Bowl Blanks Part 2

I started by making some round templates. 8, 8 1/2, and 9 inch.

I traced the largest template that would fit with pencil

I cut them with my band saw. Here is what I got for the bowl blanks:

While I was at it, I cut up the other small pieces into the largest chunks I could. The fresh cut pecan is just beautiful.

Home made Borax dip and maybe end seal…

Bowl Blanks Part 1

Using my new chain saw wood holder thing I cut up one of the pieces of pecan that the mill could not because it had a big piece of metal in it. I figure I will make bowls out of it.

Pecan Wood Blanks
Pecan Wood Blanks
I think they will look pretty good. I am going to make some circle patterns and rough cut them on the band saw. Then let them dry for a while. Here is a close up of one of the pieces:
Pecan Wood Blanks
Pecan Wood Blanks

BTW, mead is still fermenting away. Slow but true….

Starter for the mead

OK, when did my local home brew store start closing at 6pm? WTF? So, I get back with no yeast and I look in my lager chamber.

They are out of date and not the correct yeast. Well I am not to concerned with anything other than producing alcohol.   So I make a starter.

I used the wash to create the starter, it started fermenting! Success! I poured it in to the rest of the wash. I will post how it turns out.

Brewed up a mead..

Brewed up a mead little over a week ago, 10 pounds of Honey, 3 jars of Molasses, and 1 bag of alcohol boost from Austin home brew.

Made 6 gal, I am guessing 1.08? was my OG, my hydrometer does not go that high. Now it is about 1.070

At least I can read it now. But no or very little activity. I am going to get another vial of champagne yeast and create a starter using some of what I have in there now and re-pitch. Hope it lights it off again

A Quick Cover

With the threat of rain, I wanted to make a quick cover to protect the lumber from a potential soaking. The cover sits on top of the scraps shown in the other posts. It is a 4×8 sheet of 1/2-ish (I just got the cheap stuff) plywood. I screwed in 2×4 on all 4 sides to keep it fairly flat. It is not the prettiest, it started raining when I was putting it together.

I then got that stuff that you put down in rock beds. It lets the air flow and blocks some of the bad stuff and will stop heavy moisture coming in from the sides and still allow the milled lumber to breath and dry. I then covered it with tin roofing I had laying around.

This weekend I will try to weigh down the bottom. but for now it is working fine.

Stacking and Sticking

Now that I have the cut lumber back I need to stack and stick it. I used 3/4 inch wide by 1 1/2 inch tall  stickers that I cut my self using every piece of wood I could find. There is a 1 1/2 inch gap between boards. I was originally go to set them 16 inches apart, but Brandon recommended 8 inches. He has done a lot more stacking than I so they are now 8 inches apart. Best wood on the bottom as it will have the most pressure helping it stay straight.

I went about as wide as the cinder blocks and I tried to keep everything even as I moved up. I then used ratchet straps to keep everything tight. I can also check the straps from time to time and adjust them to keep them tight.

Pecan is subject to sticker stain, so in about a month I am going to re-stack and move the stickers. I think I am also going to add 2 more 4 x 4 to the base, sliding them to the edges and centering the 2 new ones.

Next making a cover….

Time to get it milled

Time to get it milled, I did some calling around, some lurking the message boards and I found Berdoll Saw Mill & Furniture Co. What an outstanding decision that was! Brandon and crew are excellent, VERY reasonably priced. As a matter of fact they are the cheapest, I mean least expensive. All though my log was a “Yard” log that many other places would not touch, he took the time to work with me to get the most out of this log. He would go over it with the metal detector and position it on his mill to get the best cut. He would ask me every time if it was OK and he would patiently explain what he was doing and what he thought to me.  He took the time and answered every question I asked about drying, sealing the ends, sticking, everything. When I went to pay we went to a second large building, OMG! When I go back I will take some pictures, lumber heaven! Black walnut, Mesquite sizes I have never seen before, one stump had to be at least 36 inches across, Walnut and Oak. Very much worth the trip to go and check them out. Here is a shot of the small mill they used for my log.

 They also coated all the boards with Bora-Care as soon as they left the saw. Here is what I took back home:
Next up Stacking and Sticking!

Preparing the Drying area

Alright! Now that the log is ready, I need to get started on a place to stack and dry. It needs to be straight and flat. If it is not straight, your fresh lumber wont be straight. I just happen to have a cement slab and cinder blocks I can use. I laid the cinder blocks with a 8 inch gap between them and made it 32 inches long. 2 1/2 cinder blocks in each of 6 rows.

Pecan Drying base
Pecan Drying base

The big deal here is, your lumber will be as flat as your drying area. The rule of thumb for air drying lumber is 1 year time for every inch of thickness. So you also need to choose a spot that can be occupied for at least a year, most likely longer. It will also need to be protected from the weather in your area.

Next Step, Getting it milled….