A Eucalyptus Cube

I cut a cube from a eucalyptus stump, for some reason rough sawn, squared off stumps make me endlessly happy. 

My original intention was to cut this baby with a chainsaw -quick and dirty. I have a lot of experience in fine woodworking and furniture making -but very little by way of chainsaws. Thing is, the principles of working with wood remain the same. Ripping (cutting along the grain) likes a different blade type than crosscutting and most chainsaws are intended for crosscutting. When I started my first cut, I could tell that the blade wasn't biting very well and that I would have a tough time making a nice straight cut.

I reasoned that making this cut with my Japanese handsaw would be far more time consuming but much more precise. I have a very simple explanation of the benefits of a Japanese saw here, in case this tool is new to you. My handsaw could handle this but it would have been better to use a larger saw like this, which I don't have but have hinted at for a Christmas gift. 

There are a couple of technical things worth mentioning here. First, this stump was relatively dry. It sat in the yard for at least a year and had time to dry out throughout the summer. I moved it inside before the recent rains. Second, in making the cut, the only sane way to go about it is to start at the top and slice all the way through -like a piece of cake, working back and forth from the sides to connect the cut. Finally, as the cut becomes deeper in the core, a wedge hammered in to hold the cut open, makes the saw action eminently easier.

This is not a perfect cube but that is sort of the point. It is not sanded and has no finish. It smells wonderful. 

I am still working on some finishing touches in the bathroom -talk about slow design, I started this project just about 2 months ago. This stump, I suppose, is mostly decorative, although sometimes I place that basket on it, which holds washcloths. I'm sure I will move that chunk around in the room as time goes.

Peace and love and happy making.

Any thoughts? Do tell.

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