We are well into solar kiln season; we just pulled our second load out this past weekend. It was nearly all 5/4 and 6/4 white oak for those craftsman era projects that want 1" + thick finished wood. Lots of quartersawn and riftsawn white oak in different thicknesses is now available in the sale bins.
Recent visitors may have noticed that we are beefing up our inventory of natural edge slabs. We now have thick pieces of cherry, walnut, ash, butternut, and maybe one or two more species for table tops of unique character. We also have some large half log crotches that we could saw a piece off of for you:
I am now making a bench/table using one of these walnut crotch pieces and it is a very rewarding milestone to reach in one's woodworking career. Since the piece is over 36" wide the tool of choice for flattening the slab (short of taking it to a commercial place like Crescent Planing Mill or Fehlig Brothers*) is a hand held power planer. This is my first time using one and it is a real time saver. Final finishing still belongs with hand planes and sandpaper. There are photos of this finished piece and many others of our wood on the Gallery 2013 page.
* A customer of ours recently took two large natural edge cherry slabs to Fehlig and got them both planed for something like $25. He noticed the problem with this bargain later in the shop: the wood was surfaced alright but NOT JOINTED. The boards did not sit flat on the base. Wrestling this kind of material certainly presents challenges!
One other news item: our sawyer sold his saw. John had been sawing our lumber for the past few years and we will certainly miss his quarter sawing ability. He was clearly the best we have ever had at getting a large percentage of beautiful QS material from a log. If you have ever looked around town at what passes for QS white oak and compared it to our QSWO bin, you know what I mean. Meanwhile, if you know of any local sawyer who is looking for some regular work, please shoot me an email at lumberlogsllc AT g mail DOT com.