Wandless Woodworking
Fine Furniture, Turnings and Custom Writing Instruments

Logs to Lumber


Back in September 2003 Hurricane Isabel brought down two large cherry trees on a co-workers property. Word got around and I went to him to see what he was going to do with the wood, probably firewood he said. I asked if I could have some of it and he said sure. I took off that afternoon to have a look and what I found was a 60 ft cherry tree lying on its side with a 24-30" trunk at the base and plenty of straight trunk and limb sections. We spent the next Saturday cutting up that tree into 6 to 8 ft sections 12-18" in diameter. After we finished he said that another cherry had gone down. The second tree was in quite a precarious orientation so we didn't try to cut it up. A week or two later a neighbor of his helped him cut the other tree down leaving a couple of straight logs for me. Over the next several weeks with the help friends and co-workers I loaded a total of six cherry logs, averaging 16" in diameter, into the back of my pickup and carted them to my local sawyer in Round Hill, VA, about 30 minutes away from my home. After being sawn into boards I brought them home and they are now stickered and drying under my deck.

On one of those trips to load up logs another co-worker, John Jackson, told me of some walnut trees that were about to come down on his property. John is the vintner at North Mountain Winery and the Virginia Dept of Transportation was about begin widening the gravel road into in the winery. To do this a number trees along the present road were to come down, several were walnut and he wanted to know if wanted any of them and of course I said yes. A couple of weeks later he tells that I should come out and see what's there soon because he is not sure how long the logs will be there. Unfortunately my wife and I were about to leave for a week long vacation so I couldn't get there until two weeks later. Luckily the logs were still there when I got back. So early the next Saturday morning I jump in the truck and start the 1-1/2 hour journey in the fog. When I got there there five or six piles of wood which from the road didn't look promising, but after stopping and getting a closer look there were several promising logs of walnut. My only problem now was how to get them into the back of my truck. Luckily the winery had recently purchased a front end loader and with the help of John's step father we loaded a large walnut log into the truck and after collecting several hunks of walnut for turning blanks I made the trip to my sawyer, who was on the way home. A couple of weeks later I asked John if there was still any walnut left and he said yes and I could come get it anytime. The next weekend I was off for the winery again, this time bringing two logs and more turning blanks home with me. This last trip I took my camera to take some shots of the proceedings.

And here it all sits waiting for me figure out what to make with it!