Apr 11, 2008: Tree Cookie Signs

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That's a lot of tree. The giant 'cookie' came from a four hundred year old Douglas fir tree that fell down a long time ago. A big flood washed the tree down the canyon and left it serendipitously in a hayfield. We cut the cookies off the log about four years ago; they've been curing in a woodshed ever since. In the picture below, you can see that the tree nearly died when it was about 20 years old. Something damaged the bark on one side of the tree--either a bear ate it, or another tree knocked it off. The living side of the tree grew completely around the dead side, and there would have been a very visible scar for about 30 years or so, but eventually the tree healed itself. When trees get barked up like this it forms what old-timers call a 'cat's face.' If you can see a cat in this picture, we'd love to hear about it.

We drew the design on the cookie in pencil, and then used a router to carve out the letters. Later we'll stain the cookie and paint the letters.

As wood dries it expands, and cookies like this need to be dried very carefully so that they don't crack into little bits. This cookie is already starting to crack. So that it doesn't fall completely apart, we'll bolt a piece of sturdy plywood on to the back and wrap some metal strapping around the circumference.
Here's what the finished sign will look like:

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