Big Wood Weekend

by ziggy on April 9, 2016 -- 0 comments -- Follow

Red Oak Wood for Riving Shakes

One of our big wood scores this weekend… great for riving shakes

This was definitely the weekend for big wood. Big scores of big wood. First we saved some massive red oak logs from a local establishment with an eye for turning these big beautiful lengths of wood into shakes for a roof. (If we manage to save enough of the logs, we may even use the shakes on the upcoming roof of our timber frame pizza oven shelter.) And then by surprise, we found a local fellow who was advertising massively wide slabs of cedar… perfect for the kitchen counter we want to build.

Both of these are the kind of thing we may only find once or twice in our lifetime…

Making hand-split shakes requires really big logs — 24″ in diameter at a minimum in fact. Red oak is a common choice, as is white oak. Another essential feature of the material is that the wood must be clear and straight, which is no small feat given the dearth of  those kinds of trees these days. The first Foxfire book has great instructions and illustrations for converting a log into shakes for cladding a roof, by the way.

Red Oak Logs for Making Shakes

These red oak logs are 24″ long, and 24″ in diameter… perfect for making shakes!

I have no idea what each 24″ round of wood will produce in way of shakes, but no doubt we’ll need a few more. Hopefully we can reclaim enough of the material for our upcoming building project!

The cedar that we acquired is equally dizzying. These are two 8′ lengths of 2″ thick, 18-20″ wide cedar… that was one hell of a tree for sure. I hope we will do the tree great respect when we use one of these slabs as a countertop in our kitchen. We got a shockingly good deal on these too.

Cedar Slab Wood

8′ long cedar, 2″ thick and 18-20″ wide… whoa.

Exciting times indeed.

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