From Limb to Finished Map

Finished product from ordinary limb wood

After watching Youtube woodworking videos, I saw that some round limb wood and even firewood size chunks could be sliced into lumber. It is with that idea in mind that I used a limb from a tree in our front yard to make the map above.

After cutting a limb that was 4 inches at the widest part, I cut it into a 12 to 15 inch chunk. From there I cut slices of it, lengthwise, on the table saw. The results can be seen here.

Limb chunk to be cut into little planks.

The slices/ mini-planks are not that wide but are easy to work with.

These wood pieces in their rough shape, fresh from the table saw. 

You’ll notice the pieces have distinct color, reddish and white. That pattern is what made the Wisconsin map stand out and look unique. This wood was cut and the edges jointed or made smooth, and from them I glued all of them as shown below.

The contrast and pattern doesn’t stand out, but adding a finish at the end brings out the color.

Once the glue in that piece dried, I ran it through a planer which made the surface smooth. It is on that smooth piece I used carbon paper to trace an outline map of Wisconsin, and the map at the top of the page resulted.

The first end product looked pale and didn’t stand out.

Pale, looks like it got too much sun.

The final maps are below. Because of the size of the flat piece, two state maps could be cut from it. And here they are, stained and ready to give or sell to someone. I am happy with the pattern that resulted.

The key to making these is to have a good way to saw the limb wood, and though I used a table saw, the best would be a band saw. A band saw cuts wood up to 6 or 8 inches thick, or more, but the saw has to have power to cut the wood length-wise. This is one area I’d like to do more with, esp. after “accidentally” ending up with maps like above.

Leave a Reply