George Vondriska

Save That Log!

George Vondriska
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Duration:   7  mins

My friend Terry had a take a tree down in his yard, and it kinda broke his heart. The tree had played a significant part in his family’s life for a long time, and he hated to see it go. A log from the tree ended up at my shop, and we cut it into usable lumber.

Heirloom wood

I call this stuff heirloom wood. The tree had a history, and the resulting lumber will have a history, too. It’s so cool to be able to transform a tree that gave you memories into projects that carry those memories forward.

When to cut it

Cut the log as soon as you can after the tree comes down. Wood dries much more uniformly in plank form than in log form. If you leave it as a log too long it’ll develop a lot of cracks, and may become unusable. Slot down the drying process in the log by painting the ends with end grain sealer or latex paint. If the bark is still on, leave it on.


Once the log is cut up you’ll need to allow it to air dry. A general rule of thumb is to allow one year per inch of thickness for drying. So, 4/4 stock would take a year to dry. Use a moisture meter to make sure it’s dry. Stack and sticker the planks and place them somewhere they get air flow, but aren’t in direct sun.

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