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More Mountain Cherry Wood

Posted by Cameron Hilker on February 6, 2020 [Permalink]

Aoyama-san bought some freshly-harvested yamazakura cherry wood from the mountains of Tochigi for use at Mokuhankan.

In past posts, we have shown you how Aoyama-san takes thinly-sliced pieces of cherry wood and turns them into wood blocks usable for carving and printing. This time, we are going to show you the beginning of that process, by following the steps he recently took to get us some new wood from the source.

First, after several months of back-and-forth with a contact in Tochigi Prefecture, Aoyama-san placed an order to pick up some cherry wood in the winter. They would contact us as soon as they had felled the tree, and Aoyama-san would go pick it up. We got the call in mid-December, and off he went to the forest-covered mountains!

Aoyama-san is not one to just wait for others to do things. He got involved, and measured out the wood himself!

Then he sliced it up with a chainsaw to make it fit in his car. It looks like he enjoys power tools.

He then took a closer look at his work...

...and loaded it into the car. With something as precious as this, he made sure to buckle it up!

The wood is now sitting next to the front door of our shop because it is too heavy for us to take it upstairs! We are hoping it will dry out a bit and we will be able to carry it eventually, but we are not yet sure when that will happen.

The next steps are simply to wait and periodically slice it into smaller, more usable pieces. If we cut it thinly too early, then it will radically warp during the drying process. It is a delicate process, but we have high hopes that we will end up with lots of high-quality yamazakura to use in our printmaking!




Added by: Karen on February 6, 2020

Thanks for the post! It's interesting to see the sliced logs. There is such a stark distinction between the heartwood and the lighter wood near the cambium. Will this several-centimeter-thick lighter wood eventually turn into heartwood if the tree was allowed to continue growing?

Looking forward to seeing the prints that come from this tree!

Added by: Bob Hauser on February 6, 2020

Hi liked the post. Noticed you did not coat the end grain. I generally paint the end grain with a latex paint to help prevent checking.

Added by: Michael on August 20, 2021

Specific gravity of 130yo cherry is about 700kg/m3 give or take 15. Matsumura's cherry is about 600 give or take 15. Most likely not the same cultivar.


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