Beech Wood for Planemaking

Could I have bought a bigger log? I think not. When you ask a mill to cut a particular type of tree for you you better specify the size, I guess. You live and learn. Beech is so seldom cut in our forest that I think the feller was just itching to drop a big one. He probably was saving this one for just the day that someone asked for a beech. 
So I never ended up making it home with this one. This is a 18-1/2′ log. It measures 31″ on smallest end. I didn’t get far down the road and decided to give a friend a call to see if I could park it at his place and come back and cut it up later. I had a 2 1/2 hour drive through the mountains of TN so I wasn’t feeling comfortable. This log had to of weighed easily more than my truck.
Anyhow this is where I will be getting wood dimensioned properly for solid wood moulding planes. I need it perfectly quarter sawn so I will be riving this up just like windsor chair parts. You can’t get any more quartered than that. 
After some time drying I will be up and running. I hope to ease the pain of others that have been looking desperately, like me, for proper wood. I don’t have prices yet but I plan to sell moulding plane blanks. I already have some awesome curly hard maple drying for some specialty plane bodies.
If you need beech wood for moulding planes let me know and I will put you on my list. I will have larger plane bodies as well for Smoothing, Jack and Jointer planes.
Just for fun I will post some photos of me splitting this up. 🙂 I need a bigger saw…ugh!

12 thoughts on “Beech Wood for Planemaking

  1. Dale,I have you down on my list. I hope to have the molding blanks ready in about 60 days dry and conditioned. I will be following with the larger bench plane blanks afterward because they will take much longer to dry, even in the kiln.I will be posting a price list as soon as I have a good idea as to my full cost and labor in these.

  2. I put you down on the list and will let you know. I will have the blanks for sizes #2-#10 ready first. I am getting closer to having a price list as well. I will send that to everyone when I have it.

  3. I got ahold of some beech that is close to quartersawn, but not quite there. If I really enjoy the planemaking process I'll probably use what I have for some of the wider planes, but for the narrower (< 1 1/4) I'd like to have material as close to perfect as possible. I did find one board 8" wide 7/8" thick and 50" long that is dead on and has some figure to it… Is there anyway I can post a pic here for you?Andy

  4. If it is possible to post a picture, I don't have it set up, but you can always send me a picture direct if that is what you were wanting to do. calebjames@me.comIf you can find it locally then that is what I would do if I were you. It will most likely be more cost effective. Generally you can find beech fire wood but trying to get it without fungus damage and then drying it is the hard part. If you have a lumber yard that carries beech and you can pick through and find some qs boards that is the best route.

  5. I just came to your blog today via Peter Galbert's post on his Chair Notes blog. I was enjoying myself, looking around, when I came across this post and your announcement that you'd be selling beech plane blanks. A couple of rabbets and a few hollows/rounds are on my to-do list. I'd love to be on your list when you do get up and running. Thanks, for the public service!

  6. Eric,I got you down. I am projecting to have some batches ready in the month of June if all goes well. There will be plenty of blanks for rabbet and hollows/rounds.

  7. Caleb, I know I am very late to the party, do you have any of that beech left? I want to make my own hollows and rounds and a set of snipe planes. Maybe even a set of side rebate planes. thanks, bob

  8. Bob, Click on my update link at top of post for information on where to buy beech wood. I don't sell any material as of now and probably won't again but thankfully others are.

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