Last week I bought about 23 bf of poplar for a new mizzen mast project. This is more than I need for the mizzen, but I'd rather be safe than sorry...
When I built Gardens' spars, I set up shop in the yard outside to accommodate the necessary lengths. But this being October in Michigan, I'm setting up in an empty bay (which is also long enough for the spars) in the barn so I can work out of the weather. Of course, the space wasn't really empty - so some tidying up was necessary. (First photo is about half way through the clean-up.)
One clean-up task was to get rid of a pile of old rough-cut lath strips taking up space. Easiest way to dispose of them is to burn them but, at 5' long, they were too long for our burn pit (and we don't have a burn barrel). So, I cut them down to size and burned them down to a nice pile of ashes. I left most of the cut nails in the lath and used a magnet to pull them out of the ashes.
The poplar found a home on the 'spar bench' (2 long sawhorses and 2 2x10x10' planks). The thickness planer moved from the shop to the work space. Infeed and outfeed supports were set up. The space was ready to get to work.
Milling the poplar began today. First step is to smooth the faces of the planks. Using a No. 5 Stanley plane, I began flattening the slight crown of the first plank before using the thickness planer. Interesting to note the 5/4 planks turned out to be 11/8 (1-3/8)- which is nice enough but it means more milling before ripping the staves for the mast.