“Write without pay until somebody offers to pay you. If nobody offers within three years, sawing wood is what you were intended for.”
Well.....we've begun the sawing process...and boy is it tiring...and fun!
We've hired our new friend Mike to help us with cutting our logs into timbers. He's a great guy! Fun to work with, quick with a joke, and strong as an ox! He's got his Woodmizer saw parked up on the farm and we've been buzzing away at our stack of 75 logs.
Each log has a number spray painted on it. That number corresponds to a major timber in the cordwood house. That timber is sawed from the center of the log (the heartwood). Beyond making sure we get the timber we have another long list of other wood we need (2"x6", 2"x8", 2"x10", 4"x4", 4"x6", 4"x8", 6"x8" material). These are interior walls, bracing, rafters...the list goes on and on.
Mike had stacked up the logs (decked them) in three piles. He'll move the mill from pile to pile. But to get the log from the pile to the mill - you have to peavy. That means using a peavy to move the log. A peavy is basically a lever with a hinged claw at the end.
Once to the mill, the log is lifted onto the mill by hydraulic arms. Then the rest of the time on the mill other hydraulic arms turn it and flip it. As the saw runs over the log you remove the first cut which is almost all bark (the slab wood). Then in subsequent passes the saw will cut of 1", 2", or what ever thickness you want. These slabs (which are called fliches) are pushed to the side (back onto the hydraulic arms). The log is rotated 90 degrees and the process starts again.
Here is a video to show how we did it.
Here's a run down of what has happened each day so far (we're gonna be at this for at least a week).
Friday, April 19th
Today we got started at 8am - well actually Nate got there at 7am to prep the site. Mike was ready to saw and a few friends came to help (Jess, Terry, Lloyd, Mike - another Mike, and Kim).
Nevin, Zane, Mike (the other Mike), and Jess - taking a break.
Ella and her stylish "muck boots".
Mike (the sawyer Mike) working his magic.
Mike (the other Mike), Terry, and Nate removing a slab.
Getting close to a finished beam.
It was a fairly nice day, but being the first day we were cutting it was a slow day. It was a warm day but around 1pm the rain started and it was time to quit.
Saturday, April 20th
Back up to the farm by 7am and then sawing by 8am. Today was a crazy weather day. It's been very windy here for about a week - and it didn't stop today. We had wind, rain, snow, snow pellets, and even some sun. The crew today was Matt, Tim, and Scott.
Mike and Nate checking the lumber list.
Matt, Scott, and Nate using peavys to get a log in place.
Matt making sure the beam comes out right.
We made it to about 3pm before the weather got the best of us.
Sunday, April 21st
Today the sun was out! What a blessing. After snow and wind it was great to feel the sun on your back all day (even though we all did get a bit sun burned). Today Tim was the helper - and boy can he size up a log and help get it cut down to size.
We worked until 3:30pm and got tons done.
Monday, April 22nd
We're to sawing in the evenings now that Nate is back to work. Tim came and helped again and we did 8 logs in 3.5 hours. That's got to be some sort of record.
Here are some pics of the cut wood we have so far.
Denise and Mira at the end of Day #2
The kids on the beams at the end of Day #3.
After 4 days of sawing...