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Shrinking stump

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  • #16
    The list you had at the RR was interesting. Some of the woods I have thought would be ideal were not rated in extreme values of all woods listed. Not sure there is a "perfect" wood to use but maybe some ideal characteristics- tight grain, hard but more flexible than brittle (think tempered tool steel, not carbide or diamond)

    As a kid, I was (and still am)a great fan of Roy Underhill's The Woodwright's Shop and related traditional woodcraft. There are specific relevant points he emphasized that is often missed by the new Metalshaping auto-didacto (self taught) and hobby/classroom tradition-

    many woods have specific ideal applications, as do specific parts of a given tree. A true "stump" is exactly that- the section from the upper portion of the underground tap root or root crown to the lower portion of the above ground trunk. The growth pattern and grain structure of this section of a tree is naturally designed to endure different stresses than the upper trunk. Stump sections handle flexing and twisting better- think of how metal fatigues, work hardens and ultimately fails when repeated stressed at the same point- than the trunk or limbs. The tangled grain of the root crown is more stable and less prone to splitting. So the stump & root crown portion of certain trees (dogwood and hickory) are used for making clubs and large hammer-type tools with the root crown portion as the striking head and the flex-resistance trunk base as the handle.

    From a a different perspective- This is also how war clubs were often fashioned. their life depended upon dependable performance and that's how they addressed their need. I would venture to guess early war clubs with stone heads were simply ones with a stone naturally captured & grown into the root?

    actualy digging stumps is hard work, especially a big taproot. Btdt. Using a crotch is not a perfect solution, but it's better than using a straight section of tree trunk that 99.9% of metalworkers use for a stump. That's why I used a crotch and turned it upside down to mimic an actual stump. Over 2 yrs, the crazy grain has helped capture and mitigate the checking that has occurred. When I get a chance to get an entire actual stump of good wood, I probably will. The splayed bottom also helps with stability. The old ways usually weren't an accident.

    Trunk sections are generally straight grained. whether actually straight or evenly rotated, either splits with relative ease. That's why they check easily on their own and probably why people try to install iron bands to keep them from splitting. Since wood opens radial checks as it shrinks unevenly, it doesn't make sense to band them from a woodworking perspective. One would have to compress the entire circumference equally towards the center- good wood, open cracks and all- to really make this work.

    That's just my opinion, but it's good to understand that lots of people look between specialties (wood, metal, stone, bronze, etc) and easily see how ignorant an appropriated & applied solution between specialties is. Metalshapers use certain woods for tasks that would make a knowledgable woodworker shake their head, just like a woodworker might not see any difference between using a comparably "wrong" piece of metal for a task at hand. Learning- not critcizing- is the point.

    Look at the old pictures of the old metalshapers, especially the specialty shops, not the class environments. They are usually using an actual stump, not a trunk section. In terms of stumps, I think the biggest improvement most people could do is to do the obvious. Start with an actual stump.


    • #17

      Will the wood stump can be made out any hard wood ,as far as seal it ,...well there are a few ways, water or oil base paint top and bottom with the bark not removed, linseed oil top and bottom with bark not removed and possibly let the wood dry out of the sun . the metal ring around it at the top of the stump could be for 2 reason (1) stop the wood from cracking , or use the ring at the top in order to be able to attached tools to it, the like of hammers etc the edges can be shaped to certain common shapes like...making returns shapes, turn a edge or simply bending a round edge etc
      Peter T.
      PS please do not consider making a so called facilitator ?? Back braking , Waste of time and not needed
      Last edited by Peter Tommasini; 09-06-2019, 12:39 PM.


      • #18
        Cliff I know you said stay away from power poles but until I can find a good fresh haedwood stump I am running with the power pole stump I have to get me started. Australian power poles are generally made of hardwood, I believe the one I have is iron bark. It is currently getting the linseed treatment.


        • #19
          Originally posted by Michael13 View Post
          Cliff I know you said stay away from power poles but until I can find a good fresh haedwood stump I am running with the power pole stump I have to get me started. Australian power poles are generally made of hardwood, I believe the one I have is iron bark. It is currently getting the linseed treatment.
          Never knew that. Here in the USA, power poles are rarely if ever hardwood. No matter what specific wood it is, any pressure treatment used has more to do with my concerns. Here it may involve creosote, various salts an other chemicals, usually a multi-stage process. If it involved any type of salt to ward off deterioration, I would be worried that some could be transferred onto the metal and possibly captured within small surface imperfections. That could be a problem with later corrosion, paint adhesion and maybe even welding.

          Maybe it's unlikely to be a problem doing metal, but I do know the pressure treatment salts can leach out and stain stone in studio. so when pt lumber is used to crib or stickler stone, it is never allowed to be left in direct contact. Most don't even use it around stone. They only use raw, dried wood. I have to deal with termites, so I use some of both here. Just something to think about.

          It's great to hear you're doing it. Getting started is the most important part.


          • #20
            What are thoughts of using a stump like where there are multiple branches that makes the grain interlocked.
            I have a misspent youth splitting firewood and some would defy all attempts even using hydraulic splitters.
            Seems like these would make good metalshaping stumps.


            • #21
              I think the indentation shaping is more important than the material choice. If you clock up enough miles to wear your stump out then you will probably have sourced a better replacement over that period !! Horseshoe shape is more versatile than a standard bowl and don’t neglect to use the external surface edges. Be creative because stumps grow on trees ..


              • #22
                I have an Elm stump and have had it for 5+ years. Minimal cracking and didn't treat it.


                • ekdave
                  ekdave commented
                  Editing a comment
                  i used a chunk of red gum , purchaed from local firewood guy , they get it in and thrn spliit it so got a few lumps and kust mounted them on steel frame , gave kiwi a slap at the 1 st metal meet

              • #23


                • #24
                  Robert Very good explanation on the stump, I could have not explained better my self !!


                  • #25
                    Click image for larger version  Name:	image_959.jpg Views:	4 Size:	184.9 KB ID:	2608 Great advice Gents, here is a picture of our oak stumps here in the UK .
                    should I cut the horseshoe design because it seems very popular , was going to do the wider swimming pool design??.
                    like Peter T says ... you need oak stump waste height And as much as I like the All the metal shaping videos.... Wray at Proshaper is very tall and his Stump is toooo Low no wonder he has a bad back .

                    Click image for larger version  Name:	6C61E23E-9A89-49BA-B986-4722228EB498.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	130.3 KB ID:	2607
                    Last edited by Moving molecules .; 03-14-2020, 10:20 AM.