I'll tell ya what.....
I have been wanting to make one of these babies for years. I have searched the internet and I can't remember the name of the guy who initially posted it a few years back, but he had a great idea. If anyone knows him, or can find him, let me know so I can thank him. I'm not going to post his pictures. I'll just post mine.
There has been several times I needed to saw a twig or log in half. I use half-sawn twigs for molding on top of rustic cabinet doors. I have used half-sawn logs to make picture frames.
One thing I found difficult while sawing the logs in half, was to keep it vertically straight while sawing so it would have a flat bottom. Ya know, you think you're eye-ball method is pretty accurate, until you get done sawing and see how the shape of the branch or log totally fooled your eye. It's especially difficult when doing longer pieces, but best practice is to cut longer than needed.....a lot longer.
The other thing that makes it difficult to cut twigs and logs in half are the protruding branches that stick out of the log. Ya love 'em, you want to keep them, but they sure make it hell to cut a straight line.
I did a Windows upgrade yesterday. Irfanview used to be my default program to view photos. Now Microsoft's Window's Photo Viewer opens my photos. Imagine that. Doesn't seem like I can add a photo right now. Same old shit. Struggling back and forth with Microsoft's take-over of my computer.
The 90-Degree Tenon Cutter can cut logs, branches, and even square wood if you're looking for the ease of creating the mortise. It is a total pain to chisel out a square mortice. It is so much simpler to use a forstner bit to drill the mortise, and have everything fit.
You have to pre-drill and 3/8" guide hole for the cutter to to follow. You can drill that hole at any angle. Whether you're trying to join up a stair rail at an angle to connect it to a wall, or if you're intricate with your log furniture building skills. There is a lot more gluing surface, and the EZ-90 is great for rustic table legs. Check it out.
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To build a log deer that will last for a while, you should consider building it so that you can disassemble it, store it, and get it back out for future Holidays.
I have seen people screw or nail the legs on, and the neck and head. People with an abundance of logs can do that. They can just make another one.
If you want to build one to last, I found that log tenon and mortice joinery works best. It also allows you to twist a leg (not break a leg), turn a head, a neck, and adjust the deer to different positions. If you have a couple of deer, you can twist their head to be looking at each other, or something else, and change it any time you want. It is great for kids. It is like a big puzzle, putting them together. And, just think of the fun in decorating them with red noses, ribbons and bows, maybe even a little sweater or something.
You can use trees with brown bark, or a tree that has white bark like birch or poplar. If you keep your deer outside, they will weather and the bark will eventually fall off. If you keep them indoors, they will last forever. With a tenon and mortise joint, you simply take them apart for storage until next year.
With the E-Z Log Tenon Cutter, you can do that. You are only limited to about a 4" diameter log to create a 1" up to a 3" diameter tenon. If your log is a little larger than 4" in diameter, just trim it down with a chain saw, planer, or hand saw so it fits the E-Z Log Tenon Cutter.
It is probably too late for this year, but one of these days I will post plans to build log reindeer. You can use your imagination to create what you want. Some deer I've seen are really out of proportion, but that is the beauty of it. Long legs. Short Legs. Big ears. Skinny bodies. It's all fun!!!!
They look great when you have a whole herd of them. They are really easy to make using the E-Z Log Tenon Cutter. The great part about using tenon joinery for these little guys is that you can completely disassemble them for storage, and when reassembled you can twist the head and neck to have them look the way you want. When you make your own Reindeer out of logs and branches, you can choose the body size, legs, neck, and even if it's a buck or a doe. (more on that later) These are easy and fun to build. People love getting them as gifts. Now is the time to start building these. Order your E-Z Log Tenon Cutter and start making people happy. I forgot to mention, the EZ-45's are still on sale. $50 off. Get yours now!
First time ever. Our EZ-45's are on sale for $149.99.
Check 'em out.
Get one now and make your Christmas Presents............
People love receiving hand-made and rustic styled gifts.
Psst......the KIT is on sale too....
We have been formed by our suppliers that it is necessary to increase prices slightly. We have held our current prices steady for almost 6 years, but will be forced to increase our price soon.
Order soon to get the lower prices on all of our E-Z Log Tenon Cutters.
For complete specifications out the E-Z Log Tenon Cutters, please view our product manual: PRODUCT MANUAL
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Drying time will depend on the diameter and length of the birch log.
Birch bark can be thick, and will really slow the drying time. If left too long in a warm, humid atmosphere, it will start to spalt quickly. You can prevent this somewhat by cutting shorter logs or poking some holes into the bark. Be sure to leave air flow between the logs. Use little sticks for spacers. Some people like spalt, some don’t. I would assume that since you are going to put them on a wall, you probably don’t want the spalt, and would prefer clear, unblemished wood.
As the wood dries, it loses moisture, shrinks, and separates from the bark because the bark does not shrink, no matter what kind of wood it is. Depending upon the type of wood, how much sap and moisture was in the wood when it was cut, and what time of year the tree was cut, the log may check and crack while drying. Each log is different.
When I want to have a perfect birch log slice, say about 6” diameter, I will only let it “dry” for a few weeks, if that. It works out best for me to cut them green (wet), and then soak them in Pentacryl. Pentacryl is a non-toxic solution produced by Preservation Solutions that replaces the water in the wood, and helps keep the wood cells from shrinking. I have been using it for years, and it works particularly well on birch. It may slightly discolor the bark, but not really noticeable. It also has a slight odor, but that dissipates quickly after dried. They also have a “Wood Juice” product made for dry wood. Go to their website and read more about it. preservation-solutions.com/wood-treatment-products
After the slices have been thoroughly coated or soaked with Pentacryl, then allow the wood to dry. Drying time will depend on the thickness of the slice. Keep the slices separated. Use an old grate or oven rack or something to stand them up so they don’t touch while drying. You can use a fan to speed it up. After the Pentacryl has dried, you can coat them with a varnish or anything you like.
If you don’t want to use Pentacryl, and coat them with a varnish instead, any oil based varnish would work, but coat both sides of the slice. If you only coat one side, humidity is drawn in from the other side if not sealed and may warp the slice if it is thin. Indoor applications can be coated with a water-based varnish, but the wood must be dry or the moisture in the wood might turn the coating white, or cloudy.
Or just go the easy route. Let the slices do what they do, crack, or whatever, like a pile of firewood, glue to your wall, tack or nail if necessary, and varnish the whole wall later. This looks great on walls next to an electric fireplace to make it look more real.