Wednesday I finally had opportunity to clean up the site at Rock House and move the logs to where they are to be milled. As well as the 10 mill-able logs there were 3 tandem trailer loads of firewood and enough kindling to last a decade of winters! In the disc of wood in the front of the pile I counted 126 growth rings.
If your cutting firewood, the fork in a tree usually presents a pain in the preverbial. Won't stack well in the wood pile and won't split like a normal block of wood. But with the right species, the fork means crotch and crotch is anything but a pain in the......crotch.
You may remember from the Rock House post that there were several that I had left to rip down the middle and see what lay within. So, like Forrest Gump's well and truly cliched box of chocolates, I began to split them open and have a look. Some were disappointing and showed not much if any figure, let alone anything resembling crotch. Then a few were quite good. Then the big fella above was last to succumb to the saw.
Last, but by no means least. At nearly 900mm long and over 400mm wide it's a cracker. The crotch pattern runs heavily from one end to the other.
This guy came out of the off cut and seemed less than impressed that I had woken him up. His leg span was much wider than the palm of my hand. Zoom in on the pic. He was that hairy you could have plaited his legs!
Here are a few of the smaller crotch panels straight off the bandsaw this afternoon. At the end of the day, if you take into account the selecting, sawing, milling, trimming, stacking and 'stickering,' there's a lot of extra work in hunting for this stuff. But I see it as a worthy pursuit, an investment in the future.