On some woodworking blogs you’ll hear the blogger talking about “Aha!” moments. Moments of clarify where it all comes together. Something that was previously not understood suddenly makes perfect sense. Here at johnjoiner we try to stay off the beaten path. Today I present you with a woodworking blog exclusive.
Last night while woodworkers across the globe were enjoying their special Aha! moments, I was having … wait for it …
a Duh! moment!
In August I took a spoon carving class where we worked with green birch and the instructor let me bring home a couple small logs. I kept these safe in my humid basement until last night when I decided to open one up to start on a new spoon. When I sawed the log open I saw that it had started to spalt. Not an attactive spalt, but plain gray spots of unusable fungus that I think you can see in the second photo.
“Bummer,” I thought, wondering if I had to use the birch the same week I brought it home, or if I should have done something else to it to keep it wet and still prevent it from beginning to rot.
Later while I was scrounging around for wood to become my next spoon blank it hit me. (I think Duh! moments come and slap you up-side the head.) I’ve spent enough time in the woods camping and making firewood to know that when a green birch falls it practically starts rotting before it hits the ground. You hardly ever find downed birch that isn’t completely rotten. So I shouldn’t have expected my log to last four months in my basement. I wonder if I had just ripped it length-wise down the middle when I got it home, if that would have made the difference.