Last year my mother-in-law wanted a couple of trees removed from her back
yard. The largest was a holly tree that had overgrown it's limited area.
The second was a small plum tree that made a mess of the yard and wasn't
looking very healthy. With the help of my brother-in-law, we took down
the large holly tree. I came back a couple weeks later and cut down the
Trying Something New
I have always wanted to try making my own
lumber from trees, and it seemed like a waste just to burn the wood from
these trees. So, I kept a few of the larger chunks and cut them into
boards with my bandsaw. Unfortunately, the plum tree was rotten inside
and mostly infested with bugs. But I still managed to save a few boards
from the bit that was left.
Drying the Lumber
I stickered the fresh cut boards in my shed and
let them air dry about eight months. The plum boards dried nicely, but
the holly boards warped and twisted badly. From what I've read this is
fairly common with holly, but now I had to figure out what to do with a
bunch of warped lumber. Since the wood came from my mother-in-laws trees,
I figured I would make something for her. I only had about four plum
boards that were usable, so the idea for a small tray kind of evolved
from that. It took a lot of work to salvage usable material out of the
warped holly boards, but I was able to cut small strips and glue them
into a panel. I didn't do any preplanning for this project, the size and
shape just evolved from the lumber I was able to save.
This was a simple project, for sure, but it was a fun
learning experiment. It was my first time to turn a tree into a usable
project, and to work with a bit more exotic wood than I can get from the
home centers. We gave the tray to her filled with snacks, but she now
uses it as a place to store her incoming mail. I look forward to trying
this again in the future.