On that same business trip, that is the trip was for taking care of business, I stopped in on
the miller preparing up barrel staves.
The growth pattern was a surprise to me ’till I learned there are different standards depending on what goes in there.
And what I was looking at were the stave material from which whiskey barrels would be made.
At the mill they were also sawing
A visit to a fellow shingle maker down there where they also choose for chestnut though their way is not my way.
A sort of stock knife is the way they make all those fancy shaped shingles.
Of course we went to the smid to get some worn out tools recharged with good steel and while there Bernard fixed me up a nice gift.
From off that day Bernard was starting in on full-time work as blacksmith in his new forge. He’ll be working on some mix of production: axes, knives, bark spuds and other cutting and woodworking tools, beyond this work, because let’s face it, all the kids are doing that these days, Bernard will specialize in repairing old cutting tools where his expert understanding of all the steels will set him apart. I myself have left him with three old axes.
At the weekend we had one bad-weather & one good-weather day, one crooked, stringey-fibered, tough old oak stem and one fine stem that got worked on.
We did make our own conclusion in agreement with the two old sawyers who had stopped by to discuss the matters and that is oak will work better in all aspects once it has had two years of aging in the woods after felling, in the same way as a good Scotch Whiskey will after time in those fast-grown-oak barrels.