In a recent post, I described how I often find discarded logs in my neighbourhood and often cut those logs into boards for woodworking (see the post here).
I de-barked one of the logs and had put it to one side for a few weeks. Unfortunately, the ends had already started to crack, so I decided to cut the log into boards sooner rather than later to give the wood a chance to dry more evenly.
Having no clue what the wood might be, Bob Easton suggested it might be sycamore. By looking at some images of sycamore bark I happily agree with him. The wood is light in colour, but planes to a shiny surface.
I followed the methodology for sawing up the log from this Close Grain blog post. Here are the steps:
- I cross-cut the log into manageable lengths.
- I flattened opposite sides of the log so that it would be held easier in the vise.
- I drew parallel lines on the end grain to mark the desired board thicknesses.
- Care is taken to cut either side of the centre of the tree (the pith).
- Having no chalk lines, I used a pencil clamped to a block of wood to mark the cut-lines down the length of the log.
- I used a 28″ rip saw to cut down the lines, cutting from opposite sides of the log every 3 or 4 inches of cut.
- Once ripped, I removed any cracks at the ends by sawing the board shorter.
- I painted the ends to hinder further cracking.
- The boards are then placed on a shelf separated by stickers to facilitate even drying.
- I’ll leave them there to dry for at least 9 months.
This log portion took an hour to saw into 5 boards.