Late last fall, we had a blowdown.
Unfortunately, it took with it, many of our mature trees, to the ground. Rather than let nature rot them, we put them to good use. This first tree, a basically healthy Hemlock, was 137 yrs. young, still solid except at ground level, where it was beginning its natural decay. This also led to its demise with the help of the strong winds.
The butt end measured a bit over 37 inches.
Another of the 42 we lost, ( just counting the ones we could count from the trails ) was 130 yrs. old. You can count the rings on the saw end and it will tell you so much about the growth of the tree. Not only it's age, but when the growing year was dry, wet, if there was a forest fire where it grew, insect damage, etc.
But, on with what we did with some of logs.
What had not been cut into firewood, has been cut into lumber.
We are fortunate to have Bill's brother Pat just down the road a piece. The boys built this sawmill themselves years ago, so if you'd find this interesting, come along for the tour.
The boys made lumber of only two 8 ft. logs this time.
First, the huge logs are loaded on a bunk like the one below with a jammer, also made by the boys. ( In the white hat is one of our sons, helping and learning the operation for the first time. ) Once the log is rolled onto the saw rack, a 2 man job,
adjustments are made to place the log just right for its first cut.
Bit by bit, to waste as little of the useful wood as possible, one click at a time, until
oops, still making changes...
Imagine what it took to make this monstrosity. The building must measure at least 40 ft. long, just to hold the mill.
The wall behind the working end, is full of charts and measures to make the right cuts for the right size board.
Click, buzzzzzzzzzzz, careful,
finally ready for the first cut with that serious unguarded blade. ( Yes, another project in the making. )
There are always kinks to work out, like this pinched blade on the very first pass of that monster log.
The blade measures 54 inches and as you can see, or not, the blade just barely is visible as it passes through the first slab.
Phew, the first slab is off,
unloaded from the roller, and in the scrap trailer.
All heavy work, the log is rolled to it's first flat side awaiting the next side off.
Two sides down, two to go. This is by no means, an exact science as a home made mill, but it serves its purpose well enough for our needs. It seems there is a lot of waste, but we do not want a terrible lot of bark on our lumber. Leaving it on is just an open invitation for insect parties. Besides, we waste nothing, as I'll explain later.
Roll it boys, then bump it out to waste little as possible.
Now, that is one beautiful 2x24" board. You'd think we'd leave it that way. We, however will be cutting this beauty way down.
There is one major imperfection, a crack, so on to the next decision....
As the brothers ponder,
I'm still begging them to leave this board for me...
Bill tells me that there are lots more where this one came from...grrrrr.,
so on with stacking several of them,
measuring, marking, clamping, and.......
bzzzzzzzzzzzzz, cutting 2x4's and 2x6's and 1x6's
cut, load, cut, load, cut, load
The scraps or Slab Wood, is loaded onto another trailer. These pieces are used for kindling mostly, but I see Tree House Siding, don't you?
As you can imagine, there are tons of sawdust from all the cutting going on. The sawdust elevates up to
another trailer where it empties. From there it is used for cattle and chicken bedding, garden paths, compost and mulch. Like I said, nothing goes to waste.
This entire operation, from cutting to sawdust, is run off the hydrolics of Pat's tractor outside of the window.
A whole lot of backbone goes into such work. It's why men are made to handle the heavy-duty lifting, so I've been told.
And now? Loaded and going home.So, now what's my man up to?..............to be continued.....
|As I'm eternally grateful,|
Thanks for making time in your busy day to stop by.