I have plenty of 2.25" slabs, so I thought that the best way of getting the log reduced to some useful stuff was to make a 6" slab and start a workbench build.
Ash isn't the most classic workbench material, but I still think that it will hold up just fine for regular use. If not I can always glue and tack a piece of plywood on top of it..
With my usual luck, the sawblade for the mulesaw suddenly detonated in the middle of the milling operation. I found my spare blade, and got back in business in fairly short time. I am going to weld the regular blade again, and I have even considered perhaps buying a new blade for the saw. But I am still not sure about that.
The trunk was Y-shaped, and there was quite a bit of tension in one side which became visible as the saw blade slowly progressed through the log.
Once the slab was milled, I trimmed the ends with a chainsaw, and it became apparent that there was a bit of rot where the crotch of the tree was. So I ended up getting a slab that was a little shorter than I had hoped for.
The benchtop slab was edge sawn on the mulesaw as well, since it was too wide to balance on the circular saw. The rest of the 6" thick piece was milled to legs and stretchers on the circular sawmill. It is so much faster than the mulesaw after all.
I started out making the legs 6x6", but they looked really clumsy, so I studied Roubo's book, and the text suggests that the legs are made 6x3 or 6x4" which I thought was kind of funny since all the images of workbenches had square legs. Anyway, I decided to go for 3.5 x 6" legs and I still think that they'll be up to the task of holding the top.
The material was still wet, but I started working on the top nevertheless.
First task was to rout a recess where there was ingrown bark from the two parts of the upper trunk. This was done on both sides of the slab, and a piece of dry whitebeam was glued in.
Next up was to install some butterfly keys to reduce any chance of splitting, and also to practice making those. So 4 butterflies went on each side of the slab.
I flattened the underside of the slab and then the two sides, and the lesson learned was that it really is a lot easier to plane if the height of the workpiece is correct.
The legs and the stretchers were squared up and brought to size using my jointer/planer.
Once I get back from the sea, I hope to be able to get the frame completed and install the top on it.
Slowly a slab emerges.
6" x 20" x 80" ash slab.
Recess milled and trimmed.
Flattening the underside.
Planing the side (too low a working position).