Monday, April 9, 2012

A small walnut log

This will be my last post about using small logs, promise.  Some years ago, I cut a small walnut tree, less than 12" at the stump, that was in the way.  I dragged the trunk and a few of the larger limbs into the barn and promptly forgot it.  Several years later I looked at it expecting it to be ruined but, to my surprise, it wasn't.  About that time, we bought a king size mattress, so I decided to build a headboard.  I had very little material, so I had to be creative.  I was able to get enough 2x6s for the rails and stiles and then I sliced the limbs for the slats.  They have live edges and you may be able to see the worm holes in several places.  The rails and stiles are joined with mortise and tenon joints and the slats are attached with loose tenons.

This was an extremely simple project to make but, years later, it remains one of my favorites.  It has great visual interest because of the variegated colors and I routinely run my fingers along the live edges.

Sawing up small logs on a bandsaw is not as difficult as you might think.  I made a basic sled/fence with a runner to fit in the miter gauge slot.  The logs were attached to the fence with two screws on the ends, shimmed out as appropriate.  A better way to do it would be to make a variant of the sled in Shopnotes a while back for cutting tapered table legs.  It had T track installed perpendicular to the direction of travel that allowed the fence to adjust to any width/angle.

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