Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Am I Knot Amused?

 Who hasn't been at least a little fascinated with knots and knotholes in lumber? A knot is just the cross section of a branch that is surrounded by wood. As long as the branch is alive, its wood is joined to the wood of the stem of the tree. When a branch dies, the tree continues to grow, surrounding the dead branch with wood. There is your loose knot! When the dead branch drops off, the tree will hopefully grow around the end and seal the opening from insects and rot. A sawyer cutting for grade rolls a log after placing it on the carriage, and reads the knots. The first cut is made to isolate the clearest wood in a face, and to isolate the knots into other faces. A skillful sawyer can make good money for a mill owner. Susan and I like to look inside the wood after we make our splits, and we do pay attention to where the knots are. Wood splits much easier if you go around the big knots. They are tough. Firewood splits easier when you split from the bottom to the top, so laying wood onto the splitter involves a quick assessment of every piece. 


Anonymous said...

Heh. I have boxes of interesting knots-removed from hardwood when cutting for clear stock. Too pretty to toss in the wood stove. Like abstract art. Someday I will figure out what to do with them. Maple, oak ash sapele cherry etc.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

That is the kind of collection that I love!