Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Log Splitting for the Stem

Harold is about to crack open the soon to be stem for the Ardelle

Harold and Chuck made light work of this piece of oak

Beautifully cut...the oak did crackle once it was split

As Harold was leaning over the oak, the log was crackling back...the "tension in the wood" was letting go as it goes on to its next incarnation as the stem of the new schooner.

 Harold now has the stem for the Ardelle cut and work will begin to cut into shape. This was the second piece Harold cut as the first one he cut on the mill ended up having a defect. So, we had to find another one and this one looks good. The stem - like the stern post - is half submersed where the top is exposed to the air and sun and the bottom is in the water. For that reason, he tries to put the aboslute best wood he can find into these two pieces. A log this size is just too big for the mill and has to be split with a chainsaw and wedges and a sledgehammer. Our friends at Maynard Brothers in Michigan told us once when they get a log that is too big for the mill they use "black powder" where they drill a hole in the center of the log with a chainsaw curf on each end and a long fuse. This idea has greatly intrigued us especially halfway through the log...but we never dared try it for fear we would damage the wood or more likely ourselves in the process.

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