Strange Stories From the Sawmill -- Part 2

Interesting artifacts found embedded in sawlogs. September 9, 2004

(Sawing and Drying Forum)
“Naw….those fresh batteries for the metal detector can wait until lunch….after all, this is an upper log I’m milling.”

Now that I have seen that, I don't feel so bad. I sawed into an old fence insulator. Must have been put in the tree 50 years ago. The tree was about 39 inches across and the insulator was about 12 inches from the heart of the tree, but I'm not going to complain too bad - at least it was a blue streaked maple.

A few years ago I hit a bowie knife blade that had the handle broken off and the tree had grown around it! It was a 48" diameter western maple and I consider myself lucky that it was my chainsaw that hit it, not my buddy's Wood-Mizer!

From the original poster:
Yup... surely a case of the dummies for me today.

But the riftsawn madrone I'm getting out of this log is worth it.

Reminds me of an old 52" circular mill that hit the very same obstruction, only the long way. Somewhat expensive considering that they were sawing cottonwood/pallet material. The sawyer saved the block of wood with the railroad spike mostly split down the middle… it looked kind of cool in an expensive sort of way.

Good hardware is hard to find ;-)

I've been looking for a well-made screw eye for months and just found one yesterday. This thing is high quality - 50 years in the tree and not a sign of deterioration (besides a little black stain). It stopped my doublehard blade cold.

Couldn't see it coming - the tylosis in the white oak kept the stain very localized. The log was worth it, though - 200 bdft of extremely figured quartersawn with only two boards showing one knot. The tree was 125 years old. The first 50 years spent in a forest and the rest spent in a well wooded yard.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor A:
Once, while sawing yellow pine with my Hud-Son 228, I hit an aluminum cannon ball. It seems the landowner had a small black powder cannon that shoots a one inch cannon ball and had used this tree for target practice. The blade went right through it without any damage.