After cutting the agave to length, I clamp it into a simple jig and follow the top of the jig with a chain saw to cut level both sides. The deck and bottom sides are against the jig. A new, sharp chain makes a HUGE difference.
After the agave is milled to this state, I band saw off the bark on the deck and bottom sides. I then run the blank sections through a thickness planer to obtain smooth, even-width sections for glue-up.
Out of 13 trunks, only one had to be wasted because of pithy wood. The stack next to the balsa contains mostly 4" + wide sections, ranging from 7'-9'. The stack next to the wall averages 3" wide and 7' long. The entire batch yielded, firm, light, colorful wood. STOKED!
This agave was collected over the past year from several sources and locations around San Diego County. It grows on public and private property. It is not hard to find (not always so easy to harvest) if you know where to look and if you have sources that locate it for you or turn you on to it. Special thanks to Surfer Brett Wellington and Jerry McCann for some of the best stuff this year.
More to come on this project.