Milling the Wood
A person from the local area brought his portable mill to our site. He then proceeded to cut the logs into slabs. Later the milling was done by our grandson, Spencer West, owner of Westwoods Working.
The big-leaf maple was rough-cut for flooring.
The red alder trees were cut in larger slabs so we can use it for paneling, cabinetry, and some flooring.
We were able to obtain some time in a private kiln, so we loaded up the maple and took it there fore three weeks of kiln-drying.
We were hoping to have one room with flooring made of salvaged chestnut. As you may know, the American chestnut is a magnificent tree that used to be a dominant species in the Eastern forests of the US, but it was almost entirely killed off by the introduced chestnut blight. Only a few isolated stands and individual chestnut trees -- ones that were spared from the blight -- still exist. Scientists and organizations such as the Arbor Day Foundation have been working for decades to develop a blight-resistant strain of American chestnut so it can once again be restored to the Eastern forests. More about the American chestnut...
We realized, though, that salvaged chestnut would have to be shipped from the East, which would not be economically or environmentally good. One day we were at Second Use -- a store in Seattle that sells salvaged building materials -- and we discovered a cart-load of chestnut wood, rough-milled from a tree that had been growing in the Ballard neighborhood. They were selling it at a price of three pieces for a dollar. We bought the entire cart-load, which we estimate will cover 200 sq ft, for $40.
Then we transported the maple and chestnut to Eden Saw in Port Townsend, where it was fine-milled into floor boards. We asked the people at Eden Saw if they thought that our chestnut really is American chestnut -- there are several other species of chestnut around the world. They said that they believed it is indeed American chestnut.
We brought the floor boards home and stored them in a shipping container that we rented from National Construction Rentals for the following several months.