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A little yard work yielded a nice find…

15 years ago

So a typical Sunday afternoon brought some shop time and some yard work. While I was letting my Windsor chair dry after wetting it to raise the grain, I went out back to take care of some long over due yard tasks. We have 6 Japanese Yew bushes flanking our house. They provide a lot of privacy in the backyard, but they grow like mad and are starting to take over the yard. Photobucket

So I started trimming, and trimming, and trimming. My wife came out back and said to me, “wow I like the extra light back here, why don’t we get rid of one of those bushes on both sides of the house.” I grumbled and moaned about how much work that would be, but it was wasted breath. I have to admit that she was right and with two of them gone we still have a lot of privacy, but more sunlight filters through into the side yards. (hopefully she won’t read this post because she’ll never let me hear the end of it)

Anyway, as I got down to the trunk of these 40+ year of old Yews, I notice how thick they were. My woodworker’s brain started wondering what kind of lumber I might glean from this. So I cut out a few 20″ long pieces and took them to the shop. After some runs through the bandsaw and some sealer for the ends, this is what I came up with.

Real pretty reddish/cherry color for the heart wood. Obviously this is still wet so I expect the color to lighten over time. The grain is really tight though. If nothing else, these will make some pens with a story behind them.

Anyone out there have any experience with Japanese Yew? I would love to hear about it.

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