Log = Bench
This was my "I need to practice my hewing skills" adventure in the city. Also, I wanted to make something for my folk's new house down in the beaches.

I, thanx to some friends, now know where the city dumps the trees they cut down. A little secret place that apparently, everyone out of town knows about. It was a fine, somewhat rainy Boxing Day that i went out to said spot to pick out a good size log to hew into a bench (to hew: render a round log into a square timber (or just a flat face in my case) with an axe (two axes really - a felling axe and a broadaxe). i picked a 14" diameter piece of white oak and chainsawed a 6ft length to bring home. Luckly, there were two kind gentlemen bucking wood and hailing it back to Uxbridge who helped me to load it. Cause it weighed a ton. That's an oak for you.

It took about 4-5 hrs to to get it all smoothed and buttery and then i took the chainsaw and cut the other side off.

I then used an old stud from the reno I did for my folks for the legs of the bench and a sweet piece of walnut from a client's scrap wood pile for the bottom brace. Didn't buy a single piece of wood for this project!

I still need to finish it with an oil and probably wax it too. The wood is still quite green (a beauty to chisel!) so I will let it condition in the house for the next year before I seal it in... or not... I'm feeling impatient already...


The mightly oak with lines snapped indicating finished faces (3" thick final slab).

Man, does it ever feel good to let the chunks fly! With a felling axe, you 'jog' a log so you can then blowout the chunks of solid wood between the jogs.
 

The log finished with the felling axe.

The log finished with the broadaxe. Notice how much smoother it is already. For the actual finish, I used a a beltsander with progressively finer sandpaper.
 

The finished bench (untreated). The legs are recycled studs from the house. The bottom cross brace is walnut. I intentionally left some axe marks in the finished face but I doubt anyone will know what it is and think its a dent!

Yes, the bench will check. I have no problems with that... think that will add character. It's wood! It's alive when it's 'dead'!! Couldn't really find any log large enough to quartersaw it. Could've joined two pieces I suppose but wanted to use a single piece.
 
 
     
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