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smoothseas
11-07-2009, 03:10 AM
Any woodsmiths furniture makers out there…

In my wip, one character is gushing to a friend about her new lover’s talent. She’s talking about a rocking chair

“It’s made outta (wood); from a tree he felled himself.”

The tree should be indigenous to the Rockies.

TIA for any and all suggestions.

suki
11-07-2009, 03:32 AM
Any woodsmiths furniture makers out there…

In my wip, one character is gushing to a friend about her new lover’s talent. She’s talking about a rocking chair

“It’s made outta (wood); from a tree he felled himself.”

The tree should be indigenous to the Rockies.

TIA for any and all suggestions.

No tips to offer, but you might want to post this in the research thread, as it might get some better response there - and you can look through the listed offers of expertise for someone with these skills.

good luck.

~suki

tallus83
11-07-2009, 06:59 AM
After the tree is cut down, it would need to be moved to the workshop area or cut into slabs at the site where it was felled.

However, prior to slabbing the wood it would need to checked with a magnetic device like those used at airports for nails, spikes, bullets, and the like.

After cut into slabs, it would need to be dried. Either by air or in a kiln. Air drying can take from six to twelve months.

The slabs would then need to be cleaned up and put through a thickness planer to the proper thickness before being cut into the individual pieces.

I'll leave the tree species to others more knowledgeable.

Maryn
11-07-2009, 06:44 PM
tallus' information is solid. The woodworker at our house doesn't do that part himself but buys the wood he wants to work with already sawed into planks the sizes he needs. Regular lumber yards, like those at home-improvement stores, do not carry furniture-grade woods as a rule.

One variety which is plentiful in the Rockies is aspen. There's also alder and a couple of types of maple.

Maryn, whose woodworker hasn't made much in a year or more

Kathie Freeman
11-07-2009, 09:26 PM
In Oregon (I actually survived there for almost 2 years) there are portable sawmills that can come to your location and slab the logs for you. Probably the same in your character's area. They charge by the board/foot - length X width X thickness, figuring thickness of 1 inch as standard.

Dawnny Baby
11-07-2009, 10:09 PM
We used to live in Colorado. My husband, who does woodworking as a hobby, immediately said, "Aspen!" when I showed him your question. However, he noted, your character would have to fell multiple aspens to make a rocking chair, as mature aspens only reach a thickness of a few inches in diameter. For a rustic-type rocking chair, he said you could fell "several" small aspens.

Tsu Dho Nimh
11-10-2009, 07:18 PM
Trees that are both native to the Rockies (northern or southern? It makes a difference) and suitable for making furniture:

Aspen, cottonwoods ... soft and weak. (mature aspens can be up to 12-18 inches in diameter in AZ)
Alder - good for cabinets, weak for chairs.

Ponderosa or "sugar pine", firs, blue spruce, other evergreens are soft, easy to work. Spruce bends nicely.

Wild plum or chokecherry ... native, small but good for furniture
Depending on location, you can also get native "black walnut"

Old apple or cherry trees found at an abandoned cabin ... excellent!

Willow- a large bush, but one that can be easily turned into furniture:
http://www.fallriverrustics.com/images/img_upload/1235680044.jpg May have other species for the rocker and uprights.

burgy61
11-12-2009, 07:13 AM
I would also suggest Balsam Poplar. It can be harder to work with then aspen, but it is a beautiful wood. It grows around water sources from 6000 feet to treeline.

There are several jigs that you can buy to use a chainsaw as a portable sawmill. This is just one I found http://www.norwoodindustries.com/en/content/Products/Norwood_lumber_portable_sawmills/Norwood_Industries_portamill_chainsaw_sawmill.aspx (http://www.norwoodindustries.com/en/content/Products/Norwood_lumber_portable_sawmills/Norwood_Industries_portamill_chainsaw_sawmill.aspx )

There are other models that are less complicated then this one I just need to find the right catalog.

I use two 2x4's and my chainsaw to rough cut logs into 6" cants. From there I use a 17" band saw to cut the wood into boards and I bring the wood to the final thickness with a surface planer. I've used this method on 4' logs with a diameter of up to 36". If you would like a more detailed account of how I do this just drop me a pm.