This weekend I went out to cut firewood; it’s that time of year. I brought along my 9-year-old son whom I have taught how to split wood. I found some trees that had been bulldozed over for a clearing. We went on site and found some very straight timber. To the surprise of the landowner we bucked a 7 ft stem of hackberry and my son started splitting it into quarters, all 7 ft of it. I mean this thing was straight as an arrow. By the way Hackberry has the highest success rate for bending according to the US Forest Products Laboratory. I have bent it before and its amazing. It is not very strong but it bends like a noodle!
My son discovered that Pecan does not split very well!
We found a nice Osage Orange and he is totally pumped about making a bow–that’s the traditional wood that the Indians used for bow making. He found that the it split perfectly!
Then he finished up by splitting a Woolybucket Bumelia. I have never heard of such a tree. I had to take a piece to a friend who sure knows his wood to identify it for me. My son split this whole log up. He enjoyed every minute of it!
So I will let you know what I do with the wood, other than burning it this winter. In fact, I might use some of it for my upcoming demonstration at the North Texas Woodworkers Association this coming Tuesday evening.
Frank, thanks for sharing these pictures of your weekend “firewood” hunt with your son. He’s clearly learning skills and values that most of the city kids will miss out on. And, i’m betting that a lot of those splits will become something a lot more useful and beautiful than firewood.
Henry, Thank you for the comments. Yes my son is learning quite a bit about wood. I have already turned some of the wood into some useful stuff. In fact I bent some of it last night at the Demo I did for the North Texas Woodworkers Assc. I will be posting a blog in the near future about some of the other uses I found for the wood.