Showing posts from December, 2011

Last Blog Posting of 2011

Well, I hope you all had a pretty good year, and that Go Wood made it a little better in some small way. Thanks for coming back each time...we had over 80,000 views of the blog this year, which I think just goes to show how much people really love wood and reading about the ways that we can use it wiser, more often, and more efficiently.

Thanks also to those who voted in the poll that was posted all year in the right panel on Favorite Topics. By coincidence, 110 people stated their preference, and this post is the 110th post since I started the blog about a year ago. When I started, I thought it was going to be devoted to wood energy issues, but the poll showed me that you all have a fairly broad and evenly distributed range of interests...

Bioenergy - 28
Wood Design - 34
Wood Species - 27
Wood Artifacts and History - 29
Wood Industries - 33
Housing and the Economy - 20
All of the above - 20

and six folks admitted to being spies for the plastic industry.

Well, since your votes didn…

Wood Stove Use and Maintenance

In the last post I discussed the use of green wood in the wood stove, and its potential advantage in stretching your wood supply and lowering the overall cost of your winter wood supply. If you're considering this for your own stove, you need to make sure to maintain a regular schedule of cleaning your chimney flue. If you burn a lot of green wood, you will increase the amount of creosote buildup in the flue, and if left to build up for too long, it may lead to a chimney fire.

Regular users of wood stoves who get their stove up to a nice fire every day will reduce the amount of creosote build-up, and a yearly chimney cleaning will usually suffice for daily users. However, folks who only use their stoves irregularly, or on weekends, will wind up with more creosote build-up in their chimney. If you're one of these occasional wood stove users, try to stick to well-seasoned will give you more heat and pleasure for the shorter time you're using it.

The University of …

"Green" Energy from American Elm and Green Wood

Winter has finally arrived here in central Pennsylvania. Thirty-two degrees today and the wind is howling. Time to break out the long-handle underwear and gloves.

I'm experimenting with my stoves again this year. Seems like every year I come up with something new to try. This year, I lost a big old American elm in the back of the house, and my friend Martin Melville came out and took the big boy down in a couple of hours. Martin is an artist with the ropes, and his manipulating those huge branches to avoid smashing in my roof was a thing to marvel at. He and I are the same age, and while I get dizzy pulling off my pajama bottoms in the morning, he's out there swinging around sixty feet in the air with a chain saw in one hand and a rope in the other. I think he missed his calling with the circus.

So, I get to experiment with this winter with American elm, which is something most folks these days don't get to do, since it is so rare these days. According to the nice heating …

Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh

"When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way."-Matthew 2:10-12, The King James Bible

So goes the story. I always thought it an interesting one, especially for the two mysterious gifts with names that I never saw anywhere outside of the Bible. Gold, that was easy, and it showed that these three wise men were serious players. But frankincense and myrrh? What the heck is that?

As a kid, I always had a vague notion that frankincense was some kind of magic dust that was somehow associated with Frankenstein. And that myrrh was a smooth, sweet, middle-eastern butter. Well, I could see how Mary and Joseph would apprec…

Spirit of the Season, In Wood

For football fans, Christmas and Budweiser are eternally linked by video images of Clydesdales pulling beer wagons through the snow to the sound of bells and soft music.

Well, our industry friends at FinnForest have created a wood industry version of that marketing phenomenon, of a sort. Entitled "The Spirit of Wood", the video below provides us with a spiritual look at an industry that contributes so much to our shared human experience. While you enjoy the video, listen closely to the narrator. You'll hear that the "wood is produced from certified forests", and that "the transport distances to the production units are minimal", and that "all harvesting work is done on a long-term development principle". That heat from the veneering process is captured and re-used in other processes. And that "continuous internal and external quality control" is maintained at all times.

Throughout, technology and precision is conveyed as the essen…

Sarah Explains Woodpiles

Been spending a lot of time around the woodpile lately, and just now ran across a short video entitled "Sarah Explains Woodpiles". My curiosity was peaked as to what exactly there was to explain, so I bit.

So glad I did. In just a few words, Sarah explains the wisdom of the ages with respect to woodpiles...she gets right to the heart of both kinds of people: those who love to build them, and those who love to hate them.

Not sure if the beverage is water or vodka, but Sarah is one inspired Canuck.

What kind of a person are you, really? :-)

Tip AmountOption 1 $2.00 USDOption 2 $4.00 USDOption 3 $10.00 USD

Finished Ski Table

The ski table is finally complete and I am extremely happy with the results. The project remained the same throughout the building process except for the inclusion of cut pegs for the mortise and tenon joint. I spent somewhere around 4-5 hours each week working on the table also bringing me close to Jackie’s time of 60 hours. All together the project came in around $250 including the wormy maple, oak tiles, stain, polyurethane and inner hardware to make the ski top move. Using rollers for bi-fold doors and cutting a ledge inside the structure, the table top is able to split open. The full design includes a continuous Alpine themed oak border; snowflake cut pegs and a hidden shadow box for ski memorabilia. The real eye catcher though and pride of this project has been the wormy maple legs and structure. After applying the clear coat the grain really started to pop and bring out the Scandinavian feel I was going for.

Check out other details and commentary in the following video!

Tip Amoun…

Final Jewelry Chest

Mission accomplished! I have proudly completed my first piece of furniture. There were a few minor changes in my envisioned construction techniques but overall the final design came out exactly the same as I had planned. The final cost of the project came in a little over $430 dollars. I spent about 4 hours a week working on it, making a total of about 60 hours. The final piece has 7 drawers for boxes and individual pieces of jewelry. There are two long doors that each have two rows of five hooks for longer hanging necklaces. The final composition of wood includes: mahogany legs; maple base; oak plywood drawers faced with lacewood; maple frame doors with maple plywood door panels; oak plywood drawer frame; and a maple top. The piece is complete with copper hardware on the doors and drawers that perfectly compliments the lacewood and maple.

Tip AmountOption 1 $2.00 USDOption 2 $4.00 USDOption 3 $10.00 USD

Christmas Shopping Ideas for the Wood-Wise

If you're thinking about the perfect Christmas gift for that special someone who likes wood as much as you do, I have a few suggestions that will greatly enhance anyone's library.

If I could have only one book to learn about wood, Understanding Wood by Dr. R. Bruce Hoadley would be it. Dr. Hoadley covers the entire breadth of wood science and technology in one straightforward, easy-to-understand, and enjoyable-to-read volume. This is a coffee table book for wood nerds. Filled with excellent, colorful pictures, and simple diagrams and charts, this book makes wood science accessible to anyone. And even the seasoned veterans of woodworking and the wood industry will learn a lot more than expected by spending time in its pages.

A Splintered History of Wood is a joy to spend time with. Author Spike Carlsen has searched the world for the best wood-related stories, and brings them together with an easy-to-read storytelling style that makes it an adventure to move from page to page. He…