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    • July 28, 2019 9:58 AM EDT
    • Nicely done. I had a friend who passed, and he would take it from tree, to the mill, to shop to cure, to finished project. It always amazes me how the finished product looks.

      There is certainly a piece of your soul in this finished slice of tree.

    • July 28, 2019 7:46 AM EDT
    • That's a good idea David. Since I have relegated it to shelf queen this is a worthy shelf for her. 

    • July 28, 2019 6:22 AM EDT
    • Experts.  I also get satisfaction when I do what what some expert told me I couldn't do.


      That's a right pretty shelf there Devon. Your kit-bashed display locomotive will look good sitting on it.


      I am glad you are feeling better.

    • July 28, 2019 5:32 AM EDT
    • Dan,


      I have made a couple pieces now from this firewood tree. And I have some real pride in seeing them come together. I went on a wood working forum and the consensus was to use the tree to heat my shop. They said it just isnt worth the time, money, or effort to mess with "yard" trees. They have too many limbs and are under too much stress from pruning and an abundance of light. Where as forest trees grow straight and tall. Well that's true and if I lived where walnut was common I could see it. But I dont have that luxury. Then one guy gave me the confidence I needed. He said free wood is free wood and what money was spent milling it would be more than worth the price of seeing it through. He said I may not end up with enough big straight lumber to build a piece of furniture but he said i will have all sorts of good stuff for small projects. This turned out to be one such example.

    • July 27, 2019 11:49 PM EDT
    • Devon, there is great satisfaction in accomplishing a task that others said wasn't worth the time and effort just because they were not willing to put in the work.  Now, every time you look at that shelf, you will smile and and say "I made that!!".  Great work.  Anxious to see the finished product.


      I'm certainly glad you are finally feeling good and getting back in the shop.

    • July 27, 2019 10:43 PM EDT
    • Nice!

    • July 27, 2019 10:37 PM EDT
    • Well it is nice to be back in the shop. I have been feeling really good. The shunt is working well, I have more energy than I have had in a long time. One of the benefits is getting back in the shop. For those that recall I cut down a black walnut tree in my bosses yard and had it milled into lumber. Here is one of the projects with that would. Simple design, but wanted to keep the live edge. Just a simple shelf for my hobby room. The live edge and pipe work will be a common theme. Not to shabby for what I was told wouldn't be worth more than firewood from some wood working snobs.


      So one of the reasons the snobs said it wouldn't be worth more than fire wood was the warping and twisting that comes with "yard" trees. Well they were right about that. This is a heavy limb. I am making this shelf and light fixture from this slab. It was a little over 8 feet long and I cut into two 4' pieces. The shelf is made from the one on the table the other half is behind it leaning up.




      I built the table and surfacing jig for my router. By screwing down the board so that there is an equal amount of space of the table at either end where it twists, it allows me to move the router back and forth the length of the board and make a flat surface, taking out the twist.


      After surfacing the first side you get a nice flat surface.


      But it chews up some wood. This slab started out two inches thick and ended up 7/8" thick once both sides were flat. In this next picture you cans see how much was taken off one side compared to the other.


      This is after one side is done, notice how much thinner the left side is than the right. Once both sides were done the board was nice and flat and true. I cut off a couple inches on the back and screwed it to the bottom. Tis gave the live edge on the front and the bottom back. A couple of coats of satin polyurethane and and then some furniture wax and a couple 1/2" black iron pipe brackets and I ended p with a simple but beautiful shelf.



      It is real rewarding to work a project that you have taken through the entire process of living tree to finished project. Not a lot of wood workers get to do that. Its no elaborate work of art but it is a beautiful piece of wood that was destine to be firewood. Stay tuned for the light fixture that will be next out of this particular slab.




    • July 28, 2019 7:27 AM EDT
    • " Rooster " said:

      I don't even like steam locomotives

      Yes, we know.  You are your father's son.

    • July 27, 2019 8:17 PM EDT
    • I don't even like steam locomotives

    • July 27, 2019 8:15 PM EDT
    • Ric Golding said:


      Rooster - I guess it was the boiler jacket, that shiny, almost metallic, light blue color.


       "Russia Iron" is a trade name for a particular treatment of wrought iron sheet. It is so branded because it originated in the Ural Mountains of Russia. The basic manufacturing process involved stacking more than 100 iron sheets together, interspersed with wood charcoal, heating to forge temperature, and hammering the stack with a steam hammer. The stacks were then broken apart, the sheets inspected, and the process repeated until the desired results were achieved (high polish, consistent finish.) There is some debate about the exact specifics of the process and what transformations were actually happening to the surface of the metal; however, the general consensus is that the polished surface had a black-oxidized surface, similar to gun bluing. The color hues would vary between source mines, generally ranging from dark to light grey in neutral light. The high polish would further skew the color hue by reflecting the color of whatever was around (blue sky for example.) "Russia Iron" provided a rust resistant locomotive boiler jacket prior to the advent of paint enamels that could withstand the high temperatures of this job. The highest grade, which was exceptional in color and finish, was used for locomotive boiler jackets and engine cylinder lagging. Lower grades were used for other products which required similar rust resistance such as stove pipe and roofing. In later years the trade name "Russia Iron" was used commonly for many products, both imported and domestic, bearing the characteristics of the original.

    • July 25, 2019 8:11 AM EDT
    • 25 July, 2019 - Today, we travel to Littleton, Ma. for the weekend of TrainOps 2019.  It is 3 days of 3 very great and very different railroads!


      Last week was the American Invasion in Canada, I believe it can be said, it was well reported on.  Our weeks are filled with preparation for the 50th Anniversary event here at Finger Lakes Live Steamers, but weekends are spent enjoying Large Scale Operations.  If you haven't done Ops, if you are unfamiliar with these events, if you want to start participating, get in touch with Al, Bob or Stan and ask if you can come.  If you need a ride from an airport or a train station, ask.


      These are great events in this hobby.


      The "Adventure" continues.

    • July 18, 2019 7:03 AM EDT
    • 18 July, 2019


      RJ - keep chasing us and you'll eventually catch us.  We go a little slower each year. 


      Yesterday was OPs in Belleville, Ontario.  Today, we move north to the shores of the Rideau Canal in Manotick, Ontario.  We will establish camp there at Doug's estate and advance daily to the Starwood compound in Nepean.  Looking forward to seeing everyone.  Prepartions are underway to handle the unusual, extreme heat that has settled upon the Ottawa Valley.  Or as we call it back in Southern Illinois "Fair Week".  Its always hot during "Fair Week".



    • July 17, 2019 10:45 AM EDT
    • Well I was a couple of weeks ago just behind you getting to Michigan.  To bad could have met up.  Later RJD

    • July 17, 2019 10:40 AM EDT
    • Ric Golding said:

      27 May, 2019 - Jan and I rode the Huckleberry Railroad today, riding behind engine number 152.  This was at Crossroads Village on the outskirts of Flint, Michigan.  Great day, that included a ride on the Genesee Belle on the Flint River.  A great experience with great weather.  Engine 152 came from the White Pass Railroad and replaced 464, which is in the shops for rebuild.  Even an EBT hopper still in original colors on the yard tracks.

      I've know of the Huckleberry Railroad for years.  But not being from this area, I didn't realize it was so close  I'd recommend this railroad ride, Stern wheel riverboat and early American park for anyone.  Very enjoyable!    

      Was there several years ago with grands kids,  They loved it.  Later RJD

    • July 22, 2019 9:23 AM EDT
    • Looking forward to the coming production, Ray. Enjoy your trip and be safe. 

    • July 22, 2019 2:21 AM EDT
    • I'm getting ready to hit the road again...Thursday morning I'll be starting out on my annual Nevada & Mojave trip. I have a lot of interesting places I'm hoping to visit (mines, mining camps, etc.) I don't know how many of them I'll actually be able to cram into a five-day trip. I also plan to do a lot more video this time, and have some fun new photographic equipment to play with too. 

    • July 20, 2019 10:22 AM EDT
    • I don't remember how to do this.


      Trying to embed the video.


      I give up. Followed the instructions.  On a Mac (Mohave) using Safari. If some one would post the instructions just for that configuration I would print it out in 

      huge bold letters and stick it on the wall.



    • July 19, 2019 10:56 AM EDT
    • First trip out into the high country. Most snow has melted on the south slopes.

      This trip was into new unexplored territory. Huckleberrys starting to ripen up high.

      I'll add more pics later. I have a video to knit together as well.


      Found an old mine adit. Didn't have a flashlight to look in.



      Miners cabin.



      Hmmmmm...Let's see what's down this road.


    • July 12, 2019 2:24 PM EDT
    • The interior is unfinished.  All I did to it was put a coat of paint on the floor, which is a sheet of Advantech.