Gateway (IV)

The Port Orford Cedar for the Museum of Fine Art (Boston) Japanese gate project arrived at long last this morning. I had the wood shipped directly to the drying facility, where it will sit in dehumidification for the next 6~8 months, followed by vacuum kiln drying.

Everything looked great, except for the strange presence of 4 short chunky pieces, and absence of the two longest and largest pieces:

The two chunks of POC near the bottom of the pile are the main gate posts.

On top of this pile are the rear post pieces, along with a couple of spares:

I asked the mill to mark the butt end of each log prior to sawing – the red and blue spray paint on the sticks you can see above- so I wouldn’t have to spend time trying to determine which end was up.

Another view:

On the bottom of this pile are the 25″ wide panels for the doors and flanking sections of the gate. They should dry the fastest:

All for now. Thanks for visiting! On to post V.

9 Replies to “Gateway (IV)”

  1. Thank you for the concern for the well-being of my equipment gentlemen. It will make a nice change from running hard and abrasive woods, that's for sure, and a chance to run HSS knives instead of carbide in the planer and jointer.

    To that end, I've been thinking about getting the Tersa knife spool of HSS knife stock and their wall-mounted blade cutter, but I haven't looked into the cost yet so it might be out of reach.

    Also very much looking forward to putting away the scrapers, running lower angle planes and fighting the wood a little less than I have become accustomed.


  2. I'm sure glad wood like that is in the hands of craftsman like you! POC is my favorite wood to work. I do have some old growth Alaskan Yellow Cedar that is pretty wonderful too.

    Really enjoy your blog.

    Warm regards,


  3. Ward,

    good to hear from you, and yes, this appears to be getting serious now. No kidding around – thar's some wood to be cut! In a few months that is…


  4. Rodger,

    always nice to receive a generous comment like that – thanks! I'm looking forward to digging into the material. It's been 9 years since I last works POC to any extent. I seem to remember something about wispy shavings with pleasant slicing being the normal course of events.


  5. Chris

    This is not meant disrespectfully, but is it just tradition and intuition that dictate setting the butt-end down on a post? Or is there some advantage that l can't imagine? Lovely pile of wood!


  6. Tom,

    it is tradition, but there is definitely something to it. A tree stands and grows, and as it gets taller, it gets heavier, and the butt of the tree is the portion which bears that weight the most. It is the portion of the trunk that thickness the most in adaptation to the load. Twnety feet up the trunk the load is lighter and the trunk is thinner. Similarly, in a wooden structure, the taller it gets, the heaver the load, especially once the roof gets added, and the compression will be the greatest at the lowest portion of the wall posts. So, placing the posts in their naturally-strong orientation as they grew makes sense for buildings too.


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