Friday, 26 August 2016

Yew Logs & Cider

My mate Stuart who helped cut the big Yew log came over to help run it through the bandsaw, but before he came over I needed to clear away the apples I'd been collecting for my cider.
I've got 15L done the last 5 being a second pressing from the compressed "cake" left over from the first. The apples had been hanging around for a couple of weeks and I also collected a load that had fallen onto a cycle track, they were nicely bruised but hadn't started to rot. I think having aged them I got more juice, I also noticed they started fermenting very quickly, in fact the cake from the first pressing had a nice smell of cider before it got pressed the second time (I didn't need to add extra water to encourage extra juice). For those of you who worry about why there are 4 demijohns not 3. Three are cider and one of Gooseberry wine.

Having got the first batch of cider making out of the way I had room to trim the log. We took the worst half first and ran it through making two cuts along its length to give 3 staves, however there wasn't much heartwood and they were disappointing. For the good half we decided, better to just run it through once and get 2 good staves rather than risking more. They looked much better.
It was certainly a two man job, but I'll be able to manage them on my own from now on. We had a good old natter and I gave Stuart a couple of Osage off-cuts from the flight bow so he can have a go with it and enjoy the feel of it, there's enough to make a small native american bow.

This was yesterday evening and this afternoon I've tidied up the 3 bad staves and they are looking a bit better, at least one is usable and one will probably yield billets. It has little heartwood in the middle but plenty at the ends so it can be cut in half and turned ends to the middle.
It's a bit hot to do too much today, but I'll probably get the other halves trimmed so they can go up on the shelves.
Looking forward to shooting the Wonky Hazel on Sunday... whoops just noticed it's not this Sunday, it's the 4th of Sept' !.., I've burnt in a circular mark for the arrow pass and tied a nocking point on the string, seems to be shooting clean and true, dunno if I will tho'.

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