Harvest Your Own Lumber - Canadian Woodworking Magazine Book Review

An informative overview of what's involved in harvesting your own lumber.

Harvest Your Own Lumber

Harvest Your Own Lumber

If you've ever wondered what is involved in felling a tree or two, sawing it into boards, drying the boards, and finally milling the boards for your own personal use or to resell, then this is the book you'll want to read. The author is John English, a former editor of the Woodworker's Journal, and a frequent contributor to Woodshop News. If you expect the book to be well organized and written, you won't be disappointed.

John explains all the steps involved in lumber harvesting with clarity and a dash of humour. He writes in a uncomplicated way, and amply supplements the text with photos and illustrations. 

In general I quite liked this book, though I feel there is an over-emphasis on techniques that are more suitable for the large scale harvester, rather than the woodworker who might want to harvest a few trees a year. I was somewhat disappointed with the section on veneering, as John fails to mention resawing your own veneer with a bandsaw. Novice woodworkers might think that the only way to obtain veneer from harvested lumber is to "hire a veneer mill to slice it with specialized machines". Seems a bit unrealistic to me.

Another issue I have with the book is that most of the charts (such as the Specific Gravity of Wood Species, and the Log Weight Chart) are barely readable. I had to root around for my magnifying lens.

Still, for someone like me with no experience harvesting lumber, but an interest in knowing more about the process, John's book is a good read.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • All About Lumber
  • Chainsaws
  • Felling
  • Sawing - Making Boards
  • Drying Lumber
  • Milling
  • Appendix
  • Index

FORMAT:Softcover, 131 pages
AUTHOR:John English

Carl Duguay
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