Showing posts from December, 2018

Timber Glory Years in Minnesota

You've read in this blog about the westward movement of logging and the unique way of classifying wood products that evolved during this migration. But we've not really touched on the stories of the lumber kingdoms created and lost during this migration. In state after state, region after region, timber fortunes were made and then moved westward with the remaining timber.
The tall timber stands of virgin Eastern white pines (Pinus strobus) in Minnesota in the last part of the nineteenth century were the last such stands in the country. As pine stands in Michigan and Wisconsin were harvested to build the booming cities of the Great Lakes, the timber barons looked even further afield for the majestic white pines with their strong, straight, and light lumber...and found it in the largely unpopulated state of Minnesota.

CREDIT: Halvorson, Lewis H., photographer. "Banner load, Blackduck, Minnesota : biggest load of logs ever hauled / by Lewis H. Halvorson." 1909. The Northe…

Best of Logging 2018

This one will get your blood pumping again and shake off your post-Christmas lethargy. The technology just keeps getting better every year for those who can keep their cash flowing. Best watched full-screen on your computer monitor with the sound cranked up.

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Turning Wood into Christmas Memories

In the spirit of the season, here's a great little story of a fellow who turned a serendipitous Christmas inspiration into a hobby, and then into a real business. The steps he uses, and the techniques he's developed, are a tribute to the determination of artists and woodworkers everywhere.

Interested? His website address is

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Great Designs in Wood (75) - Dreaming of that Dream Home?

Most of you that follow Go Wood have a natural preference for the surround of wood in all things...and especially in your home. If you're ready for the ultimate wood home, and you love the wild of the western U.S., you may be interested in this modest  little place.

Yeah, I could get used to that.

See the full details at

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Another Cold Christmas, a Long Time Ago

It was a cold, clear morning in central Pennsylvania last week, and I found myself walking a truss yard, working but enjoying life. It was 20 degrees, but the air was so still it felt comfortable. As I gazed across the adjacent field you see above, the pungent smell of liquid fertilizer rose off the field with the warmth of the awakening sun.  Its rays glistened off the frosty trusses, and as I followed the line of sparkles to the skyline, the sound of geese headed for warmer fields beckoned goodbye to the ground and its inhabitants below. I listened to them recede off into the sun, and as I turned back to my task the sound of a locomotive blowing far in the distance greeted me like an old friend, one I had known long ago...


... in a cold frosty woodlot in central Texas, back in the middle years of the last century. I had taken out Dolly, the neighbor's trusty beagle, for a morning rabbit hunt on the week before Christmas. As we walked into the woo…

Wood-Fired Hot Tub

Well, this guy has the right idea...but The Wife says I'm going to have to make some significant improvements to the concept before she joins me. Guess I'll just have to enjoy the rubber duck :-)

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From the Sawyer's Perspective: Sawing Hardwood Logs

Ever wondered how sawmill operators make their sawing decisions? Or how square-edged boards are profitably produced from round, rough logs? Well, watch this video, and you will know.

Dr. Gene Wengert, who offers his advice online as "The Wood Doctor", does a nice job of laying out the steps and decisions made by a sawyer as hardwood logs are sawn. The emphasis here as illustrated is to maximize value by sawing for as much "clear lumber" as the log will produce...because clear lumber is much more valuable than lumber with defects in the board.

This differs from softwood lumber production, where logs are usually sawn for yield, or a yield/quality combination. Softwood lumber is usually produced for structural applications, such as rough framing, where defects such as knots and wane do not impact the value of the board as much as in hardwood lumber, where furniture, cabinetry, or trim are the most profitable products.

GoWood thanks go out to Patrick Rappold, who digi…