Three Sugar Maples - Arsenal Ave, Indianapolis, IN

hard maple live edge.JPG

Milled January 3-6, 2019

N Arsenal Ave. and E Vermont St.

Milling these maples made for a very special weekend for me. Early in my woodworking venture, it was these hearty trees that inspired me to start milling and sourcing my own wood. They grew directly across the street from my old place on the east side of Indianapolis, IN, and they always turned exuberant reds and oranges in the fall. Gorgeous trees! The colors would reflect off of the leaves into the large front window of our house and just light up our living room in a red-orange glow. It was quite an effect!

Like most of Indianapolis in the past 5 years, the Holy Cross Neighborhood on the east side has experienced a tremendous influx of money for real estate and infrastructure development. One of the real estate companies that focused on the east side specifically, was Compendium Group, LLC. Compendium happened to buy up 5 the five lots across the street from us after a city hearing on what to do with the lots. The day (I think) they put up their sale signs in the lots, I called them asking to save the trees for me if they planned cut them down (I knew they would). Mind you, this was in February of 2018, before I even had my mill, ha! However, I knew that having such a close connection and experience with the trees that I would put up whatever I needed to in order to save them from a fire pit.

Luckily, it turned out that Micah at Compendium Group has been saving trees for guys like myself for quite some time now. He was very familiar with the whole process and understands the value that quality lumber can have. Along with his generous offerings of wood, Micah just asks whoever mills the logs to promise that the homeowner (if theyre interested) gets some of the lumber too. Not only is this a great trade to begin with, it also makes a potential sales lead. Go, Micah!

So there were three hard maples growing in a line spanning about 40 feet, but they sat too deep into their lots for the style of home that Compendium Group builds. Unfortunately at their size, they needed to come down. The 3 logs pictured here are actually 3 sections from 2 trees. The middle log is the top half of the largest maple on-site (seen as the standing tree and log on the left).

I tried out my new Granberg International file guide on this batch of milling, and I wish I would have bought it so much sooner. Touching up the saw chain in between slabs really cut down on milling time. The Tach/hour meter was also helpful. Not only can I track total hours on the saw, I can ensure that I am running the powerhead between 9k-10k RPMs for healthy use.

Each log was just over 12 foot, and between 27” - 29” in diameter. I was burning an entire tank and a half per pass on the biggest log - which took every second of about 20 minutes per pass. I milled these thick at 10/4 because of their length. The thicker they are the more stable they will be as they dry. Plus, they will likely turn into 12 foot conference tables which are best at a hearty 2” final thickness. Amazing figure in all of these!

These slabs will be dry by spring-summer 2021.

The real estate developer really followed through on this one. Means a great deal to me! Thank you, Micah!