The air is still very dry which leaves us with slim pickin's for sunrise pictures. I am having to water some trees I recently transplanted and it would be nice to get some rain.
Guy I have known for 25 years called and said he had a pear log. A tree that he had planted 30 years ago died and he had to cut it down and then he gave me the resulting log, pictured on the left below. Also pictured is a pecan log that another guy delivered to my house earlier this week. I ripped both logs and perhaps one can tell that the pear was freshly cut and the pecan log has been drying for months. It is so dry that even the insects have moved on.
Because fruit wood is prone to splitting, checking, cracking and otherwise falling apart I have taken a piece of it and rough turned a 10" bowl which I am currently drying in my microwave. I used a Makita right angle grinder on it to start smoothing it out, then sanded it down to - wait for it - 60 grit!
I will continue to nuke it and sand it intermittently and see what happens. Who knows, it might become a nice bowl. It could happen.
Then we had a nice sunset.
But that's not what I am here to talk about. The pear tree guy had grown up in Tokyo and as I ripped the log using my Stihl 088 with a 36" bar and square filed teeth the saw produced a big pile of long stringy shavings unlike the square chips that cross cutting produces. Seeing that pile of thin shavings took him back to Japan and he told me some stories about how they used to collect the long, uniformly thin shavings produced by Japanese craftsmen using Japanese pull planes.
Since he and his siblings were mere yutes they would put those long curly shavings on their heads and wear them like wigs. He really liked the pear chips because they reminded him of growing up in Japan so he grabbed a bucket out of his truck and filled it up with pear wood shavings. Who knows, they may be his latter day wig at this point.
Then he traveled further in down memory lane and talked about the Ise Grand Shrine located in Ise. What are the odds, right? Anyway, he told me that every 20 years the shrine is taken apart and completely rebuilt. And he was there for one of those events - must have been 60 years ago, he's in his early 70s, so that works.
What that process means is that the building is tied to antiquity and also brand new. Don't ask, it's a Japanese thing - their ideas about originality and authenticity are very different than ours. Kind of like the story of George Washington's hatchet - replaced the head twice and the handle three times, but by golly, it's the same one he used to chop down the cherry tree.
One benefit of this process is that every 20 years a new crop of carpenters learns the ancient ways of shrine building. I can't even imagine what an honor that must be.