So much of what I’ve learned and been taught about woodworking (and I’m far from an expert) all deals with kiln dried wood that has already been planed to a standard thickness and finished on 4 sides. This have been used to create fine (and not so fine) furniture for centuries and now is something you pay a fair bit for. In all fairness if you are going to build something that has the potential to last for generations the initial cost of the wood is not really an issue when viewed with the lens of time.
However many of us need to build more temporary items who’s use will be measured in years at most rather than decades or maybe will be in a location that is not conducive to long life. Or maybe we just want to spend less on the materials when we are learning woodworking. Further many of us have woods on our property and therefore have a supply of wood, just not the milled/kiln dried stuff that you see had the lumber yard or woodworking store. You could invest in a small sawmill or even get an attachment for your chainsaw, but you still have the drying time. There are traditional methods of working with green wood that takes advantage of how wood shrinks as it dries to make joint that lock up and will last for centuries. This type of work involved a lot of splitting of wood to get blanks rather than milling into boards. Further green wood is usually easier to cut than dry wood, something important when you do not have power tools. In my mind learning how to work with green would could be an advantage for those little things you need to build around your homestead, anything from handles to seating to roosts for your chickens.
I do have a couple of draw knifes that I got from who knows where, but I have never got any real use out of them. I think the missing piece is the shaving horse that I do not have and need to build. Interesting set of plans at Popular Woodworking that only requires one 10′ 2×10. However it does require a compound angle and I do not have a compound miter saw or band saw. I’ll have to look at the plans for a way to build with a table saw. Of course the old timers just built one out of what they had in the forest, so maybe I’ll try that.
Next Steps – build a shaving horse and learn the green woodworking joints
Check out a bench made from two logs and a chainsaw. No nails, glue or pegs, the joints will tighten up as the wood dries