Thursday, April 27, 2006

Walnut & Apple logs

I picked up a Walnut and Apple tree log in mid April, both blew down in storms within the last year.
The Walnut came from my wife's grandmothers house near Sparks and the Apple came from her parents in the Bently Springs Maryland area. I was able to load the Walnut (log on left) by myself with the cant hook, it's laying there in between the logs, by lifting and rolling one end onto a pile of tree limbs until it was at tail gate level then rolling and pushing it in, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.
Then off to get the Apple, I drove to A's parents house, Janon got in and we drove back through the pasture to the woods line and their it was, a really nice specimen of apple trunk. Apple usually has lots of suckers and knots along with major woodpecker holes, that make for not very user friendly wood. The thing was soaking wet ,naturally wet, significantly heavier than the Walnut. We both got it in using the cant hook, we couldn't have with out it.

So I took them out to Bob's Portable Saw Mill in Churchville, I took some stuff to him last summer and found he's a good guy that knows what he's doing, and he'll cut it how I want.
I really like going to the mill, it reminds me of when I was little and would go to the dump, so many cool things to see and find.
I went home and sticker'd (stacked ) it in the order it was sawn and sealed the ends so it doesn't dry out to fast and check (crack).
I have an idea of what I want to do with this wood and more things will become of it as time goes, the apple I might have trouble drying ,it is so wet and not being straight grained, it will have a tendency to crack and twist. I should get a lot of use out of the walnut. Both logs are a little over five feet long and thirteen inches in diameter. I had them squared up and milled to 2 1/4" thick.
Fun stuff !

Saturday, April 22, 2006

French Creek

So I rode trail today ,how about you?
First rain we have had this spring, real East side rain anyway, I did a M.T.B race.
Two laps ten mile's each, and they were able to secure some never ridden hiking trails within the bike trail circuit. I planned to do this a while back and the weather unleashed a slurry fury,
I was syked the whole way there, a place I'd never ridden in conditions I hadn't ridden in since...... Well a while. I'm not racer guy but laying in my bed last winter(2004) recovering from A.C.L reconstruction I came to some serious realizations that my time here and what I am capable of are things that get more limited every few years, sometimes within months you loose ground, so laying there I decided one thing I wanted to do was enter a race or two. It was just what I wanted an adventure of sorts.
Muuudyy man, the trail was faster if you stayed in the super slop than if you tried to avoid it, It was cool, but so much for disc brakes,never heard a bad thing about em until today, I guess it was asking to much from them. Many times I went off trail dogging trees and dragging a foot to slow down, I had nothing when I needed it most, I stopped at the tops of the down hills to tighten the pads with the red knob on those Avid Mechanicals,by the end their was no adjustment left, I'd crank em down and I knew I was dragging the pads but it was the only way,and you were always dragging somewhere,with a slurry like that, then for the climb my brakes were rubbing making for more bitch work but that would wear away pretty quick and I'd be brakeless again ,everyone was having issues, a guy with hydraulics said he had nothing too, I really would have rather had my X.T.R V's.

So it was fun, I'm glad I went.
I did learn something about hygiene though, this fellow rode up to me and asked who they just announced to the starting line, and I said the men's senior class,he asked if that was us, I said its not me(I am in the single speed open class) but I some times feel like I should be in the Sr. Class, he fired back with "then maybe you should have shaved this morning" I told him I had!
Yea...... I lied, I think the last time was ......Man I don't know, what the hell?

So when I returned to camp poured a draft in the glass I bought at the brewery yesterday, I was told it holds sixteen ounces, I really like the golf ball dimples encompassing it.The glass feels heavy but the dimples dramatically cut wind resistance and the handle is very user friendly, you can get this little puppy up and down with minimal efort!

Friday, April 14, 2006

I was commissioned to fix the broken seat rung and put a new seat on this chair.
I have a special place in my heart for ladder back chairs,they have a timeless style and comfort when made properly. I feel the same way about bikes and other toys around here, I didn't think to much about this chair, I've learned not to get my hopes up for antiques, usually their a reproduction of some type that's easy to tell when you start working on them.
This is different, I am pretty sure this chair was made in the mid to late 1800's by the Woody family, well known chair makers in North Carolina's northern Appalachia. It's hickory with a couple red oak rungs thrown in, very prevalent woods of that area,the turning of the front posts look like Woody's style , it was made with out a middle rung in the back and the patina is dead on for other chairs they made circa 1890, the really neat thing is no glue was used and the rung mortises are drilled to overlap an 1/8 or so, these are tell tale signs that this chair was made by someone who really knows their stuff.Traditionally ladderback chairs were made like this, back when nails were expensive and screws were practically non existent, some genius either stumbled on or figured out that when a post is at about 18% moisture content and the rung is bone dry and mortise and tenon are made within 100th of an inch the the wetter wood will shrink around the rung and lock together, no glue needed,the overlapping of the rungs is just a bit of a safeguard so way down the road when things get loose the joint will still hold, the rung wont be able to come out.

It might look sloppy but it's precise, this chair was made with a mortising machine that was made in the 1800's hooked to a water wheel, I make my ladderbacks the same way only I drill mortise's by eye with a brace and bit, I use some sighting lines and go for it, just like the poor people did.
It was pretty loose but I still had to really beat on it to get it apart,I made a new rung out of red oak, dried it real good and glued it all back together.
I only tried to get the side panels apart, the front and back were still tight. Chairs see much more racking stress fore and aft.
I went over it with some steel wool and past wax then wove a Hickory bark seat on it.

Very comfy, an excellent desk chair, dinner or after a ride with a beer chair!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Dinosaur Jr.

Wednesday night we went to the 9:30 club to see Dino it was a re-release show of their first three albums,recorded in a higher quality.
This is late eighties early nineties stuff, a time when punk and metal were gaining ground and melting together.
They sounded Heavy,it was a really good show, they didn't play as long as I expected though.

Pics from shows aren't such a great thing if your not into the band or they are fuzzy..........Tough shit.

Monday, April 03, 2006

April Full day

The only real April fool's joke played on me was by mother nature,the Punk Bike Enduro,was set to go off at 9:30 am, I checked the weather out at the Frederick watershed around six am and the only visible rain cloud was sittin on top of the shed.
It hasn't rained here all month ,the driest ever on record! So the trails have been smokin fast.The Fredneck watershed is some of rockiest toughest riding available to me within the hour and a half drive it takes to get their, and when the trails are wet they will beat you down fast.
We arrived at a little after nine to sweet dryness,it looked very threatening through out the day but never rained.
I had fun, I made some sections that I hadn't made before and didn't make some that I didn't try before, theirs always next time.
We rode down the Death March, a mile and a quarter of looseness and water bars on the turns, so fast! It was easy to sail off the top of those foot high speed bumps.
Through out the ride we beat a keg of "Tuppers Hop Pocket" into submission. It was a good day for all, and quite a lot of effort by a handful of people who sacrificed their time for ours, thanks to the Single Speed Outlaw and posse.
I didn't take any pics, there were plenty of shutters going off with out mine. Al Santos took a bunch.
That evening I met up with a different crew of long time friends at the Recher to see Burning Spear, it was an awesome show that helped usher in spring and day light savings time.

-One Love-