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May 14, 2014

Cutting the tree

Future Eames Stool?
A medium-sized English walnut tree sits sat on the north side of the site, right about where the guest bathroom will be.

The story below the fold

We tried many a scheme to work around the tree, but we finally had to face the fact that the tree had to go.  Walnuts just get too darn big.  Don’t want to put a foundation anywhere near one.  We didn’t want to push the building to the south side of the lot and miss out on valuable sun exposure.

And we all know sun access is of utmost importance in the PNW.

So if it must come down, what can we do with it?
We spoke to our friend Gavin at Goby Hardwoods, a company who specializes in turning Willamette Valley downed walnut into lumber.  He informed us that our English Walnut wasn’t nearly as appealing for woodworking uses as its cousin the Black Walnut.  And the tree, having been heavily pruned in past years, was too stunted for good lumber.  (BTW, Gavin is also a very skilled woodworker – see his work here. )

What we decided to do was turn the main trunk into a hefty solid wood step in the dining room.
It will be a regular reminder of the tree that used to stand in its place.   We are also keeping significant limbs for later milling and use.

This was also an opportunity to pick up a chainsaw and get my lumberjack on.  I may not yet be a regular member of the Timbers Army, but when I go I can at least feel somewhat legit. 

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