Tate House Walnut Logs
This photo gallery shows some work completed at the Tate House mansion in Tate, Georgia. In this particular project, I'm not sure what I enjoyed more - the beautiful walnut lumber obtained from the trees they were removing, or working in such a beautiful and historic locale. Due to the unique nature of this location, this gallery shows some pictures of the house and grounds before presenting the sawmilling photos.
(Click any photo below for a close-up view)
The left photo shows the formal front of the Tate mansion, which was completed in 1926 using rare pink marble mined from a quarry owned/operated by the Tate family. If you look in the close-up photo, you can see the four large tapered marble columns. Each of these columns were fabricated in one single piece and were initially planned for use in the Capitol building in Washington, DC. These columns cannot be replicated today and each one is insured for $250,000. The photo on the right shows the formal garden area situated to one side of the house.
This face of the mansion, seen in the left photo, is the view from the driveway approach to the house. All interior woodwork in the house, including flooring, paneling, and trim is all fabricated from native black walnut trees harvested from the nearby forests. The photo on the right shows the rear view of the house, which is now used for formal receptions, weddings, and corporate events.
Growing about 100 yards away from the side of the mansion, the pin oak tree seen in these two photos has been certified by the Georgia Forestry Commission as the oldest known example of this species in the state. More than 6' in diameter and estimated at over 800 years old, this tree cannot be pruned or impacted in any way without the supervision of a Georgia Forestry expert.
As part of planned reflecting pond project, the property owners were planning to remove a number of black walnut trees. While this effort was underway, strong winds pushed over a large pecan tree standing next to the mansion (left). Luckily, the tree fell away from the house, preventing any damage that would have certainly occurred. The photo on the right shows my harvesting of the trunk section of this pecan tree.
Here's some of the black walnut logs being sawn (left). Growing in a heavily wooded area, the growth rings are tightly spaced and the sap wood band is very narrow, yielding a high percentage of quality lumber (right).
Some of the boards cut from the log above are shown in the left photo. While harvesting this particular tree, a crotch section was also recovered, and is being sawn in the photo on the right.
The left photo shows a detailed view of the "feathery" grain pattern in the crotch section. Check out the close-up view of that photo to see the fine details. On the right, you can see the sequence of boards cut from the crotch section. Several of the boards from the very heart of this log will yield beautiful bookmatched sections with dramatic crotch grain.
This pair of photos show the first batch of black walnut lumber cut from the Tate House logs. Over 300 board feet with magnificent cathedral grain patterns and excellent coloring!!
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