Beginnings

It all starts with a tree…

stihl chainsaw with milling attachment

by Sydney Michalski

Most woodworking projects begin in the forest! Joe uses a Stihl chainsaw to take down trees, beginning with wood that is dead or diseased, or trees that are in the way of farming projects, building projects, or power lines. He tries to maximize the use that we can get out of each tree, and that starts with milling out lumber where possible.

He has a a milling attachment for his chainsaw to make planks, and he also made running boards to affix to the logs to help him get long, even cuts.

We try to make take advantage of the fact that we’re doing things by hand by harvesting unique pieces, like the very lowest sections of the trunk, which make interesting shapes as they slope out into wide roots.

Once the chainsaw work is complete, and the tree has been milled into planks, or sectioned into bucks, it’s time for sledges and wedges. Half-rounds may be used for bowls or benches, or split down into quarters for furniture legs (add link for furniture legs).

Smaller branches are sectioned for spoons, butter knives, spreaders, handles, chopsticks, and such. If it’s not a good enough quality for woodworking, it goes into the firewood pile…And if it’s too small for anything else, we chip it for mulch for the farm! Nothing really goes to waste when we take a tree down on the homestead!

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