European. As for your picture, the two large stems up front are thought to be Tulip poplar (Lirodendren) while those in the backdrop are Chestnut, two with men in front and one far right on the edge of the picture.
 

FranklinWorkshops

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Rick Hearne has or at least had a nice batch of curly chestnut. I forget if it was Chinese or European. As for your picture, the two large stems up front are thought to be Tulip poplar (Lirodendren) while those in the backdrop are Chestnut, two with men in front and one far right on the edge of the picture.
What Rick had was European chestnut as I recall. I'm sure you're right about the trees in front being tulip poplar as those can grow very large also. The bark is definitely different from those trees in the back. Amazing photo of a resource available to our ancestors. Somewhere I read that chestnuts were a third of all hardwoods growing in the Appalachians before the blight killed them. Their use for tanning hides, building decay resistant structures like barns, houses and fences, and using their nuts for pigs and human food was legendary.

Here is a photo of a board of European sweet chestnut I got from Rick Hearne.

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Gdurfey

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I love watching Barnwood Builders, now I understand when they say poplar sides or beams. Had no idea they grew that big in old growth forests
 

FranklinWorkshops

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I love watching Barnwood Builders, now I understand when they say poplar sides or beams. Had no idea they grew that big in old growth forests
I also enjoy watching those guys recovering and reusing the hewn beams. It's tough and sometimes dangerous work but they seem to love doing it. The finished houses they feature are truly breath-taking.
 

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I also enjoy watching those guys recovering and reusing the hewn beams. It's tough and sometimes dangerous work but they seem to love doing it. The finished houses they feature are truly breath-taking.
Barnwood builders are located right here in Lewisburg WV. I don’t know Mark Bose, but I have met him. A friend and neighbor has a rather new house (10 years old) with one room a hewed log structure supplied by Barnwood builders. A very cool room! Logs are about 12 “ squared
I have seen poplar logs squared and hewen about 24 inches squared.
 

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I have always been in awe of how the men could position those heavy green wood beams using only brut strength of horses, oxen and leverage to lift them. I've seen barns around here that were built in the late 1700 and early 1800s with hewn beams of oak 12 x 12 spanning the 60 ft width, 25 ft above the floor of the barn with no seams anywhere. How did they do that? @Eric Rorabaugh saw one of them when he visited here.
 
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Eric Rorabaugh

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I'm with you Larry. I love looking at those old houses and barns. It amazes me as well. They had to build a frame to use pulleys to lift a lot of it before they even built the house. There isn't a man alive that could outwork any of those guys!
 

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I'm with you Larry. I love looking at those old houses and barns. It amazes me as well. They had to build a frame to use pulleys to lift a lot of it before they even built the house. There isn't a man alive that could outwork any of those guys!
I'll disagree, many Amish are still building the same way and I'm sure they had someone (one) that could be out worked. Might of been a 10 year old, young lady, handicapped or other issue allowing some of us to be able outwork them. But likely a very small number...
 

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I'll disagree, many Amish are still building the same way and I'm sure they had someone (one) that could be out worked. Might of been a 10 year old, young lady, handicapped or other issue allowing some of us to be able outwork them. But likely a very small number...
I agree that the Old Order Amish still do post and beam construction and mostly with hand tools, and brute force, and there's no doubt that they are very hard workers. BUT, they don't have to fell trees with axes, or hand-hewn the logs, or drag them out of the forest with horses and they sure don't work with green lumber. Today, they buy their beams and other lumber from local mills, already mostly dry, and have them delivered to the site by people who drive trucks. Big difference in just how much work they no longer have to do to put up a barn.
 
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