Picnic Table, Take 1

One Log, One Picnic Table

Recently, I decided to try another experiment to see if I could transform one log into a picnic table. Using a chainsaw and a Granberg Mill, I set about turning an old spruce log into a new picnic table. I was aware that the end product might not be the most beautiful piece of outdoor furniture in the world, but it had to turn out prettier than the poplar bench experiment.

A log awaiting its destiny. Even as a seedling, this Spruce always felt like a picnic table trapped inside a barky shell.

A log awaiting its destiny. Even as a seedling, this Spruce always felt like a picnic table trapped inside a barky shell.

First up was the milling process. I am still working out the kinks to the Alaskan mill thing, and considering the type of logs I have lying around, I am not sure if it will be worth the time and effort. I just can’t bear to see the logs chunked up to rot when, with a bit of effort, they might be turned into something useful. These trees should not have died in vain. Plus it gives me something to write about. It also gives me a reason to fire up a chainsaw- which I find to be strangely therapeutic. It’s a zen thing.

It turns out that this log was just a bit too large for the 20” bar to rip through as you lose almost six inches of cutting length once the saw is lashed into the mill. It is a bit frustrating when, halfway through ripping a log, you find that the log’s knots, and a slight twist, halt the passage of the mill. In this case, I could take the saw out of the mill, trim the log, and then reattach the saw to the mill- a simple task, but it takes time and is annoying. Alternatively, I could use the smaller 50cc Stihl MS 271 to give the log a shave and a haircut. And hey, that means I get to use another of my babies.

Awaiting the Echo CS 590

After a shave and a haircut, this log awaits the surgeon’s touch to release it from its shell.

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