Making Our Own Tongue and Grove Lumber

Not long ago in a monastery not far, far away, a lot of milling of redwood took place. Yes, machines were involved, but people (monks) too, as the monastery machines, most of them at least, don’t run by themselves. In this case there was a lot of cutting on the bandsaw. Followed by a whole lot of hand planing (on the show-side only). In this photo you can see some of the wood in its milled stage.

Here, now, is the big Mini-Max combination machine that Kumarswami used to make the tongue-and-grove profile on each board. Sorry, he didn’t get photos of that process.

Here is some of the wood after the t&g process. The destiny of this wood, which amounts to about 900 linear feet, it the ceiling of the soffits for the three art display pavilions that Deva Rajan is building during visits to the monastery. Kumarswami took time to help out with this process to push the job ahead a bit. Deva’s next visit is near the end of this year.

Finished pieces. There are numerous lengths, all carefully calculated so that the joints are staggered and waste is minimal. This is extraordinarily rare wood these days, old growth redwood from California that Deva and his Canyon Construction Company crew salvaged from a huge water tower that was being decommissioned. Deva shipped the redwood to the monastery about 12 years ago. It is all clear number 1 stock.

This wood has been oiled and is being stickered to allow the oil to dry before stacking for storage until it is needed for the project.

Oiling in progress, after final hand planing. Very pretty wood indeed.

After allowing plenty of time for it to dry, Acharya has it neatly stacked in the lumber rack. Pau (finished in Hawaiian) for now!


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