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Step 5: The Trojan Horse Arrival

Picture of The Trojan Horse Arrival

In the optimal scenario, you'll get a straight log without branches or forks. In the second best scenario, you'll just have a few tiny branches on the sides of the log and in the worst case scenario, you'll have all of it. Big branches growing from the sides ànd the main log splitting into a giant fork. And heavily twisted, while we're there.

Once cut flush, those side branches are called 'knots', that big fork is called 'a problem' and the twist is called 'a future runout violation'.

Knots are weak(er) spots, zones where the wood structure isn't uniform, which can be a source of sleepless nights when you're building a boat. In particular, when you're building a boat.

Forks are even bigger weak spots. In particular when you're planning to build a 'spreading' canoe. You heat it, and the whole thing splits entirely in half like a ripe green bean.

Twist is yet another pain, also, because it makes manual shaving with a plane nearly impossible. You'll always be off the grain, they're always be runout. In particular with quite brittle tree species like this cedar.

To resume: I started to realise very quickly I had literally the worst log ever. The wrong species, in a terrible status.

This wasn't only a cedar. This was a trojan horse coming to me.