This story adds so much texture to the project. Here’s an insight from standing tree to finished stock.
“A little history about this blank. In 1993, Oregon Fish and Wildlife outlawed cutting any tree within 30 feet of a stream where salmon spawn. Their bogus theory was that it made the water too warm and the eggs wouldn’t hatch. This was their reason for the declining salmon numbers. The real reason was that the cormorants were eating the fry as they were going to the ocean and if they were lucky enough to escape, when they were coming back in three years, the seals were waiting to eat the mature salmon.
But that’s a whole other story. One of my contacts called and a said a farmer that he knew had just felled a big, gorgeous maple tree. My contact called me and said, ‘Cecil, you had better get up here.’ A desert rat doesn’t want to go to Oregon in January! We cut the log into slabs using an Alaskan chain saw. That’s a chain saw with one person operating the motor and the other person at the end of the cahin bar. When you start out cutting, it isn’t too bad because youare standing up. But every slab you cut is getting you 3 inches closer to the ground. Not only is this back breaking, but you eat all the chips that come off the saw. The end result was the finest maple tree I have ever seen or cut. I got about 400 blanks off this tree. I now have one left. I guess I can say it was a ‘once in a lifetime’ event.
By the way, this is a four-way fiddle, which is not at all common.