Tag Archives: woodworking

Milling Cherry Logs With A Scaffolding Jack Chainsaw Mill

Sometimes it seems like you just don’t have the right tool for the job, starting with picking up these logs.

When I saw them on Craigslist they looked to be about 10 inches in diameter and a few feet long.

Turns out they were 22 inches in diameter and 5 feet long. Big.

The right tool would’ve been a truck with a winch, but I made do with a minivan and some ratchet straps. These things were super heavy.

I had helpers when it came to de-barking…

…and then we used wedges to split the logs.

A good friend came and helped with the splitting. Here we’re prying apart a log that has split, but just won’t separate.

We goth both logs halved and then decided to quarter them.

Afterwards we stacked them and my 9 year old painted their ends for me.

To mill the logs into boards I built a saw mill out of 2x4s, a 2×6 and two scaffolding jacks. The right tool for this job would’ve been a nice large bandsaw mill (then I wouldn’t have even split the logs, I would’ve just milled them whole).

I started by screwing the log to a piece of plywood so it wouldn’t rock or slip.

I then positioned the log close to the chainsaw mill’s I-beam.

I then used the jacks to lower the I-beam until the saw was at the desired height.

Here’s a shot showing the finished surface. Not too bad.

Here’s another view of the chainsaw mill.

And the mess that was left over.

If all goes well, I’ll get these logs cut into boards and stickered (stacked, with spacers between them) in the next week or so. Then I’ll let the boards dry, and in a year or so I hope to turn this cherry wood into some nice nightstands or something for our home.

The scraps will be used for wood turnings, tool handles and carving.

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A Maple Spoon by Carli

My brother Benjamin and his wife Carli came to town and Carli made a spoon!

We started with a nice scrap of maple. After Carli drew the design she wanted we clamped it to the workbench and hollowed out the bowl. We used an old lathe gouge that has been re-ground to do this sort of thing. Once the bowl was roughed out we used a bowl gouge to smooth the inside and get the final shape she wanted.


Once the bowl was ready we moved to the bandsaw on the ShopSmith where Carli cut out the spoon’s profile.

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With most of the the spoon’s profile cut, Carli suited up and moved to the belt sander for shaping and making the curves.

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We did the sanding outside. Even with the shopvac sucking up sawdust it still manages to coat everything in a fine maple powder.

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We used 80 grit sandpaper on the belt sander, so once the spoon was the right shape we moved to hand sanding with 120, 220 and 400 grit sand paper.

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Once it was finally silky smooth, she sketched “~Moore~” a couple different ways, then transferred the one she liked best on to the spoon handle. I carefully carved it out with a pocket knife and didn’t even slip on the rounded corners or lose the middle of the Os.

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Finally we finished it with several coats of danish oil. This piece of maple had some beautiful quilting in it and Carli did a fantastic job!

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Mulberry Wooden Spoon

The neighbors cut down a Mulberry tree last Sunday. I only grabbed one small branch – I’ve got too much going on to commit to more wood – and tonight I made time to make a spoon out of it. I used the hatchet for most of it, but used the adz and spoon on the bowl.

I also used my pocket knife for some detailed work.

The draw knife wasn’t very useful on this project. The grain was just too contrary and whenever it would switch directions, the draw knife would catch and pull out a little chunk of the wood. It probably means I need to sharpen the draw knife, but it was just a hassle tonight.

Mulberry Wooden Spoon
Mulberry Wooden Spoon

The curve of this thing is a little bit awkward, but that’s the shape the branch was, and I think it’ll actually work pretty well for serving rice or things like that. It doesn’t lay flat, so you’d need a spoon rest if you were using it on the stove.

Mulberry Wooden Spoon
Mulberry Wooden Spoon
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