Turning Archive 2004

Turning Accessory? (pics)

Bill Grumbine, Kutztown PA
>The tree guy's last words to me as I was preparing to pull out were, "Whatever you do, don't slam on the brakes!" Yesterday I was called to the site of a tree removal. I was eagerly anticipating this event, as I had been forewarned it was coming a few weeks ago. In light of Steve Antonucci's post a little while ago, I thought I would share with you all my method for dealing with these larger pieces of wood.

My friend the tree guy had called me a few weeks ago telling me he had a silver maple to take down, which had a gall or a burl on it that the two of us would not be able to reach around together. Was I interested? Well you know the answer to that one!

Here is the beastie sitting in the back of my truck. It is about 4' wide (they had to saw off some parts to squeeze it into the truck) and close to 5' long. The bump itself is about 2' high for the main part, with a little more poking up above towards the front of the truck. This is just a wild guess, but it has to be at least 1000 lbs, judging by the way the truck sagged when they stuck it in. I am calling it a bump because unfortunately, there is no evidence that it is a burl. The wood underneath the bark is as smooth as smooth can be, and there are no rays in evidence along the cut edges.

Here is my "turning accessory" - my 1963 Fordson Super Dexta. It has pulled many a log out of the truck, or moved them around in the field. If it only had a loader it would be perfect. The procedure is to wrap a 20,000 lb test nylon strap around the piece to be removed. That strap is then attached to a 5/16" link chain, which is then attached to the rear end of the tractor. At that point I just drive away. Sorry I don't have any action shots, but this was solo. No one was home but me and the dogs, and they can't work the camera.

In less time than it has taken me to type this, the log is safely on the ground. It is facing the wrong way right about now, but I will deal with that presently. It was a bit disappointing that it turned out to not be a burl, but I can always hope for some interesting grain when I open it up. I might save it for Jim Patterson when he comes to the picnic and see if it can be sawn into large plate blanks. Jim, it you are reading this, notice the tailgate is absent. ;-)

Oh, if anyone is wondering, that itty bitty log in the background IS a burl, and is burled all around. I am not worried about any of you rough characters coming to steal it though, as it is only about 500 lbs or so. It is close to 30" in diameter at the fat spot.

Thanks for taking a look.


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