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Collecting Tonewood

I was fortunate enough to come across about a dozen logs of Black Walnut and Cherry several years ago and made it back up to New York last year to cut it up into two to four-inch billets using an Alaskan Chainsaw Mill. While it was slow going, I was able to slice up and sticker about 50 boards which then dried in my former neighbor’s barn until I brought them down here last month.

The mill and the Stihl 441 saw with a 32 inch bar were two of the best investments I have made. While I probably won’t tackle anything as ambitious as this again, it will be great for that occasional primo log that I run across from time-to-time. What makes this rig especially useful is that I can carry it into the woods — into places that I would not be able to easily reach with the standard portable mill.

I processed the first of these logs without the use of the mill, hand splitting the logs into quartered billets. They have been drying for more than three years. Earlier this year I used the mill with a smaller bar to square them up. I started resawing them into backs and sides earlier this Fall and now I let them continue to season.

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