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ShopNotes Podcast 032 — Opportunistic Woodworking

By: Phil Huber
On this episode of the ShopNotes Podcast, John, Logan, and Phil discuss the derecho weather phenomenon that recently went through Iowa, and woodworking with found wood.

A recent windstorm in Iowa brings out the chain saws and the thoughts of potential projects waiting in each fallen log.

What kinds of woodworking projects have you taken on with found wood? Where did the wood come from?

In 2017, Phil spoke at the By Western Hands events in Cody, Wyoming. You also get to see Phil with a sportcoat.

Thomas Molesworth was an influential designer in the upper rockies. Thomas Molesworth book

Listener Comments:

Gentlemen, Long time listener..first time writer.. I am a student of woodworking. I have been learning from you all, Norm Abrams, David Marks and The St Louis Woodworkers Guild as well for many years now. You mentioned in this week's podcast about taking advantage of recovered wood from natural disasters. I would also like to suggest that wood for outdoor projects can be recovered from the take down of cedar decks. After a few passes with a metal detector, a trip across the joiner and the planer there is usable stock to be found beneath. These are not heirloom pieces by any means but it beats letting that wood go into a burn pile or landfill for that matter. I created a lot of sawdust making these projects and yes... I know that the tops of a few of them are glue ups but I keep them waxed and oiled since they get a lot of weather. When the weather finally destroys them, I will just make new ones. Keep up the good work Sean

Gentlemen, Just a note to tell you that I particularly enjoyed this episode. Where are the people with sawmills in Houston? I’ve never seen one. Just local guys who cut up trees and mulch them.

I have a large aging ash tree in my yard. We had a huge branch come down in a windstorm recently and I talked the guys into giving me a couple of offcuts to play with. I’ve put trash bags around them to hopefully prevent checking but at 66 am not sure how I’m going to slice these into boards. I have a ten inch tablesaw with a cast iron top and steel floor stand (ancient delta without a diving knife). I do have a band saw but think a 5 foot 12-14” around chunk of trunk is too big. I’ll need to come up with a jig to stabilize it so I can obtain a flat side. Two passes through the tablesaw maybe? My son-in-law wants yo help me out. The other chunk is 3 feet long.

I consider these “practice pieces”. The tree was planted in 1972 and we are the last in the neighborhood to have ours still standing. I want to explore what to do with it when it has to come down, which will probably be in the next 3-5 years at most.

I’m interested in the workshop mentioned in the podcast. I’m hoping they will discuss how to prepare wood like this. M. Virginia Martin

Published: Sept., 4 2020
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