I love visiting my tree surgeon friend’s yard; I never know what I will find and I enjoy seeing all the different logs he has. The majority of the logs are used for firewood but some of the oak is used for timber frame construction. The yard is a couple of acres and I normally walk around at least twice so I don’t miss anything.

One day back in April 2013 I spotted a log (which sods law dictates was at the bottom of a large stack of other logs) that had an unusual textured surface beneath the bark.  I knew I had seen this texture before and I knew it meant an unusual grain pattern in the wood but at that moment I couldn’t remember where I had seen it. I tagged the end of the log with my initials and asked that next time the crane was in the yard it be put to one side for me to buy.


In October 2014 I finally got the call that the log was ready for me to collect, I had remembered it being a big log but couldn’t remember exactly how big so I went to the yard which is about 7 miles from my home and had another look.


The log measured 34” in diameter at the tagged end by 6’ long and 4’ in diameter at the other end which looked like the start of a crotch in the tree. The log is ash (Fraxinus excelsior) and formed part of the main trunk of the tree.  It had been hit by lightning in the past and had eventually been deemed unsafe and marked for removal. I have highlighted where the lightning travelled down the trunk to the ground in this picture below. You will see that more clearly when I start to cut the wood.


This was much bigger than I would normally tackle on my own and I weighed up the pro’s and con’s of dealing with such a large tree. My main concern was would my Stihl ms260 with its standard 18” bar manage it?  After much head scratching I decided I couldn’t justify buying a bigger saw just for this one log and fitted a new Oregon 20” bar to my saw and hoped for the best.


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Saturday the 20th. Thanks for visiting Woodturners Unlimited.