Driving through town yesterday evening Ola noticed a pile of "free wood". After much cajoling she convinced me to go look over the field of logs this morning. A field that looked as though it had suffered a whole summer of being picked over for all the best pieces but boy did I get lucky! That's 6 feet of 20+ inch thick red cedar (we think). Drove the tractor over as fast as I could, dragged it out, and carried it home as quick as I could. When I got to the lumber pile with the tractor someone had marked this log and left their warm coffee with it. I'm so thankful for these forks right now. Nearly missed my chance.
This piece is a real blessing for the workshop/woodshop, as it's been on hold for a bit now. Heat, time, and funds being at fault. This happily fixes the funds issues. Aside from a few more hours of organizing, the shop is at a point where I need to start building a lot of things to finish it. Most of those things are going to be made out of cheap pine and plywood. However, what I really needed/wanted first was a wood-working work-bench. Which was something I couldn't quite get myself to do on the cheap. Especially since I really want to make use of hold fasts. The vast majority of the cost of this work-bench was going to be for the thick and heavy surface I wanted. Well here it is.
The plan at the moment is to flatten the widest side of the log (pink line). Going to do this mostly with a wire wheel, chisel, and a power planner. After flattening one side I'll try fitting the log to an Alaskan mill style jig and use a friends 28" chainsaw to rip it down the middle (red line). After ripping, it'll be flipped open (as per the green lines) and I'll route a mortise down each of the thinnest sides (pink triangles). Then I can put a 2x12 in the mortises to join the two log sides together and have a bench long tool well. The well will be a little bit on the narrow side as I'll want to put the 2x12 very deep on each side but I don't plan on storing tools their permanently. With the left over depth of the table I should have plenty of space to put in mortised 4x4 legs angled outwards. Should give me a steady footprint for the weight and act to push the table top together even more firmly.
The log is quite dry from sitting outside for our hot summer but after debarking it I've left it to dry in the shop. I'm hoping to start building the bench in October when the heat has died down. Hopefully the 30+ days acclimatizing to the shop will be enough.