Spring is almost here – time to get to work!
Learning how to mill is going quite well. This red cedar is my largest piece that started out 6 feet long and 21″ in diameter. It is close to the maximum diameter the mill can handle although I can cut 10 foot long trees. The poor old tractor wasn’t too happy lugging this chunk around. I milled it down to 13.5″ x 13.5″ and then took off 2″ layers.
Over winter we always have a few trees fall due to windstorms. I usually cut them up for firewood but I always feel badly if the tree is better suited for lumber. I finally bit the bullet and purchased a small portable bandsaw. My son-in-law and I spent the past couple of days assembling it and I cut my first log today.
In the early 1980’s we left our homestead to work elsewhere for 5 years. While we were away we had someone care taking the house and property. He had always wanted to build a log house so he started building a small building. Progress was slow and by the time we returned the log house had only three walls that were only 4 feet high. The workmanship wasn’t great but I thought I would utilize what was there for a woodshed and storage. I added windows, a roof and closed in the front wall. This evolved into my shop.
Time wasn’t kind to the building. Our caretaker had built it on wood blocks and used trees that seemed particularly appealing to carpenter ants. The floor was dirt and it was very difficult to keep rodents out. It was dusty and cold in winter and not very conducive to getting much work done.
Eventually the bottom row of trees started to rot and the walls slowly dropped so that my work benches all sloped away from me. It was time to do something.
The building needed to be replaced but the one bright spot was the roof – I didn’t want to get rid of it because it was in good shape. So, I decided to build a new building, slightly smaller, inside the old building. The new walls were just half an inch below the roof.
When the new shop was complete I chain sawed the old log walls out which allowed the roof to drop on the new walls.
This past weekend I did some more renovations in the shop which brought all this to mind. I got rid of an old radial arm saw that I no longer used and added some much needed bench space. I managed to get some free track lighting so I’m all set to go on some new projects.