Friday, October 07, 2016
The Dreaded Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)
Who doesn't love a great looking tree, with an even better story behind it?
The sad part is - this Ash tree has seen better days... it has a rich past, and perhaps an ever better legacy, thanks to some artists in the city of Akron, Ohio.
But first, a little history...
Here's a great article discussing this tree, and how it became infested with Emerald Ash Borers. They're pretty little things, but do their damage quickly. The sad part is that this tree - the oldest one in the county, had to come down.
A cousin from Akron sent me a log - and not a very good one! - so I've been putzing around on it, trying to make some small mementos out of it.
Parts of the log were definitely compromised - and I had to weed out the rotten parts of the wood.
The Laguna bandsaw plowed through this with ease, and gave me some blocks that I could use for turning.
I started off with a simple bowl, wondering if I'd have enough "meat" in the wood to come up with anything. This piece of wood was particularly compromised.
In fact, in the photo below, you can see an insect hole bored right through the wood.
When I became tied up with some other projects, I invited my buddy Lupe to make a few things. She upped the game by coming up with these... this very cool ice cream scoop,
and this gorgeous pizza cutter! (Talk about pressure!)
By then, I was down to one decent sized chunk of the log, and some small bits of wood that felt almost useless. I kept picturing a few projects in my mind, but every time I'd try one, cutting open the wood would reveal another rotten area.
I'd seen a mezzaluna knife recently,
and thought it might be fun to make one, so I found a blade and made some handles for it - that was trickier than I thought!
And then with that last big chunk of wood, I made a chopping block for the knife - hoping the wood wouldn't reveal some rotten spot and spoil my plan. Luckily, it worked out, although as the log continued to dry out, it cracked a bit around the edges.
That's pretty common as moisture leaves the wood; nothing could really be done to mitigate that, especially since the log starts its journey in a more humid climate, and then found its way to the desert.
These bottle openers were an easy project to make, and I used pennies from the year the tree was felled.
Lupe also made this little egg cup,
and although she tried to make a lid for it, the wood kept moving and the lid became stuck. (I love this little ring bowl in the front!)
By now, I was down to scraps of wood so small, that they could fit into your hand, so I came up with this small hand mirror.