From logs to lumber - Walnut lumber to custom wooden rocking chairs

From logs to lumber

We started the day off bright and early with a pile of Black Walnut logs about 2400 board feet. A board foot is 12'' x 12'' x 1'' thick and it takes about 50 board feet to build a custom wooden rocking chair. These were harvested locally, they were in a field beside a house which changed its drainage and suffocated these trees under 1 foot of water.


These are some very beautiful logs, almost no sap and very clear also a good uniform circumference.   


First cuts of the day, we used to have our own wood-mizer but now we hire in a local custom sawyer for a couple days here and there. 


A wood-mizer is a bandsaw mill that is mounted horizontal to the log, moves along a carriage as well as up and down. This machine here can handle some large logs we were pulling close to 300 board feet out of these walnut logs.



Although this mill is fully hydraulic to move things along a little faster we load a move the largest of logs around with a bob cat, great machine to have around!


Here's what we accomplished in a day of cutting, I decided to have a few logs flitch cut which means we cut the log right through leaving on the edges and keeping everything in order, we cut a few logs into 6/4 ( 1.5'' ) but most was cut into 8/4 ( 2'' ). 


A picture doesn't give justice to how nice some of this wood looks, but I snapped a few pictures anyways this was a very interesting piece of Black Walnut.


There were a few pieces of Walnut where the sap line and heart wood meet turned a neon green, but the green fads away once the lumber starts to dry.


Typically a 8/4 ( 2'' ) piece of lumber will take 2 years to dry, to help speed up the process we built a solar kiln that we load with between 1000 to 1500 board feet. The solar kiln is designed to capture the suns energy heat up the air then force the heat air through the stack of lumber pulling out the moisture.

We feel really proud to be able to salvage our lumber from the local city, have it sawn to our specifications, dry it and finally produce some beautiful custom wooden rocking chairs in the near future.

Thanks again for dropping by our custom rocking chair design and build process blog, you never know what you'll find it seems like every day were doing something different and learning something new.